8 ways an international education gives your children a head start

Deciding on a school for your children is a huge responsibility — and while the Dutch education system is known for its quality, you may be wondering if it’s the best choice for your children. So, make sure you also take a serious look at international schools in the Netherlands

In fact, there’s a lot to say for sending your children to an international school — so much that we’re bringing you all the insights into how an international education gives your children a head start in life. (And couldn’t we all use that?)

1. Internationally recognised curricula pave the way for university

The IBDP (International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme) may be the best preparation that you can offer your children if they want to attend top universities around the world. As a highly praised secondary education for those aged 16-19, the IBDP will set your children miles ahead of their peers when it comes to university applications.

Universities around the world see IBDP graduates as highly qualified for further studies and students often feel more prepared to take on university-level classes. 💪

teenage-student-greets-friend-in-hallway-of-international-school-in-the-netherlands
Entering university, students can even bond over having done the IBDP as it’s standardised around the world. Image: HayDmitriy/Depositphotos

Good to know: There are four different types of international education available in the Netherlands:

  • Dutch International Schools (DIS);
  • Schools following a national curriculum (like American or British);
  • International Baccalaureate continuum schools (which offer all stages of the IB);
  • And schools that offer a different international curriculum (such as the International Primary Curriculum).

2. Prepares students for the future

International schools, whatever the curriculum, aren’t only great preparation for your children’s further studies, but for their future careers. 

It’s more and more common for people to find work abroad (since you’re reading this, maybe you’re an expat yourself!). One of the benefits of international schooling is that it’ll help your children navigate the international work environment with confidence and ease — giving them a headstart in this increasingly globalised workforce.

Even those who decide to work in the country they went to school in are more and more likely to interact with people across the world and from different cultures. With an international school background, children will have the experiences and tools they need to thrive in the future. 

3. Students forge international friendships and become global citizens

Work is only one aspect of life though (and in the Netherlands, it’s all about that work-life balance!). So, let’s look at how international schools provide opportunities to learn and grow outside the classroom.

By going to an international school, children aren’t just taught things like globalisation, the importance of international cooperation, and tolerance — they practice it every day! 

READ MORE | This international school works with MIT and UNICEF: meet Nord Anglia

Sending your children to international school means they’ll make friendships across cultures, learn to be inquisitive about stuff that’s different to what they’re used to, and likely learn more about their own culture as well. 

4. Passionate teachers hold international qualifications

Being an international family in the Netherlands, you and your children may have different needs or concerns than Dutch families. In an international school, you’ll be met by teachers with diverse backgrounds who can relate to and understand the concerns, challenges, and joys of international students and families in the Netherlands.  

Additionally, teachers at international schools can draw on a large network of fellow educators and resources from across the globe. 👨‍🏫 They hold international qualifications, often PhDs, and likely have access to continuous international training — all of which will benefit your children in the classroom.

young-male-teacher-asking-questions-to-eager-international-students
Quality teachers make a huge difference in your children’s schooling. Image: ArturVerkhovetskiy/Depositphotos

5. Students develop increased language skills

Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of international education: improved language skills. Even as multilingualism becomes more common, the benefits shouldn’t be underestimated. 

If they aren’t already, students in international schools become multilingual by either following a curriculum taught in a different language than their mother tongue or by attending a multilingual programme. 

That isn’t all though. An international school environment teaches kids to communicate better and overcome language barriers. 🙌

6. Schools and students are supported by a global network

International schools provide their students with unique opportunities thanks to partnerships with universities abroad, international organisations, and other schools around the world. 

Compared to Dutch state schools, international schools in the Netherlands are more likely to have these connections. They become part of a wider global network that supports the school’s educational program and the students’ growth.

Wowza! With 76 schools across 31 countries, the Nord Anglia Education network of schools is the world’s largest premium international schools group! If you want to learn more about the opportunities this offers your children, we’ve been lucky enough to sit down and chat with Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam.

Likely, your children will create their own personal networks with people from around the world — which will come in very handy later in life. 💁‍♀️

7. Secures students a continuous education 

If you’re a family that relocates every so often, an international education is the best way to bring continuity to your children’s schooling. This sense of security and comfort can help them thrive better — wherever you land!

In general, an international curriculum will make the moving process a lot easier for your children. They’ll continue their education in English, be familiar with the curriculum and grading, and may even be able to attend the same co-curricular activities.

By making the transfer process easier, children will have the energy and space to focus on growth rather than getting used to a new curriculum. 

children-wearing-school-uniforms-working-with-tablets-in-international-classroom
With an international education, your children will quickly find their way! Image: DGLimages/Depositphotos

8. Cultivates better self-expression

Just like your children will encounter people with different backgrounds and cultures, attending an international school means they’ll also learn more about their own — even if it’s just by sheer comparison. 

They’ll be given the tools to address differences and similarities in an open-minded way and learn to take a stance on the issues that matter to them. 

So, by offering your children an international education, you also offer them increased chances for exploring who they are, what they believe, and how to formulate those things in the most appropriate and kind ways.

Did you know? Some international schools, like Nord Anglia International School Rotterdam, also have smaller class sizes and personalised learning opportunities. To learn more about what they can offer to you and your children, don’t hesitate to reach out to NAISR.

What is your experience with international schools in the Netherlands? Tell us in the comments below!

Feature Image: yacobchuk1/Depositphotos

Christine Stein Hededam 🇩🇰
A Dane with a special place in her heart for Minnesota, Christine is now falling in love with everything Dutch. Between finishing her bachelor’s degree, learning Dutch, and doing yoga teacher training, you will find her wandering about the Hague. Always up for visiting new places, she loves to explore the Netherlands with friends and takes pride in scoping out cute cafés (wherein to discuss books, big plans, and food).

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