Expats in the Netherlands have a choice of many good international schools for their children. The Dutch Ministry of Education partly subsidizes most international schools and these schools remain within ministry rules. Due to this subsidy, the schools are able to offer more affordable fees.
Students eligible for admission into these schools include those from non-Dutch families with expat status living in the country for a limited duration of time, those from internationally mobile Dutch mobiles who have been largely educated overseas and for whom international education will help to ensure continuity, and those from Dutch families bound for international assignments who therefore need to switch from education in Dutch to English.There are also some privately run international schools in the Netherlands, which teach only in English, although the German, French and Japanese schools have their national language as the teaching medium.
The international departments in primary schools offer students education from the age of 4 until age 11 or 12. The curriculum meets the criteria of the Dutch educational legislation, although they are permitted to depart from this framework on certain points such as the qualifications of teachers. The curricula of primary international schools are largely based on the British curriculum for primary schools, the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) or the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (IB-PYP).
Secondary education is available to students between the ages of 11 ½ and 18 or 19 years. The secondary education curriculum in international schools is oriented towards internationally recognized final examinations such as the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IB-MYP), the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB-DP).
Here is a brief overview of the international schools offering education to children of expats in the Netherlands;
Rotterdam International Secondary School
The Rotterdam International Secondary School (RISS) is located in the Blijdorp region in Rotterdam. English is the medium of instruction here and its students are from countries across the world. In 2012, there were 46 countries represented. The international department encourages students to integrate into Dutch society by studying the Dutch language and culture.
American School of The Hague
The American School of The Hague (ASH) is located in Wassenaar, a residential area in The Hague (Den Haag). It has three divisions; Elementary school from preschool to grade 4, Middle school from grades 5 to 8 and High School from grades 9 to 12. The 11-acre campus at ASH comprises three libraries, facilities for theater, music and art, three gymnasiums, outdoor sports areas and two cafeterias.
British School of Amsterdam
The British School of Amsterdam offers education to students from nursery up to age 13. It is an independent co-educational non-profit day school. When it was started in 1978, the school had just 10 primary school children. Today, more than 550 students from across the globe are enrolled at the British School of Amsterdam.
International School of The Hague
The International School of The Hague (ISH), located in the area of Kijkduin, The Hague, was the first primary school in the world to get accreditation at the ‘Mastering’ level from the International Primary Curriculum. Today, the primary and secondary school has above 1000 students between the ages of 4 and 18.
International Secondary School Eindhoven
The International Secondary School Eindhoven offers education to students from 11 to 19 years. Currently, there are around 400 students from more than 30 nationalities studying here. It is located near the outskirts of Eindhoven and it arranges bus services for students to travel from the city center to the school.
International School Amsterdam
The International School Amsterdam was established in 1964 and provides education to students aged 3 to 18. It is situated in Amstelveen and has students from across 60 countries enrolled. The official teaching language is English, and Dutch, German, French. Spanish, Mandarin and Japanese are also taught as additional languages.
International School of Groningen
The International School of Groningen (ISG) is located in the city of Groningen to the north of the Netherlands. It offers an international curriculum to students aged 11 to 19. ISG works closely with Maartens College, a Dutch secondary school, sharing its campus, resources and specialized teaching areas, which increases the opportunities available for both institutions.