Expat guide for choosing a school in Amsterdam
When you relocate to Amsterdam new possibilities will arise for you and your children. One has to weigh the pros and cons of all available educational options in order to choosing a school for your child/children to adjust smoothly to the new environment.
You may choose to enrol your child into a Dutch school, especially if your relocation is a long-term or permanent move. You may wish for your child to integrate fully into Dutch society, learn to speak Dutch and experience a Dutch education at first hand. Remember that your location does not dictate which public school your child may attend, so while the commute may be a consideration, “school districts” do not matter.
If, enrolling into a Dutch school is not a feasible option, you can instead choose to look at the possibilities of joining one of the English speaking schools in Amsterdam. Aside from ensuring their children are happy in the school of their choice, for most parents, continuity of education is one of the most important factors to be considered when relocating from another country. A structured curriculum ensures children can move from one international school to another with minimal interruption to their education.
International schools welcome children of all nationalities, not only native English speakers. Different cultures are embraced and celebrated. There is a real sense of ‘community’ amongst the pupils and staff. Provision is made for children learning English as an additional language and progress is often rapid.
There are many advantages to an international school education. You will find that class sizes are generally smaller and that the teacher/pupil ratio is much higher than in a Dutch school. Furthermore, they will have the opportunity to learn Dutch as an additional language.