Education in the Netherlands: International schools

The Netherlands offers a broad spectrum of international education, ranging from pre-K to Ph.D.

Though the education is international, one very important Dutch rule of law applies: children of all nationalities from 5 to 18 years of age who are residing in the Netherlands must attend school. Exemptions must be requested in advance and are only very rarely granted.

There are three types of schools that offer international primary and secondary education in the Netherlands:

 "Dutch International Schools," which offer subsidised international education, featuring an international curriculum taught in the English language in accordance with the international standard, including the IB Diploma Programme in the final two years of high school.

The fee is relatively low, ranging from 3.000 to 5.000 euros for primary schools, and from 5.000 to 7.000 euros for secondary schools, and is non-negotiable.

These subsidised schools are all affiliated with a regular Dutch school - hence the name Dutch international schools - and can be found all across the country.

 Private international schools, which offer an international curriculum and can be found in, a.o., Amstelveen, Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam and Eerde.

 Private international schools, which offer a foreign national curriculum (American, British, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese), sometimes with the option to follow the IB Diploma Program in the final two years. These schools can also be found in the bigger cities.

More information about all international schools in the Netherlands and their locations can be found in the Holland Handbook or on Educaide (pdf).


International primary schools offer either the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) or the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IBPYP).

At the secondary level there are two different international middle years curricula available; the IB Middle Years Program (IBMYP) and the Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).

All international schools offer the IB Diploma Programme in the final two years of high school. The IB Diploma is widely recognised as providing a well-balanced pre-university education and is an accepted entrance qualification for top universities around the world.

Private schools may have different curricula for both junior and senior secondary school, however both the American School of The Hague and the British School in the Netherlands give students the opportunity to follow either the national curriculum or the IB-DP in the final two years of high school.

This is the first part of the "International Schools & Higher Education" article written by Willemijn L. van Oppen-Stuyt, owner of Educaide, for The XPat Journal. Have a look at the current edition or subscribe here.

 Education in the Netherlands: Higher Education
 Education in the Netherlands: Tuition, Studiefinanciering & Studying in other countries



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