International Education in Amsterdam
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As a European business hub with a vibrant expat community, it’s no wonder that Amsterdam attracts so many people as a home away from home. Social amenities and infrastructure are excellent throughout the Netherlands, as are employment opportunities for a wide variety of industries.
There are an estimated 100,000 expats living in Amsterdam alone, so all of your needs - including international schools - are more than covered. Here’s a quick guide to finding the ideal international school for your child in the Netherland’s most famous city.
First of all, you should know that children must meet certain requirements to be eligible to attend an international school anywhere in the Netherlands.
Dutch children must have studied abroad in the past, or be planning on studying abroad for a significant amount of time within the next few years. Non-Dutch children can attend only if they are planning on staying in the Netherlands for a limited time.
For this reason, the ratio of native to non-native students in Amsterdam’s international schools is often lower than in other cities and countries.
International school fees in Amsterdam do not include extra curricular activities, school trips, or anything that isn’t directly related to your child’s day to day education.
If costs are an issue, the city does have some public international schools which are government subsidised. While they do offer an international curriculum, they may not be internationally recognised to the same extent that private international schools are.
Certain private schools, usually ones following a religious ethos, are also subsidised by the Dutch government. While their fees are cheaper, they’re still not exactly budget friendly and they’re also in short supply.
Either way, any private or international school in Amsterdam will have a waiting list that can stretch to two or even four years. The more sought-after the school, the higher the waiting list will be. So once you’ve found the right school for your child, don’t waste any time in applying!
Within Amsterdam, you’ll find a selection of international schools in Haarlem to the west of the city centre, and Hoofddorp and Amstelveen to the south-west and south. The rest are scattered just outside of the ‘old’ town, in easy reach of both the city centre and the leafy suburbs.
Outside of the city itself, there are a few locations within easy reach of Amsterdam that also have a choice of international schools. Hilversum and Almere are just two examples with a commute time of less than an hour. Since the Netherlands is a small country with excellent public transport, you could easily commute from other cities such as Utrecht, The Hague or Rotterdam also.
International curriculum rules the day in Amsterdam’s international schools and English is the most common language of instruction. However you can find a wider choice of curricula if you’d like - everything from French to Japanese is represented in this diverse city and its array of international schools.
Below, we have compiled the top 10 international schools in Amsterdam according to our users. However, there are another 11 schools to choose from in the city. You can find the best international school for your child by personalising your results. Just fill in your search criteria, and we will calculate a personal score for every international school in Amsterdam based on your requirements.