There are a number of things you need to know before entering the job market in the Netherlands, such as: the make-up of the Dutch employment market, finding a job here as an expatriate, Dutch labor law, the Dutch social security system etc.
The International Education System
In the Netherlands, the majority of international schools are partly subsidized by the Dutch Ministry of Education and are thus bound by ministry rules, while others are privately operated. These so-called ‘Dutch International Schools’ are spread throughout the country.
The subsidy provided by the Dutch Ministry of Education makes it possible for these schools to offer an English-language education that meets the global standard of international schools – at a reasonable fee, ranging from € 3,000 to € 5,000 for primary schools and from € 5,000 to € 7,000 for secondary schools.
In general, Dutch and private international schools only offer English-language education, but the so-called ’Foreign National Schools’, such as the French, German, Japanese and Indonesian schools, teach their national curricula in their native tongue.
Primary International Education
Primary education starts at the age of 4 and continues up until the age of 11 or 12. The Dutch international primary schools and the private regular international schools use either the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) or the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program (IBPYP).
Secondary International Education
During the first four to five years of international secondary education, the Dutch international secondary schools prepare their students for either the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Program (IBMYP) or the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).
Students who have successfully completed the IBMYP or the IGCSE can be admitted to the two-year International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP).
Secondary Level Vocational Schools
If a student has successfully completed the IGCSE or IBMYP (Middle School), but is not admitted to the IB-Diploma Program, the MBO (3-4 years of secondary vocational training) might be a good option. In the Netherlands students can take several English-language programs.
The IB Organization is currently developing a new curriculum, the IBCC, as an alternative of the IBDP for the final two high school years.
The National Education System Primary Education
Children from age four through twelve go to primary school in the Netherlands. Primary education lasts eight years (including two years of kindergarten), and in the final year (‘group 8’) pupils are advised as to the type of secondary education they should pursue. This advice is based largely on the so-called CITO-toets, a sort of aptitude test that is taken at approximately 85% of the elementary schools, and the leerlingvolgsystem (pupil monitoring system) which is used to register the achievements of the pupils during their entire elementary school time.
There are three types of secondary school pupils can choose from and they go by the following acronyms: VMBO, HAVO and VWO. All three start with a sort of ‘basic package’ – adapted to the level of education, see further on – that usually lasts two years and consists of subjects that generally all students follow. At the end of the first year (called the brugklas, or ‘transition class’), a final decision is usually made regarding the type and level of secondary education in which the student will continue until graduation. Many secondary schools offer a mixed brugklas (VMBO/HAVO or HAVO/VWO), giving the pupils one year to make up their minds and to demonstrate the level at which they are capable of performing. In some secondary schools, this decision is made after two years. For children requiring a less challenging type of secondary education there is a so-called ‘practical’ learning path, focusing on practical skills and the competencies necessary for employment.
The two programs of secondary education that grant admission to higher education are HAVO, which lasts five years, and VWO, which lasts six years. Pupils are enrolled according to their ability, and VWO is considered more rigorous. The VWO curriculum prepares pupils for university (also known as WO), while the HAVO-diploma prepares students for admission to a university of applied sciences, also known as HBO.
VMBO last four years and offers various levels. Depending on the level completed, students who have completed VMBO have the option of either going on to HAVO or senior secondary vocational education and training (MBO, middelbaar beroepsonderwijs).
Going to University
The higher education system in the Netherlands is based on a three-cycle degree system, consisting of a bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D degree. It is offered at two types of institutions: research universities (WO) and universities of applied sciences (HBO). Whereas research universities are primarily responsible for offering research-oriented programs, universities of applied sciences are primarily responsible for offering programs of higher professional education, which prepare students for specific professions. These tend to be more practice-oriented than the programs offered by research universities.
Next to the research universities and universities of applied sciences, Holland has a third and smaller branch of higher education, officially known as ‘International Education’ (IE). International education offers advanced training courses, taught in English, originally designed for people from developing countries whose jobs require highly specialized knowledge. Most of the IE institutions are part of a research university and focus on courses relevant to developing countries.
Studying in Another Language
Across the country, the Dutch higher education institutions are offering a growing number of courses in English, both specialized courses as well as entire bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D-programs. This coming year, there will be over 1,700 international courses on offer – 99% of which will be taught entirely in English.
There are two types of institutions that offer higher education in the Netherlands: government-funded and government-approved. Studying at a government-funded institution will cost anywhere upwards from € 1,835 a year (for 2013/2014), for EU/EEA/Swiss/Surinam-students. Students of all other nationalities generally pay higher fees, on average € 8,000. The tuition fees at government-approved, but not funded, institutions can cost anywhere between € 1,771 and upwards of € 15,000 or more, depending on the length and level of the program.
Students under the age of 30 who are in the Netherlands solely for study purposes (and are not in a part-time job or paid internship) are exempt from the general requirement to take out Dutch public health care insurance; however, they will have to make alternative arrangements for health insurance.
If you would like to take on a paid job alongside your studies, you are allowed to do so – however, keep in mind that you will need a residence permit and a burgerservicenummer (Citizen Service Number).
To find out more about scholarships, also for non-EU students, and whether you qualify, visit www.grantfinder.nl.
If are younger than the age of 30 and are starting your studies at a university or university of applied sciences, you have the right to apply for so-called studiefinanciering, which is made up of a basic grant, and additional grant, and an interest-bearing loan. Studiefinanciering, in principle, is paid out during a period of four years (for some studies, such as medicine, the period during which you receive the grant is longer). Also if you want to obtain a university (WO) master’s degree after obtaining a WO bachelor’s degree, you can get an additional year of studiefinanciering. After your right to studiefinanciering has ended, you can take out a loan for an additional three years. The basic grant and additional grant will be converted into a ‘gift’ if you successfully complete your studies within ten years – the name for this is prestatiebeurs, or ‘achievement grant’.
If you have a right to studiefinanciering, you also have a right to the Studenten OV-chipkaart, with which you can travel by public transportation for free either during the weekend or on weekdays (your choice) and at reduced rates during the other days.
As a non-Dutch nationals you also have a right to studiefinanciering, if you live here legally. For more information visit www.duo.nl.
If you are an EU/EEA/Swiss national (listed below), but do not qualify for studiefinanciering, you can receive a loan to cover your tuition fees.
If you are a national of an EU/EEA member state, and a few other countries, you will not need an authorization temporary stay (MVV) to study in the Netherlands. You may enter the Netherlands without a visa. Otherwise, you will need an authorization temporary stay (MVV) to enter the country, if you intend to stay here longer than three months. All Dutch educational institutes are required to apply for the MVV on behalf of their foreign students – you cannot do this yourself.
If you will be here shorter than three months, you will need a ‘short stay visa’ (visum kort verblijf). You can apply for this visa at the Dutch embassy or consulate in your home country.
GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS MINISTERIE VAN ONDERWIJS, CULTUUR EN WETENSCHAP
The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science
Rijnstraat 50, 2515 XP The Hague
Tel.: 070 412 34 56 www.government.nl/ministries/ocw
DIENST UITVOERING ONDERWIJS (previously the IB-Groep)
P.O. Box 30154, 9700 LE Groningen
Tel.: 050 599 77 55 www.ib-groep.nl
LISTINGS OF INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS www.educaide.nl: a brief outline of the educational system in the Netherlands www.dutchinternationalschools.nl: find all Dutch international schools www.sio.nl: Stichting Internationaal Onderwijs (International Education Foundation) website with a list of all international schools www.intschools.nl: National organization for Dutch schools with an international stream www.ipssg.nl: national organization of parents of Dutch international schools.
STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS FULBRIGHT CENTER
Netherlands America Commission for Educational Exchange www.fulbright.nl
Enables contact between students and companies to do an international internship in over 100 countries. AIESEC is located in 10 main university cities in the Netherlands www.aiesec.nl
A network of 253 student organizations in 42 countries with over 17,000 members www.aegee.nl
INTERNATIONAL VOCATIONAL EDUCATION MBO-RAAD
Organization of secondary vocational education
For more information on English Language MBO programs that are offered in your region check: www.mbo-raad.nl
International Vocational Education And Training Association www.iveta.org
INTERNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION
Prinsessegracht 21, 2514 AP The Hague
Postbus 123, 2501 CC The Hague
Tel.: 070 312 21 21
For a complete overview of government funded universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands www.vereniginghogescholen.nl
VERENIGING VAN UNIVERSITEITEN (VSNU)
The Association of Universities in The Netherlands. For a complete overview of government funded research universties in the Netherlands
Lange Houtstraat 2, 2511 CW The Hague
Tel.: 070 302 14 00 – www.vsnu.nl
NUFFIC, the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education
For information on internationalisation in higher education
P.O. Box 29777, 2502 LT The Hague
Kortenaerkade 11, The Hague
Tel.: 070 426 02 60 – www.nuffic.nl www.studyinholland.nl
EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION
The EAIE is a non-profit organization whose main aim is the stimulation and facilitation of the internationalisation of higher education in Europe and around the world www.eaie.org
EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION The EAIE is a non-profit organization whose main aim is the stimulation and facilitation of the internationalisation of higher education in Europe and around the world www.eaie.org
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS IN THE NETHERLANDS
The Randstad Area British School of Amsterdam
Anthonie van Dijckstraat 1, 1077 ME Amsterdam
Tel.: 020 679 78 40 www.britams.nl
Amsterdam International Community School
Prinses Irenestraat 59, 1077 WV Amsterdam
Tel.: 020 577 12 40 www.aics.eu
International School of Amsterdam
Sportlaan 45, 1185 TB Amstelveen
Tel.: 020 347 11 11 www.isa.nl
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL ALMERE
Primary International Department at Letterland
Roland Holststraat 58, 1321 RX Almere
Tel.: 036 536 72 40 www.letterland.nl
Secondary Department at International School Almere (Het Baken)
Heliumweg 61, 1362 JA Almere - Poort
Tel: 036 845 35 00 www.internationalschoolalmere.nl
European School Bergen
Molenweidtje 5, 1862 BC Bergen N.H.
Tel.: 072 589 01 09 www.europeanschool.nl
International School Hilversum “Alberdingk Thijm”
Emmastraat 56 - 58, 1213 AL Hilversum
Tel.: 035 672 99 31 www.klg.nl/ish
Violenschool International Department
Rembrandtlaan 30, 1213 BH Hilversum
Tel.: 035 621 60 53 www.ipsviolen.nl
Rijnlands Lyceum Oegstgeest International School
Apollolaan 1, 2341 BA Oegstgeest
Tel.: 071 519 35 55 www.isrlo.nl
Elckerlyc Montessori Primary School with International Stream
Klimopzoom 41, 2353 RE Leiderdorp
Tel.: 071 589 29 45 www.elckerlyc.net
American School of The Hague
Rijksstraatweg 200, 2241 BX Wassenaar
Tel.: 070 512 10 60 www.ash.nl
International Department of Haagsche School Vereeniging
Nassaulaan 26, 2514 JT The Hague
Tel.: 070 36 385 31 www.hsvdenhaag.nl
International School of The Hague
Wijndaelerduin 1, 2554 BX The Hague
Primary School, tel.: 070 338 45 67
Secondary School, tel.: 070 328 14 50 www.ishthehague.nl
British School in the Netherlands
Admissions Office: Vrouw Avenweg 640, 2493 WZ The Hague,tel.: 070 315 40 77
Junior School Vlaskamp: Vlaskamp 19, 2592 AA The Hague, tel.: 070 333 81 11
Junior School Diamanthorst: Diamanthorst 16, 2592 GH The Hague, tel.: 070 315 76 20
Junior School Leidschenveen: Vrouw Avenweg 640, 2493 WZ The Hague, tel.: 070 315 40 40
British School Language Centre: Vrouw Avenweg 640, 2493 WZ The Hague, tel.: 070 315 40 80
Senior School: Jan van Hooflaan 3, 2252 BG Voorschoten, tel.: 071 560 22 22 www.britishschool.nl
American International School of Rotterdam (AISR)
Verhulstlaan 21, 3055 WJ Rotterdam
Tel.: 010 422 53 51 www.aisr.nl
Rotterdam International Secondary School (RISS)
Blijberg: Dutch and International Departments
Gordelweg 216-217, 3039 GA Rotterdam
Tel.: 010 466 96 29 www.blijberg.nl
Wolfert van Borselen
Bentincklaan 280, 3039 KK Rotterdam
Tel.: 010 46 735 22 / 46 603 22 www.wolfert.nl
Outside the Randstad AFNORTH International School
Ferdinand Bolstraat 1, 6445 EE Brunssum
Tel.: 045 527 82 20 www.afnorthschool.com
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL BREDA
Mendelssohnlaan 1, 4837 CV Breda
Tel.: 064 172 99 84 www.isbreda.nl
International School Utrecht
Notebomenlaan 400, 3582 CN Utrecht
E-mail: email@example.com www.isutrecht.nl
International Department of Groningse Schoolvereniging
Sweelincklaan 4, 9722 JV Groningen
Tel.: 050 527 08 18
Arnhem International School
Primary Department : Dr. Aletta Jacobs School, Slochterenweg 27, 6835 CD Arnhem,
tel.: 026 323 07 29,
Secondary Department: Lorentz College, Groningensingel 1245, 6835 HZ Arnhem,
tel.: 026 320 01 10 www.arnheminternationalschool.nl
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL TWENTE
Staringstraat 15, 7514 DE Enschede
Tel.: 053 436 8109 www.prinseschool.net
International School Eerde
Kasteellaan 1, 7731 PJ Ommen
Tel.: 0529 45 14 52 www.eerde.nl
INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL GRONINGEN
Primary Department: Groningse Schoolvereniging
Sweelincklaan 4, 9722 JV Groningen
Tel.: 050 527 0818 www.g-s-v.nl
Secondary Department: St. Maartens College
Hemmenlaan, 9751 NS Haren
Tel.: 050 534 0084 www.maartenscollege.nl
Helen Sharman British School
Lottingstraat 17, 9406 LX Assen
Tel.: 0592 344 590 www.britishschool.nl
United World College Maastricht
Nijverheidsweg 25a, 6227 AL Maastricht
Tel.: 043 367 11 00 www.uwcmaastricht.com
United World College Maastricht
Nijverheidsweg 25, 6227 AL Maastricht
Tel.: 043 367 46 66 www.uwcmaastricht.com
International Secondary School Eindhoven
Henegouwenlaan 2A, 5628 WK Eindhoven
Tel.: 040 264 59 99 www.dse.nl
CHINESE LANGUAGE SCHOOLS
Chinese language education www.chineesonderwijs.nl
DEUTSCHE INTERNATIONALE SCHULE
Van Bleiswijkstraat 125, 2582 LB The Hague
Tel.: 070 354 94 54 www.disdh.nl
LE LYCÉE FRANÇAIS VINCENT VAN GOGH
Scheveningseweg 237, 2584 AA The Hague
Tel.: 070 306 69 20 www.lyceevangogh.nl
LE LYCÉE FRANÇAIS VINCENT VAN GOGH
Rustenburgerstraat 246, 1073 GK Amsterdam
Tel.: 020 644 65 07 www.lyceevangogh.nl
THE JAPANESE SCHOOL OF AMSTERDAM
Karel Klinkenbergstraat 137, 1061 AL Amsterdam
Tel.: 020 611 81 36 www.jsa.nl
STICHTING THE JAPANESE SCHOOL OF ROTTERDAM
Verhulstlaan 19, 3055 WJ Rotterdam
Tel.: 010 422 12 11 www.jsrotte.nl
Rijksstraatweg 679, 2245 CB Wassenaar
Tel.: 070 517 88 75 www.sekolahindonesia.nl
For a list of all international schools in the Netherlands, visit www.educaide.nl.