A guide on International schools in Amsterdam

Finding the right school for your child can be quite tricky especially if its abroad where the process might be a little different. We have noticed that expats think it's more important to relocate closer to a good school for their children rather than close to their job. As such, we have decided to help expats along by mentioning some of the highly recommended international schools in the Amsterdam area.

How to be prepared

In order to know when to start with the application process you’ll have to know about the Dutch school year. The Dutch school year officially starts at the end of August and lasts till the beginning of July. Children ages 5 till 18 are required to be enrolled in school by Dutch law, but most parents receive an enrolment letter once their child turns 3 so they can start school by the age of 4. 

Before you’ve set your eyes on a certain school it’s good to already have all the necessary information at hand that the school may require. Luckily, most international schools clearly display what documentation is needed at hand in order to have a smooth application process. 

The Application Process

The standard requirement at all schools is to provide documentation of the parents and the child as well as previous school reports of the school your child was previously enrolled at. Each school might also have other extra requirements so be sure the verify on their website when you decide to apply. If all is well the admissions office will be quick to respond (10 days at most) on whether they have a spot for your child.

Tip: Since some schools can be in high demand it would be advised to check on their website or to contact them beforehand on whether they still have a spot in the year you’d want to enrol your child in, so you won’t run the risk of getting waitlisted.

Schools You May Recognize

Now it is time to mention some of the schools that we think expats might be interested in knowing more about. As mentioned before all these schools are based in and around the Amsterdam area and are easily accessible by car or public transportation.

Amity International School Amsterdam
First, we will start with Amity International School Amsterdam. Amity is an international school based in Amstelveen (which borders Amsterdam) and has recently been accredited as an IB World School for providing a challenging learning environment where students are empowered to succeed academically, socially and emotionally. The school is in a very green area and offers students a calm and pleasant school environment in close proximity to the city. To facilitate the application process during the pandemic it is possible to schedule a virtual meeting or a phone call with the admissions team.

International School of Amsterdam
Next up is an international school that often rings a bell with expats and that is the ISA: International School of Amsterdam. ISA has been around for quite some time (since 1964 to be exact) and is currently celebrating 40 years of having the IB World School accreditation. This truly shows their commitment to upholding a high quality of education throughout all these years.

British School of Amsterdam
Conversely, if you are more inclined to choose an international school that follows the curriculum of your home country there are a few options. For British expats there is the British School of Amsterdam which has a BSO accreditation for their quality of British education oversees. 

Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh
And lastly, for the Francophone expats there is the option of enrolling your child at the Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh. The school provides French education and is accredited (AEFE) like all the schools mentioned. The school has a building in The Hague and Amsterdam so you can choose to enrol your child in your preferred city.

Starting at a new school can be one of the most exciting experiences when moving abroad for children and parents alike. So, we hope we’ve been able to offer a helping hand in finding the right school for you.