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Hi Annebet,
We are currently in the process of looking for schools in Amsterdam as my husband will have a corporate move from London to Amsterdam. The company is willing to pay for an international school but we have found the wait lists unbelievable. Especially the AICS of a 2 yr wait list. We are also looking at the Denise Esprit. We are looking to move in the sounding areas of Vondelpark Oud-West or Oud Zuid. Could you recommend any public/state schools around these areas to look at? We were thinking as our 2 boys age 7 and 11 would be best to start in an international school as they do not know any Dutch. Your advice on this? How do the state/public schools integrate students who only know English? I will be in Amsterdam Nov. 1-3 to look at schools and the company has a relocation company organising the tours. Please any advise or help would be greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,


by Tiffany on 28 Oct 2017
Annebet van Mameren

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Dear Tiffany,

Thank you for your question.
Before you settle on a house, I would strongly recommend to look for a school first. AICS indeed has a very long waiting list.
There is a new international school in Haarlem, which might still have a spot.
In Hilversum, Utrecht and Almere there are also subsidised international schools. These are the only options nearby Amsterdam for you. And then there are the private international schools like BSA and ISA.
DENISE is a Dutch school where they teach part of the curriculum in English and follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). In their secondary school they teach more in Dutch than English, though. Around December 2018 DENISE will move to Amsterdam New-West.
If you would choose for a Dutch school, your children will have to go to a newcomer class first to learn Dutch. After about one year they may transfer to a regular Dutch school, usually to a class with children of the same age. You must find from the beginning both a newcomer class and a regular school, which is not easily done in just touring around for a few days.
You can find all Dutch schools in Amsterdam here:
For your oldest this route might be a bit difficult as with age 12 most children go to secondary school, which consist of different levels. There is the option of going to a 'kopklas' after primary school to improve his level of Dutch to master a higher level of secondary education.

Good luck and best wishes,

by Annebet van Mameren on 01 Nov 2017

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