Dutch education for new arrivals

8 Nov 2016 | Genoveva Geppaart

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Children from internationals often go to international schools. However, not all parents can pay for an international school. They often wonder if their child can go to a normal Dutch primary school although they don’t speak Dutch.

Primary education

Many municipalities have special classes for newcomers in the age of 6-12 years. In The Hague, these schools are called reception schools https://www.denhaag.nl/en/in-the-city/education-and-childcare/intensive-dutch-for-foreign-children.htm.   In Amsterdam it is called newcomer classes, see http://www.hetabc.nl/professionals/metropool/nieuwkomers/newcomers-information-for-parents/

Secondary education

For secondary school students, there is often an international bridging class, e.g. :


Higher education

For those who wish to study Dutch, there are facilities too. Some universities offer an intensive Dutch language training during one year. You are expected to spend 40 hours a week learning Dutch. At the end of the year, the students can do the exam NT2 (Dutch as a foreign language). Once you passed the exam, you are ready to do higher education in Dutch, e.g. in Amsterdam http://www.nt2.vu.nl/en/index.aspx,  and Tilburg https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/education/languages/dutch/course-for-dutch-exam/ . After the exam your knowledge of Dutch is on level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR).



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