Thursday, February 22, 2024

Navigating Secondary Education in the Netherlands: A Roadmap for Expat Families

From SlovenEmbarking on the next chapter of education in the Netherlands? Our latest article on is your go-to guide for understanding the nuances of secondary education in this vibrant country. From the diverse educational tracks to the inclusive approach, we unravel the intricacies of the Dutch system, offering practical tips for expat families to ensure a smooth transition for their students. Join us as we explore the pathways, curricular highlights, and cultural dimensions that shape the secondary education experience in the Netherlands. Read now and empower your family for success in the Dutch educational landscape!ia to Ecuador, these spots offer a variety of activities for solo travelers.

Embarking on the secondary education journey in a new country can be a pivotal experience for expat families, and the Netherlands offers a robust and inclusive system that caters to the diverse needs of students. In this comprehensive guide for expats on, we delve into the intricacies of secondary education in the Netherlands, providing valuable insights and practical tips to make the transition seamless for both parents and students.

Understanding the Dutch Secondary Education System:

  1. Types of Secondary Education: The Netherlands offers several types of secondary education, including VMBO (pre-vocational education), HAVO (senior general secondary education), and VWO (pre-university education). Each track is designed to cater to different academic levels and career aspirations.
  2. Curriculum and Specializations: Explore the comprehensive curriculum of Dutch secondary education, which includes core subjects such as Dutch, mathematics, and English. Students can choose specializations in the later years, allowing them to focus on specific subjects aligned with their interests and future goals.
  3. Inclusive Approach: Similar to primary education, the Dutch secondary education system places a strong emphasis on inclusivity. Special education programs are available for students with specific learning needs, ensuring that every individual has access to quality education.
Image by Vytotsky

Integration into Dutch Culture:

  1. Language Transition: As students progress to secondary education, English becomes an integral part of the curriculum. However, expat families may still want to encourage their children to develop proficiency in the Dutch language to enhance their overall experience and facilitate social integration.
  2. Educational Support: Dutch schools provide comprehensive support services, including mentorship programs and counseling, to help students navigate the academic and social aspects of secondary education. Understanding these support systems can contribute to a smoother transition for expat students.
  3. Extracurricular Activities: Secondary education in the Netherlands places importance on extracurricular activities, allowing students to explore their interests beyond the classroom. Expats are encouraged to engage with the school community and explore the various clubs and activities available.


Navigating secondary education in the Netherlands is a significant step for expat families, and our guide on aims to provide the necessary insights to ensure a positive experience. From understanding the different educational tracks to embracing the inclusive nature of Dutch schools, expat parents and students can approach this phase with confidence and enthusiasm. Join us as we unravel the complexities of secondary education in the Netherlands, empowering expat families to make informed decisions for their children’s educational journey in their new home.

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