This programme is open to motivated students aged between 14 and 18 and 6 months who wish to study from 2 months to 1 full academic year in a Dutch secondary school, while sharing the life of a host family. A good command of English is required to apply for this programme, while good knowledge of Dutch is not necessary.
Why the Netherlands?
The first things that spring to mind when one mentions the Netherlands are tulips, bicycles and windmills. In addition to this, it is a country well-known for their inhabitants' openness, friendliness and tolerance. The bicycle has become the most used transportation as 19 000 km of bike paths were built all over the country, due to its strong focus on environmental protection.
This programme places students everywhere in the Netherlands, as much as in cities as in the countryside of one of the 12 provinces of the country.
Our local partner organises group excursions during your stay for all participants to the programme (1 for stays between 2 months and a semester, 2 for stays of one year), which is a great opportunity to discover all aspects of the country while getting to know international students. All information about these excursions will be provided on site.
A Museum Card, which guarantees free entrance to all Netherlands museums is part of the programme.
Dutch Education System
The Dutch education system is considered one of the best in the world, ranked in the top 10 for the teaching of Maths and Sciences.
Compulsory schooling starts at the age of 5, yet children start attending classes at 4. Full-time schooling is compulsory from 5 to 16, and at least part-time schooling remains compulsory until the age of 18.
Dutch pupils study at primary school for 8 years, from 4-5 to 12. From that point, they can choose between several paths at secondary school.
3 different paths are available at secondary school:
- MBO or vocational training (4 years) enables students to directly enter the labour market.
- HAVO or mixed training (5 years) enables students to enrol in a short upper curriculum.
- VWO or academic training (6 years) prepares students for entry to university.
You will attend a local public high school where you will be placed according to your host family's place of residence.
You will usually enrol in the grade appropriate to your age and academic achievement. However, the final decision will be made by the school's headmaster. You have to attend all classes, such as any Dutch student. Please be aware that participants will not be placed in the final grade of the programme which is an examination year. Participants can enrol until they are 18 but will have 17-year-old classmates. Timetables are usually flexible: if your Dutch course is not adapted to your level, you can attend classes in a lower grade, or in 2 different grades.
The subjects taught vary according to the class and usually include: Maths, Dutch, English, Sciences, History and Physical Education.
Timetables vary according to the schools, but lessons usually take place from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm.
Here is a sample of timetable and subjects on offer
An online Dutch course is to be completed prior to departure in order to prepare your immersion in the best possible way. One or two days of Dutch lessons are included in the pre-orientation meeting.
Upon arrival in the Netherlands, students attend a pre-orientation meeting. This is a mandatory meeting that concerns all participants.
For stays from 2 to 3 months: 4 days/3 nights - includes airport transfer to your place of residence, accommodation in a hostel, all meals, 1 full day of visiting Amsterdam, 1 day of Dutch lessons and 1 meeting day with your local coordinator and your host family.
For stays from 1 semester to 1 academic year: 6 days/5 nights - includes airport transfer to your place of residence, accommodation in a hostel, all meals, 1 full day of visiting Amsterdam, bicycle rental, 1 cross-cultural workshop, 2 days of Dutch lessons and 1 meeting day with your local coordinator and your host family.
Dutch host families
Your host family is the defining feature of your study abroad experience, helping you become fully accustomed to Dutch culture and feel part of the local community.
Families are volunteers and take an active interest in choosing a student to host and sharing their homes, lives and culture with their guests, through which they can get to know a new country.
They are selected by a local coordinator. There is no particular type of family, each one is unique and perfectly reflects the Dutch way of life and society. Some of them have children, others do not, some live as a couple, others can be single-parented... Still, your local coordinator will try as much as possible to take your preference into account if you mention it on your application form.
Students can possibly be hosted by several host families, as a placement in the same region and school during the entirety of their stay is not guaranteed.
Students will be placed in single or shared room. The family provides all the meals, except those taken at school.
On site, you will be handed a bicycle as it might be helpful for your travels during your stay.
The local coordinator
The local coordinator is an experienced staff member who knows the host families and is in regular contact with the students and their host parents throughout the programme. They regularly organize meetings to ensure that your experience is going smoothly, both with your host family and at school. Your local coordinator is on hand to lend assistance in case of any issues and should be your first point of contact on the ground.
Our partner organization's local coordinator are all experienced and fully qualified to assist international students on the ground, offering support and assistance quickly and efficiently should issues arise.
An emergency number will be given to you, to use in case of emergency.
Dates & Prices 2019-20
Exact dates vary from one region to another.
- 1 academic year: from 19/08/19 to late July 2020
- 1 semester: from 19/08/19 to 04/01/20 or from 13/01/19 to late July 2020
- 3 months: 19/08 to 17/11 - 23/10 to 21/01/20 - 20/11 to 18/02/20 - 13/01/20 to 12/04/2020
- 2 months: 19/08 to late October 2019 - 23/10 to 04/01/20 - 20/11 to 08/02/20 - 13/01/20 to 21/03/20
Includes all taxes and enrolment feesApply
|Course & accommodation in a host family, full board, insurance, pre-orientation meeting|
- All enrolment, lessons and exam fees in our partner schools
- Online Dutch course (prior to departure)
- Full-board accommodation in a host family (meals at the school canteen are not included)
- Personal assistance and support from your local coordinator throughout your stay
- Regular contact and progress reports
- Certificate of completion
- Bike rental for the whole duration of your stay
- Museum Card
- Pre-orientation meeting upon arrival
- Excursions organised by our partner (1 for 1 semester, 2 for 1 academic year)
- Compulsory health insurance
- Airport transfer from Amsterdam Schiphol airport or railway station to the pre-orientation meeting
- Transfer from the pre-orientation meeting to your place of residence
Prices do not include
- Travel to/from Amsterdam Schiphol airport or railway station
- Return journey from your place of residence
- Local transportation
- Pocket money: about 250€ per month
- School materials
- Excursions or outings
- Visa fees (if applicable, only for non-EU residents)
To be eligible for this programme, you must:
- Be between 14 and 17 years old*
- Have sufficient English skills so that you are able to communicate without difficulty (ELTIS 222)
- Demonstrate good school results for the past two years
Demonstrate their flexibility, maturity, adaptability, and readiness to face the challenges of living in a new culture
*18-year-old students can enrol in stays of 2 or 3 months, provided they won't be older than 18 years and 6 months old during their stay.
Do you fit the criteria for participation? Think this high school abroad program is for you? Then send us a registration form as soon as possible.
You will then receive a pre-confirmation form and we will invite you to confirm your booking by paying a deposit of €90 in order to begin to process your booking.
We will then invite you to come to our office in Brussels or Paris for a full interview. This costs €90 and must be paid at the latest on the day of the interview if we have not yet received a deposit. The interview fee is non-refundable and is deductible from the final cost if enrolment is confirmed.
If the interview is successful, we will send you the relevant documents to be completed and ask you to pay a deposit of minimum €1500 (25% of the total price). This includes recommendation letters from your teachers, your medical history and other information needed to process your booking.
The deadline for handing in completed application forms is:
- 01/06/2019 for August departures
- 01/08/2019 for October departures
- 01/09/2019 for November departures
- 01/11/2019 for January departures
Please note: Late applications are treated on a case by case basis and are subject to supplementary late fees (see Dates & Prices tab).
The booking forms must be completed and sent to our head office in Brussels or Paris at least 4 weeks before the deadline.
Candidates who do not meet the age or level requirements are invited to discuss other possible options with us.
Arrival must be before 12:00 pm at Amsterdam Schiphol airport.
Please note: Do not make travel arrangements until we have confirmed your enrolment in your chosen course.
The included insurance involves all costs covered by the Dutch health insurance and public liability, as well as your journey to/from the Netherlands and repatriation.
EU citizens do not require a visa to enter the Netherlands.
Citizens that require a visa must leave the country within the 2 weeks following the end of their stay.
For stays of 3 months, any participant with a tourist visa must leave the country within the 90 days following the entry in the Netherlands.
All fees incurred during the visa acquisition process are at student's expenses.