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Relocation to Amsterdam

Hi
My partner, myself and two children (ages 10 & 11) are due to be relocated over here before the end of the year and was wondering if anyone could suggest nice areas to live with a family. My partners job is in south Amsterdam but we're not fussed where we live as long as it's all accessible by public transport.
With my children in mind too in regards to school and the best areas and where to put them. Unfortunately we do not speak any Dutch so we're thinking they may have to go to an international school.
So many things to look into before we move. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you 😊

Location - unless you have money, I'd try and stay clear of Amsterdam; most of Holland has good public transport; depends how much of a commute you want (I used to commute from Enschede to the UK for a couple of years!).  A 30 minute train ride from Amsterdam will take you as far as Amersfoort, Utrecht and Lelystad; you'll get a lot more house for your Euro out there.

Schools - International schools are jaw-dropping expensive; unless your boss is picking up the tab, there's nothing wrong with state schools; our twins didn't speak Dutch when we first moved, within a year they were fluent, had made a lot of friends and you get a chance to meet local Dutch mum's who know where to go, what to do etc etc.

Thank you for your reply, I'll give all those areas a look.
As for the public schools for the kids, do they speak English in the lessons? How did they accommodate for both languages. I have no problem with them going to a public school, but wasn't sure how the two would mix if they cant speak any at all. 😊

My daughter is 11 and speaks three languages (French, Portuguese, English). You will see that in less than three months your children speak Dutch without difficulty. Because unlike adults, they do not have the psychological barrier that refers to most people that others will make fun of them ...

You're lucky to have a such a multilingual child. Unfortunately English schools only teach one or two languages and thats not until they're about ten so they never really get a grip on it unless they take it as a language in secondary school. Personally I find it embarrassing being the ignorant English person when we travel abroad.
Do they teach the lessons purely in Dutch? I would love them to learn the language but worry about them not picking up what's going on in the lessons if they don't understand what's being said. We'll definitely be looking into public schools. We've been offered the money towards schooling but if they can go public happily then we'll send them there.
Thanks for replying 😊

Lumpyspacewitch :

Thank you for your reply, I'll give all those areas a look.
As for the public schools for the kids, do they speak English in the lessons? How did they accommodate for both languages. I have no problem with them going to a public school, but wasn't sure how the two would mix if they cant speak any at all. 😊

Many Dutch people speak English (my wife will tell you she speaks it better than I do!).  Our kids went from a UK Forces school in Germany, to state Dutch schools, then moved to UK schools later on when my job moved there; on the way they learnt German and Dutch; to the extent our twins had forgotten English by the time we got to Yorkshire; but they soon picked it back up and have thrived.

All Dutch state schools teach English, but don't teach in English.  That said, there is a pre-Uni "Dual-language" scheme, called "tweetalig onderwijs" (TTO), but one of the criteria for getting in, is you have to speak Dutch.

If your time in Holland is only going to be a couple of years and you intend to return to the UK, then perhaps an international school should be considered, but be prepared to pay.

I'm not sure how long we'll be there to be honest. He's only just been promoted to this position so I would imagine a couple of years definitely.
There's a lot to think about before we come over, the kids are at the forefront of my mind first though. The public schools sound good and I'd love them to learn a different language. I think we'll have to visit, (if that's permitted) and get a feel for them.
Thank you for your help.

The public schools in the Netherlands are most of the time high quality and very cosy.
Every kid have the ability to learn fast a new language. Don't be afraid for that.
Of course,  the fist few days can be difficult,  maybe the first weeks but they catch up very quickly. It's always exited for both sides to meet kids from a different nation with a different language.

When we went to Jordan my kids just knew a few Arabic words (to say hello and thank you) and it was hard for them to follow the lessons but they found their own way to cope with it. Kids are much stronger and capable to handle situations than you think.

When you are in the Netherlands you can visit some schools and decide later. You'll get so much information by these visits and if your kids tells you they feel.comfortable in a school then probably the choice is made.

Primadonna :

The public schools in the Netherlands are most of the time high quality and very cosy.
Every kid have the ability to learn fast a new language. Don't be afraid for that.
Of course,  the fist few days can be difficult,  maybe the first weeks but they catch up very quickly. It's always exited for both sides to meet kids from a different nation with a different language.

When we went to Jordan my kids just knew a few Arabic words (to say hello and thank you) and it was hard for them to follow the lessons but they found their own way to cope with it. Kids are much stronger and capable to handle situations than you think.

When you are in the Netherlands you can visit some schools and decide later. You'll get so much information by these visits and if your kids tells you they feel.comfortable in a school then probably the choice is made.

Thank you Primadonna, we have decided we will indeed visit some of the schools before we move there to get a feel and see what the kids think. I'd love them to learn a new language, and me too!  😊

Your apprehensions regarding your children's education are legitimate. All parents have the same. It is true that they will have some difficulties to integrate. The oral learning will be easier than learning writing. It will not scold your children especially if they have their points in freefall at the start. But encouraging.

We must recognize as now with globalization, the more languages that speak our children, the more they will have future opportunities.

Lumpyspacewitch :

You're lucky to have a such a multilingual child. Unfortunately English schools only teach one or two languages and thats not until they're about ten so they never really get a grip on it unless they take it as a language in secondary school. Personally I find it embarrassing being the ignorant English person when we travel abroad.

Talk about 100% correct.

Apart from your username probably being seriously cool and generally fantastic, you're absolutely right about the education system's language teaching being a total waste of time.
My eight year old daughter speaks two languages naturally and is learning two others at school.
The UK's education system (as far as languages are concerned) is rubbish as it starts far too late so is just a waste of class time.

Hope you find the place you're looking for over there.

Thank you Fred 😊
It would make things so much simpler if the English school taught languages from a younger age. Thank goodness for the newcomers classes in some schools in Amsterdam though. I'm hoping this will give them at least a basic understanding of the language

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