Netherlands Border Towns Near Ghent/Antwerp

Long story short: We must live in the Netherlands but are trying to send our kids to the international schools either in Ghent or Antwerp. Do you all have any recommendations on towns that would be near the Netherlands border that would get us close to either Ghent or Antwerp? 

Antwerp: We've been told to look at Hulst or the Hoogerheide/Ossendrecht area. Any thoughts on these areas or any other areas we should look at? also been told that the traffic can be horrific so any information on that would be helpful.

Ghent: We were looking at Westrope but any recommendations on areas would be helpful. Also, any information on traffic.


You've asked for information about traffic.  Hulst is a small town, midway between Terneuzen and Antwerp; it's not rail served, to get to Antwerp by public transport, you need to get the bus to Sint-Niklaas, then change to a train into Antwerp - journey about 1 hour.

To get to Ghent, the same bus to Sint-Niklaas, then the train in the opposite direction; about 90 minutes.

Hoogerheider/Ossendrecht are 10 minutes apart and about 20 kms to the NW of Terneuzen.

By car; whatever school in Belgium you choose, the traffic is horrendous; the Antwerp ring road has got to be the worse road I've ever been on; it's not uncommon to sit in 30 km tailbacks.  The reason for the delays is that Antwerp is one of the major ports for the whole of Europe and there is constant traffic running 24/7, from the port, to and on the ring road around Antwerp, to the rest of Europe.  Antwerp is a major city with people trying to get from A to B; pollution was bad there, so they've recently instigated low-emission zones; which has made it better for the people who live there, but a consequence has been to force the dirty cars/trucks onto the ring road, making the traffic even worse and god knows what the environment is like now.  I've sat there for hours without moving an inch; assuming you travel in the peak-times, it would not surprise me to see you taking 2 hours to get to Ghent by car via the Antwerp ring, then you have the drive back, then repeat when you collect them; 8 hours a day in a car!

There is a travel organisation called TomTom who collect live/factual data related to traffic and congestion.  This link will take you to the data for Antwerp, this link will take you to the data for Ghent; the data is from the last complete report and is for 2016; it has not improved since then, if anything it has gotten worse since the low-emission zones; all the red dots on the map are bad areas.

One other idea; contact the schools in Ghent/Antwerp and ask them if their are any other families who send their kids from Holland and ask if they would ask them to share their experiences.

Hope this helps.

Expat Team

The reason why Antwerp is horrendous is they also work on the roads and tunnels and it's a long project.
Public transportation is not like in the big cities unfortunately. Buses to Belgium goes once an hour on workdays and in weekends I don't have idea.

Westdorpe is a quiet small village near the road to Ghent.  It's difficult to tell if you'll like it or not.
My advice is to take a virtual tour via Google Earth.

I have no idea when the move is going to happen but maybe it's an idea to come over for a week and to explore which places, schools etc  suits you the best?

As Dow is an American company I am sure they have the expertise and the knowledge to help you further. You are not the first or the last one who is going to work for them.