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Amsterdam: International school offerings expand for 2017/2018 school year

With only a few weeks to go before the bell rings for the 2017-18 school year in Amsterdam, you may be wondering what to expect as to where your little ones will be educated.

Not too long ago, the city was home to only five English-language international schools within the city boundaries, which we’ve covered in our first-ever International School Guide.

A lot has changed since then, much of it at the behest of the Dutch government because the number of students at Dutch international schools has increased by 47 percent in the last five years to about 20,000 students.

Half of the international schools across the Netherlands have waiting lists, with a total of more than 1,000 kids waiting for a slot, according to our sources. This is the trend across Europe.

That increasing demand has three schools adding to international education offerings in the Netherlands this September, according to I amsterdam, the official city government website.

Two of the schools – Florencius International School and Amity International School Amsterdam (the latter we’ve covered earlier) – are planting their roots in the suburb of Amstelveen, while the third – International School Haarlem (which we’ve also covered before) – is set to open 4 September in Haarlem.

A fourth international school, Optimist International School, is scheduled to join the pack in January 2018 when it opens its doors in Hoofddorp, just southwest of Amsterdam, to 100 primary school students.

Meanwhile, several schools are making room for even more students from around the world. In Almere, International Primary School Almere and International School Almere are adding 130 places in total, bumping up respective seats to 240 primary and 280 secondary students.

Amsterdam International Community School is completing its current expansion plan to add 300 additional students; the school says it has a waiting list where some families apply years in advance. AICS also plans to move to a larger space in 2020 as its student body moves up in grade level, and more students filter in.

Finally, International Primary School Hilversum and International School Hilversum together have added 150 seats to accommodate its growing student body.

As we’ve said from the beginning, it’s imperative to apply to the school of your choice as soon as possible, long before you and your family make the big move. Even with the new and expanded offerings in Amsterdam, it won’t be long before the waiting lists fill up once more.

Check out our more detailed list of international schools in Amsterdam, which includes fees and other details, here.

Otherwise, here are the details on the new schools:

Florencius International School

Basics: In September, Florencius International (Primary) School will open its doors as part of Dutch Florencius School in Amstelveen. Students aged between 5-12 with an international background are eligible to follow an international education. Florencius is a Dutch private primary school offering unique and high-quality education. Currently there are two Florencius schools, one in Amstelveen and one in Laren.

Maximum class size: Teachers work in small groups (1 professional with 8 children at most) and pay attention to each pupil individually by focusing on their personal identity and talents. We offer the International Primary Curriculum to help pupils develop into self-confident global citizens.

School fees 2017/2018

The tuition fee for the school year 2017/2018 is 20,550 euros. This amount includes a morning snack, lunch and fruit in the afternoon, field trips and school camp. Payments should be made in advance in two instalments. Parents with two children receive a discount of 1,000 euros for their second child.

(You can see the additional fees here.)

Optimist International School

Basics: Optimist International School is the international side of an existing Dutch school system. The school uses the metaphor of a boat, with the instructor teaching the student to “sail.”

“We welcome children in a spirit of understanding and tolerance in a multicultural school and a caring community that supports them to become a compassionate committed global citizen.”

Maximum class size: 20 students per class


  • School fees for the academic year 2017-2018 in groups 1 through 7 are 4,500 euros per child.
  • A non-refundable administration fee of 200 euros per child must be paid when submitting your child’s application form (General Application for Admission). Once the required application forms, documents and administration fee have been received, the application will be processed.
  • Fees are charged annually. Parents are requested to pay the school fees within the time set on the invoice. Should this not be convenient, the fee can be paid in two or four instalments also.
  • An initial deposit of 500 euros per student is charged upon starting at Optimist International School with your first invoice. This deposit is refundable when the student leaves the school and all obligations have been fulfilled.

(Editor’s note: Terry Boyd also contributed to this post.)

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Lifestyle journalist. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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