Immersion school in the Netherlands – 14-18 years – 2 months to 1 academic year

Our student exchange programme in the Netherlands is aimed at motivated young people aged between 14 and 18 years and 6 months, who want to enjoy an enriching international experience by studying for 2 months to 1 academic year in a Dutch secondary school. By sharing the daily life of a Dutch host family, you will be able to immerse yourself fully in the local culture.

It is not essential to have a good command of Dutch before starting this language course in the Netherlands, as beginners are welcome. However, a good level of English is required to facilitate communication and integration.

By enrolling in this school programme in the Netherlands, you will benefit from the advantages offered by the Dutch education system, which is renowned for its excellence. You’ll have the opportunity to improve your Dutch and explore Dutch traditions and landscapes.

Benefit from the teaching support offered throughout your stay and take part in the various extra-curricular activities to enrich your experience and create lasting memories. Find out about the study grants available to make this adventure a reality and take full advantage of the benefits of a High School programme in the Netherlands.

Why the Netherlands?

Tulips, bicycles and windmills… These are usually the first things that spring to mind when the Netherlands is mentioned. But beyond all that, it’s a country renowned for its open-mindedness, friendliness and tolerance. The country has a long-standing commitment to environmental protection, with around 19,000 km of cycle paths, making cycling the main mode of transport.

Placements are available throughout the Netherlands. The student can therefore be placed in a large city or in a more rural area in one of the country’s 12 provinces.

During the stay, our local partner organises group excursions for all participants in the programme (1 for stays of 2 months to 1 semester and 2 for stays of 1 year), ideal for discovering different facets of the country and meeting international students (participants come from Belgium as well as Italy, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, Japan, Australia, etc.). All the information you need will be provided on the spot.

The schools

You will attend an official secondary school. The choice of school depends on where your host family lives.

In principle, you will be placed in the class that corresponds to your age and academic level, but the final decision rests with the school principal. You must attend all classes in the same way as a Dutch student. Please note that participants will not normally be placed in the final year of the programme, which is essentially an exam year. Our participants can join the programme up to the age of 18 and a half, but will therefore be with young people aged 17 or under. If, for example, the Dutch course is not suited to your level, it will be possible to take it in a lower year, or in 2 different years depending on your timetable.

The subjects taught vary depending on the class. They generally include: maths, Dutch, English, science, history and physical education. You can choose your own course: Science and Technology, Science and Health Care, Economics and Society, Culture and Society. In total, you will have to choose between 8 and 9 subjects.

The timetable varies from school to school, but classes generally run from 8.30am to 3.30pm.

Here is an example of the timetable and the subjects on offer

Dutch course

You will need to take an online Dutch course* before your departure to prepare for your immersion. One or two days of Dutch lessons are also included in the orientation course on arrival.

*Belgian students who are not complete beginners are exempt from the online Dutch course.

Bilingual programme option

Some Dutch schools offer a bilingual curriculum (English-Dutch) for classes equivalent to the 4th and 3rd secondary years in Belgium and the 3rd and 2nd secondary years in France (14, 15, 16 year olds). In these classes, around 50% of lessons are in English.

Bilingual courses are not offered for the last 2 years of secondary school, which are devoted to preparing for the final exam, which is held exclusively in Dutch.

It is possible to indicate a preference for a bilingual programme at the time of enrolment. Placement in a bilingual school cannot be guaranteed, however, as the school is selected according to the place of residence of the family who will choose to take you in.

If the bilingual school option is chosen, it will be offered at an additional cost.

The Dutch education system is one of the best in the world. It is one of the “top 10” for maths and science teaching.

Schooling is compulsory from the age of 5, but children often start school as early as 4. Education is compulsory full-time from age 5 to 16 and at least part-time until age 18.

Primary school lasts 8 years, from age 4-5 to age 12. From the age of 12, pupils choose a direction for their secondary education.

There are 3 possible routes to secondary school:

  • mBO, the vocational route, lasts 4 years and allows direct entry into the labour market.
  • hAVO, the mixed route, lasts 5 years and can be used to prepare for a short higher education course.
  • vWO, the academic route, lasts 6 years and prepares students for university entrance.

Host families are undoubtedly the most important element of the programme. That’s why we attach such importance to selecting them.

Dutch host families are volunteers. They choose to host students because they want to show and share their way of life and their culture, and because they want to find out more about the young people they host and their country.

There is no such thing as a typical family, each one is unique and reflects the society and way of life in that country. The host families come from different backgrounds. They are not necessarily traditional families with father, mother and children. They may be single parents with or without children, or parents whose children no longer live at home. But they all share the same motivation: to open their doors to a foreign student and share their way of life and culture.

It is possible for a student to be hosted by several successive families during their stay. Placement in the same region and at the same school is not guaranteed.

Students are accommodated in single or shared rooms. The family provides all meals, with the exception of those taken at school.

A bicycle will be provided on site to help you get around for the duration of your stay.

You will also have a museum pass which will give you access to most Dutch museums.

Communication and exchange are key to the success of this stay, as are an open mind and the desire to adapt to another way of life.

The local correspondent is an experienced person who selects the host families and stays in regular contact with the students. As he or she is able to act quickly in the event of a problem, he or she is your key contact during your stay.

He or she will be on hand to answer any questions you may have once you arrive and to help you with any formalities. Regular communication will be established with your parents, host family and school to ensure that your experience goes as smoothly as possible.

Finally, you will be given an emergency number so that you can contact someone if you have an urgent problem.

On arrival in the Netherlands, students take part in an orientation course. This is compulsory for all participants, regardless of the length of their stay.

Stays of 2 or 3 months: 4-day/3-night course

Includes: transfer from the airport to the course location, accommodation in a youth hostel, all meals, a full-day tour of Amsterdam, 1 day of Dutch lessons and 1 day to meet the host family and local coordinator.

Stays of 1 semester or 1 academic year: 6-day/5-night course

It includes: transfer from the airport to the course location, accommodation in a youth hostel, all meals, a full-day tour of Amsterdam, bike hire, an intercultural workshop, 2? days of Dutch lessons (adapted to different levels) and 1 day to meet the host family and local coordinator.

  • Be aged between 14 and 18 and a half at the start of the stay
  • Have a level of English that enables you to communicate and exchange ideas (ELTiS 215)
  • Good academic results over the last 2 years
  • Demonstrate motivation, maturity, adaptability and open-mindedness, which are the keys to a successful stay

Do you meet the conditions for participation?

  1. Fill in the pre-registration form as soon as possible
  2. When we receive it, we’ll send you a provisional confirmation, including the total cost of the stay, a request for payment of €100 (for the language test and motivation interview), and the full application form for the chosen programme. We will also ask you to send us a copy of your school reports for the last 3 years.
  3. We then invite you to come and take the language test and interview at our offices in Brussels or Paris. This costs €100 and is payable on receipt of the pre-confirmation. This amount is non-refundable, but can be deducted from the balance of your stay if you are definitively enrolled and accepted on the programme. Part 1 of the application form must be completed and brought with you to the interview.
  4. We will confirm the result no later than 8 days after our interview
  5. If the interview is positive, we ask you to pay a deposit of 25% of the total cost of your stay (with a minimum of €1,500) and to complete all the elements of your application, including letters of recommendation from your teachers and other information needed for us to study your application on site. As soon as your application is complete and we have received payment of the deposit, we will forward it to our partner.
  6. Final acceptance to the programme is given by our partner
  7. Once your application has been accepted, our partner begins the search for and selection of a host family and school

The deadlines for submitting complete applications to our partner are :

  • 01/03 for an August departure
  • 31/07 for departure in October
  • 31/08 for a January departure

Please note: late applications will be accepted subject to availability. Late registration fees apply.

The online booking form must be received by us at least 3 weeks before the application deadline.

We will assist you in planning your journey, arriving between 11 and 12:00 at Amsterdam Schiphol airport/station.

Insurance is compulsory and is included in the price. It covers medical expenses, repatriation and personal liability.

Dates 2023-2024

The school calendar varies according to the region (North, Centre or South). The exact dates of the stay will be confirmed after placement.

  • 1 school year Start: 21/08 or 28/08 – End : between 05/07 and 19/07 or between 19/07 and 02/08
  • 1st school term – Starts: 21/08 or 28/08 – Ends: 22/12 or 05/01
  • 2nd school term – Starts: 08/01 or 15/01 – Ends: between 05/07 and 19/07 or between 19/07 and 02/08
  • 2 or 3 months – Starts: 21/08 or 28/08, 25/10, or 08/01

Prices 2023-2024

WPCS 42.0.1
Tuition & accommodation in a host family, full board, insurance, orientation
2 months 5.495
3 months 6.195
1 academic semester 7.355
1 academic year 8.195

The above rates include:

  • Pre-application interview
  • School registration fee
  • Pre-stay online Dutch course (for complete beginners in Dutch)
  • Accommodation with a host family, full board (excluding school canteen fees)
  • Assistance, support and follow-up from the local correspondent throughout the stay
  • Regular contact and evaluation reports
  • Official certificate of participation
  • Loan of a bicycle for the duration of the stay
  • A museum pass
  • Orientation on arrival
  • Excursions organised by our partner (one for stays of 2, 3 months or a semester, two for a school year)
  • Medical insurance
  • Transfer on arrival from Amsterdam Schipol airport or station to the orientation course location
  • Transfer from the orientation centre to the student’s place of residence

Not included:

  • Return journey to Amsterdam Schipol airport/station and return transfer at the end of the stay
  • Local transport
  • Books and school supplies
  • Extra-curricular activities
  • School outings/excursions
  • Pocket money: approximately €250 per month
  • Late registration fees, if any
  • Any additional costs related to Covid (e.g. quarantine, tests, etc.)

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