GUEST POST: Education in the Netherlands

Brody's first day of school in the Netherlands.

Brody’s first day of school in the Netherlands.

There are things in life that I have never found intimidating. Specifically with my own education. I come from a family where I was the first to go on to college and eventually graduate. I filled out my paperwork, I applied for student loans, and I made sure that everything I had to do was taken care of, either in person (waiting outside of the counselor’s office for hours on end) or through mindless games of guess-that-phone-extension with the registrar. My parents didn’t know how to help me and that was OK.

In light of this over self-confidence when it came to taking care of myself and my education- I never thought much about the education of my children. Back in the States my oldest started a toddler program two years ago- three days a week for a couple of hours just so that his new twin brothers and I didn’t suck the life out of him. Finding the right school (easy, it was a friend’s suggestion), enrolling, and becoming a part of the program was no big thing.

In essence- everything has been easy with regard to early education up until now. My family and I moved from South Carolina to The Netherlands in November of last year. I wasn’t in a ‘rush’ per say, to get the boys into a preschool program, but I feared expat isolation, lack of friends and exposure to their new culture.

When we went house hunting, our biggest concern was what kind of schools were in the area. It had to be very close to home (walking distance) and they had to welcome us. Outsiders. Americans in this small Netherlands village. (more…)

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