VU Amsterdam recognizes the importance to support new international staff in making the move to take up a position at VU Amsterdam. Changing work location is both a practical matter as a major life change, often affecting partners and families too. The university offers several services for senior researchers to support them before and after arrival at VU Amsterdam, also via the Relocation Advisor, Wytske Siegersma.
Senior researchers and their partners who come from abroad can contact the Relocation Advisor with all sorts of questions about moving to the Netherlands and finding your way around VU Amsterdam.
Bringing your family
If you, as a future employee or guest of VU Amsterdam, wish to bring your partner or children with you to the Netherlands it is important for the University to know this before we start the immigration procedure. The University can assist you with the immigration procedure.
For this type of application you will need a number of specific documents. You need a copy of a valid form of identification, but also documents such as your marriage certificate if you are bringing a spouse and/or a birth certificate if you are bringing a child with you. Non-married couples may also initiate immigration procedures together. The documents which are necessary in such cases depend on the specific situation. There is also a standard fee for people wishing to bring their family to the Netherlands.
All birth and marriage certificates must be legalized. These certificates also must be in or translated into Dutch, English, French or German. If the documents are in another language, you can obtain information about translating and certifying these kinds of documents from the Dutch Embassy of your home country. The International Office of VU Amsterdam can provide you with all the necessary information and will help you through the procedure of obtaining a MVV and/or VVR for you and your family. Please, contact us via email@example.com for further inquiries.
Partner & Spouse Support & Network
It is with great pleasure to welcome all partners and spouses of International Employees at VU Amsterdam to our network. We are currently developing a programme and network for accompanying partners to support you after your arrival in a new country, city and culture. We aim to support you in both your professional and social aspirations.
If you have further questions, ideas or would like to contribute to the programme, please do not hesitate to contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Childcare and school
Children up to four years old can be looked after in a daycare center or crèche. Depending on the specific daycare center, they have special groups for babies and toddlers or combine the two groups. Most daycare facilities are open from 08.00 – 18.00 and offer all-day care. Some have longer opening hours and offer more flexible child care solutions. All childcare center must comply with a strict standard of quality according to Dutch law.
Daycare for Amsterdam toddlers
From 2018, children between the ages of two and a half and four years old in Amsterdam, are entitled to a minimum of 15 hours of daycare per week. The contributions or fee depend on the income. Fees can be reduced if the child is indicated to be at risk or lagging behind in language or other development. In this case, he or she receives a recommendation for attending pre-school (the so called voorschoolindicatie).
Babysitters or gastouders
You can also wish to have your child looked after by a babysitter. In this case, a babysitter who is registered with an agency would take care of your child in their home or yours. Babysitters are only allowed to care for a maximum of four children. The agency selects their employees and inspects places of care for safety and hygiene frequently.
Children in the Netherlands generally attend primary school (basisschool) from age 4 to age 12. The Netherlands is renowned for having a strong, qualitative and well-balanced education system. Amsterdam offers a variety of school: regular state schools, international schools, Montessori schools, religious schools, etc. It is recommendable to look for a school soon after arriving in the Netherlands. Before arriving it might be useful to already get informed on how to choose a school, how to apply and check primary schools (currently only available in Dutch unfortunately) in the area where you will be living.
Children between four and twelve years old, new to the Netherlands and not speaking Dutch can join the so-called newcomers’ classes. These classes have a program to learn Dutch and getting acquainted with Dutch culture. The aim is to let the children enter regular or bilingual education after one year.
There are four branches of secondary education. A report from the primary school will advise which branch best suits the child. Next to this report, children undergo a test in group 8 to assess their aptitude. This usually is the CITO test (CITO-toets). The results of the test and the recommendation, as well as pupils’ and parents’ own preferences, determine the type of curriculum the child should follow at secondary school.
If a child is (relatively) new to the Netherlands and would normally go to secondary school, but his or her level of Dutch is not sufficient, the child can attend an international bridging year. This bridging year is known as kopklas and takes place between primary and secondary school. Pupils are enrolled in the kopklas via their primary school but follow the secondary school timetable, keeping in touch with their peers. You can gain more information about this international bridging year at the primary/secondary school your child will attend.
First point of contact
Senior researchers and their partners who come from abroad can contact the Relocation Advisor with all sorts of questions about moving to the Netherlands and finding your way around Amsterdam.
You can contact me via:
T +31 (0)20 59 85037
Wytske Siegersma, Relocation Advisor at VU Amsterdam