As I have young kids I am thinking of moving to Rotterdam with my partner this Summer. It seems like a lively city with lots of night clubs!. Where do most of the Expats tend to live? Anyone have any advice on any of the schools?
Families & Kids
Hi, here are a few ideas as I am looking at relocating to this area of Holland:
Barendrect which is located south of the Rotterdam ring. www.barendrect.nl
Kralingen about 10 mins from the city centre, good transport, tennis and health clubs. Erasmus University close by. New and old houses, lots of expats here.
Cappelle a/d Ijssel: quiet subhurb about 10 - 15 mins from the centre.
Bergschenhoek: has a family feel and near Rotterdam airport, 20 mins from the city centre.
Berkel en Rodenrijs: village just north of Rotterdam, lot of new houses being built here. Located in a triangle with access to The Hague, Rotterdam and Zoetemeer.
Hillegersberg: Very pretty with older houses woods and waterways, parks etc. The American school is here and a Japanese school (I think). I think this is most probably the area we liked the most.
Hope it helps!
Decide where to live based on the schools.
We live in Hillegersberg, which is a truly lovely and convenient neighborhood. It takes my hisband 20-25 minutes to commute to Barendrecht. It's close to the tram line and the American School. Shopping is right around the corner. And it's a really pretty location (though it is the most expensive part of R'dam).
Our plan was for our kids to go to the American International School (AISR) there, but they ended up not being able to support ANY special needs, even things that are considered mild in Britain and the US.
I now commute to Wassenaar daily, which takes only 35 minutes in the middle of the day, but almost 1 hr on the way to school in the morning and another 1 hr on the way home from school in the evening. If there is a traffic jam, it can take as long as 2.5 hrs to get from our house to the school (has happened 6-8 times the last 2 school years). My kids normally don't get home until 5 pm, and then have to do homework, etc - there is no time to be in Boy Scouts or swim lessons or anything extra.
So be absolutely sure that your kids are going to be accepted at the school of your choice before buying/renting. Otherwise you could be very unhappy about the amount of time you spend in the car, and you may have to purchase a second vehicle that was not in your budget.
Den Haag has the BSN (British School of the Netherlands) and Wassenaar has ASH (the American School of the Hague). You could live in either town, or in between, and still have an ok commute to either school. Both are good schools, and both take kids with varying abilities. ASH is large enough to offer sports and extracurricular activities not available at the AISR in Rotterdam. ASH is near peak enrollment currently. You need to get your kids on the list ASAP if you are interested in having them attend there.
Thank you this is very very useful information and something that I would not have really have known from the information provide at AISR.
You poor thing having to commute, and what a long day for you all. Do they have a school bus that could take your kids, and what about ISH, they have an excellent special needs department so I have heard?
Is there no chance of you moving nearer the school and only one member of the family having to do the commute? I know several famillies who's partner works in Rotterdam. Surely better for your kids especially when it comes to after school activities and partys/sleepovers etc...
Actually, we are moving back to the US b/c the company has been unwilling to break our lease and let us move closer. My husband's assignment is up and we chose not to extend. It's not so bad once you get used to it, but it bugs me that my kids can't have playdates or afterschool activities.
Good luck with your move!