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.
Posted on: 25/05/2008 at 17:19