High School Holland - Study in the Netherlands
Discover the Netherlands
Are you looking for more than the usual highlights of our country? Are you looking for an unique experience? Something different from your country? Then you have to come and stay in the Netherlands. You might know that the Netherlands is famous for its tulips, cheese and windmills, but did you know that the Netherlands is home to more bikes than people? That there are 19,100 kilometers of bicycle paths and lanes? That about 60% of the population lives below sea level? That there is something for everyone to enjoy in the Netherlands? Students who choose an academic year or semester program in the Netherlands will live with a host family and attend a local high school. There is no better way to get acquainted with our culture, our language and our habits than living in a typical Dutch family. As a High School student in the Netherlands, you will participate in family-life and in school-life. This means that you will go to a Dutch high school to learn about the culture and the language.
After arriving in Holland, Travel Active will take you on an orientation week. In this week you will meet other exchange students and you will get well prepared for your exchange adventure. During this week a Dutch course will be given to help you get acquainted with the Dutch life and culture. In the afternoon we will go sightseeing and we will show you a bit of our country. At the end of the orientation week your host families will come to pick you up and welcome you in their homes and hearts. Then your typical Dutch experience will start.
During the academic year there will be 4 excursions (2 for the semester students). Trips in the past have included visits to Amsterdam, ice-skating in Utrecht, Paris and Berlin. In this way we would like to give you the opportunity not only to get to know Holland, but as well the opportunity see some of the most important cities of Europe.
Both, you and your host family will get personal assistance during your exchange period from a local coordinator. The coordinator will keep in contact with you, your host family and your high school during the exchange period and will help you with everything when needed. You can always count on his/her assistance. The coordinator will contact you on a regular bases in order to see how you are doing.
Yes, let’s go to Holland!
Every student who would like to apply for the High school Holland program must submit a complete application form. There are different exchange organizations in your country with whom we cooperate. Your organization in your home country will provide you with this information and they will also assist you during the application process. The partners will send us your application, we will look it up and if everything is good we will accept you in our program.
As soon as you are accepted for the High School Holland program, we will start to arrange a host family and school for you. Students are placed with carefully selected host families, interviewed by a local coordinator. You will stay in close contact with the organization in your home country. They will give you all the information you need and will help you to prepare yourself for your big adventure!
We found a family!
As soon as we have found a host family and a school for you, you will get a placement form with the contact details of your new family and your new school. You will also receive the host family application form which your host family had to fill in. This application gives you a global impression of your host family in the Netherlands and also will help you to get prepared for the big adventure in the Netherlands. After reading this information, you can give them a call and start counting down the days before coming to Holland!
• You must be at least 15 years old, but not older than 18 years and 6 months when you arrive in Holland
• You must have good grades and a basic knowledge of English (at least 3 years)
• You must be interested in Europe and of course especially in Holland!
• You want to learn the Dutch language
• You are flexible and you like to do something really different and exciting!
What to expect?
Expect the unexpected! This will be a year full of surprises!
Responsibilities of your host family:
- Providing you with a home for the period of a year or a semester;
- Welcoming you as a full family member and encouraging you to take part in family activities;
- Providing you with a room in their house of your own;
- Taking care of your daily meals
Your host family is ready to welcome you as a member of their family. They will not receive money for your stay in their house. The host family has a strong belief in cultural exchange and that is why they welcome you in their family on a voluntary basis. The host family expects you to speak Dutch and they will help you with this. Do not be afraid to make mistakes; the only way to learn a language is to practice a lot!
Responsibilities of the school;
- Offer you a suitable 5 day lessons schedule
- Offer you an encouraging environment
- Help you when needed
We have developed an exercise book . This book contains all kinds of exercises that students will have to do during the period that they are in Holland, in this book you will learn more about the Dutch way of live. Working with this book is mandatory for our program, all students have to complete the exercises before returning home.
Here are a few examples of the exercises :
- Making a photo collage about their impressions of Holland
- Tell something about the weather in Holland (in Dutch of course)
- Doing an interview with a student and a teacher about a news item
- Prepare a typical Dutch meal for the host family
Cheese, windmills and tulips are the most famous icons of our culture. But next to this Holland’s culture has more to offer you...
Did you know?
- The Netherlands and Holland are the same?
- That about 60% of the population lives below sea level?
- The Dutch are the tallest people in Europe?
- Amsterdam is built entirely on piles?
- Everyone in Holland has a bike and there are twice as many bikes as cars?
- Amsterdam has 1.281 bridges?
The Dutch are considered to be good at speaking foreign languages. This is because Holland has a high standard of education and an education system which focuses on the international position of the country. English teaching starts in the last 2 years of primary school and is an obligatory part of the national exam.
Holland is known for its open and friendly culture for many decades. Student will notice the flexible and open spirit the very moment they arrive in Holland. Therefore integration and adaptation will be easy for motivated students. Do not be afraid to ask questions to people you don’t know. Dutch people are very hospitable and will help you to solve a problem. The Dutch are also known for their professionalism; they like to get down to business straight away and have a no-nonsense culture. Foreigners who come to Holland to work or to learn the Dutch language, may find it surprising, that even the manager director of the company or the teachers are called by their first name.
Holland is a country that is simply made for bicycling. The flat landscape and its endless miles of cycling paths, make cycling enjoyable, relaxing and more often a necessary way of transportation. The Dutch love their bikes and have a special, widely used biking infrastructure.
One very famous traditional festivity in the Netherlands is the festivity ‘Sinterklaas’. This festivity is celebrated on the 5th of December; specially celebrated in families with small children. On this date, also known as ‘pakjesavond’ sinterklaas rides his white horse Amerigo over the roofs of the houses to bring presents to the children. During the period leading up to Sinterklaas, the children will also find small presents hiding in their shoes which have been left out near the chimney to be fill in.
Another traditional festivity is Queens day or ‘Koninginnedag’. This is celebrated in honor of the Queen’s birthday. However this day (the 30th of April) is not the birthday of Queen Beatrix; it was the birthday of her mother, Queen Juliana. Queen Beatrix decided to keep this date, because her own birthday is in the winter. On this day people are allowed to sell their belongings on the street without paying taxes for it.(free market) It is also very popular to wear orange clothes. Orange is the royal color!
- While you’re here try to remember “It is not better, it is not worse, it is different”
- Try to undertake activities and get in contact with other Dutch people, especially in the beginning of the exchange
- Do not wait, but take initiative by yourself. In Holland it is very normal to invite yourself :)
- Please share your feelings with your host family. Dutch people are known for their open and flexible spirit and they will be happy when you share feelings with them and show interest in them
Tips from other exchange students
- Do not be surprised when you are greeted with, not one, not two but three kisses on alternating cheeks. Three kisses is a common action when greeting friends or relatives
- Learn a little of Dutch in your home country. The sooner you understand the language, the easier you will get in contact with the people and the culture. Blow them all away the first time you say Scheveningen correctly
- Don’t be surprised when you find chocolate sprinkles on the breakfast table in Holland
- Birthday’s: Don’t forget to congratulate the family members as well as the person celebrating a birthday
More information about Holland and our culture you can find at:
|www.holland.com||More information about Holland|
|www.howtosurviveholland.com||Funny website about Dutch habits, written by other students|
|www.theundutchables.com||Tips from other exchange students|
|www.hollandwijzer.nl||General and tourist information|
|www.ns.nl||To find out more about the public transport|
|www.lonelyplanet.com||A lot of information about the Netherlands|
|www.learndutch.org||Really nice and helpful site where you can already start learning our language!|
How to apply?
If you decided you want to come to Holland as an exchange student, you need to apply at an agency in your own country that is a partner of Travel Active. You can not apply at Travel Active directly! If you want to know with which agency in your country we cooperate, you can send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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