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The British School in The Netherlands

Living in Holland

The Netherlands is an incredible country – it’s unique blend of tradition and innovation is everywhere – from historic masterpieces, windmills, tulips and traditional canalside houses through to groundbreaking architecture, cutting edge design and a famously healthy, outdoor lifestyle. What’s not to love!

The relatively small country shares borders with Germany and Belgium, but other countries are within easy driving distance. With 17 million inhabitants, the Netherlands is densely populated, with the majority of its inhabitants living in the west of the country, the so-called Randstad which consists of, among others, Almere, Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Delft, Dordrecht, Gouda, Haarlem, Leiden, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Zoetermeer.


The official language in the Netherlands is Dutch. However if you don’t speak any Dutch (yet), English is a widely spoken and often used second language. The BSN Language Centre offers lessons in both languages and can help you become proficient in both.


The country has a marine climate and is ‘mild’ by European standards – however, the weather changes quickly and because of the flat landscape, the wind is often a key feature. As Comedian, Billy Connolly says: “There’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes!”

Buienradar - Real-time Weather Reporting


Because of the flatness of the country (the highest ‘mountain’ is the Vaalserberg, which is 322 meters high), the short distances and mild climate, the Dutch cycle a lot. Throughout the country are designated bike paths (fietspad) and the traffic is well-accustomed to cyclists – it's therefore, a very safe place to cycle, and a fantastic environment for children to learn.

National Holidays

The Dutch have several holidays, including Koningsdag (King’s Day on 27 April), Dodenherdenking (Remembrance Day on 4 May) and Sinterklaas (Saint Nicolas on 5 December). You can find the dates of the Dutch holidays at I Am Expatbut please keep in mind that The BSN does not always close on these holidays.

Moving Essentials

We know that moving to another country always involves a lot of work and decision-making, and it is even more difficult if you do not know you way around. Since 1931, The British School in The Netherlands has been welcoming families from all over the world to the Randstad Area.  

One of the first things we would recommend is to make contact with The BSN Family Association, whose Welcome Team will be only too pleased to give you pointers and recommendations for a smooth transition to the Netherlands.

Family Association

As our area of the Netherlands is home to so many expat families, the Dutch supermarkets, clothing stores and furniture shops are pretty well-equipped and stocked with provisions from all over the world. There are many specialist grocery stores retailing food and necessities from other countries.

Size clothes and shoes

As the Netherlands is home to the tallest people on earth, the sizes might differ from your home country. However, as mentioned before, the shops are generally well-equipped to deal with different kinds of body sizes.  

International size conversion chart

School Uniform

All the details of BSN Uniform can be found on the Uniform Shop page.


Where our BSN families live

BSN Family Locations
Den HaagRotterdam

View in Google My Maps

Our BSN families live all over the Randstad, we have only detailed the cities and towns where the greatest number live.