For expatriates moving to the Netherlands for the first time or Dutch families returning to their homeland, Young Expat School provides personalised packages, tailored to the client’s requirements, to meet their child’s educational and linguistic needs.
In interviewing Eline, founder of Young Expat School, the first thing that comes across is the passion she has for her work and the genuine pleasure she takes in helping children to integrate into Dutch life. “It’s such a lovely job”, she enthuses, “I have the best job ever, I think”.
YES!, Eline explains, is a kind of ‘educational consultancy’ and can offer incredibly detailed knowledge of local and international schools, other clients’ experience of them and the educational system here as a whole. Certainly my conversation with Eline corroborates this claim; she has plenty to say about any school in Amsterdam that you care to mention and interesting anecdotes about her experience with each of them.
A Winning Blend of Skills and Experience
As well as working with families, YES! also teams up with companies and organisations who are providing relocation packages for clients…. A fascinating and rewarding partnership recently saw YES! supporting Syrian refugees arriving in the Netherlands.
The recipe to the business’s success lies, in part, in the blend of expertise the team of three can bring to their services. Eline, Elisabeth and Anita have all lived abroad and experienced the challenges of adapting to a new country; they are all parents of large families and they have all worked in the education system. They are also particularly sensitive to children’s individual learning needs since Eline is a Special Educational Needs teacher and Elisabeth is a Primary School teacher and child psychologist. Their business skills also complement each other, explains Eline, “Anita is like the researcher and I’m like the entrepreneur”.
As well as working with families, YES! also teams up with companies and organisations who are providing relocation packages for clients and this has been an interesting new market and an area Eline is keen to develop. A fascinating and rewarding partnership recently saw YES! supporting Syrian refugees arriving in the Netherlands.
Bringing Confidence and Reassurance to Parents
Of all the services they offer, it is the school searches which are in the greatest demand. The colourful, easy to navigate website displays the various services available, which include detailed information about the educational system, school searches, help with integration into Dutch society and private tuition in Dutch.
Prices range from €80 for an hour of consultancy to €210 for a package which includes advice over skype prior to arriving in the Netherlands, information about options available to your child in your preferred location, appointments with schools and help with form filling. For an additional price, Eline can even accompany you when visiting schools and drive you around the area – whatever it takes to put parents and children at ease as they make the transition to a new country. She fully acknowledges that the fees seem high but emphasises the huge quantity of information and advice they can convey to expatriates and the considerable amount of time they save people who are not familiar with the education system here and may not speak the language.
But it is the reassurance that the services provide which is perhaps the most priceless. YES! can take so much of the anxiety out of the move. Their attention to detail and caring approach also comes across in our interview. Dutch lessons, for example, are typically followed up with a phone call to the parent to discuss the child’s progress. Eline even undertakes the occasional matchmaking on behalf of her clients, introducing them to other expat families who are already established here.
Making Learning Fun!
There is a fun element to much of YES!’s work which makes the big move more agreeable for parents and children. In her Dutch lessons, for example, Eline might draw around the child to teach them anatomy vocabulary or take them to the high street to practise using Dutch for shopping. Dutch children returning to their home country are eased into it with Expat Camp, a sports camp with language lessons – a really fun way to help them reconnect with Holland. The children get a healthy dose of fresh air and exercise, make new friends and brush up on their Dutch. Last summer, 65 kids signed up. The camp is five days long and is held in Amersfoort in July, with the option of either a day camp or a residential one.
It is easy to see how valuable YES!’s services could be to expatriates and repatriates as they relocate to the Netherlands. A good school for their children is high up on every parent’s priority list and YES!’s highly specialised and attentive approach caters to this requirement in a way that tradition relocation packages have been unable to. It is this supportive climate that the company fosters, both before the family arrive and after they have settled in, which makes it stand out.
It would need to be a labour of love as the demands on her time are considerable; she works evenings and most weekends too. Her family tacitly understand the drill: “After 8pm they know that if I’m behind my computer or if somebody calls me…they just leave me alone”. A babysitter calls twice a week but the secret to her successful time management, she says, is this dividing up the day clearly between family time and work time: no mean feat when you have four children and a business which relocated an impressive 80 families last year.
“I love to help”, says Eline. The glowing testimonials on her website make it clear that her clients love her help too.
If you would like to find out more about the services offered by Young Expat School and how they can help your family, then please visit their website.
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