My husband will start to work at Antwerp by 1st January .
We have 2 daughters ; 7 and 12 years old.
Now, we have to make 2 critical decisions ; which region to live and which schools to choose for our daughters?
We think living at a walking distance to school would help our daughthers for faster adaptation.
Will appreciate if you share your opinion/experience with us.
Thanks in advance !
Schools in Antwerp are usually excellent, but you might have to compete with others and get on a waiting list. It's best to apply as soon as possible. Expats generally choose international schools in Antwerp, because you've got the benefit of a familiar curriculum and an easier transition.
There is a wide variety of schools in Antwerp, and once you decide on a school, you can look at accommodation nearby. Have a read of our guide to areas and suburbs in Antwerp to give you an idea of what's family friendly and what's not. Where will you be moving from?
Hope this helps,
Good evening Emma,
In terms of public schools in Antwerp, would you perhaps know whether or not they'd accept a child (six years old) who has never uttered a word in Flemish. The guidelines suggest that at primary school level, all teachings will be in Flemish only. Other languages only being introduced in later years.
Currently residing in the UK, schooling, and how well my six year old will cope, is a big determining factor as to whether or not I take up post in Belgium- preferably Antwerp or surrounding areas.
Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
I thank you for your time.
I found a useful guide on public schooling in Antwerp that I think is well worth a read. The good news is that the guide states that children under 12 aren't required to be able to speak Dutch (of which Flemish is a dialect) to attend a public school in Antwerp.
In terms of how your child will cope, I imagine it will be a bit of an adjustment at first but young children tend to pick up new languages much faster than adults or older kids. When is your move planned for? It might be a good idea to start learning a bit of Dutch with her before the move just to expose her to the language – maybe flashcards or something like that?
Hope this helps, and best of luck with the move!