Guide to teaching English in the Netherlands

The Dutch are well-known for their bicycle culture, iconic windmills, and abundance of vibrant flower fields. But did you also know they’re also renowned for their excellence at speaking English? The Netherlands ranked first in the world’s English Proficiency Index, a yearly study by a UK organization, Education First. So now the obvious question: Does the country even need foreign English teachers?

While there isn’t an urgent demand for English teachers in this country, there are ways of finding teaching jobs in the Netherlands if you have the right qualifications. Most teachers will require a bachelor’s degree and TEFL certification to teach English in the Netherlands. The average salary for teaching in the Netherlands is $2,223 - $3,558 USD per month.

Interested in teaching English in the Netherlands? We’ve got you covered! Keep reading to learn more about teaching jobs, average salaries and benefits, and how to get a teaching job in the Netherlands!

Types of teaching jobs in the Netherlands

The Netherlands has one of the highest quality education systems in the world. Here are the most popular places to find a job as a foreign teacher.

Private language academies/schools:

International chain schools are found worldwide, and the Netherlands is no exception. These schools have English language centers in major cities like Den Hague and Amsterdam. These schools might be good if you’re new to teaching abroad because the minimum requirements are less demanding than international schools. Also, if you have a college degree and some teaching background, you should be able to find a job at one of these schools.

International schools:

These private schools provide Dutch students with the International Baccalaureate program, which focuses on either a British or American curriculum. These schools teach a wide range of subjects from elementary to high school and are the most competitive when hiring teachers. Teachers are expected to have years of teaching experience and a B.A. or M.A. degree. To apply for a teaching job, you can contact the schools directly or attend one of their recruitment fairs. Take a look at their website to determine when and where they have recruitment events.

Universities:

The heavy emphasis on globalized education means many English-speaking teaching positions within the higher education world. According to Eurogates, an online portal for Dutch education programs, the Netherlands had over 2,500 international university programs in English during the 2019 school year. Therefore, if you want to teach at a Dutch university, you will need an advanced degree and recognized teaching experience and credentials before getting hired.

Average salary and benefits for teaching English in the Netherlands

On average, an English teacher's monthly salary in the Netherlands is between $2,223-$3,558 USD. No matter your salary, get ready to pay some high taxes (they hover at around 30% to 40%). The country spends a lot on social services, and the standard of living is very high, with a low poverty level. Like most Western Europe, the Netherlands can be expensive, and the 2011 Euro Crisis only created a more tumultuous situation with exchange rates.

Common benefits included for teachers

On top of being one of the most progressive countries in the world, the Netherlands offers great government-sponsored benefits for teachers, such as the following:

  • Paid vacation time
  • Paid sick leave
  • Health insurance
  • Pension (if you stay until retirement age)
  • Flight reimbursements
  • Housing assistance

Read more: How Much Money Can You Save Teaching Abroad?

Cost of living in the Netherlands

  • Food: $290-$500 USD/month
  • Transportation: $105 USD/month
  • Entertainment (movies, bars/clubs, etc.): $62-$125 USD/ month
  • Housing: $1,308 - $1,703 USD/month

Source: Numbeo

Where and how to find housing

Since the Netherlands is densely populated, competition for housing can be fierce. However, you can find less expensive housing in rural areas outside city centers. Don’t worry about being too far away from your school. Trains run fast, and you can get anywhere within a couple of hours.

If you're looking for housing in the Netherlands, it's best to start with your employer. After that, the schools will have a database of apartments that fit your needs and budget. If you're unable to find a flat through your school, other services are available online. A few websites to check out include Kamernet and Pararius.

Where to teach English in the Netherlands

As with starting a job in any new country, it's essential to do your research before coming to the Netherlands. Start by exploring these major teaching cities in the Netherlands:

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe. It's also a hub for international business, tourism, and culture. In addition, the city has several universities that attract many expats, so you'll find plenty of English-speaking students to teach at your school. Plus, its central location makes it easy to travel around other parts of the country if you'd like more time in another Dutch locale!

Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a large port city on the North Sea coast with a population of over 645 thousand people (about 1/5th of all people living in Holland). Apart from being home to many industries, including shipbuilding and oil refining, it's also known as an art center with museums like Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum and Willemskade Kunsthal opening their doors here every year!

Utrecht

The third Dutch city we want to mention here is Utrecht which has about 252 thousand inhabitants living there at any given time - many more than either Amsterdam or Rotterdam! It's often considered one of Europe's smaller 'major' cities because it offers so much diversity within its borders: from busy shopping streets like Breestraat down through Vleutenstraat, where clothes stores abound!

How to get a job teaching English in the Netherlands

Where to find jobs

There are many places to find teaching English jobs in the Netherlands. The best way to get your foot in the door is by applying directly through a school or language institute. You can also explore programs on Go Overseas or apply to global listings on our teach abroad job board.

When to apply

The best times to get hired are August and December, several weeks before the school semester starts. No matter where you choose, the weather doesn’t vary much throughout the country, with damp rain and snow in the winter and mild summers. Bring clothes that can brave the rain and gloves. The icy air seems even more intense when commuting across town on your bicycle after the sun goes down.

Qualifications needed

The bottom line for landing a teaching job in the Netherlands is having some teaching experience and a B.A. degree. If you don’t have teaching experience, you should have a TEFL/CELTA certificate. A master’s degree and specific teaching credentials will give you more edge if you want to teach at higher levels or in international schools. However, sometimes it all comes down to nationality, as many employers look for E.U. citizens because they don’t need a work visa.

Read more: What are the Requirements to Teach English Abroad?

Work visa

It’s very challenging for someone without E.U. citizenship to find a legal job in the Netherlands, as most schools want to hire British or Irish citizens. However, they can work throughout the European Union’s 28 countries without a work permit. If you’re not an E.U. citizen, you will need a work visa and a residency permit. Since work visas are arranged through your employer, it’s usually advised to have a job set up before you arrive. E.U. citizens only need a residence permit obtained after arrival in the Netherlands.

What’s it like to live & teach English in the Netherlands

As an ESL teacher abroad, it’s essential that you take the time to research the country’s etiquette and classroom culture, as it can be vastly different from what you’re used to at home! ESL teachers should be respectful and understanding while adapting to a new classroom environment.

Classroom & work culture

In your new classroom and workplace, you will find that the Dutch people value fairness, equality, and justice. They are very hard-working and enjoy making money. They also care deeply about their families and friends.

Although they are friendly, they tend to be reserved when meeting strangers or in public places such as stores or restaurants. This can make them seem unfriendly at times, but it doesn't mean they aren't interested in getting to know you better! Therefore, you must try to get past any awkwardness by smiling whenever possible.

It's also good manners to say “excuse me” when walking past someone and give them an extra half step so as not to bump into them unintentionally – otherwise, you'll be seen as rude!

Culture & etiquette tips

  • Greetings: When greeting close friends, the Dutch exchange three kisses on the cheek, starting with the left. However, in business settings, people shake hands when meeting people for the first time.
  • Punctuality: The Dutch emphasize sticking with schedules and meeting times, and being late or canceling with short notice is not shared and is considered rude.
  • Bicycles: Cycling will most likely be your daily commute, as the Netherlands is one of the most bicycle-friendly countries in the world. It’s reasonably easy to find a good, used bicycle for 50 to 100 euros from a local bicycle shop.

Ready to find your dream teaching program in the Netherlands?

Start researching and comparing teaching programs here at Go Overseas in the Teaching Programs in the Netherlands section below.

Want to read more? Get started with these articles:

Teaching Programs in the Netherlands

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Online TEFL Programs

A TEFL Certification will help you acquire the skills and qualifications to teach abroad in the Netherlands

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much do teachers earn in Netherlands?

    A teacher's salary in the Netherlands varies depending on qualifications and experience, however, most English teachers can expect to be paid between $1,750 - $3,200 per month.

  • How can I teach English in Netherlands?

    In order to become a teacher in the Netherlands, you will have to have at least a bachelor's degree and previous teaching experience. While teaching experience is highly regarded, it's also possible to get a job in education with a TEFL or CELTA certificate. A master's degree or teaching credential is also helpful.

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