ICAP has carried out two surveys of the views of the international community in the Netherlands – on education and on housing. Our next survey, on health, will be carried out in Autumn 2017. You can sign up to take part here.

For more information about the ICAP surveys, please get in touch.


The ICAP education survey was carried out at the end of 2016. The aim was to find out what the international community thought about education in the Netherlands - international or otherwise – as well as how the community meets the educational needs of their families and what challenges families face.

Top 5 key findings

55% of respondents had children at a Dutch school, 23% at a private international school

56% said closeness to home was most important factor in school choice, 53% said international environment, 36% said cost

49% would consider a Dutch school if more emphasis on English

Just 12% said their Dutch school was unhelpful in dealing with children who did not speak Dutch

63% had no help from their employer in paying school fees – this figure was higher in Amsterdam



In spring 2017 ICAP undertook a survey on the subject of housing for internationals. The intention was to discover what internationals had to say about housing with regard to availability, cost and accessibility.

Top 5 key findings

80% of new arrivals get no help with housing costs and 50% wanted to rent furnished accommodation

A large majority said they are paying more than they can afford for a place to live and 25% of internationals earn less than €3,000 a month

16% of expats buy a home within one year of arriving

Most want to cycle to work – and a 30-minute cycle ride is the max

Most plan to stay here at least five more years, or have no plans to

These brief highlights raises the question: are the perceptions about the expat/international community accurate?

comments from the HOUSING survey

Start looking in advance because it might take some time. Possibly compromise on a few things for your first home until you settle down. Then you will have more time and less pressure to find a more suitable/desired home. Take time to understand the type of Dutch houses. They are different from other countries.
the housing market also has changed A LOT. When I first came here I had no issues finding a great place to live, then I was offered (!) an even more amazing place to live because I’m a great tenant. It was all affordable.But I gave up my amazing place to go abroad for a while and when I came back to start playing apartment musical chairs, though things got even worse in the past 2-3 years