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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Mobility in early childhood and school education


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.1Mobility in early childhood and school education

Last update: 27 November 2023


Pupil and student mobility


Early Childhood Education

There are no mobility programmes in early childhood education in the Netherlands. They start in primary schools.


Primary Education en Secondary Education

Verankering Internationale Oriëntatie en Samenwerking (VIOS; Embedding International Orientation and Cooperation)

Embedding International Orientation and Cooperation (VIOS) is the follow-up to the Encouraging International Orientation and Cooperation (BIOS) programme. Under the VIOS scheme, which was launched for the 2014/2015 and 2015/2016 school years, grants are available for the following:

  • pupil mobility: cooperation between or exchange of pupils with pupils from a partner school abroad.
  • teacher mobility: in-service training abroad for teachers, school leaders and teacher trainers. Apart from in-service training, grants are also available for preparatory visits abroad with a view to setting up a strategic Erasmus+ partnership.
  • teaching practice: teaching practice abroad for student teachers, provided it includes a research component.
  • new initiatives: encouraging embedding of internationalisation in school policy.
  • curriculum development in the field of:
  1.  languages: for example, introduction of early foreign language teaching (VVTO) or bilingual teaching (TTO) in the school curriculum.
  2.  internationalisation: e.g. introduction into the school curriculum of ELOS, IPC (International Primary Curriculum; only in Dutch available) or a similar educational concept focusing on internationalisation.

The main aims of this new scheme are:

  • to embed internationalisation in school policy; in primary schools, the main aim may still be to encourage internationalisation;
  • to use quality criteria in assessing performance, with the focus on results achieved and the relevance of the project to teaching;
  • to keep the administrative burden to a minimum;
  • to focus on knowledge sharing and learning from each other;
  • to take account of the Erasmus+ programme.

Prämien programme

Each summer, 20 pupils studying German in the fifth year of pre-university education (VWO) are given the opportunity to visit Germany. The Prämienprogramm (in Dutch only), which was launched in 1982, comprises two different programmes, the Sprachkursprogramm and the Internationales Preisträgerprogramm. The Internationales Preisträgerprogramm is a four-week study tour through the whole of Germany for pupils from different countries. The Sprachkursprogramm is a three-week programme of study in Nuremberg/Regensburg, with accommodation in a guesthouse or with a host family.


The programme was set up by the Federal Republic of Germany to promote the study of the German language among foreign pupils and is part of the cultural agreement between Germany and the Netherlands. During their stay in Germany, the pupils are the guests of the German government, and there are no costs attached. The European Platform funds the trip to Nuremberg/Regensburg for the Sprachkursprogramm.

Erasmus+ programme

The new European funding programme Erasmus+ for 2014 to 2020 comprises three Key Actions:

  1. Individual mobility;
  2. Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices and;
  3. Support for policy reform.

Key Action 3 is implemented at central level by the European Commission itself.

As far as primary and secondary education are concerned, Key Action 1 applies to the individual mobility of staff. The aim is to develop and/or enhance the knowledge and skills of professionals working in primary and secondary schools by means of mobility projects. Teachers acquire more opportunities to undergo training or to teach in other European countries.

Key Action 2 relates to institutional cooperation, i.e. small and large-scale international strategic partnerships within the education and youth sector geared to developing, sharing and implementing innovative approaches at organisational, local, regional, national and/or European level. The aim is:

  • to innovate and to improve the quality of education (e.g. course books, curriculum, ICT tools);
  • to strengthen cooperation between actors in the education sector, the government and the business community;
  • to share knowledge and good practices in the field of education;
  • to recognise and validate learning outcomes.

Possible themes include foreign language teaching, excellence and language development, professional development of teachers and school leaders, maths and language teaching, entrepreneurship, pre-school education, virtual exchanges, technology, early school leaving, specialist schools and cooperation between the education sector and the business community.

Education Networks for internationalisation

Apart from the above language and mobility programmes, the following networks also provide schools with assistance in setting up international partnerships:

  • Unesco Associated Schools: The syllabus taught at Unesco Associated schools focuses on themes that are central to Unesco policy, i.e. peace and human rights, intercultural learning and sustainability.
  • • Network for the internationalisation of secondary education (Netwerk internationalisering voortgezet onderwijs Nivo): Nivo brings secondary schools together and helps them develop internationalisation policies. The network is intended for schools that want to work on internationalisation without introducing concepts such as TTO, ELOS or LinQ (which aims to strengthen teaching in German and French) into the curriculum.


For more information on networks such as ELOS, TTO and LinQ, see 13.4.


Secondary Vocational Education (mbo)

The government thinks it is also important for MBO students to gain experience abroad. This is good for the labour market, especially in sectors such as catering, tourism, commerce, financial services and security. This is in line with the 2008/2011 strategic agenda for adult and vocational education (Werken aan Vakmanschap).


Anyone wanting to study abroad may ask the educational institution they are attending for information. MBO students may also contact the National Reference Point (NRP) of the Centre for Cooperation between Vocational Education and Training and the Labour Market (SBB).

Up to 2014, the Leonardo da Vinci project, which focused on promoting innovation in vocational education, was part of the EU’s Lifelong Learning funding programme. Grants were available for projects revolving around three themes, i.e. mobility, transfer of innovation and people on the labour market, with a view to:

  • student exchanges;
  • preparatory visits (for both students and teachers);
  • temporary teaching posts abroad.

The programme’s aim was to promote transnational competences, improve the quality of vocational education and training, adapt training systems and seek new challenges. From 2014, the Leonardo da Vinci project will be followed up within Erasmus+. For the record, the Dutch Erasmus+ National Agency has decided to drop the names of individual European Lifelong Learning programmes and use the name Erasmus+ for the entire programme.

One of the aims of Erasmus+ is to increase opportunities for MBO students to undergo training abroad, for example through work experience placements.

Students may also use the see 13.2.1.


Teacher mobility

Embedding International Orientation and Cooperation (VIOS)

The Embedding International Orientation and Cooperation (VIOS) programme also includes a teacher mobility component, with grants for in-service training abroad for teachers, school leaders and teacher trainers. Grants may also be awarded for visits abroad preparatory to the establishment of an Erasmus+ strategic partnership. Members of executive or supervisory boards are not eligible for in-service training grants.

Education Networks for internationalisation

The following networks provide schools and teacher training colleges with assistance in setting up international partnerships:

  • Network for the internationalisation of secondary education (Netwerk internationalisering voortgezet onderwijs Nivo): Nivo brings secondary schools together and helps them develop internationalisation policies. The network is intended for schools that want to work on internationalisation without introducing concepts such as TTO, ELOS or LinQ into the curriculum.
  • Centre for the internationalisation of teacher training courses (Centrum internationalisering lerarenopleidingen (Cilo network)): Coordinators of the internationalisation policies of primary and secondary teacher training institutions in various countries work together within the Cilo network. An internationalisation module must be part of the curriculum, and students are required to do teaching practice abroad. The aim is to prepare students to put internationalisation into practice in their future careers.

German and French language assistants

Each academic year around 10 native French and 10 native German speakers are brought in as language assistants and teachers to boost the teaching of French and German in primary and secondary schools and in teacher training colleges. In addition, around 20 German and French teaching assistants may undergo training to qualify as first or second grade teachers in secondary schools.

Teachers may also use the see 13.2.1.

College of education (PABO) knowledge centres for early foreign language teaching (VVTO)

The European Platform is working with a number of partners to improve the quality of English teaching in primary schools. The aim is to improve the quality of initial and in-service teacher training in this subject. Partners focus on VVTO (English) (minor subject, 30 credits), in-service training in VVTO, the National VVTO Standard and research into VVTO.

The nine partners working together in this project are:

Teacher mobility in secondary vocational education (MBO)

The Erasmus+ programme devotes attention to the mobility of MBO teachers. The aim is to enable these teachers to acquire new knowledge and teaching skills or brush up their existing knowledge and teaching skills by means of a teaching/training assignment with a partner abroad, a placement at an institution abroad or job-shadowing/observation of a partner abroad.