donderdag 11 augustus 2011

School Stranger

An attempt to explain the Dutch educational system to a Texan

You're now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
You: Hey (:
Stranger: Hello :)
You: How are you?
Stranger: Good u?
You: I'm fine (: Where are you from?
Stranger: Texas. u?
You: The Netherlands :'D
Stranger: Cool :D
You: Haha, not really, the weather sucks here.
Stranger: Really?
You: It does xD
Stranger: hahahah wow
You: But hey, at least I don't have to go to school.
Stranger: Lucky!
You: Haha, to what kind of school do you go?
Stranger: I'm in High School.
Stranger: Almost graduating.
You: Cool (:
You: I'm in uuuh..
Stranger: yea :D
You: How do I explain this.
You: The Dutch educational system is really different from the American one.
Stranger: Oh Really?
You: Yes, want me to explain?
Stranger: Sure.
You: Well.. We start basic-school, as we call it, at the age of four, and we go to that school until we're about twelve.
You: After that, you go to the middle school, which is divided in three levels, according to your performance on the basic-school.
You: You have VMBO (Secondary Continued Vocational Education) which takes four years.
You: You have HAVO (Higher General Secondary Education)
You: Which takes five years.
You: And VWO (Secondary Scientific Education)
You: Which takes a whopping six years.
You: Do you still follow it this far?
Stranger: Yes.
You: After you finish VMBO, you can do to things, you can go to the MBO (Secondary Vocational Education) or you can take the last two years of HAVO.
You: Likewise, after you finish HAVO, you can go to the HBO (Higher Vocational Education) or you can take the last two years of VWO.
You: And if you finish VWO you can go to the university.
You: However, if you manage to complete MBO, you can enroll into an HBO.
You: And after you finish your Foundation Course at the HBO you can enter the University.
You: MBO, HBO and University are btw oriented towards specific professions or related groups of proffesions.
You: Still able to follow it?
Stranger: Yes.
You: Now we're going more in-depth. VMBO has several 'sectors' in which you enroll after your third year, the sectors are different nationwide, it can be Sports and Service, or Health and Welfare, based on the Sector you chose, you can, or can not, enroll into a specific MBO.
You: HAVO and VWO have four profiles nationwide, you choose the profile after your third year. These profiles are, Culture and Society, Economy and Society, Nature and Health and Nature and Technology.
You: Based on those profiles you can or can not enroll into a specific HBO or University.
You: Now to answer your initial question, I'm going to the final year of HAVO, with the Culture and Society profile.

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