Hi , we are looking at moving to Huldenberg and buying a house . Planning to have kids in Wavre school . How is the place and how open to expat movement ??? Anything else I need to consider for me . TIA
Becasse and J are absolutely correct in their responses. I also know that one of them is extremely knowledgeable, can actually speak Dutch and French fluently unlike another poster, so is able to gather and process information correctly and is able also to spell place names correctly.
Huldenberg, as has already been pointed out, whilst relatively large in area of 40km2, has a population of just under 10,000, it is made up of small villages : Huldenberg, Loonbeek, Neerijse,Ottenberg, Saint-Agata-Rode. Ottenberg is nearest to a French primary school - could probably walk to a French school from some streets. However, I'd still advise a Dutch speaking school if you wish to move to Huldenberg.
Those who actually use public transport would know that there are buses 337 and 341 between Huldenberg and Wavre and there is also a train line skirting the gemeente boundary on the east side.
The non Belgian population of Huldenberg gemeente is around 7% or 700 out of 10000, considerably lower than Brussels which nears 50% in many areas of Brussels, so if you are used to a multi-national community, Huldenberg is not.
I have lived in Vlaams Brabant myself and I am familiar with the area.
I know someone who moved to another-berg a few years ago. Inherited lovely house with large garden. She's Flemish and knows the area, he's from rural France. He found it so difficult to communicate with people that they're now separated and he's gone back to living somewhere he considers "civilized". He utterly hated the attitude of people.
The OP specifically mentioned expatty things. That suggests they haven't really got a clue about the area. Buying a house is a huge commitment in Belgium because of the taxes, and therefore buying a house in the wrong area is a huge mistake. If you need advice from the likes of me or CC_R to make this decision, you are heading for disaster.
@shortof. There are no English speaking schools in Wavre, but there is the excellent international school Le Verseau close by in Bierges. Francophone but with high percentage of anglophone ex-pat children. The school has a strong emphasis on English and employs some mother tongue English teachers. Many parents live in Overijse, Rixensart, La Hulpe etc
I am well aware of Le Verseau thank you. I know quite a number of families at schools in the area as well as the staff. There happens to be another 2 schools in the Wavre area that also offer MORE hours of English at primary and secondary level than Le Verseau , but they are French schools in Federation Wallonie-Bruxelles.
There are no English speaking schools in Wavre. There are no French and English speaking schools in Wavre.
What exactly is an expat however?
@shortof. An expat, short for expatriate, is someone who is living outside their native country. The OP is clearly an expat judging from their original question.
Le Verseau is a Francophone school running the standard Belgian curriculum. For expats it offers the advantage of having a modest percentage of other expat children. For Brits it also offers the possibility to take certain IGCSE exams, which is useful if they wish to return to the UK for university. Teenagers can also partake in the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme.
You can take IGCSE exams for 110 euro at ISF Waterloo and ACE Auderghem, without studying at these schools. You can take any external exams in fact from the UK (board restricted) at these schools. There is no need to attend Le Verseau for this facility, or attend any other school offering external UK exams. It is considerably cheaper to spend 110 euro on an exam entry than annual school fees. There are many other Francophone schools in Belgium, especially in Brussels and Brabant, with high numbers of non Belgians, in fact Brussels schools have 50% non Belgians attending schools there. It's not something unique to Le Verseau or any other Francophone school in Belgium.
My apologies to original poster for the rather aggressive tone that shortof chooses to use here and on other posts. I was hoping to offer some friendly advice on an excellent school that enabled my children to go to one of the top UK universities and get first class degrees and go on to get excellent jobs. They are tri-lingual plus one more at high level.
The Belgian education system is generally very good indeed. Most of the countryside around Wavre, both Flanders and Wallonia is very pleasant. I do agree with an early reply that it may be better to live closer to other parents from the kids’ school.
I wish you the best in finding a good school and home, and hope it all works well for you.
IGCSE English is useless for university entrance. It's only accepted for students who previously studied in English. If you want an exam that is accepted by UK universities for foreign students, this isn't it.
Some universities will waive this requirement if you argue the toss for long enough.
Mater Dei in WSP do offer a suitable EFL exam.
J - yes you are correct for foreign students applying to a UK university. If you are a British teenager who has studied in a foreign language and are applying to a UK uni, then IGCSE English is useful and usually accepted for demonstrating competence in English.
If anyone is still following this thread, it is worth mentioning that the Belgian Certificate is not understood by many UK universities so check before applying that the university will consider it. Finally, Brexit will probably kill this, but Scotland do not charge fees for EU resident students.
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