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MBO Vocational Education
In addition to the programs that may be studied at the universities of applied sciences (HBO) and other universities (WO), numerous professional trainings are offered in the Netherlands.
These vocational training courses are offered in the Netherlands as middelbaar beroepsonderwijs (mbo). There are training courses at four different levels, depending on the training and how demanding the desired occupation is. With a completed education at level 4 (middenkaderfunctionaris or specialiseerd beroepsbeoefenaar) there is the possibility to apply to study at the HBO.
To apply for MBO training evidence of schooling must be produced, depending on the level. For levels 3 and 4, foreigners are expected to be proficient at Dutch B1 level. The admission for a level depends on the previous level of education.
With a HAVO or VWO diploma in the bag, the student may be able to take part in a shortened education.
You have to pay school fees for vocational education if you are over 18 years old. In 2017/18 these amounted to € 1,137 for one academic year. Teaching materials, clothing or other items needed for the training can cost between € 500 and € 1000 per year. If you are over 18 years old, you can apply for the Dutch study grant (studiefinanciering) and a special travel tariff for public transport (studentenreisproduct).1
Student transit pass
The student travel pass can be obtained even if one is under 18 years and comes in two options. You may either travel for free during the week or on weekends. Outside the free travel time you travel with a discount.
If the Dutch language is not mastered well enough, there is an opportunity for an integrated training in which the language can be learned. This arrangement is called "mbo opleidingen voor anderstaligen".
Rijksoverheid explains all the details related to MBO training. It certainly pays off to use an open day, to study the individual websites of the training institutes or simply to go there.
1 Rijksoverheid (2018). Kosten mbo-opleiding. Retrieved on March 05, 2018, from https://www.rijksoverheid.nl/onderwerpen/middelbaar-beroepsonderwijs/kosten-mbo-opleiding