Secondary Education for Non-native Speakers (VOAT)

Secondary Education for Non-native Speakers (Voortgezet Onderwijs Anderstaligen, VOAT)


If you are from a foreign country, do not yet speak Dutch fluently and are between 15 and 20 years old, you qualify for VOAT.


You can start VOAT all year round. Before you begin, we assess your language and arithmetic level and how you learn. You will be assigned to a group accordingly. You will work at your own level and pace. You will be assigned a mentor who can help answer any questions you may have.


Dutch will become your second language after your mother tongue. This is called NT2. You will receive many lessons on the Dutch language, as well as other subjects which are necessary for an advanced study programme or a job. The fact that you are still learning the Dutch language is taken into account in all lessons. You will also learn all about the Netherlands as a country.

Your study subjects:

  • Dutch as a Second Language (NT2)
  • Citizenship
  • General education (geography, history, biology)
  • Information and Communication Technology
  • Arithmetic/mathematics
  • English
  • Job and education orientation
  • Cooking/housekeeping
  • Design and technology
  • Art and design
  • Drama
  • Sports

You are tested on most subjects. This provides your teachers, you and your parents/guardians insight into how things are going. Your language skills will be tested multiple times a year. You will receive a report twice a year.

You will participate in VOAT for one to three years. After completing the programme, you can:

  • Continue with secondary education (VMBO, HAVO, VWO)
  • Move on to secondary vocational education (MBO)
  • Get a job

Your options depend on how well you have mastered the Dutch language, how long it has taken you to reach your current level, your results in other subjects and your study skills.

You can start if you don't speak Dutch or not well and are between 15 and 20 years old. There are no specific pre-education requirements for following this training programme. We first look at your language and math level and how you learn. You will then be placed in a group. You work at your own level and at your own pace.

VOAT is part of secondary education and does not require any tuition. If your parents or guardians do not have enough money to pay for the programme, you can apply for a supplementary grant from DUO. You are not entitled to a student OV card.

In the school plan you can read what the goal is of this training and how we want to achieve that goal. The school plan is only available in Dutch. You can view it here.


  • Duration: 1-3 years
  • Starting moment: continuous


Get in touch

Need help with your study choice?

Our study advisors from 'Hulp bij studiekeuze' are here to help you with all your questions about our programmes during office hours.


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Summa College - Hulp bij studiekeuze