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BSN News & Jobs - Fitting Around Family

What is it like to relocate to another country because your partner is offered a job? What are your e
July 4 · Issue #75 · View online
The British School in The Netherlands
What is it like to relocate to another country because your partner is offered a job? What are your employment opportunities? Helen Rolfe, one of our Learning Support Assistants at Junior School Leidschenveen, managed to secure her position even before she and her family relocated to The Netherlands. Helen shares her experience joining BSN:

My husband was recruited by Europol in May 2018 and by July 2018, we had moved, as a family, to The Netherlands. Our daughter settled into the new life in Netherlands within 2 weeks of moving; she is at Senior School Voorschoten; she absolutely loves it there. As we were due to move, I went online and looked at BSN jobs, as I was looking for English speaking jobs that didn’t require specific qualifications e.g. a teaching certificate. I found and applied for the Learning Support Assistant position with my relevant experience being bringing up 2 daughters and taking them through schooling. I was still in the UK when I did a face-time interview; I sat in my front room with moving boxes everywhere. BSN called me the next day that to say that I had got the job! I was feeling excited but also a little apprehensive as I didn’t know what to expect.

My career history is at the Border Force in the UK, working as a Customs officer, from which I have now taken a break. I was looking for something that would fit into our lifestyle; this was an opportunity to have a family life and weekends together instead of doing shift work. When we relocated, I knew my family wouldn’t be able to help with my daughters. One of my daughters was 12 years old at the time and I didn’t want to leave her alone in the new country, so I looked to do work where I would have the holidays with her.

I have learned so much more while being here at the BSN than I ever realised I would. Certainly from a multicultural school environment perspective. You make your own approach and develop your own style to do your job. The team is very supportive and you are not on your own.

I think you can get as much out of my role as you put in; I can work just one-on-one with a child, or I can help a group of children. Fundamentally, I am one-on-one help, but there are team tasks and I have been on a residential trip in Drenthe and various school trips. You learn so much from the children. I’ve developed a really close bond with the child I support. I learn how we get the best from each other, which approaches work the most, and how to deal with him as he is developing and maturing, so that he still receives the best support while at the same time makes his own progress. It is great to see the child progressing and developing. I can still remember now walking into the classroom on my first day; I shook his hand and I said: “Hello, I’m Helen” and then I thought, should I have said “Miss Rolfe”. 

Have you already relocated and are you looking for work? BSN employs many local expats in a variety of different, part-time, full-time and flexible roles throughout the year.
Learning Support Assistant - The British School in The Netherlands
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