School Life

A Typical Day

A typical day at the ISUtrecht could be filled with lessons, excursions, workshops or celebrations. We will tell you all about it below.

You might also be interested in watching this short film in which both a primary and a secondary student take you along as they go through their day at the ISUtrecht. If you are especially interested in the ISUtrecht kindergarten classes, you might enjoy watching this short film in which Meher (4) and Kiyara (5) show you their day in Kindergarten Yellow. Should your child go into the Primary Years Programme, you could watch this short film in which Thushitha and Saharsh tell you about life in grade 3.

Traveling to school the Dutch way

As a Dutch International School we encourage our students and parents to travel to school by bike – just like the locals.  Utrecht was recently chosen as the second most bicycle friendly city in the world (after Copenhagen). The ISUtrecht GoByBike team has made a handy guide to help you on your way!

The school can also easily be reached by public transport as buses and the ‘sneltram’ stop close by. Utrecht also has really good train connections to cities such as Hilversum, Amsterdam or Amersfoort.


Diwali celebration Autumn 2019

At ISUtrecht we like to celebrate together, involving the whole school community. The ISUtrecht Artburst for instance showcases visual arts as well as performances by various members of the school community (students, teachers and staff).  Typical Dutch festivals like King’s Day and Sinterklaas as well as festivals like Diwali or Halloween are celebrated with a host of different activities. Other highlights in the ISUtrecht school year are the ISU drama troupe musical, the DP Arts Exhibition and Personal Project presentation.


The doors to the school open at 8:20 and everyone (except for our youngest students) makes their way over to their classrooms, settles in, ready for their first lesson, which starts at 8:30. Besides spending time with their classroom teacher(s), primary students also attend Dutch, music, visual arts, drama, computational thinking and PHE lessons from specialist teachers.


Classroom teachers will regularly take their students on an excursion to a museum, factory or exhibition, either in Utrecht, or a bit further a field. These excursions tie in with the Unit of Inquiry that students are working on. Grade 5 students go on a three day overnight trip in the Netherlands at the start of the school year.

Breaks and lunch

Primary students have a break in the morning, in which they have a quick snack and go outside onto either the early years playground or the primary playground. At lunch time, all PYP students eat their packed lunch inside the classroom, before they go out again for a longer playtime.


Secondary MYP students (grades 6-10) are being taught in the secondary annex and the main campus. DP students (grades 11-12) have lessons in the annex, the main building, but also at the adjacent Pionier where they have their own break time space and silent study area. The grade 10’s have their own study lounge at the main campus. During the school day, students move between buildings to attend lessons.

A typical day for secondary students might involve self study time, assembly, excursion, a private music lesson, a mentor lesson or Service as Action.

Breaks and lunch

Students have a morning and lunch break and might have free periods during the day meant for self study. Students often bring their own packed lunch;  both the secondary annex, the grade 10 lounge and the DP lounge at the Pionier have kitchen facilities where students can heat up their food. Students can also order a salad, sandwich or healthy snack, from an external catering company which is set up at the secondary annex.

Trip Week

At the start of every school year the  students in grades 6-10 go on a residential trip. In October 2019 the students visited: Terschelling, the Ardennes, Antwerpen, Maastricht and Paris. A group of students from grades 8-10 went on an exhange trip to Idaho. These trips not only provide the students with the opportunity to learn in a different context, but also give them the chance to bond and spend time with each other outside of school. Our Diploma Programme students carry out practical work for one of the sciences during the DP Core Week. This autumn, because of covid-19 the school trips had to be canceled, instead the students took part in Creativity and Culture Week, organised by the school. To find out what that looked like, please watch this video on the ISUtrecht YouTube channel.