Thank you AISR Rotterdam

“Five years ago, my husband, two children under three and I moved from Sydney Australia to Rotterdam, the Netherlands! My husband works in marine engineering, so Rotterdam seemed like the most logical place to be. Not long after, I began working at the American International School of Rotterdam. Although the name says American, I would say the focus should be more on the word “International”, seeing as though the students at AISR represent over forty different nationalities! AISR is a school that educates children from the ages of 3-18, shaping them into resourceful citizens of the world.

My children also began attending AISR and settled in very quickly. The school has a warm, welcoming, family, home-away-from-home feel about it and we felt happy with the school from day one. As both a parent and employee at AISR, I have noticed something special about the students here at AISR. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to point out how well-mannered the students at this school really are! I have experienced several other school environments (as either an employee or as a mum) and this is something I immediately noticed at AISR. The students are so well-mannered!

When I am walking through the school, I am always greeted politely, or when I have my hands full the students will hold the door for me – without me having to ask. I hear ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ constantly and consistently from our students of all ages, and I can’t tell you how happy this makes me. In a time where basic manners are not focused on enough, this is something very important to me.

My parents had four children by the time they had reached 25 and I was the oldest. I look back at how they raised us girls and I can only admire them. They raised us to be honest, well-mannered girls with good morals and we always felt loved. I had no idea just how difficult it was to be a “good” parent, until I was trying to be one. It takes a lot of work! Consistently throughout my son and daughter’s toddler years, I drilled the Thank you’s and Please’s into them over and over again and now, finally, they do it all on their own at the appropriate moments (most of the time at least!).

I see that many other AISR parents live by the same morals. They find this just as important as I do. It shines through in the behavior of their children here at school each day and I for one have noticed. I applaud any parent who takes the time to teach their children this important lesson, which will serve them well in life.

I would also like to acknowledge the wonderful teachers here at AISR who are doing an amazing job enforcing this use of manners here at AISR. They too are teaching our children that manners are important. Our children now have even more of a chance at succeeding in the use of manners on their own as they grow into young adults.
So for those international families who are thinking of moving to Rotterdam, but may be nervous about finding the right school where your children can feel comfortable and continue to thrive, come and take a tour through AISR. You will immediately know what I am talking about when I say it has a special kind of welcoming and friendly atmosphere. I feel content that both parents and teachers at our school are committed to working together to help raise good, honest children, who will be ready to take on the world politely.
Kristen Woudstra
If you would like to read more from Kristen, check out her blog, ‘Kristen in Clogland’, at
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