The “Vrije Handelsschool” is located between two major Belgian cities, Antwerp and Ghent.  Both cities have ports and large industrial activities. There used to be a considerable textile activity in Sint-Niklaas but most of it has been relocated.
Sint-Niklaas is located near the highway E17. That’s the reason why  a lot of factories have an implant in the area around this highway. Therefore it is logical that a trade school as ours is located here with departments like Trade, ICT, Secretary-Languages and Accountancy. For instance: several students work in those firms as a trainee.
The “Vrije Handelsschool”  is part of the campus BROEDERS HIËRONYMIETEN with an elementary school, a vocational and technical agricultural school and a general secondary school O-L-Vrouw Onbevlekt Ontvangenis. They have the first grade in common. These schools work very close together in sharing experiences and know-how.
The “Vrije Handelsschool” is a technical and vocational school which means that the approach to students is less theoretical and more practical.  We also have two vocational departments “Office&Sales” and “Logistics”.  We also have 2 ICT-departments were students are well-educated in ICT also on a practical level.
Most of our students live in normal families. But we have quite a high concentration of students who live in less favourable situations like children of immigrants (Turkey, Morocco, Albania and others), unemployed, divorced parents and labourers … The school receives special hours and some of the teachers are free for some hours to guide those students (G.O.K-hours).
Some students have learning problems.  One of our main themes is individual guidance for each student if needed. Therefore we have a coordinator in each grade who helps students to guide and improve their learning abilities and we also have a special students coach for their psychological guidance if requested. We try to integrate students with ADHD, autism in the daily class life!
We also host an OKAN-class, a class with refugees that get courses so that they can go to the regular educational system.