Hoger Algemeen Voortgezet Onderwijs (Higher general secondary education).

Secondary education in the Netherlands. One step "up" from MAVO, one "down" from VWO.

A HAVO education generally takes five years. The first is spent in a mixed HAVO/VWO or MAVO/HAVO class, to give the students some insight to their potential and a little more time to choose.

In the fourth year, students are allowed to choose six, or seven if they wish, courses to do their final exams in. When they get a high enough grade for all of them, they get a diploma.

Courses include: Dutch (mandatory), English (mandatory), French, German, Mathematics A, Mathematics B, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Economics, and Biology.

The whole system was changed last year due to something they call "Tweede Fase" (Second Phase). I believe it is about giving the students more responsibility for their own education, and there are only four possible "sets" of courses to follow (as opposed to free choice, with English and Dutch mandatory). I chose not to write on that, because next year they will probably changes again. Node for the ages doesn't work on dutch schools.