Welkom in Nederland! For a small but bustling country in Northern Europe, she surely packs a punch! From a multitude of canals and waterways, erg druk (very busy) cities and extensive cycling paths, peaceful countryside homes and farms, to nature parks and dunes, the Netherlands, a.k.a your new home, has plenty to offer!
As expats ourselves, we understand that the first few days can be tough; essentials such as trying to manoeuvre through the language, health care system, the gemeente registration. But fear not, we promise it will get better!
We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice and feel at home, so, we often feature stories from our community members about their relocation experiences to help others that have to go through the same feel a little more comfortable and at ease. Therefore, to help you navigate through your new home, we’ve used their top tips for newcomers in The Netherlands, and we’re ready to share them with you.
Bring All Documentation With
It’s never too much! Bring everything you need and what you don’t need, you never know what might come in handy and what can help you! It certainly helped me with the flight’s confusion, because I had so much documentation saying I could travel to the Netherlands that it made it really hard for them to say No.
Banking, Banking, Banking
Banking was confusing for us too. The reason it was a challenge for us, was because of corona” You need to have a dutch number and a dutch address to open a bank account, they didn’t have it before moving to Amsterdam, but they needed to open an account to pay for the apartment. Luckily, Settly came to the rescue with that as well.
Getting The Right Home is All About Timing
The housing market is quite busy, so I started to look for a house a month before my arrival. By the time I arrived, everything was already taken so I had to do the search again. So my advice would be not to start too early, the apartments go away really fast since it is a busy market indeed. But that also means you will most probably find the right house really quickly.
Health Insurance is a MUST
Make sure you get your health insurance sorted out straight away! I didn’t and it was very painful to see the bill, when I signed up a few months later! It can create a lot of unnecessary stress to delay it. It’s a different mentality, where in most places, you just have to register with a GP, but in the Netherlands it’s a different system and we have to be mindful of that.
Apps. Gotta Download ‘em All!
There are so many apps for everything, you should set up your accounts in all of them. It will make your life so much easier. From transport, banking, DigID, Berichtenbox apps and join facebook and WhatsApp expat groups.
Leer Nederlands Spreken.
English is quite common, but it definitely helps when you learn the Dutch. “Sign up to your local language courses as soon as you can. Dutch is a difficult language and it takes time to learn it. Also in courses you can learn about culture, bond with other people, and make friends in the class.
Network, and Get That Social Life Going!
Meeting new people helps you settle down faster; make some extra effort to meet acquaintances. There’s a large community of expats and the Dutch people are super friendly! They are straightforward, but are easy to communicate with.
Get a Bicycle! Oh, and a Good Lock.
Buy yourself a bike. Even just a cheap second hand one will do the trick. It’s the best way to get around. I recommend buying something bright or unique so your bike stands out to help you find your bike amongst the sea of bikes like a bright seat cover or bell.
We hope this helped to ease up your clarifications and doubts a bit. Naturally, there are lots more to consider when moving to the Netherlands. Do reach out to our team if you’d like us to help your International talent navigate throughout the relocation process.
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