Expats in the Netherlands, it’s time to speak up with #ShareMyVoice

You arrived in the Netherlands bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to dive into the cultural explosion that is the lowlands. 

On a destiny to chow down cheese, climb windmills, master the guttural ‘g’ and become a pro at biking with no hands, you quickly realised that while living a Dutch life is dreamy, it doesn’t come without its challenges — especially as an international. 

Perhaps you find the housing too small, too expensive, or just impossible to find — or maybe you had too many options (lucky!). Maybe you were surprised to find health insurance is mandatory, pricey, and doesn’t cover as much as in your home country — or is there a chance that it’s better? 

And of course, those age-old questions every foreigner faces: how long are you staying? Will you ever go back to your home country? Have you learnt the language? 

Please, let us enjoy our stroopwafels in peace!

Why you should tell your story

Is the story above ringing a bell? Or do you completely disagree and love the housing, healthcare, and future possibilities? (That’s possible, for sure!). Either way, there are people here to listen: the Share My Voice expat survey

Armed with a plan to discover the problems and perks of being an expat in the Netherlands, the independent research panel Share My Voice wants your thoughts about living in the Netherlands — the good and the bad. 

Why? It’s simple: the Netherlands needs labour migrants. To attract the vital workers that boost the Dutch economy, the Dutch government and international businesses need to listen to expats themselves to find out what is lacking: that’s you! 🙌

After all, as of 2015 there are only between 39,000 and 75,000 expats living in the Netherlands, compared to a casual 17 million Dutchies. My math isn’t great, but I’m pretty sure that means we’re outnumbered. 

Of course, that’s fine — except that sometimes internationals aren’t taken into account when it comes to policymaking or big decisions

If you’ve ever come across something you think could be improved in the Netherlands, found yourself caught in the infamous Dutch bureaucratic red tape, or just generally struggled with Dutch life, then you’ve got insights that can help others (or who knows, maybe your future Dutch life!)

How can I take part? 

Through a series of short surveys, internationals can make their voice heard on a variety of topics. This current survey focuses on healthcare, housing, and future perspectives — and we’re betting you have a lot to say on those matters (we certainly do). 

To have your voice heard, all you need to do is:

That’s it! 🏁🍾

It’s simple, quick, and there’s absolutely no judgement involved (so if you want to confess that living in that 16th-century canal house you always dreamed of is actually a cold, noisy, draughty nightmare — you can!).

To sweeten the pot, you also have the chance to win a gift card if you complete the survey. Your last chance is July 21!

Already taken part in Share My Voice in the past? The first survey was a wild success, thanks to you! This second survey focuses on different topics, so you’re encouraged to take part again 👍

Got some other thoughts about living in the Netherlands that aren’t in the survey? Share them with us in the comments below!

Feature Image: Share My Voice/Supplied

Samantha Dixon 🇦🇺
Sam isn’t great at being Dutch. Originally hailing from Australia, she came to study in the Netherlands without knowing where the country was on a map. She once accidentally ordered the entire ice-cream menu at Smullers. She still can’t jump on the back of a moving bike. But, she remains fascinated by the tiny land of tall people.

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