Moving to the Netherlands…

I was naïve when I first arrived here. I came with six months of savings, and at the time felt comfortable, and that everything would be fine. I even remember worrying that it would be TOO easy, and that moving to the Netherlands wouldn’t be the challenge I was hoping for.

Flash forward three months to the present day; I am down to my last few drops of money and am running out of time. I have been unable to find any work and have struggled at every turn with the incredibly complicated minefield that is Dutch bureaucracy.

Moving to the Netherlands
And that bureaucracy is nowhere near as pretty as those canals

The truth is that I had no idea what Dutch bureaucracy would really be like when moving to the Netherlands. I had read and researched and it seemed simple enough, but the reality was far different. As I face my last few weeks, staring down the possibility of paying on credit card for a plane ticket home to go back to start saving again, I have wondered often what I did wrong. But I have learnt some incredibly valuable lessons along the way, and would love to share them with you, so hopefully you or your friends moving to the Netherlands can avoid the same problems.


Bullet points

To simplify it; when moving to the Netherlands, like anywhere else, you need a job to survive. To work in the Netherlands, you need to have a BSN. However; to get a BSN you need to have first register with the Town Hall (Gemeente). To do this though, you need to have found a place to live, and to find a place to Amsterdam you need luck, money, and most importantly, a job. Thus creating a catch 22 situation. To explain how to avoid the common pitfalls of expats in Amsterdam, I will start with the first step; talking to Gemeente.


"Computer says no"; A typical Gemeente representative.
“Computer says no”; A typical Gemeente representative.




There is a reason why ‘Gemeente’ (the Town Hall) contains the Dutch word ‘gemeen’, which translates as ‘mean’. As in; you are mean. The town hall is where all sense of excitement and adventure of your journey moving to the Netherlands come to a grinding bureaucratic halt. Go in to see them as soon as you can when you arrive in the Netherlands! Even though they are the last people you will talk to, you need to talk to them as soon as possible.

When you visit the Gemeente, tell them it is your first registration in the Netherlands. You will need to book an appointment. They will usually tell you that the next available appointment is in (usually) two months or so. Book a date and time and they will give you a printout with your appointment details.

Onto the next step; finding a place.

A typical example of a Dutch person moving house:



When moving to the Netherlands, the most important thing to do is to find a place to register at as soon as possible. Nothing can happen until you find a place to register at! However, it is near impossible to find a place if you don’t speak nearly fluent Dutch and don’t have a job. If you have just arrived in the Netherlands, it is unlikely you will have either of these things. The only way to find something is to apply for everything that comes up on Kamernet. Once you have done that, hope for a bit of luck. Most people send a lot of messages and don’t hear back from 99%.

However, if you have friends in the Netherlands then they can really be invaluable. Ask them for help; they might know of a friend who is looking for a flatmate, or they might even ask around to see if anyone is looking. Even if they can only give advice or information, it is still incredibly valuable.

Moving to Amsterdam but still wondering where to live in Amsterdam? We’ve compiled this guide to the neighborhoods of Amsterdam for you!

Moving to Amsterdam
So pretty, no wonder everyone wants to live here…


In terms of rent in Amsterdam, try to find something for 500 euros or less. That is the cheapest you will most likely be able to find. Finding a full time job is almost impossible for expats in the Netherlands, most of which require either fluent Dutch or fluency in any language other than English. To put this into context, I had good qualifications in Economics and HR and great corporate employment experience, and I have not heard back from any applications for three months. Most jobs for ‘tourists’ (the Dutch way of saying ‘expat’) will not give you many hours, and you will maybe get 500 euros a month in pay if you are lucky.

In terms of tips for how to find a place, I can only offer the following;

  1. Try your very hardest not to be a man, no one wants to live with us. Most people (guys and girls included) say they are looking for a female flatmate, and they will not reconsider.
  2. Try even harder not to be from an English speaking country. Europeans living in Amsterdam is seen as normal. Australians (like me), British, New Zealanders and Americans are all viewed to be from the same country where everyone only speaks English.
  3. If you are able to, learn how to speak nearly fluent before moving to the Netherlands. It will make things incredibly easier. I learnt a fair bit of basic Dutch, which helped me to find a place because I gave it some effort to speak Dutch, even though there were errors.

Utilities in the Netherlands

When buying or renting a place it’s quite common that you have to cut a new deal with the kind people that you warmth and light aka the gas- and electricity companies. Obviously for many non-Dutch speakers it is a formidable task to get through all the offers and rate.

If you want real convenience go for these guys, they’re called Partner Pete. Without any charge they take care of the whole gas and electricity deal for you and come back to you in proper English on what arrangements are best to be made. (yes, you read that ‘gratis‘ correct! They get a cut from the profits of the energycompany) So it’s always a winner because you don’t have to hassle with Dutch companies yourself:

Finding a decent hairdresser or gym can be tricky as well, never knowing how their English offering is or what the total price is for their services. There is a service which can help us non-Dutch speakers out at times, find out more about Treatwell right here.

Photography by Henry Stokes
Photography by Henry Stokes

Setting up a Dutch bank account and transferring money to it

Paying your rent, or providing the money for that visa (see the next segment) can of course also be done by setting up a Dutch bank account and transferring some money into it. Setting up a Dutch bank account can be quite a hassle – and sadly how friendlier a bank is in their ethics regarding the environment and fair trade and such the worse their online English services are. There’s one nice exception, bunq is the latest bank on the bloc – they’re quite modern, young and fast bank with all the digital services you can expect, read more about them here.

Transferring money to that shiney new account is a lot easier. For transferring your own foreign currency into Euros you can use the website International Money Transfer. They’ve got a dedicated page on the Netherlands showing you the best ways to go when transferring money to the Netherlands.

Another way to go is TransferWise, they combine low overall costs with a easy & slick web experience for sending money to family or friends in other countries (or to yourself, or Russian mistress). Its foreign exchange rates tend to be among the best available. But the service isn’t for everyone. TransferWise sends only online- and mobile-initiated international transfers to bank accounts in 60 countries. Pay them a visit and transfer that money if the service is available for your country of choice! It definitely makes moving to the Netherlands somewhat easier (and cheaper, who doesn’t like that!)



(Note; As far as I am aware this is not necessary for European passport holders)

This is the easiest part of the process. I had my one year Visa before I was moving to the Netherlands. If you have a record that you are booked in to register with the town hall at a certain address, then as far as I am aware you can complete immigration without any issues. As soon as you find a place, call immigration and ask to book in for an interview. You will usually be able to come in within a week or two. The only complication is that you can only pay with a European chip card, so most credit and debit cards don’t work there. Try and take along the right amount of cash to the interview. They will then give you a temporary work permit on the spot, and will send you a letter to let you know when your official work permit is ready to be picked up, which is usually six weeks.

Once you are done with immigration, the only thing you can do is wait until your appointment with the Town Hall.

moving to the Netherlands

The town hall, aka Gemeente, aka the meanies;

Yep, these guys again. There are any number of reasons you won’t be successful when you try and register. My best advice is to go in with the person who holds the lease for the place you are living at. If the main lease holder shows their ID at town hall and says that you live there, you should be fine. However it is often difficult for this person to come in there with you, and asking someone to willingly go to Gemeente is the Dutch equivalent of asking someone to do your taxes. I should mention that the woman I dealt with was very kind to me, I got lucky, but I have heard horror stories. Some of my friends have had to go back three times because they did not have the correct documentation, and spent months doing it. Depending on your circumstances, you are most likely to need the following for your first registration;

  1. Your passport
  2. Your original birth certificate, which is authorized before you leave your home country
  3. A copy of your visa, depending on which you have and what stage it is at
  4. Either; a copy of your details for your return flight back to your home country, or a copy of your bank statement with your name on it proving you have sufficient means of supporting yourself, usually around 2000-3000 euros or so.
  5. And then either; a copy of the rental contract agreement signed by both yourself and the main leaseholder. Or alternatively, if the main leaseholder goes in with you then they should only need their passport or their identity card.

Once you register with the town hall they will give you a printout on the spot with the address you have registered at, and containing the fabled BSN you have heard so much about. The BSN is like the skeleton key for living in the Netherlands, once you have it the doors will open. With the BSN you can find and start working, open a bank account, and do anything that others in the Netherlands can do.


Finding work;

This is a complete other issue. Even after having done everything above, it is still incredibly difficult to find work. But there are a lot of do’s and don’ts in this. I will talk about this in my next article in some depth.

Finally, if you are successful in your quest then you will get to enjoy beautiful moments like the below in this country below sea level. Good luck wading through the murky waters of Dutch bureaucracy. Tot straks!


Liked these nice pictures of Amsterdam? Be sure to follow DutchReview on Instagram for even better ones:


  1. EU residents should register at the immigration office (IND) to get the health insurance. Waiting period for an appointment at IND is also at least 3 weeks, so don’t hesitate to call them right after you get the BSN number, it costs nothing.
    Although the insurance houses usually don’t brag with this requirement in advance, and you can meet many expats that will swear that they didn’t need the IND to get the insurance, they are going more strict on this nowadays…

  2. Holy shit you should have consulted me for this article, I know all too well the headaches and rigidness that Dutch bureaucracy offers.. I’m STILL dealing with them even after months of moving away from the Netherlands. There aren’t enough swear words in the English or Dutch dictionary to explain how I feel about it.

    You didn’t mention the belastingdienst, which are the tax authorities. They are forbidden to speak English to you (unless you call the international line, but even then there are limitations on what they can help you with), even when they can speak English just fine.

    • Hei , Ive been researching on internet about all this stuffs for moving to holland ,and this article is what i find and you said that you know about the system. I would need some help with information , if you are agree please email me on Thank you for your time.

  3. Funny article. So you don’t speak the local language, you don’t have a job and you wanted to live in the most popular city of the country? Brave but indeed a bit naïve. Being Dutch I would never consider doing that in Australia. Maybe only some lousy fruit picking job for some weeks.
    For living in Amsterdam you need either money or time. There are plenty of free market rentals available for expats. They mainly start around €1.000,- per month. For us expats are foreign workers sent out by their company to work and live in The Netherlands. They don’t care about these prices as long as the company pays.
    You are an adventurous tourist, which I like better. I waited 9 years to get a house in Amsterdam (and I’m Dutch and have a job). Which is considered being lucky for Amsterdam standards, as 15 years waiting is more common. So your 6 months is optimistic.
    However, if your fine with living in neighbouring cities like Almere or Zaandam things are a lot easier. Also when you’re happy with lower standards of living try the temporary Anti Squat (anti kraak).
    Finding work is hard nowadays. We face a crisis and 10% of the population is unemployed. Without speaking the local language or being sent out by an Australian company you do have an extra challenge. With your skills it should be possible to find something beyond the fruit picking or tourist service. Outside of Amsterdam Dutch is the language to speak though. If some lousy bureaucrat at the gemeente can speak it, you can do it too.

    Good luck man. You’re welcome here. Keep us sharp!

  4. Great one Henry! Gemeen-te and the picture attached to it.. so true! But I’m already waiting for the next article..!

    • What? You are serious? This bilge made sense to you? This Henry guy has not done any research in my opinion. I am a UK expat and my Fiance is from NZ. She didn’t have a problem getting sorted and I obviously don’t need much to move here but, our experiences and that of other we have spoken to have been mid to fair experiences. We integrated easily with less savings than Henry and with less basic dutch.

      I think perhaps he has a chip on his shoulder and cannot move it. He certainly has no photography skills. Even though he does hear good things about his own photography. Ego leading Ego. That is all that is going on here. One little no from someone official and he spat the dummy out….figuratively speaking.

      This articlle is nonsense.

      • Ur a meanie to. I lived on the streets there for six months. Not allowed to sleep where the cops can see you but I have ways. Good article.

  5. What a remarkable assumption to say ‘gemeen’ in ‘gemeente’ has something to do with unfriendliness. Is it a shot at cheap populism or plain stupidity? I have no idea why anybody would want to move to the Netherlands anyway, except when they are from extremely poor or dangerous regions.

  6. If you are a EU citizen you can get immediately the Sofinumber from Belastingdienst (tax office) which is like a temporary BSN. You can work, open a bank account everything. So after you have found a place to stay you can be registered in the gemeente and the Sofinumber turns to a BSN. So easy!

    • Dear Eva,
      even for EU citizen is not that easy as it is described in your comments. I am from EU country and still I needed to pass all crazy procedures, lack of english and terribly long address registration over authorities. This actually caused me not paying of salary for 1 month due to missing bank account, BSN and address…long chain even for EU citizen, but still not so extreme as in article.

      • That’s not true.
        I had a contract before coming to Amsterdam. But my company didn’t help me with anything. I went to belastingdienst, got an appointment for next day to get sofi number. Next day got the sofi number (5minutes visit), went straight to the bank, opened bank account in another 10 minutes. With bank account and sofi number I signed a phone contract for a year. I did not experience any problems.

        • @assd
          gret to read someone with a more positive view but did you have a place to live before going to the belastingdienst?

  7. I’m not citizen of EU but I have resident permit from an EU country (not Holland) and I have already sofi number and registered address in gemente . Am I allowed to work in the Netherlands now?

  8. As brazilian it is impossible to have a visa to the netherlands before you have a job. You have to leave Brazil with a work permit, as a high skilled professional, invited by a dutch company. There are other options like investment visa, au pair, student visa (university level), asylum, etc. Nothing close to the one that you had.
    I have to say that I`m enjoying and having a lot of fun with your blog/website. Fantastic how you can describe the dutch life with so much fun.
    Thanks a lot for the entertainment! Cheers!

  9. Interesting sharing of experience, although not entirely fair to the Netherlands. Yes it is hard for everyone to settle in a different country, but if you don’t come with a job, don’t speak the language, pick up one of the most expensive and populated city in Europe in one of the most expensive country in Europe, well yes it will be hard.

    Put things in context and you will see that actually Netherlands is one of the easiest one to relocate in the EU, let alone find a job while the continent is in the middle of its worst crisis ever. And yes bureaucracy is difficult, but then again, go to France or Spain, you will see how streamlined red tape is in this country.

    I am pretty sure that if I try to move to Syndey without a job or a place to crash, being a EU country citizen, i will surely not make it more than 3 months either, English language or not!

      • All Dutch are taught English from a very young age and also exposed to English language programs from a very young age. It’s part of their culture. So at least in terms of Dutch people travelling to other countries they have a good advantage in knowing one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

  10. Great article, pretty much bang on. The Dutch are not keen on letting expats in, therefore they make it hard. If you dont have a friend in The Netherlands, then its 99.9% impossible without savings.

    • You sir are full of crap. My experience with Amsterdam’s massive expat community including my partner and I has been nothing more than welcoming. We had no friends here and we made it alone. A few months saving yes but that is standard if you want to move country as you may not find a job straight away.

      The process for residency is straight forward if you do your research but having fanciful ideas of moving over and havng a blast are ridiculous. If this is what you were expecting then it’s no wonder you didn’t make it here.

      • Hi Andy,

        My wife and I are planning to move to the Netherlands and we’re looking for people that made a similar move. Would you mind chatting?


  11. I’m an Australian living in the Netherlands and have been here about 18 months. I do not have an EU passport, nor did I speak any Dutch when I arrived. I had the same 1 year working holiday visa you have. I’m in my late twenties with about 5 years job experience in IT and came here without a job. I’ve got to say, I had the opposite experience to you. Yes getting a job is hard here, as it is in any foreign country, especially one experiencing the tail end of a financial crisis, but its possible. It helps if you lay the ground work 1st. I registered with several recruiters and had phone interviews before arriving in the Netherlands. I had in person interviews within a day of arriving and had a good job in my field within a month.

    I found the Gemeente really quite easy to deal with, and very helpful, even in English. As long as you provide the right documentation they are very efficient, certainly miles ahead of Spain, Italy etc. I do appreciate the catch-22 associated with registration and housing. I was lucky and had a friend of a friend with an apartment for rent, so I was able to get them to write a short letter and along with a photo copy of their passport used this to register. In a pinch you could probably get a friend you were staying with temporarily to do the same.

    I’ve never known a Dutch person to confuse an Australian with an American, nor to be prejudiced to English speakers, but obviously learning some basic Dutch will endear you to your fellow countrymen and should be encouraged.

    In any case, I thoroughly enjoy living here, and while Australia will always be home, I intend to stay in this fantastic country in the medium term. I don’t think you’ll find an easier place for an Australian to live in continental Europe.


    • Hi Dave, I hope you’re well two years later! By any chance do you remember the names of the recruitment agencies you used? I would really appreciate it! Thank you!

    • Hi Dave, I am thinkingof moving to the netherlands and I ave some job experience. I presently have a one year active chenghne visa and could you help? thanks.

      An david too,

  12. I do agree with some of your points – certainly with the problems of finding a place to live without having a job. I have lived here now for 3 years and eventually found work within an International company in Amsterdam. While my goal is to move to this lovely city eventually – it might be worth for those starting out here to consider moving outside of Amsterdam. The rent is much cheaper and it is much easier to find a place to stay. My first job here was in a factory packing boxes for 8 hours a day alternating each week between early and late shifts. Going to that from having a typical 9-5 job, it really made me realise how much I wanted to stay and settle in The Netherlands. There are always opportunities out there, it just depends if you can open your mind to see them 🙂

  13. Lived in Amsterdam for 7 years, still don’t speak a word of Dutch, I have a great job and great apartment. In these 7 years, I studied here, had several English speaking jobs (without prior work experiences), shared even more apartments. I have Dutch and International friends. As for Dutch bureaucracy, the only time I filled in some forms was, when I was applying for a student financial help, to which I was entitled, as I was working part time next to my studies; or when I was filling in forms for tax return with a help of a Dutch friend, and this brought me back few thousands Euros.

    • Suzana i want to know how you did it, please help me out. I am in desperate search of a job and have little experience, where did you turn to…. I too am studying here and looking for work to fund my studies, would you be so kind as to help?

    • Hi Suzana,

      Is there a possibility to have a word with you or have some of your time?
      Though not as pressurized nor of the author’s opinion, I would however love to come to work in Ams. However, your right coming there without a job would not be a ideal scenario for which It would be invaluable to me if I could have a small chat with you at your convenience.

  14. A foreign citizen living in the Netherlands here. Your article is full of shit. No seriously, I’ve not seen such an accumulation of nonsense. I’m amazed you dare to post this. The only, mildly valid point, is finding accommodation. Although that’s not any more difficult than where I come from. Your price point is shit (500 euros? what the freaking f are your standards? I live for 300 euro in a 12m² room) and have never had troubles with the town-hall. You NEVER have to necessarily make an appointment, and if you do, I was always able to make such an appointment within a 3-day timeframe. Sorry dude, but this story is shit. Amsterdam is awesome, and some of your arguments are proven to be invalid.

    • I had the same experience as him, and my budget was way bigger than him in terms of rent. Yet I still had problems in finding somewhere to live. The impossible trinity (rent; bank; utilities e.g. phone) all exists because of the unbelievable BSN system.

  15. Why wasn’t I able to get my BSN when I registered at the gemente? They told me I would have to go to the IND to get it.

    • Because you’re a foriegn national and the IND is the immigration service. These processes will take place once they establish who you are and where you’re from. You will need an apostille from your country to vlidate your ID or birth cert as these can be faked to gain access t the country.

      • I have my BSN since December now. But.. thanks 🙂 waiting on my residence permit now. You are right this process has been very easy.

  16. I wonder if you need to have a job if you plan to retire to the Netherlands, and have a decent pension. That’s my query.

  17. You’ve painted a grim picture that’s nothing like reality for expats who’ve thought the process out before jumping in feet-first. I bought a place before being granted permanent residency in Holland, became a sole proprietor through the local Gemeente, one of 3 options of residency for Americans (the others being marriage and doing a job no Dutchie can do). My work is online and I can do it from anywhere in the world, so I don’t have the problem of competing with Dutchies for employment. But get real…everyone speaks English here, and there are many resources for finding housing, including, craigslist marketplatz and others. What you call naïve, I call a cop-out.

    • I just checked this site and all the houses cost more money than I get paid monthly in my minimum wage, 40 hour job in Amsterdam.
      This makes me think that maybe you don’t understand where the writer is coming from. Not all of us have access to such wealth.

  18. woaw. I was born in the Netherlands and have lived here ever since.
    But I had no idea it was that hard for an expat in my country.

    But look at it from our side.
    we’re a country in economical crisis.
    A lot of dutch people don’t even have a job.
    It’s not like we’re going to welcome expats with open arms.
    If I, as a Dutch girl would like to live in the US after 4 more years of hard working to get my masters degree.
    I don’t think that it’s going to be that easy either.
    I am not trying to be “MEAN” or anything.
    Just trying to make a point.
    The things you want the most are not likely to come easy to you.
    And even after you have fought your way through the immigration process you’ll have to continue working hard. Because the dutch in general are very hard working people.

    (excuse my English)

    • Every country in the world is in “economical” crisis. Thats not an excuse for unhelpfulness and rudeness. Move to a country on the other side of the world yourself first (so more than twenty minutes away from your moeder) – then give advice. Half of making a successful move to a new country involves good research and planning before you move, the other half is dumb luck. Its healthy to hear the reality of such a big move, and this article is obviously written for those considering such a move, not for those living in the country already. Its not a Holywood movie, its not easy. I’ve experienced helpful Dutch beurocrats and completely arrogant rude donkeys backsides of beurocrats. Anyone willing to move away from their friends and family, move out of their comfort zone, and adjust to a completely different culture, language, time zone, food and climate is brave. So until you’ve tried it – dont knock it and those who do. And keep in mind if you have moved – everyones experience is different. People are entitled to tell their story of their own experience any way they want. Dumb luck. Freedom of expression. 🙂

  19. Thank you for this info and the comments. It has helped with my decision to stay in USA. Even though my current company has two facilities in The Netherlands I believe I will stay in Indiana.

  20. that is ridiculiseren if you speakers english you can als het a Job but you need to learning dutch and of courseware it is hars to Find a place IT IS CRISIS so of course it is hard yes we Hollanders are having a different bureacracy but you can use that as a lamé excuses you need to het your paper in order

    • If you speakers English? Blah Blah Blah… You may want to speak correct English or should I say proper English so you are not mistaken for a tard with an attitude

  21. I read this article just before packing my bags and moving to Amsterdam and it freaked me out to say the least. I have now been in Amsterdam a month and a half. I wanted to share some of my experiences because, while this article had some helpful points, there are many points that are unnecessarily negative and exaggerated. No dis-respect to the author but anyone reading this should know that while yes there are some frustrating aspects to moving to Holland, for me at least, the positives ABSOLUTELY out weigh any troubles you may have (and it’s obviously not the same for everyone but I haven’t found it half as stressful as this article makes out). Also just wanted to say that when I arrived I received great advice from other people living here. I suggest when you arrive speak to other internationals that have moved here who have been through it all themselves they can offer very useful tips.


    Firstly, you don’t have to go into the town hall to make an appointment you can just call them which is easier. The author waited ‘two months or so’. When I called to make an interview (which was twice because I was unable to make the first appt due to a work commitment) it was a wait of one month. **AWESOME TIP** The second time I called to make an appointment I explained to them that I really needed my BSN number sooner than the next available date (in one month) because I was already working and wanted to get paid this month. They suggested I try calling Utrecht (or two other cities not too far that I forget the names of now). **I WOULD ABSOLUTELY RECOMMEND THAT ANYONE MOVING TO AMSTERDAM DOES THIS SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO WAIT FOR AN APPOINTMENT.** On the Utrecht Gemeente website I was able to make a booking on the same day or at plenty of other times just about any day. Much better than waiting a month to get an appointment in Amsterdam (so that you can tick if off your list as soon as you get here). Utrecht is about 20-40min by train and it’s also a cool place to check out.

    I wanted to add that any time I’ve called a Gemeente they have been really helpful with any questions I’ve had. Ask them in a calm and non-pushy manner and they will help you however they can.

    **If you are having trouble finding accommodation with registration but want to get your BSN number.**
    I would recommend that you initially get an appointment for a ‘First enrollment (short stay)’. There are two types of possible registration – long and short stay. Short stay is valid for 4 months and you receive a ‘personal public service number’ (burgerservicenummer, BSN). Even if you plan to stay longer than 4 months, it is perfectly legal to start out with a short stay BSN number so long as you change to a long-term registration within that 4 month period. I found this a good option because it takes some of the stress off finding a place that you can register at so quickly… and still allows you to work. So, for example, you can move into a temporary room for a couple of months (without registration) until you find a room that you’re happy with (that allows registration).

    Yes. It is difficult to find accommodation… but I think if you move to a main city finding accommodation is always difficult especially if you are new to the city/country. I’ve only ever lived in Sydney and London myself but I’ve found it just as hard to find a place to rent in these cities.

    “…it is near impossible to find a place if you don’t speak nearly fluent Dutch and don’t have a job.”
    Ok so I can honestly say that after being here for a month and a half I have not met ONE SINGLE DUTCH PERSON that I’ve had any trouble or issue speaking English with. In supermarkets, retail shops, bars, strangers on the street, outside of the city… Language has never been an issue for me here. (That being said, I would also say that a smile goes a long way. I always try to greet people with a smile and often an apology if they begin to speak Dutch to me). When I compare Holland to my experiences visiting Spain and France, I find people here extremely accepting of English speakers. Just about everyone, if not EVERYONE is relatively fluent in English. So I really don’t see how that was an issue finding accommodation. I suppose I was looking at flat share rooms so it’s possible the author was looking at full apartments? But I still can’t understand this statement.

    As for finding accommodation without a job I think it’s the same in every city. Some people are sceptical if you are unemployed and others couldn’t care less. When I was looking for a place without a job and they asked I would tell them that I had savings to fall back on but I would be looking for a job ASAP. People are either understanding or they’re not. A lot of the places I saw had internationals living there so they were perfectly understanding of that kind of thing.

    “Try even harder not to be from an English speaking country.” As I explained before, I truly have never found this. It blows my mind that you had this experience.

    Finding work;
    Absolutely depends on you and your field I think… I didn’t have a job lined up when arriving here and by my second week I began a Graphic Design internship (my first interview… but yes it’s an internship so not fantastic pay or technically a real job) and a bar job (my first ‘bar job’ interview). Also wanted to note that neither of my employers minded that I didn’t initially have a BSN number… I just needed to provide it to them as soon as I received it.

    My own tips:
    – A smile translates in every language. I don’t speak Dutch and I plan to learn while I’m here but in the meantime I always smile before speaking to someone in English or even when I approach a supermarket counter. I think it goes a long way.
    – Go to a Gemeente outside of Amsterdam rather than waiting a month to receive a BSN number.
    – Get the short-stay BSN first and then switch to the long stay if you are stressed about registration.
    – Getting a bank account: When I went to open a bank account they did initially tell me I needed a BSN number first. But when I explained that I was waiting for an appointment and really needed one because I was already working, he ended up giving it to me with no problems and just asked me to bring in my BSN when I received it. Other friends of mine also opened bank accounts without BSN numbers but perhaps get your BSN first if you want to be safe. You also need your passport and temporary address.

    STRESS LESS AND ENJOY! There are so many things that I love about living here and if you are strategic, the cost of living can be really cheap. Riding a bike and not paying for public transport is so refreshing and liberating after living in Sydney and London. When it comes to all the complicated stuff but don’t stress yourself out. Be proactive and have faith that things will work out.

    • Thank you so much for posting this Hayley – I’m moving to Amsterdam at the end of next month and this article scared that absolute crap out of me too. But then I saw your post and it was like a ray of logical and extremely helpful sunshine. Thanks for taking the time, glad you’re enjoying Amsterdam 🙂

    • Hi Hayley!

      We are interested in getting more insight from someone in the Netherlands currently. Is there any way we could connect with you through email or social media? I’m on Twitter @SMAMackin

      Thanks for the different viewpoint Hayley!


    • Hey man don’t know if you still see this but I’m from brissy and strugling with a lot of conflicting info and wondering if you can help me out.
      I didn’t get a visa before i left aus and I’m in the uk at the moment. I want to do a year in NL can you give me a super quick rundown? Can i apply for visa from within NL or should i visit an embassy? whats the go with health insurance better to get dutch or use international? PM if you can help out or make a post and help us all 🙂 thanks. Ryan

      • Hi Ryan, I’m afraid I can’t help you all that much with visa info… I have a British Passport so I’ve never needed a visa in the EU. If I were you I’d try calling both the Dutch/Australian embassy for information. (I’ve actually had to call a number of embassies lately because I was looking into a South Korean visa – I find Skype credit the best/cheapest for making multiple international calls 10e has lasted me like 8 months and is always useful to have). Don’t visit the embassy I think it’s easier to call, never takes that long to get through to someone… and I’ve found sometimes they can’t actually help you – for example the Dutch embassy in the UK might not want to give you any information because you are Australian not British so they will suggest you call the embassy in Aus or in Holland. I do know that some visas you can only apply for within your country of residence not from another country (I hope for your sake this is not the case).

        As for health insurance I’m still using my travel insurance because Dutch health insurance is quite expensive and kind of complicated to get until you have a permanent house… It depends how long you intend to stay because when you apply for the ‘long-stay’ BSN number (after 4 months) you actually need to get Dutch health insurance… but you can always look into that after you’ve been here 4 months.

        Hope this helps good luck!

    • I’m an American living in Amsterdam for the past 2 years and I have to agree with you (Hayley) and your experience. A friendly demeanor and a smile go along way. I’ve made more friends here (Dutch and otherwise) than I’ve had anywhere else. I love it here and hope to stay in Holland for the rest of my life.

    • Hello, I would like you to help me also move to the Netherlands,

      i presently have a one year Schnghen visa and would like ot find some better opportunities over there.

      Please contact me, Am David

    • Hai Hayley, i know it’s kinda late to join here, but I really need help about moving to Netherland because i’m gonna move with my partner, so either i can get your contact or just through something that i can talk to you personaly just please mention me… because i really really need your help.. so either you can send me an email to or you want to chat here is fine for me,,, looking forward to your reply

  22. Silly article. I immigrated to Amsterdam 5 years ago from sunny Southern California. However, my situation is/was different than yours. When I decided to move, I spent 3 years flying back + forth, spending months at a time in A’dam (mostly to make sure I could endure the “cold”) before buying a place in 2010. I had little problem finding rental apartments through Craigslist + other resources. Since my income is location independent, I was able to register as a sole proprietor, aka entrepreneur, maintain a 4,500-euro balance in a Dutch business bank account + move to the city of my dreams. It’s not as difficult as you describe. Check out for sightseeing tips!

  23. I left Holland in April after i was so unsuccessful in gaining employment over a 4 month period. A lot of the time I received no reply or some template garbage that I didn’t have the appropriate skills a couple weeks after. I also had a British passport so I wasn’t a visa risk and I applied for roles that i had very appropriate skills. I even applied for cleaning jobs 😉 Lucky my partner could support me.

    You need to be realistic when moving to Holland especially if you’re from Australasia or any country that is productive.

    – Once you get your BSN you need to pay health insurance which isn’t that cheap. So if you were thinking of using your 3 month window guess again and watch out they’ll get you with backdating the fee if you aren’t honest. 😉

    – If you lease an apartment or house or even just rent you must pay recycling, rubbish, and water purification taxes. Often in Australasia this is inclusive in your rates.

    – The Stad Huis is busy so you need to expect delays when you want to do registration. I waited around 2 and a half weeks. Some people less, some more.

    – My banking experience it took around 10 days post my bank meeting to have my account fully functional, waiting for the card and mail to notify me to go pick up my pin from the branch – it is very slow in my opinion.

    There are many pro’s living in Holland:

    – Great food and drink 😉

    – Europe

    – People are friendly.

    – It is clean and well looked after.

    I’m in London now but my experience in Holland has put me off trying to live there again so i’d recommend to everyone do you homework before you go and expect delays in regards to the official stuff but be reasonable. Even if you have an amazing career history you will need help. So look for it early and follow up with job applications and other stuff, it may be frustrating but just do it.

  24. Hey.
    I moved to Amsterdam about six weeks ago and the hardest part about the whole move was finding a place to live. I also was looking at flat shares and found most of them occupied by very international tenants. They all spoke English, so no difficulty understanding each other.
    As for jobs, yes most required dutch or other language skills. But if you are happy to work in customer service/call centres or hospitality then English is usually fine.
    I applied for my visa once I arrived in Amsterdam. I went to the IND office to make an appointment on Thursday, which was made for Monday morning. The process was very easy and payment was made in cash for the application. I did not have a BSN as I had just arrived and had not yet found a place to live. That was fine, but I was given two weeks to have this completed for my application to be processed.
    I found getting my BSN very easy. I went to city hall in Amsterdam to find out what was required. A man who spoke excellent English at reception informed of the process. Then once I had found a place to live I went back to make an appointment. It was made for the very next day. I was instantly issued with a letter confirming my BSN at the appointment which I took straight to a bank to open a bank account. Again, at the bank they spoke great English and were very helpful. I left with a checking and savings account, a bank card, online banking and mobile banking all activated.
    So overall my experience has been good. A little frustrating at times, in regards to flat hunting, but I choose to move here. Now that I have everything sorted, I can’t wait to enjoy the next year in this great city!

    • not sure if you are ever going to read this since you’ve only made one comment….but why did you from move NZ?? my wife and I are thinking of relocating there. Heard its hard to get a work permit though. Our companies global HQ is in the netherlands in the Hague so this is another option. We really want to get out of the US. Its just getting scary here.

    • Hi, would love some more info on how you set about moving to Amsterdam! Did you come from the UK?
      Me and my boyfriend are hoping to move over in 2018 to live and work for a year or so (depending how we do!) and we don’t know where to begin!

  25. I’m coming to Amsterdam under a foreign exchange program in January 2016 from NYC. I’m hoping it’s easier than apartment hunting here in the city! Any recommendations for finding part time work while studying?

  26. It’s really useful to hear about different people’s experiences. Can anyone confirm something for me: I am turning 31 soon but I hope to still be able to get the Working Holiday visa for the Netherlands if I do it while I’m 30 – once I have it, I can stay in the Netherlands even when I’m 31, is this correct? Also, does anyone know at which point in the process is one considered ‘having applied’ – is it from the first visit to the IND office?

    • I had the same question- i just turned 30 and am an Australian planning on arriving in Amsterdam for an internship in 2 months and contacted the embassy with that exact question. Was super worried i had to be there before 30 and not 31!
      I received this reply:
      ‘For the Working Holiday Visa it is essential that you are registered in the Netherlands at the local municipality of the city where you will be residing before you turn 31 years of age the very latest’,
      and that:
      ‘Within 3 working days of your arrival you need to contact the Immigration and Naturalisation Service (the IND) for an appointment to apply for a residence permit (contact details: ). The fee for this residence permit is 42 Euros, which has to be paid at the time of the application’.
      Hopefully it’s as simple as that to get started, though I will know for sure once i get there!
      Point is, as long as you have not turned 31 when you get there and present yourself to the IND, you should be fine.

  27. Oh i think it is a fair outlook on what it is like for Americans in particuliar but also for anyone not from the Netherlands are treated when they arrive. I had just turned 19, fell in love, and graduated from the international highschool in Brunssum when i decided to stay here. All excited about the new oppurtunities of making new friends and starting my adult life here. I moved in with my boyfriend and his family and his mother tried in vain to get information to sign into taking language classes. No they said because i would be working on an american base. This was the dutch MPs on base who were my immigration officers at the time. They said i would be around my own people and 99% of the time all americans eventually go back anyways. So they didn’t want to waste the time. My co worker who turned into one of my best friends worked in customer service. She had met her dutch boyfriend while they were at university in Alabama and graduated together. They moved in together and while he was able to use his diplomas, she was not. She had to go through the same process as me and they too told her she didn’t need to learn the language even though she insisted. NO they told her it wasn’t needed. So yes she ended up moving back as the pay she made was below her qualifications and a waste of her degree. It became an issue that her boyfriend and her had the same degrees and it broke their relationship. I moved back for 7 months and came back and married my now ex husband. I couldn’t work on base no more and had to officially register with immigration. We were married and had a 2nd child. In the process it was still denied to me to take lessons to learn the language. I couldn’t go to school at all and was treated like a second class citizen. No work place would take me or give me a chance to learn and learn the language. Again i was treated like dirt. Oh the gemeente I know all about that. My ex husband had enough and left me because we were living under the bare minimum and he wanted a two income family. So he found it and remarried leaving me on welfare that mind you did come with it’s difficulties. They didn’t want to give it to me and said i had no right even though I had lived here for nearly 5 years. Immigration also sent a letter telling me I had to leave the country with my children and had 4 weeks to do it. So my ex mother n law had call my divorce lawyer and he found they were wrong. I did have to start my visa all over again as i got to stay becuase my husband had a right to see his children. Then all of a sudden i did have a right to welfare which i didn’t want to be on. Then all of a sudden i was allowed to follow langague courses and pick out a course i wanted to follow to get my entree diploma into the workforce. All of a sudden everything was possible. By this time I was 24 but at the same time i wasn’t told how i could continue going to school to get a higher education. I had to figure it all out on my own. So when my current husband sold his house and i moved two hours away and i started looking for work. I was turned down and all i could get was a newspaper route for 3 years. My diploma that i got isn’t worth nothing and yes would have to continue going ot school. I am now 33 years old. and i feel like this country has wasted my life and Always feel looked down on by the people around here. I have gotten turned down job after job that i have lost count and colleges to follow a work and learning program have failed to get back in contact with me and businesses that have had learning placements have all turned me down. As they look at my age and my accent when i speak dutch. So yes i find it a fair view on how the Netherlands can be towards people who are not born here. After 14 years i got the dutch nationality but that hasn’t helped any either. It has already been said over and over that the dutch are the most closed off to foreigners which is sad since alot end up immigrating to english speaking countries which welcome them with open arms.

  28. […] Amsterdamned; Moving to the … – Moving to the Netherlands: I remember worrying it would be TOO easy, that it wouldn’t be the challenge I hoped for. Flash forward three months … […]

  29. You have just stated the difficulties in moving to live in ANY country. You fucked up because you didn’t do any research before hand and didn’t learn the language. You would have the same problems moving to any country in the world.

  30. Just read your post and for someone from Hong Kong, aka a semi-English city like Australia and the UK, and after 2 years in human history, I completely feel you. Things have been the same in Holland. The hassle with the city hall, finding a job here in the Netherlands (yes, even Amsterdam is not as international as you Dutch think it might be, given the language requirement. And I have a good qualifications with a background in finance from a good university like you), getting started (bank, phone contract, utilities)… It is definitely more problematic than any other countries to move to say the UK, Australia or Hong Kong. (And Dutchies, it is not an excuse to compare yourself with France or Spain. I am talking about Holland not other European countries. If you say you are that international, then prove it. Stop being so unreasonably patriotic.) By the way why did you move to Holland in the first place? Just curious..

  31. […] The story changes If you’re an expat,traveller or student trying to find a place in Amsterdam. The reliance on social housing has resulted in low home ownership for the purpose of  leasing in the private market and extremely high demand. In the context of the GFC banks are hesitant to loan and policies which don’t encourage multiple home ownership have resulted in low private rental stock. This also means that demand for a rental property  in Amsterdam is at an absolute premium, which means that finding an affordable place in Amsterdam to rent is almost impossible. In my experience, a person looking for a place  in the private rental market in Amsterdam would be taking a through alternative means, such as arrangements   “without registration” at severely inflated prices – Tips and tricks on navigating Amsterdam’s rental market can be found here. […]

  32. Hello Everyone, I am David and I work for a dutch company which has a branch office here in Lagos Nigeria.
    I always come in and out Netherlands for over two years for some training and presently have an active one year Schenghen visa.

    I do however have been planning to move into Netherlands on a permanent basis and most jobs i have been applying for are saying that they cannot go through the stress of applying for a house and work permit even though they like my skills and resume. I recently just did a skype interview and after a week was told that company could not go ahead with me based on logistics reason.

    I need some advise and maybe help from anyone here.

    I want to travel in and fine a place to settle in so that I can get those jobs and live happily.

    Advices are welcome. You can also contact me singularly on

    Thank You,


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  34. I also will be moving to the Netherlands in the next year or two. My partner is Dutch and we are trying to make arrangements for me to transfer from my UK university to a Dutch one so we can live together.
    Thankfully for me my partner owns his own house and has a relatively good full time job.
    I am however concerned about getting a job after I graduate as I have heard mixed stories from different people. My partner always tells me that most Dutch people speak fluent English (I have yet to encounter an issue conversing with people when I am in Holland) however I have also been told that there is a need to speak at least a basic amount of Dutch in order to get a job.
    I am hoping to work in a Corporate business or Finance related role ( as per my degree in investments and Finance) but most adverts I see require both languages (English/Dutch) at least at basic level.

    I do want to learn the Dutch language but will need to get a job whilst doing that in order to live. Any advice? =)

    • Keep applying fr jobs at international companies. There are many in Amsterdam. In the end one will say yes. During your studies it would be nice to do an internship which is easier because it’s cheaper for them. This way you will gain experience from a company in the Netherlands.

  35. From reading the article, it would seem to me that the author is bang in the middle of the “frustration” stage of culture shock. It’s a period of adjustment in the first few months of emigrating where you start to pay way too much attention to the minor frustrations of daily life, resulting in an overwhelmingly negative overall picture of your new home.

    I feel for him because I feel exactly the same way at the moment, here in Amsterdam. Fortunately for me, I already moved abroad once and recognise that this period usually only lasts a few months. Afterwards most people tend to progress to a stage where the reverse happens, i.e. they love everything about their new home (you know those people who can only talk about how good their new life abroad is), or they skip that and go straight to the stage where their opinions about their new home become much more balanced, i.e. they can see both the good and bad about it.

    Here’s a quite detailed summary of my experience with Amsterdam so far if you care to read it (I’m 27, male, from the UK and I have worked in the e-commerce industry for 5 years in London. Obviously being an EU citizen, some of the difficulties experienced by the author, particularly with Visas and immigration, are not parallel) :

    THE JOB MARKET AND FINDING A JOB – more difficult than London but very doable

    -I found a job with a well known Intl company in 2 months of being here through a recruiter.
    -My specialist areas, Project Management and eCom, are really in demand here.
    -My girlfriend has been looking 3-4 months and has struggled. She is a Marketeer with a year or less experience than me. She is native German, fluent but not mother-tongue English.
    -She has had 3 interviews but the pay / position was not right (discrepancies between the job profile posted and what they said at interview).
    -We sometimes bizarrely received rejections from positions we were overqualified for, citing lack of skills / right experience as a reason.
    -My pay here is better than in London. I imagine this is against the norm; salary was really wide ranging between different positions. A few pay very highly indeed and others offer outrageously low salaries for the level of competency and responsibility involved.
    -After accepting my offer, I’ve had no less than 10 recruiters or individuals get in touch about positions.

    THE HOUSING MARKET – quite difficult

    -We had a temporarily place for a month we used to set up here. We found it in a Facebook group for flats in Amsterdam.
    -We now have a permanent place after a month or so of looking. We got it through an agency.
    -We contacted over 100 places for viewing; we received replies and were able to view about 5 properties.
    -The Amsterdammers we’ve talked to think the rent here is high. Coming from London, we think property is very affordable here and the quality of housing is usually good.

    REGISTRATION AND IMMIGRATION – a minor inconvenience, but blown out of proportion on the forums

    -I went to register at the Utrecht gemeente within a month or so of arriving because the wait for an appointment in Amsterdam was too long.
    -I was registered and the appointment done with approx. 5 mins of arriving at the Gemeente.
    -I registered as a temporary resident, of up to 4 months.
    -I brought a sort of makeshift contract from my subletted apartment as evidence of residence. They ended up using my passport only and registering me at my UK address.
    -I am now going through the month or so wait for an appointment at the Amsterdam Gemeente so I can switch it over to a permanent registration.

    SETTING UP A DUTCH BANK ACCOUNT – a piece of p*ss (as we’d say in the UK)

    -I phoned ABN AMRO to set up an appointment on a Monday.
    -I went to the Dam Square branch for my appointment on a Wednesday and the account was opened that day. I was also able to apply for a credit card.
    -I had a job offer at the time, but not an actual contract. The agent didn’t ask to see my offer letter, she said she believed me.
    -They took a copy of my passport , my BSN number and the makeshift sublet letter I mentioned previously.

    LANGUAGE BARRIER – never been a problem

    -I still only speak a few words of Dutch. I have used DuoLingo to improve it and I met a Dutch guy from ConversationExchange and we sometimes practise together.
    -I’m waiting for one of the Municipal courses to start, I’ve been told the next one is in December by the Gemeete.
    -I’ve never had a problem using English with anyone. People’s fluency in English is astonishing here.
    There was one man in a clothing reparation shop that said he spoke no English…but I think he was just being stubborn.
    -As mentioned above, I work at an International company and Dutch is not needed. From my job research, I understand that these types of companies are numerous in Amsterdam.
    -On a personal note, I can say that it’s SO much easier being able to do bureaucratic business in English. My first was relocation was to France about 6 years ago. Despite how good my French is, it’s not comparable to my mother-tongue and it is really a lot harder in the first months.

    -The size…. you can get anywhere in 30 mins and if not, it’s not worth going 🙂
    -The number of lovely parks they have
    -Good quality beers
    -How fast you can access the countryside (30 min bike ride, compared to an 1 hour train in London)
    -Cycling culture and how safe it is
    -Lack of cars in the centre (hardly anyone going around blaring music out of their cars)
    -Prettiness…for the most part it’s lovely to walk through, especially the Jordaan
    -Balconies on your apartments, everywhere!
    -Proximity to other European countries / cities
    -Lots of little streets, bars and pubs with tonnes of character to discover
    -The general fitness of people here and how much it motivates you
    -Free sports groups (I play football for free here!)
    -Being able to take a little boat around the canals with some friends and some drinks. This is a surreal and excellent everyday experience.
    -Dutch trains generally being highly effecient / on time

    -Noise in the evening and morning on the street (especially if you live near a tramline)
    -Building / road works…. they can start at 7am here 🙁
    -Service at restaurants and cafés….I find it bad compared to the UK and I’d say it’s more like “the customer is never right” sometimes here. Almost everytime we’ve been somewhere for lunch / dinner , the waiter/waitress forgets at least one thing we’ve ordered.
    -Cyclists and obeying the rules…they don’t do shoulder checks and they frequently stop in the middle of the bike lane without warning. it’s something you just have to get used to.

    That’s it. I hope it was helpful and gives you somewhat of an insight of living here.


    • Hi Charlie,
      Just read your comment and wondered if you could help me out with some questions! Me and my boyfriend have been discussing moving to the Netherlands (not permanently but for a year or so maybe) as we have both recently graduated, love the country and really want to experience living and working somewhere other than the UK!
      However after months of research I’m really not getting anywhere on the logistics of things! Could you enlighten me on where you started your search? Did you have a job set up before you actually left the UK?
      Any information would be MASSIVELY APPRECIATED! Starting to feel like this is never going to happen for us!
      Thanks, Amy

  36. Very helpful article, I’m Mary and I’m African, Nigeria precisely. I do not have an European passport, but I want to move to goriechem Netherlands. Please Do you have any helpful information for me… I would be most grateful if I can get an info.. I speak a little bit of dutch .

  37. I live in the Netherlands for four years, have a great job, bought a flat and still don’t speak Dutch fluently, only basics (currently learning though) ! So it is possible to settle in without speaking the language… and that is one of the only country where it is possible to do so. What about getting a real job in Australia without speaking English ? I’m guessing that is impossible !

    • Hi! This is what I’m trying to do, I’m a UK citizen and would love to move to the Netherlands for a year or so to experience living and working in my favourite country! Any advice would be massively appreciated, I don’t speak Dutch either and I’m really struggling to find any info!!

    • Also what you said is not even true. As the author said, it’s nearly IMPOSSIBLE to move there without learning fluent Dutch. Moreover, there are far better places to move without knowing the language. Try China.

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  40. Hi Henry, I am Indian with over 15yrs of IT exp. I would love to move to Netherlands. Kindly guide me with all the procedures if you can. I have also given my IELTS General with Band 8.

    • Dear Srinivas Chary,
      Nothing personal, but I think you should be more thoughtful with the way you ask for help. Asking for all the procedures from someone who’s nice to share an advice or two, is like, if I’d put it in your “software” perspective, your colleague getting over to you asking to write all the code for him so he can compile them at his convenience. No offence 😉

  41. Can someone help with some advise on moving to Netherlands from uk E.G how easy is it to rent a house get a job if you dont speak dutch.. my partner has a dutch passport but not speak it as he hasn’t lived there since he was very young… looking at moving out there but need guidance and a a house and job set in place before just going does anyone have any links for English jobs?

    thanks 🙂

    • Hi, if you find any info please share it with me!! I’m really struggling to find any guidance anywhere on the internet haha! Thanks! @amyarnone

  42. Quite a funny article for many reasons…….. 6 months of money will not last you anywhere close to 3 months in ANY city in ANY country if you are trying to move there. Not only is this an article written by a very, very naive and inexperienced person, it is also supposedly written by a “writer” that has a formal education in Economics. A writer and university graduate that can not use proper grammar in his native language. A writer that can not form a sentence correctly. If you can’t at least do that, in your native tongue, how in the world do you expect to communicate properly with anyone in a country where you don’t speak the language? I smell phony article all around……

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  44. Me and my boyfriend are looking at moving to the Netherlands for about 12 months in hope of experiencing living and working there! We just don’t know where to start though! Please someone help!

  45. I lived in the Netherlands for 11 years.
    After 5 years, I’ve figured out the dark side of the Netherlands and decided to leave.
    I found the majority of people are extremely political and prejudiced toward non-western Europeans.
    Many Zionists, Globalists, Nazis, Racists ideas exist.
    To me this country is like a Disney Land for white people.
    Racism is very prevalent at education system and at work.
    If you are colored male, don’t expect equality or respect you gained at your own country or USA.

  46. @kenny,
    I’m sorry you’ve had that experience. Why did it take 5 years for it to become prevalent? I’m a Yankee living in the UK and I can tell you a lot about this place, including topics of ethnicities and how it’s handled. I have not been here for 5 years. And then it took another 6 to leave? Could you give a little more detail? I am African American and my husband is white British. We have visited the nertherlands before and no one was anything but kind to us. In fact, most people spoke to us in Dutch. We know some basics so able to respond most times but if not, we just gave a big smile and let them know we’re still learning the language. We felt right at home. It always breaks my heart to hear these types of experiences but I guess that’s why I’m asking. Is it concealed for a long time or something? Did you have friends?

  47. […] The Netherlands, however, has a different attitude toward sex—one that emphasizes teaching children from a young age that sex is about relationships, both with others and with themselves. Not only that, it can actually be fun—an idea that would shock most US school boards. When I got a notice from my 7-year-old daughter’s Dutch school that the following week’s theme was to be “Lentekriebels” (Spring Fever), I was reminded of one more reason I love living in the Netherlands. […]

  48. For hair, cut yourself. For gym, learn how to get in shape with daily bodyweight exercise and interval training. Just a few minutes a few days a week and you are in amazing shape and stay in amazing shape. No gym needed. You’re in europe. Don’t go to the gym, go outside.

  49. Americans do not need a Work Visa (MVV) to work in Amsterdam, but do we need to get a Residence Visa (VVR) before we can get an apartment and start looking for work?!?!? We can speak the language good enough and have a savings so we want to leave as soon as possible and start this process. But if the short stay visa is up after 90 days do we need something else to stay longer? can we if we have not found work yet but can pay rent still?

  50. Americans do not need a Work Visa (MVV) to work in Amsterdam, but do we need to get a Residence Visa (VVR) before we can get an apartment and start looking for work?!?!? We can speak the language good enough and have a savings so we want to leave as soon as possible and start this process. But if the short stay visa is up after 90 days do we need something else to stay longer? can we if we have not found work yet but can pay rent still?!

  51. Thank you for such a detailed article and great opinion! With the job and accommodation part of it all I will agree the most. Either you have to be very well qualified or you have to speak 2-3 languages so that the company will consider hiring you. Regarding property in Amsterdam for sale or rent I was always using these guys, always best prices. Of course I guess it all depends on the area…


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