Moving to the Netherlands is a step that a lot of people dare take every year. The country offers amazing opportunities, and the locals are very open-minded to visitors.
The land of tulips is full of truly unexpected surprises. But before you make any important decisions, make yourself familiar with some of its not so popular specifics.
Do we need to know Dutch before we move to the Netherlands?
Dutch is the official language of the country and you will definitely need to learn it. It is a West Germanic language and is closely related to German and English. However, many find an essential difference between them.
English and German are widely spoken throughout the country, and a great part of the population knows them. A big plus would be to speak one of them before you move to the Netherlands. Start learning the local language and work hard on the accent so you could quickly adapt and find your place in the community.
Many people are attracted by the Netherlands every year. Thus, the country is populated by a colorful spectrum of nations, communicating amongst themselves. You will meet people from all over the world, who have chosen the Netherlands as their home.
First, you need to find a place to live
Successful moving to the Netherlands is related to finding the perfect place for you to live.
Start searching for it as soon as possible. Leaving it for the last minute would put you in a tense situation where you would have limited options to choose between.
Renting in the country can happen through the services of two sectors – a public one, and a private one. They differ by the housing characteristics, classified by the Home valuation system. Around 75% of rented properties fall into the public sector. At the beginning, you could try to find a place through it, since it offers better terms. Make yourself familiar with the papers you’d need to prepare, before you start with the viewings.
Key moments in choosing a place to live are not just about the sector. Subscribe for receiving new offers from major websites. Check your email for updates regularly, but don’t simply rely on that. When you see a property you like, you need to be proactive. Call the real estate agency or the private landlord straight away, and make an appointment for a viewing.
Be prepared to write a motivational letter to the current owner of the place that you wish to rent or buy. You will have to share a little bit about yourself, your personal story, in order to acquire a home in the busy cities around the country.
Community transport in the Netherlands is well developed. However, if you have already found a workplace, or enrolled in a certain university, it would be a good idea to check your route there. Do that before you get your new place. With thorough research, the chance of finding the perfect location for you rises considerably.
Freedom of movement and permission to live and work in the Netherlands are part of the advantages for EU and EEA citizens. If you are moving from a country that is not a member of these, or from the UK, you need to make aware of the requirements for moving to the Netherlands and residing there.
The average wage you could expect is around €2800. It varies according to your skills, experience and working hours. The tax system in the Netherlands is well-built, and everyone who has intentions of moving there, must get to know how it works.
The ability of the Dutch to keep a balance between personal and professional life is widely known. Working days in the Netherlands are shorter than the usual for Europe. A lot of the citizens work around 35 hours a week, and some of them enjoy the possibility of working from home for a day or two. The usual working day starts early in the morning. Time spent with family and friends is highly treasured in this community, and entertainment is indispensable to daily life.
Moving to the Netherlands with children
The Netherlands’ place in The World’s Best Countries for Raising Kids ranking is not coincidental. The country is suitable for children because of its low crime levels and well-structured educational system. Additionally, the numerous playgrounds, parks, and friendly locals, will definitely help kids adapt more easily.
Cities in the Netherlands are famous for being built for people on wheels, as bike and walking lanes entwine across them. Riding lessons are mandatory in the student’s agenda, and many of them use a bike to get to school, even the youngest.
The educational system is quite different from most in Europe. It is developed to serve every child’s individual interests and needs. Education is free but there are some additional expenses for qualified teachers, trips and celebrations. Wednesday is a special part of the week, the day ends earlier and there is more time for games, birthdays and sports.
In the Netherlands bilingual schools are widespread, and they are supported by the government. International schools are also provided with subsidies, but the waiting list of applicants becomes longer every year. The level of teaching is high in private learning facilities; however, this reflects on the fees as well, in comparison to public schools.
High school education is divided into three categories – VMBO, HAVO, VWO. Choosing a school depends on the desired field in which the child would seek to develop. Professional qualification starts as early as that stage of education, and gives the students an opportunity for acquiring the necessary knowledge.
Moving to the Netherlands with a pet
Your pet needs special attention when moving. According to the Netherlands’ requirements cats and dogs need to have a microchip compliant with the ISO 11784/11785 standards. Vaccination against rabies and other diseases needs to concur with the time of your relocation.
Animals like birds, fish, reptiles, rodents and rabbits, should also be vaccinated against rabies. They should have certificates related to protection against other diseases.
In the Netherlands, there are no prohibitions regarding owning certain breeds of dogs, but there are special terms when it comes to the ones that are considered to be more aggressive. Breeds like Rottweiler, Caucasian Shepherd, Pitbull Terrier, and similar to them, need to undergo a particular training program, in order to be allowed to live lawfully in the country.
Driving license in the Netherlands
For EU and EEA citizens, moving is not necessarily followed by a driver’s license replacement. If you are a UK citizen, or one of another country, you would need to update your permit to drive with a Dutch one. This change has to be completed in up to 6 months after you settle in the country. It is recommended you make yourself familiar with all the details around issuing a driver’s license before you move to the Netherlands.
The minimum age for acquiring a license for driving a car is 18. Even though the personal car offers great convenience, it is not the vehicle that the Dutch prefer the most.
Cycling is in the locals’ blood. If you start riding a bike daily, you would definitely fit in a lot faster. The urban infrastructure is accommodated to the big flow of cyclers, and it provides a safe environment even for the youngest. The wide cycling net allows for easy bike travel between cities as well.
Take care of your health insurance
Health insurance is mandatory for everyone who has chosen the Netherlands as their new home. Whatever your age, health or work status, you are obliged to insure yourself. Standard health insurance covers a great part of your future expenses. It includes consultations with a GP, medical assistance, treatment, prescribed medications, etc.
If you are a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, and your stay in the Netherlands would be less than a year, you could use your European Health Insurance Card. If you’d like to stay longer, you would need to get standard health insurance and obtain a citizen service number (BSN).
If you are a UK citizen, or other, you would need to take care of your health in a slightly different manner. In order to be insured, you would need to register for obtaining a BSN. You have four months to get that number, counting from the moment you relocate to the Netherlands. If you fail to meet the deadline, or to pay your contributions, you will be charged for all previous months.
You can arrange your health insurance with the help of private companies as well. They provide service packages with greater coverage and are often chosen as an option for additional insurance. Using them would get you a faster access to specialists, avoiding long lines in medical facilities.
Nature and climate
The geographical position of the Netherlands offers its citizens the chance to know all four seasons. The sea has a great influence along the coast, impacting the climate significantly. The weather in the country is unpredictable, and you would have to accept that. Create a habit of keeping with the weather report daily because it will make your life a lot easier.
Don’t be afraid of rain. Arm yourself with umbrellas and shoes of good quality, suitable for puddle adventures, because the country lacks a dry season. Getting a raincoat is not a bad idea, too, and you would certainly use it often.
The battle of the Dutch with water has been hard throughout the years, but, fortunately, they have managed to adjust and take advantage of the bottom of the sea. About 25% of the country has been converted to a land area. Thanks to that, its citizens enjoy flat fields that provide great tracks for all cyclers.
The Netherlands is full of natural surprises, which you could reach while exercising. What could be a better idea than to enjoy the beauty of nature while riding a bike? Spring is the right season to visit the tulip fields because then, you could feel their magic more intensely.
Movega Removals will help you move to the Netherlands
Moving to the Netherlands could be an easy task when there is good preparation. By choosing a reliable transport company, you will definitely make it easier on yourself. The professional Movega Removals team is there to assist you throughout the whole process.