Dutch, the official language, is spoken by around 90% of the population. Around 453,000 people, or 2.2% of the population, speak Frisian as their first language, mainly in the northern province of Friesland, where it is recognised as an official language. There are several dialects of Low Saxon, recognised as regional languages, in the north-east and Limburgish, which is actually many different dialects, is another regional language spoken in the south-east. Turkish and Arabic are also spoken in the Netherlands, each by over 0.6% of the population. All this makes the Dutch culture rather diverse.
English is an official language in the special municipalities of Saba and Sint Eustatius (BES Islands). There is a tradition of learning foreign languages in the Netherlands: about 89% of the total population have good knowledge of English, 70% of German, 29% of French and 5% of Spanish. The great thing is that if you have children they do seem able to absorb languages easily, and unless your Dutch is very good they will soon be translating for you.(more…)
Medical care in The Netherlands is funded by the Dutch Health insurance, wich is obligatory. Failure to obtain it may lead to retroactive bills as well as fines. But you may choose who to go with, and the level of cover you would like. To register you need:
Proof of residence
Proof of financial competence
You would be wise toKEEP YOUR OWN ACCURATE AND DETAILED MEDICAL RECORDS! One good thing for us is that many doctors speak good English and are happy to practice it. The NHS web site gives excellent advice and up to date information. nhs.uk/Healthcareabroad
For further details you can get a pdf booklet with all necessary info – in English. (more…)
Driving in The Netherlands is one of the easiest ways of transport. The country is quite small so you can discover a lot of cities just by driving through. Did you know that The Netherlands only has two toll roads: de Westerscheldetunnel and Dordse Kil.
Driving in the Netherlands is not like driving in UK. First of all you have to drive on the right side of the road. The second thing that is important to know is that the alcohol limit is 0.05% and penalties by the police can be severe. Everywhere in the county they have police surveillance for driving too fast. Don’t drive to fast or call when you are in the car. You can only call handsfree. Even eating in the car is forbidden in the Netherlands. Always wear your safety belt in the front and in the back. Kids smaller than 1.36 m and under 18 have to be seated in a car seat for kids. (more…)
It is of course very interesting to take a look at someone’s social life to see how they live. In the Netherlands, you do not even have to look through the keyhole, because the curtains are usually wide open. So you can shamelessly stare inside the house as you pass by. That is a sign that most people in the Netherlands are very open. It is said that this Dutch habit is a descendant of Calvinism. Honest citizens have nothing to hide and with open curtains you know for sure that others are honest.
When moving to The Netherlands you will have plenty of options to get your social life going. Dutch people in general are open, talkative and like to meet new people. The second language they are learning in school is English. Dutch people should be able to understand you and help you in any way. Finding a hobby or group of your interests shouldn’t be hard. Dutch cultural and social life is rich and varied, with influential artists and writers, a lot of museums, plenty of bars and restaurants, clubs…(more…)
It goes without saying, that if you’re relocating to Holland from UK you will need to register – either with our local municipality or, if you have a sponsor through work, with the Expat Centre. And although you do not need a residence permit, to successfully register yourself you will need:
Work contract – proof of economic viability
Original birth certificate English is acceptable
Family documents – marriage or divorce certificates etc
Proof of residence
When you have lived in the Netherlands for 5 years or longer you are eligible for a long term residence permit. (more…)
To properly start off settling in Netherlands you would most likely want to get a place to live in (perfectly one of your own) and find a job. Luckily there are no restrictions on buying a house in Holland.
The process is easy and quick, but be sure you fully understand any documents before you sign them, as although English is widely spoken and understood the official language is Dutch. Usually the steps are taken:
Your find a house, and agree a price with the seller.(more…)
When moving to Holland by plane you may land below the sea level. With ¼ below sea level and ½ less than 3’ above, the Netherlands are flat and low. The airport is 14 ½ feet below sea level. The city of Amsterdam is built entirely on poles; there are around eleven million poles holding the city up. The average house needs ten poles but the Royal Palace has 13,659 poles. These are fixed on a sandy layer beneath the clay, around 35’ deep.
Amsterdam has 60 miles of waterways in which around 25,000 bicycles end up every year, despite this there are more bicycles than residents. In fact, The Netherlands has the highest population density in Europe – and Dutch people are the tallest people in the world, the average man being just over 6’tall.(more…)
When you are moving you want to keep your most precious possessions close to you. Moving with your pet to Holland doesn’t have to be difficult. Coming in by plane? In some cases, your pet can come as baggage, but in most cases, your pet will be placed in cargo. The animals go into special cargo compartments that are heated and kept under normal air pressure.
When you are moving to Holland with your pet there are just some rules you need to follow. For example dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies. What rules apply to you depends on the type of animal you are bringing to The Netherlands and from which country you are coming from.(more…)