Information for expats in Holland…
The Netherlands is home to a large international community that includes expat employees, diplomats, migrant workers from within the EU, international students, university teaching staff, immigrants from outside the European Union and refugees. In cities like The Hague and Rotterdam, residents with a foreign background account for more than 50% of the population.
Over 90% of Dutch people can speak English, which makes living in the Netherlands quite easy for a non-Dutch speaker. One of the few obstacles is with written communications as nearly all of it in the Netherlands is only in Dutch. This includes correspondence from local municipal authorities, the tax bureau, landlords, utility services, healthcare providers, etc. This is also the case with newspapers, radio, public television, in-store signage and web shops which are all in Dutch.
Learning Dutch is not mandatory for citizens of other European Union countries who move to the Netherlands. But nationals of countries outside the EU who immigrate to the Netherlands are legally required to learn Dutch and also have a basic knowledge of the country’s history, government, geography, culture and social behavior. Satisfying this requirement is achieved by passing the Dutch ‘inburgering’ (social integration) exam.
For expats who move to Holland with children, there are a number of international schools which offer classroom instruction in English (both primary and secondary education curriculum).
At the university level, many schools in the Netherlands offer degree programs taught in English. As a result, there is a substantial number of international students enrolled at Dutch colleges (approximately 17%).
Expats in Holland will find getting around easy using public transport. The NS (Nederlands Spoorwagen) train system operates express (intercity) service between larger cities and local (sprinter) service connecting smaller towns. Bus service is available at the local/regional level. The Netherlands’ three largest cities (Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague) offer more public transport options including tram, metro and ferry services. The OV-Chipkaart is the Dutch universal transport card and can be used across all forms of public transport.
Further information for expats living in or moving to the Netherlands can be found here…