Moving to the Netherlands: 5 surprising things you can expectBack to overview
When moving to the Netherlands, many people have only a vague idea about what to expect from their new home country. PartnerPete tells you what you need to know about the Dutch way of life and what you need to do to make your move to the Netherlands a success.
What to know about the Netherlands
A few things will probably pop up in your head when you think of this small and flat country: tulips, windmills, clogs and maybe the world-famous dikes. But you will probably have no idea what living in this country is like. The Netherlands is an immensely popular destination for expats to relocate to. Not only the capital attracts a lot of new citizens, but cities like The Hague, Haarlem, and Groningen as well.
Why is the Netherlands a great place to live? High employment rates, a solid and affordable health care system, political stability and high life satisfaction are just a few of the reasons to move to this country. To top that: did you know that according to UNICEF Dutch children seem to be the happiest in the world? Enough reasons why you should move to the Netherlands.
Dutch Banking System
Banking in the Netherlands is probably a little bit different than you are used to. Almost every Dutch citizen owns a bank account that comes with a debit card. Credit cards are available but are quite expensive, and many businesses don't except them as a method of payment. Cash isn't the preferred method of payment, electronic payment is. Online banking has an extraordinarily high level of sophistication. Every bank in the Netherlands has a mobile app that can be used to wire money or to purchase items online. When moving to the Netherlands opening a bank account is probably one of the first things you should take care of.
In 2018, 23% of the Dutch population, around 4 million people, have immigrant parents or grandparents which make the Netherlands a multicultural society. Many people who come here for working or study purposes fall in love with the country. Around 65% of these migrants are still living in the Netherlands two years after their initial arrival. The Dutch focus on foreigners is also reflected in the mastery of the English language. In 2017 The Netherlands was ranked number 1 on the English Proficiency Index. Students are already required to take English as a foreign language in primary school which makes communicating with locals very easy when you are an expat.
Insurances in the Netherlands
There is probably no country in the world where people are more insured than in the Netherlands. Besides the mandatory insurances such as health insurance or car insurance when you own a car, the Dutch insurance market offers a broad spectrum of unique insurances you could consider. What about travel insurance that is valid every day of the year, a so-called continuous travel insurance, or personal liability insurance in case you break someone's personal property.
PartnerPete recommends expats who are moving to the Netherlands to get a complimentary insurance consultation from our partner Clements Worldwide. They offer peace of mind with world-class insurance solutions tailored to the specific needs of expats with portable coverages and more than 70 years of experience insuring individuals living and working abroad.
Go Fast or Go Home
In this digital era internet is almost a first necessity of life. Luckily internet speeds in the Netherlands are among the fastest in the world. 98% of all Dutch households have a broadband connection at home. These incredible speeds are partly due to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX). The AMS-IX is the most important internet exchange point of the world and is situated around the city of Amsterdam. Because of this internet hub, big tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Facebook built mega datacentres in the Netherlands which led to a massive influx of professionals in the regions Rotterdam, Eindhoven, Amsterdam, and Groningen. One thing you can be sure of when moving to the Netherlands: the Dutch are used to dealing with expats and are more than happy to make you feel welcome.
Now you know what to expect when moving to the Netherlands! We also made a moving to the Netherlands checklist to make your move less stressful.
Do you need help arranging all utility connections in your new home to make it even less stressful? Give us a call on +31 20 7372124 or leave your details and we will call you back as soon as possible.