Expat problems in the Netherlands

How to deal with the move

Expat problems in the Netherlands

As with many places, moving to the Netherlands can be hard work. Not only does the government ask many forms and lots of paperwork, but there’s also the usual worries about hospitals, insurance and anything else that comes with relocating to a new country.

The first stage of moving to the Netherlands is getting a visa, more information on which can be found here. It’s important to note that anyone from outside the EU coming to work will need a work permit, which has to be obtained by your employer.

Language and culture

Once you’re in the Netherlands, the language can be another hurdle. Dutch is not easy to learn, however many people speak German or English very well as a second language. While this can make life easier, you have to remember that it won’t help you learn Dutch!

Differences in culture are to be expected when you move to a new country. Dutch people can be very direct. You shouldn’t consider this as rude, it’s simply the way they are! The Dutch tend to keep to themselves and consider privacy to be very important. For example, when visiting a Dutch home, don’t enter until invited to do so. If you arrive during a meal, be prepared to wait until they have finished before joining the table.

It’s also important to remember that there are plenty of other expats in a similar position to you. In fact, there are over 200,000 expats currently living in the Netherlands, around 70% of which are from English speaking countries.

Another common issue is finding the right accommodation. There are certain things that foreigners might find slightly unusual about Dutch houses. For example, they tend to only have one bathroom with a shower or bath, and then often a smaller bathroom with just a toilet elsewhere in the house. One big plus is that insulation tends to be very good, and almost all modern houses have double glazing. This can help you save a fortune on heating bills.


The Dutch are known to be very organised. Living there can mean filling out a lot of paperwork. But fear not, for plenty of help is available. One very helpful company is Expat Centre , who have been helping not only expats, but also companies, move to the country for over 20 years.

Managing Director of the company, Mrs Hella Contrucci Kamp, told us in an interview, “Expat Center wants to make sure that expats are not being exploited by people who wish to take advantage of them.”

Expat Center provides aid and support to companies moving to the Netherlands, and assists them with all the necessary documents and forms. Services are also provided to individuals for many factors ranging from health insurance to meeting new people. The extensive network of over 1200 companies and 20 years of experience mean that as an expat or foreign company moving to the Netherlands, a move to the Netherlands can be simple and hassle free.

You can contact Expat Center via their website  or by calling +31 (0)20 44 11 426  

Further reading

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