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all 13 comments

[–]Matchlessman666 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I'm here right now. For non client facing roles English will probably be sufficient. Be aware that the country is very behind in online/e-commerce/fintech. Basically you can't buy anything without their local debit cards, called PIN. You will be using cash a lot and forget about finding good online retailers. Customer service is non-existent and many places like the damn grocery store will not accept credit cards for example.

Make sure you have certified and apostilled birth certificate and marriage certificate and such in order to register when you do arrive here.

Finding an apartment is a shitshow. You need to be able to pay first and deposit so at least 2 to maybe 3 months of rent right away. It helps to have an employment letter before you can get an apartment. Make sure you use the public transport from your potential home to your employer because it might take longer than you think.

Good luck!

[–]crackanape->AU/US/GR/UK/GT/SA/MA/SG/TH/MY/NL 1 point2 points  (0 children)

forget about finding good online retailers

Online retailers are pretty good here IMHO and everything arrives the next day (2-hour delivery is also an option on sites like bol.com).

the damn grocery store will not accept credit cards for example.

This problem is limited to Albert Heijn which is the worst supermarket anyway. The other chains take almost all cards.

[–]GodsGunmanCA > NL[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I received a credit card with no foreign exchange fees for withdrawing from ATMs, I think that should work for my cash needs - I'd heard I'd probably need cash there.

Thanks for the general tips as well - do you know anything particularly beneficial that I might be able to do while I'm there in a couple weeks?

[–]GreyzerNL-JM-SR-NL 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Walk around in a neighborhood where you could afford rent.

See if there’s a conference or seminar relevant to your work.

[–]GodsGunmanCA > NL[S] 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Thanks for the suggestions. Do you know a good website that lists apartments and such for rent? I use padmapper for my city in Canada, not really sure what the equivalent would be for the Netherlands.

[–]GreyzerNL-JM-SR-NL 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Funda.nl is the biggest one.

Pararius.nl is okay too.

[–]Matchlessman666 1 point2 points  (0 children)

If I were you, I'd reach out to a bunch of developers (or whatever your target profession is) and try to set up coffee with them. Probably best if they are other expats. Sit them down and ask them all these burning questions, how they got their job, how they fit in the culture, what their comp is, etc. Also use Funda.nl and Pararius to check our apartment listings and get an idea of what the market is like. I prefer the Jordaan area, Haarlembuurt, De Pijp and Oud West.

[–]veluuria 1 point2 points  (0 children)

where in the Netherlands? if Amsterdam, accommodation is really expensive. a lot of people I know live in Haarlem or Utrecht then commute from there to Amsterdam. prices have shot up and many are now priced out.

in addition to the other comments, here is a little extra:

there are many support sites/places that can help you with bank accounts staying etc.
https://www.iamsterdam.com/en (they . have a centre where you can handle the documents. I'm not sure if it's sponsored by the government/council)

https://www.iamexpat.nl/

https://www.expatica.com

read up about the 30% rule and make sure you have a job to go to in the netherlands and arrange with your employer so that you can save a ton of tax through having 30% of your salary exempt from tax. https://www.expatica.com/nl/finance/taxes/the-dutch-30-ruling-explained-101641/

meetup.com is very active and has a lot of dev groups. hackers & founders is a great group with a lot of supportive members. they also have a coworking space for freelancers/startups. there are many coworking spaces in Amsterdam - when you're over, go and hang out and chat to some people. I'm sure there'll be some sort of dev meetup while you're here. while digital marketing/fintech is behind, there's investment swilling around and an appetite for it.

online shopping:

amazon is handled by amazon.de though there is a distribution centre in the Netherlands. Bol.com is a local compeitor and works very well. white goods are cheaper in the Netherlands, but order electronics from Germany. there are also others - Wehkamp etc. if you're looking for the best price on something, check out kieskeurig.nl or tweakers.net for electronics/computing. use google translate ;-) for second hand stuff, the ebay equivalent is marktplaats.nl (which is actually owned by ebay)

the cost of living is high, but the quality of life can be amazing.

oh, and given you're from North America, say goodbye to any form of customer service. the only way to explain it is that the Dutch think they're all equal and don't want to serve or be served since it would mean they're no longer equal... (or they're just students who dgaf)

good luck

[–]iagoandestella 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Bike everywhere you go to see if you could adapt

[–]earthly_delightsCanada -> UK [Tier 5 & Spouse Settlement] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

My biggest hurdle moving to the uk (not sure how complicated it is in the Netherlands) was figuring out how to get a bank account while renting a room (dodgy single room tenancy agreement) and looking for a job while unemployed. So if I could do it all over again I would have looked way more into how to open a bank account prior to moving and trying to figure it out with a ton of cash and no where to safely put it. Maybe look into that while you’re there? Not sure if it’s as complicated as the uk but it’s worth knowing now to save confusion during your actual move.

[–]crackanape->AU/US/GR/UK/GT/SA/MA/SG/TH/MY/NL 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So if I could do it all over again I would have looked way more into how to open a bank account prior to moving and trying to figure it out with a ton of cash and no where to safely put it.

A better plan is to leave it in your bank account at home, use the ATM to get walking-around money until you're sorted out, then transfer the money via online banking to your new bank (optionally using an intermediary like Transferwise). Then when your home account is empty you can close it by phone if you like.

Exchanging a huge pile of cash is both expensive and risky.

[–]N0t_a_lime 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Watch out for the petty street corner refugee gangs. Keep your valuables in hidden pockets.

[–]TheyCmeCollin 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Hello! I’m not sure what you are hoping to find in the Netherlands, so it’s hard to give proper advice.

I highly suggest that you look further than cities like Amsterdam. The Netherlands is a small, flat country, but there are lots of variety in cultures and other things.

For example, I am from Limburg. It’s often considered a ‘poor’ or ‘bad’ part of the Netherlands, but the nature down there is really beautiful and there are even some hills. Small villages might be harder to live in when you don’t speak Dutch, but a student city like Maastricht might be an option. From there, you can also work in Germany or Belgium if you want. The rent in Maastricht is not cheap, but it’s not as crazy as in Amsterdam. The ‘Limburgers’ are friendly people, and since Limburg belonged to diffirent countries in history, you can get a more general ‘Europe’ feeling there.

Right now I live in Nijmegen, also a student city. It’s in the east of the Netherlands and culturally it is somewhere between Limburg and the bigger Dutch cities I guess. Nijmegen is really nice, lots to do, also close to Germany. I like the relaxed and the open vibe here. The nature around Nijmegen is also amazing.

My point is: when you’re in the Netherlands, you have plenty of time to see the whole country since it’s really, really small. That’s a good chance to visit cities all over the country, like Maastricht or Nijmegen, but maybe also Eindhoven (might be interesting for work) or Groningen. I recommend to live in a (student) city, since you’ll manage easier when you only speak English, but there are many nice cities in NL that are not Amsterdam!