Who doesn’t dream of moving abroad? Diana, a German girl who expatriates in the Netherlands, shares with us her experience and how she felt about this whole change in her life during the time of the coronavirus.
During my childhood, I loved adventure and travelling. But who would have thought that the Netherlands would be on my list, certainly not me, but now I live here.
Why the Netherlands? 2 years ago, I completed my Erasmus in Rotterdam and my compulsory internship in The Hague. I fell in love with the country and knew directly that I wanted to emigrate there after my studies. From tulips, various types of cheese to windmills, I even found my partner. Whoever believes it, will be blessed! Not even I myself believed in it.
Moving during the Corona period
At the end of July 2020, I packed my belongings and started my move abroad. Moving on my own during the Corona period was not easy, because everything here was done according to the Corona measures – i.e. social contact was reduced, so I had to forego the help of my friends.
Nevertheless, a move was feasible, because of the few items I had to move.
However, I can only advise you to hire a moving company if you have a large amount of household goods. First, you don’t only save the stress of moving, but also save a lot of costs – you can spend the savings on shopping here as it is not cheap now in the Netherlands. In order to stay up to date with the current situation in the Netherlands, I advise you to visit the website of the German Foreign Office. Fortunately, you will not need any additional permits when you move to the Netherlands.
Moving to the Netherlands
To be honest, I didn’t really plan my move. I just wanted to move out, book my flight ticket and say goodbye to Germany. The only thing I had been thinking about for months before was finding a job. I can only recommend taking care of it early! I highly recommend that you download the international relocation checklist as a PDF to have an overview of everything. So, what are you waiting for? Moving to the Netherlands won’t go too bad.
The job search was a big challenge for me, and especially at an inopportune time due to the Corona pandemic. I wrote application after application over a period of 2-3 months and received a lot of rejections. It was very frustrating! Over time I got a job offer and although it is not a full-time job, I found an internship where I can work on my skills and develop them. Furthermore, I advise you to start looking for an apartment as early as possible. Experience has shown that the housing market in the Netherlands is proving to be very difficult.
When I arrived in the Netherlands, I first took care of administrative formalities in the first few days, such as registering my residence with the municipality, which gave me the Citizen Service Number (BSN). Without the BSN you cannot work legally, open a bank account or take out international health insurance for expats, I am currently registered with ABN Amro Bank and Anderzorg Health Insurance. For more information, please see Sirelo “Moving to the Netherlands“.
Differences between the Netherlands and Germany
I have a lot to tell you and I have to say that I still find some things in the Netherlands very hard to get used to:
– The hierarchy in the Netherlands is flatter than in Germany, meaning that the superior is not “worth more” than his or her employees.
– There are huge windows and often without curtains. I can only speak from experience: Watch out when you change! It’s easy to forget that Dutch windows give a glimpse into the apartment.
– The famous granny-fiets bicycles. This is certainly not what you can expect in Germany! Whether it rains or snows, a typical Dutch person always comes by bicycle.
– On birthdays you should congratulate all family members of the birthday child. Besides, everyone only gets one piece of cake. Not with us – do you know how much cake I eat on birthdays? You don’t want to know that…But yes, life is no a walk in the park.
In summary, I would like to give you the advice: Dare and be brave, emigrate and have your very own, great experiences! If not now, then when?