10 Things to Consider Before Accepting a Job in the Netherlands

The Netherlands are a very popular destination for English-speaking expats due to its soaring standard of living, closeness to Great Britain, and friendliness of locals. In fact, about 30% of the population of Amsterdam consists of foreigners. However, as with any country, moving there is bound to come with a certain degree of culture shock, especially to expats not accustomed to a highly tolerant, socialized culture.  If you’re considering relocating to the Netherlands, here are the top ten factors you should consider before making the move.

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1. Extremely high taxes.  This has tradeoffs such as universal healthcare and other public services, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re accepting a job from a Dutch company.  In recent years, a 30% tax discount has been available to expats, but since the Recession that may not be as reliable as it was in the past.

2. Everything is expensive.  A beer in Amsterdam will set you back around 8 euros, and a night out can be exorbitant.  But on the other hand, they have a high minimum wage so you may not even notice the prices.

3. The Dutch are famously tolerant.  They will welcome everyone to their country with open arms and let them alone to do their thing.  Paradoxically, this can actually make it more difficult for foreigners to assimilate; the Dutch are so tolerant that most foreigners tend to stay in their expat bubbles and not make much effort to stray beyond that.

4. Everyone rides bicycles.  This is good for public health and air cleanliness.  However, if you’re used to driving everywhere, it will take some getting used to.  Their public transport system is widespread and efficient, making it a much better choice than relying on your car.

5. The weather is unpredictable.  It can go from sunshine to high winds to thunderstorms all in one morning, so be sure to always have an umbrella handy.

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6. Healthy work/life balance.  Far from other countries’ notion of “the rat-race,” the Dutch know when to work and when to play.  Given their classless social structure, extra money brings no status, and many people choose to work part-time.

7. Great social life.  Both the cities and the countryside are havens of art and culture, with plenty of cafes, museums, and galleries to explore.  Plus, the Dutch really know how to drink and recreational marijuana is legal.

8. Low crime rate.  Even a city like Amsterdam has a friendly small-town sort of feel to it, with theft being miniscule except in the case of bicycles.  That being said, certain areas, such as the Red Light District, are safer avoided after dark.

9. Affordable apartments.  It’s possible to rent a two-bedroom apartment in the city center for around 1,000 euros a month.  However, keep in mind that all services and utilities cost extra.

10. Difficulty of learning Dutch.  Due to the locals’ friendliness and the fact that they all speak English, your chances for practicing Dutch will be rare unless you make an effort.  However, its similarity to English makes it a relatively easy language to learn with high rewards.   Send us an inquiry and begin mastering the Dutch language before your move abroad.

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