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Mayors rise to the occasion

30 years

Global Parliament of Mayors September, The Hague



In this issue | 10 years of English theatre | Review of Dutch ďŹ lms | The wonders of Dutch National Parks | The male trailing spouse | A day in the life of a Dutch mayor | Vermeer and contemporaries at Mauritshuis |

Setting the Standard

LAYING THE RIGHT FOUNDATIONS... NEW DAY CARE LOCATION OPENING JANUARY 2017 Registration is now open for ‘The Maples’ - Zein’s latest purpose-built childcare centre. Located next to the European School of The Hague, this luxurious branch offers a spacious homelike environment and extensive natural playground. AWARD WINNING PEDAGOGIC PROGRAMME Zein focusses on the individual needs of each child, providing a high level of care and fun filled curriculum in an internationally oriented nurturing learning environment. • Located in the Bomenbuurt - on the edge of the Statenkwartier and the Vogelwijk. • Experienced Early Years professionals with international backgrounds. • Healthy organic warm meals prepared by the on-site chef. • High staff to child ratio. • Vertical age grouping for siblings.

visit for more info and registration

Letter from the executive director and editor


Dear ACCESS readers

Mandie van der Meer-Danielski ACCESS Editor

Deborah Valentine, Executive Director

Thirty years ago the international community in The Hague was hard-pressed to find English-speaking counselling services for themselves or their families. A group of Americans met the call by forming ACCESS. Today, the founders would likely not be surprised to see how we’ve developed, especially since the organisation is perfectly situated for growth. We reside in a humble country, yet a nation of progress, one that recognises and embraces the tremendous good that can come from globalisation. The Netherlands is a leading state when it comes to inviting, welcoming and settling internationals into the everyday narrative. At ACCESS we’re able to do what we do because of the knowledge, experience and commitment of our volunteers, who represent 40 different countries. At the same time, it’s the Netherlands’ organisations, companies, policies and programmes – and the Dutch way of life – that attract such talent in the first place. Cities we partner with, including The Hague, Amsterdam, and Utrecht, serve as examples to other nations for how to amplify international talent, boost professional drive, and stir intellectual and spiritual wonder. Sharing best practices for how cities can develop is the mission of the Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM), the first of which will be hosted by the City of The Hague this September. Participants will exchange ideas to work toward solutions for cities’ challenges, and by extension, the world’s. Writer Kelly Merks gives us examples of how Dutch cities are inspiring examples of managing urbanisation. Other talented writers greet us from our summer break with splendid stories for yet another original edition. Last, but definitely not least, as we celebrate our 30th birthday, allow us to present our longest-serving volunteers, whose invaluable service does not go unnoticed:

The Netherlands is a leading state when it comes to… settling internationals into its everyday narrative.

Genoveva Geppart and Yolande de Bondt, 11 years John Pellet, 12 years A great thank you to them for their outstanding dedication! Become a part of the ACCESS story by volunteering or partnering with us. More at ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 3



Publisher Stichting ACCESS Laan van Meerdervoort 70, 1st floor, 2517 AN The Hague

ACCESS is a volunteer not-for-profit

Editorial content

organisation that serves the needs and

interests of the international community in


the Netherlands. It is supported by Dutch,

070 345 1700

inter national and expatriate businesses and

organisations through donations and sponsorship.

Mandie van der Meer-Danielski

What we do

Established in 1986 ACCESS is a unique volunteer-based organisation. Representing an impressive cultural and linguistic variety, its dedicated volunteers work to: • provide guidance, advice, information to help individuals with settling, and/or living and working in the Netherlands • promote friendship, understanding and wellbeing of the members of the international community in the Netherlands • contribute to community development through skill training schemes and courses • serve as a bridge between local and international communities • assist the HR departments of international employers in preparing for and receiving international staff


Design & Layout M-space, Marek Moggré

Executive Board

• Chairman: Gary Hays

, Valshebnik Consulting

Members • Koosje Ploegmakers, ABN AMRO • Godelijn Boonman, GMW Advocaten • Lowri van der Linden , the Netherlands Foreig n Investment Agency • Pauline O'Brien, Coun cil of International School s

Printer Edauw en Johannissen Drukkerij Cover image Bureau Citybranding - The Hague Contents images (clockwise) Marco Spaapen, Magdalini Zografou, Den Haag Marketing, Office of The Mayor of Oirschot, Vinita Salomé Contributors Angela Eldering, Gary Fishbein, Gemma Gahan, Elizabeth Joss, Cathy Leung, Olga Mecking, Kelly Merks, Aafke Mertens, Deborah Valentine, Olivia van den Broek-Neri, Mandie van der Meer, Magdalini Zografou

0900 2 ACCESS (0900 2 222 377) local rate 20c per minute 4 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

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Autumn 2016 Vol. 29 No. 3 Circulation: 4,000 Also available online at:

21 Contents 6 ACCESS News The ACCESS impact 9 What’s On for Autumn 12 Cover Story Mayors rise to the occasion


21 Health & Wellbeing The male trailing spouse 25 Travel Wonders of Dutch National Parks 30 Arts & Entertainment Vermeer and contemporaries come home 33 Education Meet Ulo, the horse who coaches 37 Dutch Lifestyle A day in the life of a Dutch mayor 42 International Community 10 years of English theatre 44 Food Sparkling wine cupcakes 47 Reviews Dutch films 48 Orange Pages Classifieds from the community


Copyright ACCESS 2016 All rights reserved. No part of the ACCESS magazine may be used in any form without explicit permission in writing from the Publisher. Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this publication was correct at the time of going to press. However, ACCESS and its writers cannot accept any responsibility for the accuracy of the information included.


ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 5


The ACCESS impact At ACCESS we have a mission, and duty, to serve the community. We do so by using the personal experiences of our team to provide answers to the questions of newly arrived internationals in the Netherlands. We have an equal duty to serve the many volunteers who enable us to fulfil this mission, for without them we would not be able to do what we do.

Re: Building renovation p ermit “Many thanks! As usual ACCESS re mains the most trusted provider of up-todate info for expats.” - Resident in Th e Hague

The fact that we have reached our 30th anniversary is a testament to having been able to do both: serve our volunteers as well as the public. This is what many have had to say over the years, about their experiences with ACCESS something which makes us tremendously proud.

u n i ty Comm ck fe e d b a yment . ce on emplo ur wonderful help Re: Legal advi l ough for al of yo mme en ra u yo og k pr an ur th Yo ot s. “I cann t my right ou ab ow kn t no ST ld ere are ILL Without you I wou do proves that th to e m d de en m m rstand what is and what you reco d know and unde an s al or m ts ea gr ow my rights good people with prepared and I kn e or m el fe I . ng ro mending basic right and w enough for recom u yo k an th ot nn I ca ul also.” now. Once again ey are so wonderf Th ... cy en ag e th me to sterdam - Resident in Am Re: Finding a family doctor “Many, many thanks for your prompt responses. You are making my anxieties easier, lots of thanks and regards!” - Resident in The Hague

6 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

Re: Legal advice ra t teams that would go the ext “There are not many suppor m. tea esk l as ACCESS Helpd mile and be extremely helpfu stion and provided the help que They didn't just answer the e erstood the problem and gav I thought I needed, they und r.” and friendly manne additional tips, all in a nice - Resident in Amsterdam

e achieve SS made m E C C A g in “Join g at my was missin friends the things I meet good to : L N in l a to work, arriv possibility e th e v a h I will and to a volunteer. s a ly n o if ev en sh that.” always cheri

F ro m o u r v o

“I could not overstate the positive impact that ACCESS had on building a life for myself in the Netherlands. As an accompanying partner, ... starting (and continuing) to work with the organisation gave me the confidence to go forward and gain paid employment in the country, a network of great people, some of whom I’m now lucky to call friends, and discover skills that had would otherwise have remained hidden. 2.5 years later, long may it continue!”

30 years

lunteers of the staff, the ess and openness lin nd ess ie fr e th d ve “I lo and the willingn the organisation, of rs m ee is nt al lu on vo si e es prof e’ for th am to ‘find a plac te ild g bu in ag em th an m lp e of th n; to he for the organisatio k or w e th to t om an fr w who ey ‘need’ s and get what th es in on their strength tablish themselv es to r for them de or for in e n on d tio sa an e ni orga e experienc tiv si po 0% 10 A the Netherlands. ateful.” which I’m very gr

“For me the expe rience at ACCESS is a very positive on e and it helped m e a lot in finding a job. I have had th e chance to do som ething completel y different which he lped me in my process of changi ng my career. I am very grateful that I have had the chance to be part of ACCESS team.” Re: Advice o n internships and em ployment “Thank you very much for your informative email, and for the helpful w ebsites you gave me. I really appreciate the assistance an d care, and highly admire th e work in which ACCESS is involved in.” - Student in Maa stricht

For information about becoming part of this team, look out for our monthly Information Sessions on

walking “It was always a good feeling d hard rke wo ne ryo into the office, eve ant to ort imp s wa it s and as volunteer rk wo the for d nke be valued and tha for ked loo [s] eer carried out. Volunt ial soc the and in ward to coming also aspect of it was important and about ch mu so d rne lea fun. Volunteers ays alw re we and e tur each other’s cul r.” the ano one respectful toward

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 7

Personal training



Yoga for children






Kinetics advice


What’s On

Special events in September Want to post a community event in this magazine? Contact ACCESS Magazine at subject: ‘What’s On’.

Fringe Festival

Tropical Butterfly Festival tropical-butterfly-festival

1 - 11 September - Amsterdam A part of the Dutch Theatre Festival, Fringe showcases the more avant-garde and experimental artists on the scene. Based on the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival, live art, theatre, dance, and other productions take centre stage throughout the city of Amsterdam for the duration of 11 days. The over 80 groups and directors featured also contribute to an extensive ‘Language No Problem’ programme, which includes works in English and those which don’t make use of any words at all.

Until 14 September - Utrecht


Each year botanists from the gardens at Utrecht Science Park gather pupae and cocoons from across the world to allow them to grow and emerge as butterflies during the Tropical Butterfly Festival. Set to the beautiful backdrop of Fort Hoofddijk, visitors are surrounded by the most magnificent butterflies nature has to offer. Take some time to feed your travel bug!

European Baseball Championship

9 - 18 September Haarlemmermeer

DRONGO Language Festival 30 September - 1 October Utrecht At the fifth edition of DRONGO, language lovers can relish in a two-day, interactive and comprehensive programme. The DRONGO language festival is the place to meet other language professionals, researchers and language lovers. Here you will find everything related to language: multilingualism, education, culture, translating, the newest language technology, language courses, career, experiments and much more.

Just Peace Festival

21 - 25 September - The Hague The Just Peace festival takes over The Hague in a week of activities and celebrations around the UN declared International Day of Peace. There is something for everyone to help bring the community together: a marathon, the world press photo exhibition, concerts, debates—you name it. More challenging highlights include an exhibition of weapons disarmed and turned into instruments, and a journey of discovery and com­ passion at Humanity House’s ‘Entering the world of a refugee’. Keep an eye on the programme for an exceptional opportunity to visit behind the scenes of a number of usually closed international organisations.


Casual fans of the sport may not know that not only is the Netherlands host to the yearly European Baseball Championship, but also the reigning champion and holder of 22 titles! Tensions are high this year in the run-up to the match between the Netherlands and Italy, long-time baseball rivals. Lovers of sport looking to experience something new in Holland will enjoy the comfortable and friendly scene in Haarlemmermeer.

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 9

What’s On

Special events in October PHOTO: ESA–G. PORTER CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

Want to post a community event in this magazine? Contact ACCESS Magazine at subject: ‘What’s On’.

European Space Agency Open Day www.esaestecopenday2016.

2 October - Noordwijk The ESA’s activities take us from Earth into the limits of outer space, and the programme for their open day is enough to make anyone feel far away from home. This year’s theme is ‘A Breath of Life’, in honour of the ExoMars orbiter searching for signs of life on Mars. You’ll be able to wander freely and meet astronauts and scientists, and marvel at space-ready hardware. Book your ticket in advance as spaces are limited.

Bock Beer Festival bockbier-festival

First Look Festival

Museum Night

7 - 9 October - Utrecht

29 October - The Hague

First Look is one of the largest video game and pop-culture events in the Benelux with over 24,000 visitors each year. Bustling with both fans and industry attendees, it is a major platform where audiences connect with new hardware, releases, and advancements in the field of video games. Any gamer would be spoiled for choice: demos, competitions, merchandise, e-sports tournament—the works! The festival also showcases comics and a costume competition, where fans show off their own creations based on popular franchises.

Museum Night elevates your visit to the museum into something unexpected by combining cultural enrichment with a late night after-party. 36 institutions will keep their doors open after hours until 01:00, with exhibitions centred on the theme REAL FAKE. As the website points out, wintertime grants you an extra hour that evening so all the more reason to stay out and enjoy the festivities. And for those worried about late-night transport, you can hop on a historic bus from the Den Haags Bus Museum where you will be entertained until your destination!

KLIK! Amsterdam Animation Festival

25 - 30 October - Amsterdam For any lover of animation and story­telling, KLIK! is the place to be. The programme ­features premieres of feature length animations as well as up-and-coming shorts from independent studios. At KLIK!, creativity is not only celebrated, but encouraged, as visitors can also take part in a variety of workshops and activities. The tone of the event is playful and open, and well worth a visit for an insight into all the possibilities offered by animation as a medium, as well as breathing a new lease of life into your sense of wonder.

Bock, the dark malty beer originating from Germany in the 14th century, is the star of Utrecht’s streets, warming up people’s hearts for a few likely dreary days of autumn. Taste some of the world’s best Bock beers, with over 20 domestic and international kinds on tap. Hosted annually by the café Ledig Erf and spills out onto the streets of Utrecht with live music, food, and good cheer.

10 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016


14 - 16 October - Utrecht

What’s On

Special events in November Want to post a community event in this magazine? Contact ACCESS Magazine at subject: ‘What’s On’.

3D Print Canal House

Now open - Amsterdam


Yes, you read it right – an actual life-size, 3D-printed canal house is open to visitors on the banks of a canal in Amsterdam. The research project, initiated by DUS architects and funded in part by the municipality, pushes the boundaries and possibilities of innovative building techniques. It's also the workplace of an international ‘research and doing’ team. To get a look behind the scenes: book a place on their walk-in tours or make a private reservation.

Marvel Universe Live


11 - 13 November - Rotterdam

Le Guess Who?

Beloved characters are larger than life in this impressive Marvel Universe show at Ahoy Rotterdam. Over 25 characters from Marvel comics fight on stage for a cosmic cube, showcasing awesome choreographed battles and special effects: stunts include motorcycle chases and even Spiderman swinging across the arena. A great experience for fans of comics or high-octane action young and old, the Live is on tour worldwide for the first time outside of the US. Don’t miss it!

Gershwin Gala

10 - 13 November - Utrecht Widen your musical world at ‘Le Guess Who?’, celebrating its 10th anniversary, with its original and carefully curated selection of independent, unknown and experimental music acts. Throughout the city, from churches to theatres and pop venues, tickle your earbuds with some of the more obscure musicians of today. You can take the opportunity to stop by the world’s largest record fair, Mega Record and CD Fair, also held in Utrecht that weekend.

13 - 20 November Across the Netherlands A dazzling performance of famous composer Gershwin’s most loved works will be touring the Netherlands. The New Romanian Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by soloists soprano Janice Dixon, baritone Derrick Lawrence, and pianist Antonii Baryshevskyi, bring you the Porgy & Bess Suite, Rhapsody in Blue, and An American in Paris. Check the website for locations to be one step closer to a wonderful evening of iconic music.

International Documentary Film Festival

16 - 27 November - Amsterdam The IDFA is one of the most important film festivals of its kind, putting a heavy emphasis on a creative and politicallycommitted film selection. Alongside the premieres of many international feature length documentaries, IDFA hosts DocLab, a programme showcasing “the best interactive non-fiction storytelling and explores how the digital revolution is reshaping documentary art”.

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 11

Cover Story

Mayors rise to The Global Parliament of Mayors September, 2016, The Hague


12 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

the occasion Mayors from all over the world will come to The Hague in September to discuss some of this century’s most pressing issues. The Global Parliament of Mayors, a convention of represen­ tatives from cities with at least 200,000 people, is a great vote of confidence in urban leaders getting done what national governments have difficulties doing. This year, discussions will focus on climate change, challenges with refugees and migration, and improving democracy in cities.

the world, in fact, is to work together, to know from each other what the best practices are. So I’m a great supporter of the ideas of Dr. Barber, and, of course, the Global Parliament of Mayors meeting in September.” The GPM describes itself as an “interdependent governing body that gives cities a megaphone to allow their collective voices to be heard and an instrument through which collective policy can be made.” It is meant to be a forum for city officials to talk about best practices, to connect and collaborate. It is an opportunity for mayors to focus on their roles in ­putting into action the policies and reforms that meet the challenges of the 21st century. Origins of the conference


First of its kind

Benjamin Barber, an American writer and scholar of urban governance, says in his 2013 book If Mayors Ruled the World that the European Union is at risk; that we are entering an age when no national or supranational entity can guarantee peace and ­prosperity for its people. How perceptive he was. The Global Parliament of Mayors (GPM), Barber’s own brainchild, convenes this 9-11 September at the World Forum in The Hague with Britain’s pending departure from the EU as a backdrop, throwing the importance of municipal cooperation into high relief. In an interview with Next City’s Tom Dallessio, Mayor Jozias van Aartsen of The Hague (pictured left at an informal meeting of the Ministers of Justice and Home Affairs) lays plain the goal of the GPM: “The most important thing I think is to work together. All the mayors have the same problems. If you look at the great issues of this time—migration, the refugee crisis, climate change—the only way we can get forward and help the United Nations, help

In the last chapter of If Mayors Ruled the World, Barber writes of a need for “global governance with both a democratic and local face.” His proposal: convene a global parliament of mayors (or “World Assembly of Cities”) to discuss best practices, connect, and ­collaborate. Mayors already do very important work for the public, and “a global parliament is no more than a final step down a road already well-travelled,” he says. This road has, indeed, been paved by informal urban governance organizations such as the C40 Cities Climate Initiative, the United Cities and Local Governments, the EU’s Covenant of Mayors, among others. But Herbert Brinkman, international media coordinator for The Hague municipality, says the GPM actually builds upon these previous networks’ and organisations’ aspirations and achievements. To him, the GPM is unique because “its primary actors are mayors; it is an action-oriented platform which gives mayors a global megaphone for a common urban voice.” » ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 13

Cover Story | Mayors rise to the occasion

According to Diana Landveld, a press officer for Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan, Amsterdam will feel right at home at the GPM. “Amsterdam strives to be a responsible capital city on a national and international level,” she says. “It is in the DNA of Amsterdam to share knowledge and establish economic and social partnerships with other regions, and especially regions who are struggling. That’s why we establish partnerships with not only cities all over the world, but also cities in the [region].” This September is the GPM’s first convening. At least 72 cities have confirmed the attendance of a representative (mayor, deputy mayor, or other government official). Eight of the attending cities are in the Netherlands. The Randstad advantage

According to population experts and scholars, we live in the first urban century in human history. 2008 was its tipping point: the year when, after decades of steady urban growth, half the global population lived in cities. The United Nations projects this figure to balloon to 66%—another 2.5 billion urbanites—by 2050, 90% of which will be in developing countries in Africa and Asia. The Netherlands certainly reflects the global direction, especially in the Randstad. Meaning “ring city” in Dutch, the Randstad is a crescent of the G4 cities—the country’s most populated, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht—and their surrounding towns, like Almere, Haarlem, Leiden, and Dordrecht. At the beginning of this decade, Statistics Netherlands forecasted “unabated” popu-

More reading Cities go global by Willem Post Paperback | 80 pages | Studio 92A | ISBN: 978 90 821567 75 If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber Paperback | 472 pages | Yale University Press | ISBN: 978 03 002093 27 14 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

lation growth in the Randstad, which since 2008 is home to 7.1 million of the country’s 17 million residents. Most of this growth will be in the region’s larger cities; Amsterdam alone is projected to absorb another 110,000. The Randstad is a polycentric region, which means multiple cities are close to one another. The Randstad cities, therefore, must collaborate and share resources if they are to prosper. An example of such collaboration is the Metropolitan Region RotterdamThe Hague, or MRDH, formed in December 2014 by 23 local authorities in the southern Randstad. The MRDH allows city officials to work across city borders to improve the region’s accessibility and economic climate. Among their current priorities are: 1- enhancements in the quality and connectivity of local transit; 2- developing a sustainable metropolis-wide energy grid; 3- expanding tourism and recreation opportunities in the rural area. Growing pains are almost inevitable. The 2008 global economic crisis delayed or stalled many housing projects, and municipalities are grappling to get those on track while accommodating unforeseen waves of migrants. But Willem Post, a Dutch writer, journalist and senior fellow at the Clingendael Institute in The Hague sees a bright future for the region. Post writes in his latest book Cities go global that in 2025, the MRDH “will be the international market leader in the design, development, manufacture and marketing of solutions in the area of sustainable living in a heavily urbanised delta region.” It’s in the cities of the Randstad, he says, that “solutions will be devised, tested, and produced for global logistic, energy, food and safety issues.” Post believes that cities here have the knowledge, the geography, and the necessary connections to succeed. The knowledge sector, a key global trend he identified as having great influence on cities’ economic futures, is crucial to The Hague’s trans-

formation from sleepy seaside city to the metropolis it is today. Therefore, “In addition to strengthening the profile of The Hague as the International City of Peace & Justice, hosting the GPM helps to put The HagueRotterdam Metropolitan Region and Randstad area as a whole on the map. We are proud of the fact that such important global issues are being debated right here in The Hague,” says Brinkman.

Population growth and migration flows per region, 2006-2010 Source: CBS, adaptation by PBL

Northern Netherlands


3,500 1,000 500


2,000 Net foreign migration Net domestic migration



Population growth


Net migration Natural change

Setting a

Eastern Netherlands


global agenda

Let’s take a closer look at the GPM’s programme and how the cities of the Randstad can demonstrate their knowledge in the areas of concern.

12,000 Southern Netherlands

The GPM convention programme reveals what organisers believe to be some of the world’s most pressing issues, namely climate change and the challenges of migration that urban areas face. A third area of discussion is called Governance, and will entail a discussion on collaboration with different actors at the city level. All discussions are tended to by experts and moderators. The GPM intends to end the convention by ratifying common policies on each topic with “the potential to be adopted in hundred[s] or even thousand[s] of cities, giving them enormous influence over the legislation of nation states and the policy-making of international bodies like the United Nations.”

Post believes that cities here have the knowledge, the geography, and the necessary connections to succeed. Focus #1: “The City & Nature”

Year after year, climate scientists sound alarms and issue warnings meant to spur policy action. Cities, for all their potential and marvel, can put enormous strain on the environment so managing urban areas is now more important than ever. The GPM comes five months after 180 countries signed the UNFCCC’s Paris Agreement, 55 of which produce more than 55% of all greenhouse gas emissions. The climate » ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 15

Settling in, simply. Settling in, simply. We’re here to make it easier for internationals like yourself to work and register in the Amsterdam Area. Qualifying companies start itthe paperwork before arrival a We’re here can to make easier for internationals likeand yourself single visit the Expatcenter will complete process. to work andtoregister in the Amsterdam Area.the Qualifying What’s more, website has loads before of valuable information companies canour start the paperwork arrival and a on a wide topics including education, single visitrange to theof Expatcenter will complete thetaxes, process. healthcare andour housing. What’s more, website has loads of valuable information on a wide range of topics including education, taxes, The cities ofand Amsterdam, healthcare housing. Amstelveen, Almere, Diemen, Haarlem, Haarlemmermeer, Hilversum and Velsen are working the Immigration and Naturalisation Services The citieswith of Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Almere, Haarlem, (IND) to bring you Hilversum the Expatcenter services. Haarlemmermeer, and Velsen are working with the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND) to bring you the Expatcenter services. To learn more please visit: To learn more please visit:

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Cover Story | Mayors rise to the occasion

treaty’s aim is to “strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global t­emperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius...”

Focus #2: “Cities of Arrival”

According to the latest report by the Asylum Information Database, which was underwritten by the Dutch Council for Refugees, the Netherlands saw a steep spike in asylum applications last year. 46,834 applications were filed January to October 2015, almost a 350% increase from 2014. Unsurprisingly, Syrian refugees lodged about half of 2015’s asylum applications. Of these, 93% were granted refugee status or subsidiary protection, which is given to persons seeking asylum but who do not legally qualify as refugees. (Refugees are granted asylum under risk of persecution, and subsidiary protection is granted under risk of being harmed if they stay in their home country.) However, there is evidence the migrant influx is being stemmed. Statistics Netherlands’ quarterly analysis released in July, 2016 reports that the number of first-time asylum seekers in Q2 of 2016 not only decreased from Q1 of this year, but is also lower than the same time frame from 2015 and 2014. Whether this decrease is a lasting trend or an aberration has yet to be seen.

However, only 22 countries—the Netherlands not among them—have ratified the treaty, representing only 1.08% of total greenhouse gas emissions. The Paris Agreement has been praised, yet it permits countries to set their own targets and has no real penalties if a country does not set or meet its own goals. Cities, however, have been working to make progress on their own terms. For example, in 2007 the municipality of Rotterdam founded the Rotterdam Climate Initiative (RCI). The RCI has a three-pronged approach that improves sustainability efforts in the city, port, and industrial complex. Grounded in the premise that city and port are especially and inextricably linked, the municipal government partners with other local authorities to explore various green schemes.

While international migrants are accepted, declined, and processed at the national level, cities have a very important role to play once migrants are ready to be »

Now is too soon to call RCI a success story, but the municipality’s efforts are commendable. The GPM, if successful, can be instrumental in sharing and adapting successful strategies of “frontrunner cities” —including Rotterdam, Barcelona, Stockholm, and Copenhagen, for example—with cities that have had difficulty planning and implementing climate initiatives or have not planned any at all.


The RCI’s goal is to fully adapt to climate change and cut carbon dioxide emissions in half by 2025—a tall but necessary order for a city surrounded by water and that lies almost entirely below sea level. Some of its measures are par-for-the-course municipal i­nvestments, such as improving drainage systems, planting trees, and offering subsidies for green roofs. Some are inventive ultramodern takes that Rotterdam is renowned for, such as its Drijvend Paviljoen, or Floating Pavilion, that is a test case and exposition centre for floating building techniques (exterior pictured right).

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 17

For global citizens with local needs. The IamExpat Fair is a truly international event designed to support the expat community in the Netherlands.

Attend free workshops and connect with businesses in: Career, Education, Housing, Expat Services, Family & Kids, Health & Leisure. Book your free ticket at

Address Rond de Grote Kerk 12, 2513 AM The Hague

Public transport Tram 2, 3, 4, 6 (stop Grote Markt), Tram 16 (stop Gravenstraat)

Q-Park facilities Torengarage, City Parking, Lutherse Burgwal, de Bijenkorf

More practical info on

Cover Story | Mayors rise to the occasion

settled. Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb—the first immigrant to lead a major Dutch city—will be joining the mayors of Palermo, Italy, and Quito, Ecuador, as a co-chair for this plenary session to discuss urban responses to migration challenges.

Focus #3: “The City and the Interdependent World”


Aboutaleb is not only mayor of one of Europe’s most international cities, but in early 2015 became president of a national-municipal government collaboration. The National Program Rotterdam South works with schools, businesses, and housing associations to improve the quality of life and provide better opportunities to the Did Moroccan, Turkish, Surinamese and . now.. you k 17th million Dutch Antilles communities south of e to ays th likely the River Maas. CBS s NL is nt in an reside likely le and a m e b rant. immig

Municipalities are tasked with providing refugees’ and migrants’ basic needs and have to make decisions quickly and effectively. Several in the Netherlands have received great credit for civic collaboration over bureaucracy, especially the need to directly engage citizens. Utrecht provides a good example. Its municipal government has adopted a collaborative approach, both managing the refugees’ resettling and encouraging the positive civic response. For example, Independent Utrecht residents created the Welcome to Utrecht website and an associated Facebook page to coordinate assistance for refugees arriving in the city. The website is a catch-all: a place that offers clear information on how people can help, provides links to relevant organizations and initiatives seeking volunteers, reports on current and past activities, and interviews refugees and volunteers. People can submit initiatives via a contact form on the website, and the municipality helps vet possible inquiries and initiatives and promotes them in the refugee shelter.

a Human Right City,” uses the citizen initiative and the government response to it as a case study for its Observatory of Public Sector Innovation.

The GPM doesn’t even have to look outside the Randstad for good examples of “Governance and Collaboration,” one of this session’s breakout groups. But because the convention’s raison d’être is the exchange of best practices and lessons learned, Utrecht will be both sharing its experiences and hearing from other city officials how they have approached civic innovation. Brinkman says the same goes for The Hague. “In addition to its own storytelling, The Hague is looking forward to learning more about best practices... from other participating cities,” he says. “The exact lessons we can put to use here in The Hague will become apparent during the GPM itself.” «

About the author Welcome to Utrecht is by most measures considered a success. The OECD, noting that the local council has “made a public commitment to making Utrecht

Kelly Merks is a geographer, writer and Texan living in The Hague. When she isn’t thinking about tacos or sneaking food to the neighborhood alley cat, she’s probably hanging out in her garden with her husband. You can connect with her at @flaneurie on Twitter.

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 19

Education | Partner feature

Starting out at school, a German tradition comes alive in The Hague It was so long ago, yet for many the memories of one’s first day of school are still strong and clear. Starting out in grade one is an exciting moment for young children. It represents a huge step in their lives marking the beginning of a path which will follow them, guide them and accompany them into their future.

070 354 9494

At the German International School The Hague, children representing some 40 nations come together learning from each other about traditions and cultures from all over the world. For children starting out in grade one, the international community at the school is greeted by a wonderful and longstanding German tradition - First Grade Enrolment Celebration. The youngest of pupils come to school proudly toting a large ‘school cone’. Known in German as a Schultute, it is a gift first graders receive from their parents on their first day of school. The artfully decorated huge cones are filled with yummy treats, small presents and bright school supplies. Back in 1810 when the tradition began, the cones were meant to sweeten the seriousness of life that the little ones were about to begin.

20 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

Today German school starters are joined on their very first day of school by their parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles awed by an inspiring ceremony welcoming the children into school life. The moment is captured by a sea of photos and videos which are sent around the world to family and friends who were unable to attend. It is a beautiful tradition which emphasises the importance and the pride each child feels when they start school. For parents, it is often a day of letting go, a day of watching their children embark on a new journey. For most of us, going to school is taken for granted. Yet, experiencing the first day of school is a moment which even today, many children around the globe never get to know. The German First Grade Enrolment Celebration is a tradition which reminds us of just how lucky we are to have the chance at an education. We wish all first graders around the world a good start and hope that the spirit of the German tradition is felt by all. «

...the cones were meant to sweeten the seriousness of life that the little ones were about to begin.

Health & Wellbeing

The male trailing spouse: Enter the AMP A century ago, gender roles for expatriating couples were clear: the husband was breadwinner, the wife cared for home and children. Today, this is no longer a given. Over the past 20 years, for an increasing number of couples moving abroad, the wife becomes the breadwinner, and the husband takes charge of child-rearing and household. Ever-changing roles

We’re steeped in the paradigm of working husband and housewife. Most of us have internalized it without realizing, by observing our families of origin. It’s modelled to us in almost all aspects of our culture. Feminism helped society redefine women entering the professional sphere as not only laudable, but necessary. By comparison, few positive images of men managing households and childcare exist in western culture. For the most part, a househusband is seen as comical at best; emasculated at worst.

An international move requires much of any trailing spouse. One must create a home; navigate an unfamiliar culture, that’s usually conducted in a foreign language; build a social support system in this new environment; and see to the wellbeing of all family members expatriating with them. In our professional lives, we often develop friendship circles of like-minded individuals. Out of the workforce, there’s no such opportunity for a trailing spouse. To this, add the isolation and limited social support of crossing gender lines, and we begin to understand the position of a male trailing spouse. As the word “trailing” carries a whiff of subservience, and “partner” is more inclusive and egalitarian, for this article I use the term accompanying male partner, or AMP. Table for one



Although AMPs are usually well educated and socially evolved, they’re often poorly prepared for the emotional implications of their choice to put their career on hold in favour of a partner’s. In a world where the question “What do you do?” translates as “Who are you?”, an AMP’s sense-of-self is put to the test. It’s difficult for an AMP to find social support geared to his needs. Although programmes and organisations for expat spouses exist, they’re usually focused » ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 21

Health & Wellbeing | The male trailing spouse: Enter the AMP

on women. The topics of their meetings don’t often interest men, who rarely feel comfortable (or even welcome). One AMP described being shunned in such a group, sponsored by his wife’s employer. As the only man, he seated himself alone at a table. No one joined him, but other attendees took the remaining empty chairs from his table for use elsewhere. Expat mothers usually are responsible for their children’s education. Fathers are a comparatively rare breed at school events and meetings. Their presence can be disquieting to the women. An AMP father in my practice disclosed that he’s never been invited for a play-date for his son. Yet, when his wife attends at school, she often receives invitations.

… being an AMP can be transforming. AMPs are trailblazers in the evolving geography of gender roles. It’s also challenging for AMPs to develop friendships with other men. Between them can hang an unspoken sense that the AMP is somehow louche, weak, stupid, or lazy. An AMP, with self-esteem already challenged, may begin to believe this of himself.

Gender role-reversals can create issues for couples. A working female may resent her partner’s apparent leisure, or growing closeness with their children. An AMP may resent his partner’s interesting professional life, with opportunities for adult interaction. He may also find financial dependence on his partner difficult to adjust to. It’s essential for expat couples to take the time and make the effort to communicate about difficult issues like these. If communication breaks down within a couple, it’s well-advised to 22 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016


Big adjustments as a couple

get outside help from a marital counsellor. Keep in mind, the most common cause for premature termination of expat postings is marital dissatisfaction. Sense of purpose

Finding meaningful pursuits is crucial for any expat partner. Career-minded AMPs who have employment in their host-countries generally fare better than their nonworking brethren. However, it’s important to research options and begin networking as early as possible—even before expatriating. Things may not fall into place quickly, so patience is advised. Flexibility about working at a lower level of employment and salary widens the field of possibility. Imagination and creativity to find a different profession altogether may also prove rewarding. In any case, international work experience impresses on a CV. Many AMPs take advantage of free time by earning career-enhancing academic degrees. Some acquire degrees to change careers. Two men in my practice have been ordained into the clergy. Others take opportunities to study whatever interests them; gain proficiency at skills they find rewarding; start businesses; turn to artistic endeavours; become more physically fit; or do volunteer work. Any of these options provides an AMP with opportunities to meet the like-minded, enrich their expat experience, and bolster self-esteem. Finding ways of meeting other AMPs is essential. It’s most important to not become isolated. Not the strong, silent type

Men are culturally-freighted with an additional bu­rden of having to be singular, strong and silent. To give voice to sadness, fear or disappointment is considered weakness. We’ve been exhorted since childhood to go it alone, and to not be a “cry-baby”. Most of us, at least on a conscious level, have moved beyond this, yet there remains a lingering internalized injunction keeping us from reaching out in times of need. It’s necessary to recognize this attitude as non-adaptive, standing in the way of getting muchneeded support.

Lacking support groups Support groups specifically geared toward AMPs in the Netherlands are not available, ­unfortunately. However, Clara Wiggins has an informative, supportive website for male and female expat partners ( that I highly recommend. There’s a group in Brussels, aptly named Spouses Trailing Under Duress Successfully (STUDS) that has a blog ( They’re an informal international social support group emphasizing AMPs, with women also welcome. See especially their news pages for related articles and advice. Perhaps an enterprising AMP in the Netherlands can ­establish a branch here. For more about the changing roles of fathers specifically, read “Fatherhood in the 21st century” by Stephen Davies in the Spring 2015 edition of ACCESS Magazine. Stephen, also a member of the ACCESS Counselling Service Network, runs a workshop on this topic through his practice.

Sometimes, an AMP’s issues become too much to handle alone. The experience can unexpectedly elicit psychological issues, inducing anxiety and depression. It can become necessary for an AMP to seek out professional psychological help. A therapist can help an AMP to see himself and his circumstances from a more adaptive perspective, challenging unhelpful, deep-seated beliefs. There are a number of expat therapists in the Netherlands who are well-equipped to assist AMPs who find adjustment difficult here. Several are members of the ACCESS Counselling Service Network. Transformation in adventure

It’s not all doom and gloom for the AMP. In fact, the experience of being an AMP can be transforming. AMPs are trailblazers in the evolving geography of gender roles. Their unconventional choice challenges them to experience life from a different perspective, and offers the adventure of living abroad, experiencing new cultures. Leaving our comfortzones affords us opportunities for learning and ­personal growth. So raise your AMPerage! «

About the author Gary Fishbein has a psychotherapy practice in The Hague, but originally hales from New York City. A New York University alumnus, he received post-graduate psychoanalytic training at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy. Gary is a member of the ACCESS Counselling Service Network.

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 23

Lifestyle | Partner feature

Do you remember that feeling, after having arrived in a new country, a new city, a new house? Finding the way to work or the shop is one thing. But where to start when you really want to get a grip on your new base and actually feel at home?

Exploring Amsterdam beyond the obvious Amsterdam Odyssey is just the ticket to get to know Amsterdam the way you wish to get to know her. Private, customised tours take you through the parts of the city where daily life and history meet. No mass tourism, but a discovering journey into the heart and soul of the Dutch capital! A ‘typical day at the office’ of Eva van Dijk & Hanneke Vroegindeweij, the founders of Amsterdam Odyssey looks something like this: Hanneke is busy finalizing a ‘Kids in the City’ tour for a family that just relocated to Java-eiland, in the east of Amsterdam. Building treehouses at Jeugdland, a tram ride, pizza at the former VOC shipyard with its industrial vibe. Eva just got back from a tour with a company team. The colleagues have been in Amsterdam for a few months already and don’t get stressed anymore on their bikes as the main means of transport. They were able to cover a nice distance between fast-developing hotspots in the west and the north side of town. “Of course, including delicious tastings,” Eva laughs.

24 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

Eager, experienced guides

“We became friends while studying to become teachers, me for Art History and Eva for Social Sciences,” says Hanneke. “Soon we realized we love to share our knowledge and passion for this amazing city. As born-and-raised Amsterdammers we are filled to the brim with stories that we are eager to tell.” Eva says, “We refer to the people that join us as ‘participants’, since we see our interaction as twoway-communication. We enjoy going the extra mile. For both our participants and ourselves, discovering the city is nicest when it’s done in a meaningful, fun, out-of-the-box way.”

No mass tourism, but a journey into the heart and soul of the Dutch capital! Amsterdam Odyssey helps its participants to really understand the society that they have become a new member of. The skilled guides will listen to your background story, wishes and interests and then create a customised experience that you will never forget. Amsterdam Odyssey will help you find your feet in no time. Discover the city and become local! «


Discover the wonders of Dutch National Parks


National parks are not the first thing that springs to mind when putting together a travel itinerary for the Netherlands. Cheese, tulips, windmills, canals, bicycles – these are more typical things that visitors expect to see and experience. However, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t visit at least one of the 20 national


parks during your time in the Netherlands.

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 25

Travel | Discover the wonders of Dutch National Parks

Visitors could be forgiven for not knowing what wonders the national parks have to offer, or even that they exist, as they are a relatively new concept in this country. The first two, Veluwezoom and the Hoge Veluwe, were private parks and they opened in 1930 and 1935, respectively. It was only in 1989 that the Ministry of Agriculture designated the Wadden island of Schiermonnikoog as the first government established National Park. All the National Parks are areas of exceptional beauty and outstanding natural value, and together they tell the story of nature in the Netherlands. Who is responsible for care?

The care of the National Parks is shared by the many partners in the National Park Organisation (SNP). These include the government, municipalities, l­andowners, site managers and various other public bodies and private parties. What will you find?


Together the 20 National Parks offer an incredible diversity of flora and fauna: bird species, butterflies, reptiles, deer, boar, sheep, badgers, beavers, otters and seals, heathlands, dunes, woodlands, tidal areas, and marshlands are just a sample of what is there to discover.


26 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

This year Dwingelderveld celebrates its 25th anniversary as a National Park. The heath fields are the largest in Western Europe, and they are a spectacular sight to see when in full bloom (usually late summer, early autumn). It’s also where you might stumble across the adder, the one poisonous (but not deadly) snake found in the Netherlands. It is also partial to the heath. If you’d like to challenge your legs with something more than the usual flat ground you encounter in the Netherlands, you’ll find hills to climb in the Sallandse Heuvelrug, where the highest point is 75 metres, the Veluwezoom where you can scale 100m, the Utrechtse Heuvelrug where the highest hill is 69m, and then there’s De Meinweg which has many steep inclines.

Bring an app along ‘Nature in the Netherlands’ is a free app to help you enjoy all the natural wonders the Netherlands has to offer. The inspiration behind this was a book written by Frank Berendse, Professor Nature Conservation and Plant Ecology, from Wageningen University. He believes that the more you know about the environment you are exploring, the more you appreciate it. The app details 30 different routes through 10 different Dutch landscapes. It covers mostly hiking routes, some bicycle tours and one canoe trip, and provides vivid descriptions for what you will encounter while you are out and about. (Dutch only)

Wanda Catsman's top five 5 1 NP Meinweg - Meinvennenroute (19 km) 2 NP Utrechtse Heuvelrug - NS Wandeling Utrechtse Heuvelrug (14 km) 3 NP Veluwezoom - Trage Tocht Rheden (12 km) 4 NP Sallandse Heuvelrug - Salladse Zandloper (9.5 or 10.8 km) 5 NP Lauwersmeer - Voelroute (7 km)

Wanda Wandelt


Written by Wanda Catsman, the blog ‘Wanda Wandelt’ features the author’s frequent walks. Catsman is a walker whose love of the great outdoors has led to this successful blog (in Dutch). In 2016, it was awarded as one of the Top 50 Walking Blogs in the Netherlands and Belgium.






We asked Wanda for her favourite autumn walks. She recommends the Sallandse Heuvelrug, the Utrechtse Heuvelrug and the Veluewezoom. »


ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 27

‘Pursuing a career in the Netherlands’

i am not a tourist

‘Meeting the expat community in the Netherlands’

‘Your essential guide to living in the Netherlands’





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Travel | Discover the wonders of Dutch National Parks

“When I first visited the National Park Sallandse Heuvelrug,” says Catsman, “this park really stole my heart. The beautiful and varied nature, combined with the peace and quiet, are almost overwhelming. And there are so many walks available.” Via her blog, Catsman takes you along on her walks. If you would also like to join her for an actual walk, that’s possible too. Occasionally she opens up a walk for others to join her. (Dutch only)

Facts and figures

• Veluwezoom was the first National Park to open in 1930 • De Alde Feanen was the last to open in 2006 • 17 National Parks are run by the government • 2 National Parks are privately run (Hoge Veluwe and Veluwezoom) • Largest is Oosterschelde with 37,000 hectares • Smallest is Grote Peel at 1,340 hectares • Combined area is 130,000 hectares, more than 3% of the land area of the country • Entry is free (with the exception of the Hoge Veluwe)

As well as the regular activities you would expect to find in a National Park – walking, cycling, horse ­riding, canoeing, swimming – there are many other interesting options on offer. For example: • take a horse and carriage trip over the dunes to the beach on Schiermonnikoog; • follow a Kabouterpad in Lauwersmeer; • complete the survival course in De Alde Feanen; • join a photography workshop in the Drentsche Aa or De Loonse en Drunense; • visit the world famous Kröller-Müller Museum (art museum and sculpture garden (pictured on page 25)) in the Hoge Veluwe; • camp in the wild in De Biesbosch in a spot that can only be reached by canoe or row boat; • take a seaweed cooking workshop at De Oosterschelde; • enjoy a guided walk under the full moon at De Maasduinen; • listen to live folk and Blues music at Het Peelpodium in De Groote Peel. Lastly, don’t miss the chance to take your family on Dutch safari. That’s right, safari! Staatsbosbeheer, an organisation that manages many of the country’s nature reserves, arranges tours for visitors to seek out the Netherlands’ Grote Vijf, or Big Five: deer, red deer, boar, beavers and seals. With the help of a park ranger, you can find bevers (beavers) in de Biesbosch, zwijnen (boar) in de Veluwe, and zee­honden (seals) near Oosterschelde. Kids get a Big Five



“­ passport” to track the animals they spot. Some tours are by car, some by boat; each includes a meal. Email info@­ for prices and dates. It is definitely worthwhile to spend a day or two in a Dutch National Park, whether it's in the woods, in the dunes, through the marsh or the meadows. Consider camping overnight, where permitted, or stay in a vacation home in or nearby a park. While any time of the year is good, we highly recommend visiting in autumn - a particularly lovely time with the spectacular reds and russet browns of the autumn leaves. The cooler temperatures are ideal for outdoor activities. «

About the author Angela Eldering runs her writing and translation business, A Scribing Hand, somewhere out east between the Sallandse Heuvelrug and the Dwingelderland.

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 29

Arts & Entertainment

It is apt to welcome various 17th-century Dutch ­paintings from the British Royal Collection back to their country of origin – the largest recorded loan to a Dutch museum to date. Art alliances such as these can only continue to strengthen and promote the continent’s cultural sphere and ­further the collaboration of art institutions. Queen’s collection, plus one


It is important to note that At Home in Holland was showcased earlier this year at The Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace in London, initially under a different name, Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer. The adapted name, At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his Contemporaries is pertinent since it suggests the works have returned ‘home’, having been painted by Dutch artists.

Vermeer and contemporaries come home BY ELIZABETH JOSS

Moreover, ‘home’ is a metaphor carried out not only through the title of the exhibition but also within the subject matter of these 22 works, portraying scenes from everyday life during that time period. One painting titled The Young Mother by Gerrit Dou, owned by the Mauritshuis, has also been added to those on loan from the British Royal Collection. Always a favourite

Critics deem Johannes Vermeer’s The Music Lesson (1662 – 1665) the highlight of the exhibition and one can clearly see why. Firstly, this is very rare piece by Vermeer and one of only 36 of his works still in existence. Here we also see Vermeer’s utter skill for perspective. In the painting, a young woman is being taught to play the virginal (harpsichord keyboard instrument) at the far wall of a room with her teacher by her side. Various objects in the room add a sense of depth and offer layers of meaning to what at first glance appears to be a simple, albeit highly detailed scene―a striking contrast which makes for fascinating viewing.

Home and everyday life are central themes of the At Home in Holland exhibition taking place at the Mauritshuis this autumn. 30 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

Although the single Vermeer in the collection appears to take centre stage, other Dutch artists on display equally deserve as much attention; Gerard ter

Borch, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriël Metsu, Gerrit Dou, Jan Steen, Godfried Schalcken, Adriaen van Ostade, Hendrick Pot, Ludolf de Jongh, Willem van Mieris and Frans van Mieris de Oude are all represented here.

She stresses the intricacies … and the uniqueness of each piece, despite a golden thread linking them.

Hidden histories

Jan Steen’s work, Woman at her Toilet (1663, pictured right), is a painting of a woman getting ready for bed with her bare legs exposed. It is one of Fossen’s favourite paintings. She says, “The exquisite décor and architecture comprising classical columns frame the s­ ubject matter beautifully and offer us a glimpse of very private scene.”


Wendy Fossen of Casa dell’Arte is an art historian who shows groups around the Mauritshuis. She stresses the intricacies of the artworks and the uniqueness of each piece, despite a golden thread linking them. Within these artworks one observes honesty and an appreciation for simplicity. For example, Gerrit Dou’s A Girl chopping Onions (1646, pictured left), or Pieter de Hooch’s Card Players in a sunlit Room (1658) depict seemingly simple chores and activities. Yet there is an important symbolic and technical aspect in each, which Wendy urges viewers to examine.

interiors to the humble life of farm folk. Each work offering supreme skill, and layers of meaning waiting to be unraveled. Visit Vermeer and his contemporaries

In addition, the accessories around the woman are not placed by accident. Quentin Buvelot, curator of the exhibition and co-author of Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer, informs viewers that “…the sunflower represents constancy in love, the cherub earthly love. The amorous context of the scene is made explicit by the woman’s actions and the slippers that have fallen conspicuously to the floor. Shoes and stockings both held an erotic charge for the seventeenth-century viewer.” Such tidbits of information cannot be garnered by merely glancing at the works but by a more in-depth study of the historical context.

At Home in Holland: Vermeer and his Contemporaries from the British Royal Collection On exhibit from 29 September, 2016, to 8 January, 2017. Multi-media tour available in English. Adults €14; Youth 19 and under free. Museum Card holders free. Check website for opening hours, plus suggested times for when to avoid crowds. Mauritshuis, Plein 29, 2511 CS The Hague «

About the author All-in-all, the works comprising At Home in Holland offer us curious scenes of everyday life during the time of Vermeer. Expect everything from affluent

Elizabeth Joss is a South African freelance writer based in The Hague and the founder of The Museum Times, to spread the love of museums and arts and culture on a global scale.

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 31




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Meet Ulo, the horse who coaches Most of us will agree that moving to a new country often requires us to learn new skills, to work toward specific goals. Leadership skills, for example, or communications skills, setting boundaries or building confidence. There are many traditional one-on-one coaching options available to address such goals, but have you ever considered coaching with horses? Meet a coach who says it isn’t as crazy as it sounds, and that there’s a lot we can learn by


Horses mirror humans


I had the pleasure of working with a horse and her owner, Jane Stephenson of Know Boundaries. Stephenson is originally from the UK but has been living in the Netherlands for almost 30 years.


working with these animals.

She offers personal and executive coaching as well as equine-assisted coaching – coaching sessions with Stephenson and her horse, Ulo. “Coaching is especially beneficial to expats and immigrants as their previous support system has been removed as they make a home in a new country,” she says. “I bring horses into the coaching experience because they are very sensitive to human emotions, and can mirror your feelings in their body language. A horse’s reactions can give insights into how you act… and can help you think of ways to change.” The horse does not follow the same pattern for each session. Stephenson mixes up the routine and obstacles, matching the exercises to the client’s targets, and so that Ulo does not anticipate the next move. Otherwise the client can’t demonstrate true results of confidence, or whatever the goal for the day is. Stephenson gives an example of presentation anxiety. Coaching with a horse could help a person review different stages of the process, like speech preparation; waiting to present; facing the audience; receiving feedback, etc. “Then [we] take the horse around the course and discuss how each stage feels, see where there is hesitation or support or indifference from the horse (or if the horse runs away).” During my session we worked on leadership skills. I was tasked with walking alongside Ulo around the practice pen, guiding her in circles, then zig-zag paths around cones. My next challenge, guiding her without the lead, made me nervous. Not because I was afraid that the horse would bolt (luckily, she did not run away!), but nervous of my own capabilities. Could I get a horse to follow my request without the physical cue of the lead? Stephenson helped correct my doubt. “They still like you when you’re in » ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 33

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Education | Meet Ulo, the horse who coaches

Equine-assisted coaching Dr. Cynthia van der Waal - Schermerhorn (Dutch only website) Leanne Kramer - Kranenburg (Dutch only website) Delphine Post-Braakenburg van Backum, focus on children with ponies - Maarsen (Dutch only website)


Jane Stephenson - Broek in Waterland

“Using horses… can help work out a new approach to facing insecurities and strengthen new behaviour patterns” charge,” she says. “They know that they’re in a group and that you’re a part of the group. Horses understand ‘My team is doing this and I’m fine with this.’ You just have to take control.” Stop eating the hay!

Later I had to get Ulo to eat piles of hay, set up in a circle, instructing her when to stop with one pile and move on to another, sometimes skipping a pile. During the exercises, Stephenson stepped in to demonstrate how this exercise mirrors what happens in ‘real-life’ professional circumstances. Working with the horse is a metaphor for how you might handle such a situation at work. A manager (or editor) might

see several steps in a project as necessary to achieve the final objective. However, sometimes there are team members who disagree or don’t prioritize each step equally. Stephenson observed during the hay exercise that I didn’t change tactics with Ulo. I only tried the same commands, and wasn’t very successful. In my professional life, as with Ulo, the truth is that circumstances, team members and available resources will require that I switch up my game, try a new approach in order to get the desired results. Vulnerability leads to victory

Some people may be put off by working with a horse, especially if we haven’t ridden often or been around the animals much. This type of session is new ­territory, which puts us in a vulnerable position. However, allowing yourself to be vulnerable can teach you the most. “What tends to happen in these new situations is that old insecurities are thrown into sharp relief when faced with difficulties,” Stephenson says. “Using horses in the coaching ­session can help work out a new approach to facing insecurities and strengthen new behaviour patterns.” Equine-assisted coaching can offer new perspectives for adults, and also teens and children. Visit the Dutch Foundation Helping with Horses Equitherapy (SHP-E(NL)) to find a coach or therapist in your area. « ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 35

Law | Partner feature

Estate planning:

looking after your assets and family Estate planning centres on the transfer of assets from one generation to the next, taking into account the tax consequences.

to be made (yes or no to treatment) or what should happen to your home if you are no longer able to live there independently. Living wills are drawn up by specialised lawyers. Wills are drawn up by a civil-law notary, even though an important advisory role is reserved for lawyers during the preliminary process.

But it is more than that. Estate BY SIETA AUTAR MATAWLIE

plan ning also means taking care of your affairs in advance, in the event of your death or should you become seriously ill.

You will want your family, whether or not in the immediate circle, to be provided for and this can be done whilst you are still alive (by gifts, for example) or after your death. You may also want to make sure your retirement provisions are in order. Does your family know what they have to look out for? After your death, who will be the point of contact and where are the most important documents to be found and what are the passwords to your digital accounts and who can manage these passwords? Will

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Not only is having a sound and up-to-date will important, it is also relevant to have a so-called living will. A will takes care of your affairs in the event of your death, a living will arranges your affairs when you are still alive but are no longer able to make decisions yourself. This includes any medical decisions

36 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

Where are the most important documents to be found and‌ who can manage these passwords? Entrepreneur/Director and Major Shareholder and estate planning

If you run your own business or are a Director and Major Shareholder, there is an additional interest to be taken into account: your business. You will want to preserve the continuity of your business if you are ill and in the event of your death. Who will be (temporarily) in charge? What are the powers of such person? A living will setting out these considerations prevents many problems. Perhaps now is the time to start thinking about business succession or business takeover. Who will take over the business, why are heirs important here and how is this going to be arranged tax-wise and legally? Estate planning is especially important for (wealthy) individuals, entrepreneurs/Directors and Major Shareholders and public benefit organisations. ÂŤ

Dutch Lifestyle

A day in the life of a Dutch mayor


In the Netherlands, a mayor takes the role of representing the citizens of his or her

Ruud Severijns Mayor of Oirschot since April 2006 Population: 15,000

municipality. But in the smaller municipalities in Noord-Brabant, mayors get the opportunity to participate in the daily life of residents. ACCESS had the chance to interview two mayors to find out what ‘a day in the life’ is like.

Raised in Noord-Brabant, Ruud Severijns has an international background: his mother was from Northern-Ireland, his father from Indonesia. “I’m 100% Dutch, but I don’t forget my roots!” says the Mayor of Oirschot. » ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 37

The Expatriate Archive Centre collects and preserves the life stories of expatriates worldwide for future research. Have you been an expat? We would love to preserve your memories. Interested in academic research? We welcome researchers from all disciplines. Love history? We offer volunteer opportunities in an international work environment.

· · Paramaribostraat 20, 2585 GN The Hague · +31 (0)70 427 2014

Dutch Lifestyle | A day in the life of a Dutch mayor

Now in his second term, Severijns’ personal experience with cultural diversity has put him at ease in welcoming all types of people to Oirschot. In May, for example, he welcomed a group of expats to tour the town located in De Kempen, nestled between Tilburg and Eindhoven. He is also welcoming refugees relocating to the area.

"People always have the urge to make connections… to listen to experiences of other people. People are curious."

Aside from finding appropriate housing for refugees, Severijns also addresses their need to integrate, with the help of a local organisation that assists refugees in learning Dutch. Then, when they are ready to work, the municipality helps connect them with jobs at local businesses. The mayor plays a role in introducing the old and new residents of the town to each other. Severijns speaks proudly about Oirschot. He is committed to being a part of the lives of its residents. This is the first aspect of his job that shows how Dutch mayors are involved in their city or town. “If there is an accident, I go to the family,” he explains. During these visits, the mayor offers comfort and assistance to the residents in need.

The refugee priority

“We have a task from the national government and province to look after the refugees in our area,” says Severijns. “As a country, we are used to [assisting ­refugees], but as a mayor, this is the first time I have had to deal with it.” This task is not taken lightly by the mayor, which he ranks as his number one ­priority. In previous years, refugees have come from former colonies of the Netherlands, including Indonesia and Suriname, and then later the former Yugoslavia. Today, the majority of refugees resettling in Oirschot come from Syria and Eritrea. It is expected that 200 refugees will settle in Oirschot for one year. “It can be difficult to persuade people to have refugees in their own backyard,” he says. But this is part of being a mayor; the struggle to represent the opinions of everyone in the community, and to address their concerns.

The military’s mayor

“We have the greatest base here,” says Severijns. Oirschot is home to the 13 Lichte Brigade, which consists of 3,000 military of civilian employees. Mayor Severijns has formed a special bond with the military as a result. “I have a lot of contact with the military. They say, ‘You are our mayor!’” He adds that he is using his contacts in The Hague to help improve policies for the military. Young aspirations

Jack Mikkers decided that he would become a mayor when he was 11 years old. “My teacher was appointed a mayor and our class was invited to his inauguration,” says Mikkers. “I thought this was magical!” As he speaks about that day, he begins to smile and you can understand why after finishing his studies, he decided to pursue that dream. Community is about connections

Facts about mayors

• There are 390 mayors in the Netherlands. • The mayor (burgemeester) is not elected, but is appointed by the King of the Netherlands for a six-year term. The city or town Council must then approve.

• Dutch mayors are not political figures, but do have their own portfolios, often including safety and public order.

• Ton Rombouts, mayor of ‘s-Hertogenbosch for 19 years, is the longest-serving mayor in the country.

“They always have the urge to make connections. [People] want to listen to experiences of other people. People are curious,” says Mikkers. He recognizes communication as the key to help integrate Veldhoven’s newest citizens, which include expats who are working in the Brainport Region, as well as refugees who are settling in the area. » ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 39

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Dutch Lifestyle | A day in the life of a Dutch mayor

understands how important it is for new residents– including expats who are only temporarily in the Netherlands–to connect and to feel at home in their adopted town, and the importance of the municipality in showing their commitment to them. That is why he supports the Local Host Program that is organized by the Veldhoven Tourism Board, along with international and Dutch volunteers. He is also a strong supporter of teaching English ­earlier in primary schools. “The labour market is international and to get a good job, you have to speak good English,” says Mikkers. He says this education is crucial in helping to prepare the younger generation for the future job market. From royalty to residents

Mikkers has met His Majesty King Willem-Alexander a few times, and Her Majesty Queen Máxima twice, both times at the Máxima Medical Centre in Veldhoven. “When Queen Máxima comes into a room, everyone smiles,” says Mikkers.

Jack Mikkers Mayor of Veldhoven since May 2007 Population: 45,000

“You have to make connections or else you won’t integrate,” says Mikkers who knows this first-hand. At 15 years old, he spent a year as a foreign exchange student in the US. The time he spent in a town 36 miles from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was, as he points out, “before the internet!” Although he could only speak with his family once a month, he enjoyed his time in the Midwest because of the connections he made with his local community; he was manager of the high school wrestling team and he went to prom (an end-of-year dance for students). It was the sense of commitment that Mikkers received from his American host family that helped prepare him to become mayor of Veldhoven. Mikkers

But he appreciates meeting local residents just as much. He recalls two 70th wedding anniversaries and how much he enjoyed meeting with the couples. He went onto explain that when a Veldhoven resident turns 100, he or she gets to choose where they would like a tree planted to recognize their milestone. He recalls a special moment a few years ago dancing with a lady who had turned 100 years old. Mikkers likes to visit residents to celebrate such milestones. “You hear about the dreams they had,” he says. “I have a rich job!” «

About the author Olivia van den Broek-Neri is originally from the US. She has lived in the Netherlands for 10 years and is currently Project Coordinator for Communications & Events at Holland Expat Center South.

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 41










English theatre celebrates 10 years in The Hague On 26 November, Stichting The English Theatre, STET, will celebrate its 10th anniversary. I talked to founder Elske van Holk about the theatre’s history as well as what STET has in store for the future. BY OLGA MECKING

Inspired beginnings

In 2006, Van Holk returned to her native Netherlands after spending 14 years in London. There, she got involved with Southwark Playhouse, one of London’s leading theatre studios. A friend gave her the idea to continue this work in The Hague. At the same time, another actor friend was seeking a way to organize theatre performances. Van Holk sensed an opportunity and jumped on it. “There was a need, we 42 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

answered it and created STET The English Theatre,” she tells me in an email interview. When asked about memorable performances, Van Holk says she will always remember the very first night, which is “like your first love.” The theatre had very limited funds. An actor had dropped out three weeks before the opening and it was their very first production. “It was actually a great experience,” she reminiscences. “We knew of course most of the people coming, the performance went very well, it got good feedback. So we were so relieved that it all became quite a big party. We were totally over the moon with the responses...”

“…people from a wide range of nationalities feel it to be THEIR theatre.” Intercultural exchange

Over time, STET became an important part of The Hague’s cultural scene. “It is a theatre like any other Dutch theatre,” says Van Holk. “However, its audience is far more international and it has a great community spirit as well. We now reach out to become more and more international so more and more people from a wide range of nationalities feel it to be THEIR theatre. The place to be when you look for an experience you can share with friends, be it Dutch or non-Dutch, but all with a general command of English… Intercultural exchange is at the core of what we do and create, working in such a diverse community.” The audience is not just diverse because of its international make-up, but also because it brings together people from all kinds of social backgrounds and ages, from CEOs to students, from grandparents to children as young as three years old. STET strives to produce to up to three children’s performances a year. Moreover, the theatre produces a range of works, from classical performances such as Shakespeare’s and Dickens’ works, to more modern ones such as the Tunisian Hamlet. You will also find this focus on diversity in the media used by the theatre in its performances as well; there are puppeteers, musical actors and storytellers. And this year, says Van Holk, “for the first time we will have a Greek play, Medea,

with English surtitles and hope to create a stir with this performance by a young Greek company, SKEPSIS, from Athens.” Anniversary celebrations

STET also have plans for the anniversary celebrations. This autumn, on 26 November, STET will offer several workshops for the community. There will also be a very special last performance of the piece Lady M, written by Dutch actress and playwright Annemarie de Bruin, which “went down very well with our audiences and so it is nice to finish that day with this particular performance.” A call to the community

However, the future looks bleak for STET. Van Holk explains that the theatre “will not be getting any structural funding… to continue to create the STET programme in The Hague. …a sad note to end on [but] with support from the internationally-minded community, our audiences, we hope to turn the tide and convince The Hague’s council that STET should be kept open.” «

Ways to support STET

• See a show! Visit to reserve your tickets. • Follow the theatre on social media. • Become a first-night reviewer of STET’s shows. • Make a donation. STET will run a crowdfunding campaign this autumn. Join their mailing list for updates:

• Write to to learn more about STET The English Theatre. About the author Olga Mecking is a writer who lives in the Netherlands with her German husband and three children. When not writing or thinking about writing, Olga can be found reading, drinking tea and reading some more. Follow Olga’s blog

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 43


Sparkling wine cupcakes For some, there’s nothing better than a glass of sparkling wine to celebrate a joyous occasion while for others, nothing beats a luscious cupcake. For me, the combination of the two is what tickles my fancy and that’s why I created these little treats. RECIPE AND PHOTO BY MAGDALINI ZOGRAFOU

They are fluffy, moist and soft, and are topped with a plump, sweet buttercream flavoured with sparkling wine which adds a subtle, tangy flavor to the cupcakes that balances their vsweetness and makes them unique and utterly addictive. Use a sweet (not dry) sparkling wine of your choice. I prefer one made with Muscat grapes which I find is more suitable for these cupcakes. Special equipment: stand or hand-held mixer, fine sieve, cupcake pan, paper liners, piping bag with nozzle of your choice, dragees/sprinkles to decorate your cupcakes Make the cupcakes

Line your cupcake pan with paper liners. Preheat your oven to 175°C. In a medium-sized bowl, sieve the flour together with the baking soda, baking powder and salt, using a fine sieve. Set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large bowl) add the butter and sugar and beat with

44 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

the paddle attachment (or with a hand-held mixer) on medium-high speed until you have a creamy, fluffy and light mixture. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition to incorporate them fully. Then, beat in the vanilla extract. In another medium-sized bowl, add the sour cream and sparkling wine and whisk with a wire whisk (it will fizz and bubble a little bit). With your mixer working on low speed, add and incorporate the sieved dry ingredients and sour cream/sparkling wine mixture alternately, starting and finishing with the dry ingredients (three portions of the dry ingredients and two portions of the sour cream mixture). Mix only until combined, otherwise the cupcakes will be tough. Empty the batter into the paper lined cupcake pan, filling each cup by 2/3. Bake the cupcakes on the middle rack of the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Check them for doneness after 15 minutes because not all ovens are the same.


Yield: 17 cupcakes for the cupcakes • 115 g unsalted butter, softened • 200 g caster sugar • 2 medium-sized eggs • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 220 g all-purpose flour • ½ teaspoon baking soda • ¼ teaspoon baking powder • ¼ teaspoon salt • 115 g sour cream, full-fat • 120 ml sweet sparkling wine for the frosting • 250 ml sweet sparkling wine • 230 g unsalted butter, softened • 120 g icing sugar

Note: The recipe yields 17 cupcakes. If your cupcake pan has fewer cups, bake the cupcakes in two batches. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack. Once the cupcakes have slightly cooled, remove them carefully from the pan and onto the wire rack to cool completely. Make the frosting

While the cupcakes are cooling, add 235 ml (of the 250 ml, reserving the 15 ml for later use) of the sparkling wine in a small saucepan. Place it over a medium-high heat and simmer the wine until it is reduced to 2 tablespoons. Empty it into a small bowl and place in the refrigerator to chill. In the (clean) bowl of your stand mixer (or in a large bowl) add the butter and icing sugar and beat with the whisk attachment (or with a hand-held mixer) on medium-high speed until you have a creamy, thick and fluffy mixture. Then, pour the reserved 15 ml of sparkling wine and the chilled 2 tablespoonfuls of reduced sparking wine in the bowl and beat until incorporated. Using a piping bag and nozzle of your choice, pipe the frosting on top of each completely cooled cupcake and decorate with dragees/sprinkles. If you don’t have a piping bag, you can frost the cupcakes using a palette knife. The cupcakes are best eaten the day you make them or the day after, but you can keep them for up to 4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The frosting will firm up in the fridge. «

About the author Read more recipes from Magdalini Zografou, “a Greek girl cooking in her little expat kitchen in the Netherlands” at

ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 45

Education | Partner feature

New Zein international day care location next to the European School a location on this side of the city. The new building, which offers almost double the amount of space per child than a standard Dutch childcare, will be styled and furnished to the highest standards, using the same homely approach as our other locations. There’s a professional kitchen for our chef to prepare warm, organic meals and we have also designed one of our signature natural playgrounds for the children to enjoy.”

Robbie Zein, co-founder of Zein International Childcare, describes the founding of the company some 10 years ago with husband Jan van der Meijden, as “the result of our combined strengths— my background in, and passion for, children and early years’ education, together with his endless energy and entrepreneurial vision.”

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The development of Zein Childcare represents their belief that there was a better way to support and develop the lives of internationally mobile children. Now, as the organisation goes from strength to strength, the couple talk about their latest addition ‘The Maples’, a new childcare location next to the European School in The Hague, that will open its doors in January 2017. Jan explains, “We’ve been working with the Gemeente Den Haag for some time to establish

46 | ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016

Whilst Jan is busy with the practical side, Robbie remains focussed on the pedagogic and staff-planning aspects that will need to be in place when they open in January. Robbie’s own childhood expat experiences, together with the international background of the staff, plays an important role in the Zein pedagogic programme. The programme pays particular focus to each child’s social and emotional growth—a critical area for all children, but even more so for transient ‘Third Culture Kids’ and children growing up in an internationallyoriented environment. As Robbie explains, “The quality of early years’ experiences can have a fundamental impact on all aspects of development - physical, emotional and intellectual. Our approach ensures that children feel positive about themselves, their abilities and the people around them, providing them with solid foundations for the future.” Registration is now open for ‘The Maples’ Day Care Zein’s latest location, by the edge of the Statenkwartier, next to the ESH. Visit for more information and to apply. «


Dutch films For those of us who have set up home here, watching Dutch films are a useful way to absorb the local culture and improve our language skills. Writer and broadcaster Cathy Leung picks out a new release and a modern classic. BY CATHY LEUNG (TWEETS @CATHYCENTRAL)

Tonio (2016) Based on the best-selling requiemroman (requiem novel) by A.F.Th. van der Heijden, Tonio is the true story of a writer whose only son, Tonio, dies while cycling home early one morning in Amsterdam after a night out with friends. As both parents learn of their son’s death and Adri begins to deal with the reality of this loss, we’re taken on an intimate tour of parental grief and the start of the most personal of writing projects. Director, Paula van Der Oest, purposefully uses different layers to fill in the story and uses straight flashbacks of Tonio from Adri’s memories but also Adri’s imaginings of what Tonio did in the days leading up to his death. To be expected, it is quite maudlin throughout, but despite a dragging middle, Tonio does reach a satisfying emotional climax. In many ways the end sequence is the film’s best bit. Rather than just an uncomfortable pry into a family’s most difficult moments there are vthoughtful messages to take away. Director: Paula van der Oest Length: 100 minutes In Dutch cinemas from: 13 October (Dutch only)

Director: Ben Sombogaart Length: 116 minutes Available on DVD and iTunes with English subtitles

De Storm (2009) A historical epic, De Storm is probably my favourite Dutch film; memorable, moving and one I’d be eager to watch again. Set in 1953 during one of the most disastrous storms in the Netherlands’ history, a young, unmarried mother is rescued but is forced to leave her baby behind in a box. Determined, she heads back into her flooded Zeeland village to get him. As well as the thoroughly melodramatic storyline (which I’m a total sucker for), De Storm gave me a new appreciation for the relationship between the land and the water here, and brought to life a chapter of Dutch history I didn’t know much about. De Storm stars two of the Netherlands’ most popular actors, Sylvia Hoeks and Barry Atsma, with a full cast of characters illustrating the tensions of a strict Calvinistic community. De Storm also boasts quite high production values; both the flood and the period are convincingly recreated. ACCESS | AUTUMN 2016 | 47

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CIYS (A Career in Your Suitcase) A ANCOR M Connecting Women M Women’s Business Initiative International M

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10forkids • 2 Samen Kinderopvang • Aame Accountants & Tax Advisors • ABN AMRO • Academy for Counselling and Coaching • Adams Multilingual Recruitment • Alliance Francaise De la Haye • American Book Center • American Dragon Martial Arts School • American International School Of Rotterdam • American Protestant Church of The Hague • American School of The Hague • American Women’s Club The Hague • Amstel Housing • Amsterdam Chamber of Commerce • Amsterdam International Community School • Amsterdam Mamas • ANGLOINFO South Holland • APM Terminals International BV • Arabisch.Nu - Institute for Arabic Language And Culture • Asia House Foundation • Aspa Boutique & Treatment Rooms • Australian & New Zealand Club • Avery Dennison / Fasson BV • Beauty Clinic • Big Ben Kids • Bloom- House Of Health • Blue Lynx • BP Nederland BV • Bredeschool Merenwijk • Broadcast Amsterdam • Bronovo Hospital • Bureau Kraamzorg Extra • Canadian Women’s Club of The Netherlands • Candles Flame Computer Training • Career In Your Suitcase • CB&I • Centraal Bureau Rijvaardigheidbeqijzen • Chamber of Commerce - The Hague • Check-NL • Chinese Medicine Salvedo Chiropractic • Church of St. James • City of Amsterdam • City of Delft • City of Leiden • City of Leidschendam-Voorburg • City of Rijswijk • City of Rotterdam • City of The Hague • Clown Club & Community Center • Clyde Petroleum Exploratie BV • Connecting Womena • Consulate of The United States Of America • Corstjens Worldwide Movers • Creche Hermelijntje • Croon Davidovich • Crossroads Church The Hague • Crossroads International Church • Crunch Cafe • De Regenbogen Beheer • Dell Computers • Deutsche Internationale Schule Den Haag DISDH (German International School of The Hague) • Direct Dutch Institute • Domica Nederland • DutchbuzZ • DutchNews • Economische Zaken Amsterdam • Educaide • Elckerlyc International School • Ellie Wood Languages • • Estata Makelaars • Eures (European Employment Services) • European Patent Office • EuroPlan Verzekeringen • Expat Center Utrecht - ECU • Expat Events • Expat Help • Expatcenter Amsterdam • Expatriate Archive Centre • Expatriate Archive Centre • Expats Haarlem Community • Expatshopping • Families in Global Transition • Formula Two Relocations BV • Fulbright Center • FVB De Boer • Global Living Magazine • GMW Advocaten • Haagsche Schoolvereeniging • Heerema Marine Contractors Nederland BV • Here’s Holland • Hestia Kinderopvang • Himalayan Restaurant • Hogeschool van Amsterdam • Hogeschool van Utrecht • Holland Expat Center South • Horlings Accountants En Belastingadviseurs • Htel Serviced Apartments • Huawei • HVR/ Bruns van der Wijk • IamExpat • ING Group • International Community Platform • International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yogoslavia • International Health Centre The Hague • International Primary School Violenschool • International School Eerde • International School Hilversum • International School of Amsterdam • International School of The Hague • International School Utrecht • International Women’ s Club of Rotterdam • International Women’s Club of South Limburg • International Women’s Contact Amsterdam • Intouch Rotterdam • J.C. Suurmond & Zn Tax Consultants • Kelly Services • Kickstart School • Kindergarden Nederland BV • Koenders Real Estate & Art Gallery • Koninklijk Instituut Voor De Tropen • Kortman Immigration Lawyers • Language Courses German School • Loonzorg Health Insurance • Maersk Benelux BV • Meijer Advocaten • Ministry of Economic Affairs • Ministry of Social Affairs And Employment • M-Space • NALCO Foundation • Nederlands Migratie Instituut • Nedles • Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency • Noordam Advocatuur • O.B.S. Telders (Openbare Basisschool Telders) • Octagon Support BV • OKIOC • Organisation For The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons • Paard Van Troje • Parkhotel Den Haag • Passionate Parenting • Pimentel Communications International • Permits Foundation • Personal Relocation • Petra Foesenek - Skin Therapy • Physiomotion • Postuma Personnel Planning • Provincie Zuid Holland • R. C. Church of Our Saviour • Ralph’ S Tax Service • RAND Europe • Renthouse International BV • Rotterdam International Secondary School • RSH Relocation And Immigration Services • Russian Speaking Professionals in The Netherlands • Sara Lee & DE • Sauna Deco • Scouting Netherlands • Seabourne Express Courier Group • Sealife Scheveningen • Shell International BV • Solutions For Living • South African Women’s Club of The Hague • Spirit • State Department, US of A • STET The English Theatre • Stuijt & Ploeg Notariaat • ‘T Leidsche Tuynhuis Kinderdagverblijf • Taal Taal • Team Relocations Voerman • Teddy Kids International Daycare • Terry Porsild • The American Netherlands Club Of Rotterdam • The British School of Amsterdam • The British Schoolin The Netherlands • The British Schoolin The Netherlands Language Centre • The Clown Club Wassenaar • The Expat Psychologist • The Guest Card • The Hague Boat • The Hungry Mind • The Open University • The Petroleum Wives Club of The Hague • The Student Hotel • The Windmill Preschool • TheHagueOnline • • Thomas Consultancy • Thomas Green’s • Together Abroad • Total • ToTen • True Colors Childcare • Tulip Expats Services • Turks Museum Nederland • Unilever Nederland BV • Unique Multilingual • Utility Provider • UTS Nederland • Venture Counsels Gropu BV • Volksuniversiteit Den Haag • Volunteer The Hague • Voorhoeve Foundation • Waterstones • Webster University • Welsh Development Agency • West-Holland Foreign Investment Agency • Winkelcentrum Stadshart Amelselveen • Women’ s Business Initiative International • Xpat Media - The Xpat Journal • Zein Childcare Group • Zestee Social Media School • Zo Kinderopvang



All possible care was taken to list as many of our sponsors as our archival records allowed. For those we may have overlooked, we appreciate your support.

How to buy a house in the Netherlands..

Save time and trouble. Buying a house can be a smart move for expats. Interested in knowing more about tax benefits, mortgage types and monthly costs? We’ll be happy to help. Read more on and schedule a free orientation meeting with one of our mortgage advisers. At our International Client Desk we can help you in English. Or 25 other languages. So you feel at home in the Netherlands. Contact us any time. We’re here for you 24/7.

ACCESS Autumn 2016  
ACCESS Autumn 2016