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2013 YOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO LIVING IN THE NETHERLANDS FOR MORE INFORMATION PLUS DAILY DUTCH NEWS IN ENGLISH VISIT WWW.EXPATICA.COM

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Our personal approach takes you further »Thinking Business«

Master in International Finance ■ Part-time (evenings), or full-time ■ Taught in English ■ Advanced master’s programme in finance ■ Designed and taught by ABS’s world class finance group ■ Excellent springboard to boost your career Plantage Muidergracht 12 | 1018 TV Amsterdam | admissions-abs@uva.nl

Why limit yourself? Choose a truly global university!

Webster University is the only American-accredited university in the Netherlands. European campuses in Geneva, London, Vienna and Amsterdam. Worldwide campuses in the USA, Thailand and China. Visit www.webster.nl to find more information about our flexible Bachelor & Master programs.

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•• INTRODUCTION ••

Welcome to the Netherlands! If you have just moved here, you might be feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Apart from a new culture and language to cope with, you will have to deal with a host of practical things within the first few weeks: somewhere to live, your finances, permits, and maybe starting a new job. Don’t panic! The Expat Survival Guide is here to help you keep on track. It offers you essential information on settling into the Netherlands and directions to the people, companies, organisations, and institutions that can help you along the way. To complement this guide, check out www. expatica.com to access English language news, in-depth features and practical information on living in the Netherlands. Further resources include housing and job searches, an ask-theexpert section, free classifieds, A-Z listings, events, and a thriving online community. Have a wonderful stay in the Netherlands! The Expatica Team

INTRODUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-5 RELOCATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6-14 Survival checklist; Registration/residence permits; Relocation service providers; Special needs.

FAMILIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15-18 Registration; Au pairs; Childcare; Child benefit; Tips for families.

HOUSING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19-33 Rent or buy; Renting: using an agent, other options; Buying: profiles of popular expat locations.

FINANCE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34-41 Bank accounts; Taxation; Insurance; Financial service providers.

EDUCATION. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42-55 Education system; International education; International schools; Higher education; Learning Dutch.

EMPLOYMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56-65 Work permits; Finding/changing a job; Working culture; Recruitment agencies.

HEALTHCARE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66-71 Healthcare system; Having a baby; Useful links; Health providers.

HOME BASICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72-73 Setting up home; Utilities: gas, water, electricity; Communication: telephone, internet, TV, radio.

TRANSPORT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74-76 Driving; Public transport.

CONTACTS & CALENDAR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77-79 This guide is published by Expatica.com, a leading media organisation providing a complete resource for international living.

Published October 2012 © Expatica Communications BV Gedempte Oude Gracht 31 2011 GL Haarlem Netherlands expaticaservice@expatica.com--www.expatica.com Editorial: Ana McGinley, Hallie Engel, Natasha Gunn. Advertising sales: Maciej Wojnicki, maciej.wojnicki@expatica.com Sales coordination: Joelle Siew Layout & design: Benjamin Langman Cover photo: Saahil Karkera, Monica Kao Ventura, Kate Austin Publisher: Antoine van Veldhuizen Distribution: Albina de Wolf

Groups and clubs; Essential numbers; Holidays.

INDEX Advertisers’ index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronically or mechanically, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior written permission from the publisher. Requests for permission should be addressed to Expatica Communications BV, Gedempte Oude Gracht 31, 2011 GL Haarlem, The Netherlands. Expatica makes great effort to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this guide. However, we will not be responsible for errors or omissions or any damages, howsoever caused, which results from its use, and make no warranty of claims as to the quality or competence of businesses or professionals mentioned. Users are advised to take care when selecting professional services and to use common sense when adjusting to new life in a new country.

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•• INTRODUCTION ••

Introduction Famed for its liberal social policies, maritime trading traditions, battles to hold back the sea, and the robust communication of its natives, the Netherlands consistently ranks as one of the top places in the world to live and work in. The standard of living is high and a survey by UNICEF reveals Dutch children to be the happiest children in the developed world. To newcomers, Dutch society might seem open and informal, but some complex social rules are at play. Ostentatious behaviour is frowned upon, egalitarianism is valued and Dutch people “like to be as normal as possible,” according to Martijn de Rooij, author of The Dutch I Presume? The Dutch saying ‘Doe maar gewoon dan doe je al gek genoeg’ (just act normal, that’s crazy enough) is an anthem against eccentricity. No Dutch city has yet reached a million inhabitants and each retains a unique character and architectural style. The capital is something else entirely, and in terms of atmosphere and attitude, Amsterdam and the Netherlands could be two different countries. International residents tread a well-worn path to the ‘Lowlands’. Of the 16 728 091 living in the Netherlands in January 2012, over three million have a foreign background (source statline.cbs.nl). This multi-ethnic characteristic of the country’s population has historic roots stretching back several hundred years, though most rapid changes in population demographics have come about in the last 40 years.

collapsed over the debate on extending the country’s Afghan mission, making it the first NATO member to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Traditionally, the Dutch government is a coalition of two or more parties, however, on 14 October 2010, for the first time, Prime Minister and central-right liberal leader Mark Rutte formed a minority coalition. The government was made up of ministers of his WD party and the Christian Democrat CDA, supported by Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party, the PVV, a nationalistic party known for its right-wing focus. In April 2012, the government collapsed again when Rutte’s minority government and its farright ally failed to agree on a plan to slash the budget to steer the eurozone’s fifth-largest economy back below the EU deficit ceiling of three percent, from last year’s 4.7 percent. Elections to choose a new Dutch government will be held on 12 September.

W t T t

W H a

Moving from politics to parties, Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) is celebrated throughout the Netherlands on 30 April, even though Queen Beatrix’s birthday is in January. The April date honours her late mother, Queen Juliana. During the celebration, Oranjegekte (orange madness) takes over and people wear orange shirts, hats, dresses, and wigs to celebrate while enjoying the annual free market (vrijmarkt), as it’s the one time when people can set up shop without a trading license. All in all, the Netherlands remains an attractive place to live and expats are an intrinsic part of the country’s knowledge-based economy. The Dutch people are generally receptive, curious, cultured, and friendly. English is widely spoken, which can be a drawback for those trying to learn Dutch, and with many international companies headquartered in the Netherlands, there are plenty of employment opportunities.

Dutch foreign policy remains a key issue, due to its longstanding influence on domestic policy. In February 2010, the Dutch government 2

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•adv.Ex


•• INTRODUCTION ••

We make your transfer to The Netherlands the easiest ever!

We are totally and completely at your service! Have a look on our website www.expatcenter.nl and find what you need... • • • • • • • • • •

Expat SOS Service Immigration and Labor Law (lawyers) Relocation and Real Estate Services Moving and Container Shipping Language and Culture Shock Training Tax Advisors and Accountants Flexible Office Spaces Advertising Agency International Schools ICT Solutions

WWW.EXPATICA.COM THE 426 NETHERLANDS EXPAT SURVIVAL GUIDE T: +31 (0)20 44| 11 • E: info@expatcenter.nl • www.expatcenter.nl 3

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•• INTRODUCTION ••

Population: 16,728,091 (January 2012) Density: 488/km (the highest in Europe) 2

Administration: The constitution dates mostly from 1848. Parliament consists of an upper chamber (eerste kamer) of 75 members elected by provincial councils and a lower chamber (tweede kamer) with 150 members elected by proportional representation. The cabinet is the executive body and its constituents cannot be members of the cabinet and parliament at the same time. Monarchy: The House of Oranje-Nassau has governed the Netherlands since 1815 and the current queen, Beatrix, was born in 1938 and ascended to the throne in 1980. Landscape: A fifth of the Netherlands is reclaimed from the sea and a quarter of the country is below sea

level. There are 20 national parks and a few modest hills, with the country’s highest point, of 322 metres, in Limburg. Agricultural facts: The Dutch cow is a revered milk machine, producing 35 litres a day, and a quarter of the world’s tomatoes are grown in the Netherlands. Media and culture: The Netherlands has the highest museum density in the world, with nearly 1,000 institutions. The television programme Big Brother is a Dutch invention and Paul Verhoeven is known internationally for his direction of RoboCop and Total Recall. Design: Dutch icons of style are nurtured in the Design Academy Eindhoven and the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Dutch design is admired for its minimalist, quirky and often humorous qualities.

The Hague International Centre the first point of contact for new residents and visitors to The Hague.

The Hague International Centre Spui 70, Atrium City Hall The Hague, Opening hours – Mon-Fri 09.00-17.00 hours, Contact Tel: +31 (0)70 353 5043, E-mail: internationalcentre@denhaag.nl, Website: www.thehague.com

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You have arrived And we’re here to make it easier for highly skilled migrants like you to work and register in the Amsterdam area. Qualifying companies can start the paperwork before arrival and a single visit to the Expatcenter will complete the process. What’s more, our website has loads of valuable information on a wide range of topics including housing, education, taxes and healthcare. The cities of Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Almere and Haarlemmermeer are working with the Immigration and Naturalisation Services (IND) to bring you the Expatcenter services free of charge. To learn more please contact us or visit our website. +31 (0)20 254 7999 welcome@expatcenter.iamsterdam.com www.iamsterdam.com/expatcenter

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Survival checklist if you’ve just landed in the netherlands, it’s tempting to start exploring, but there are some essential tasks to get through first. Use this checklist with the Expat Survival Guide to simplify easing into the Netherlands. rePort to iMMigration Register with the GBA at your local town hall within five days of arrival. If you need a residence permit, make an appointment with the IND. Get ready for lots of paperwork and make sure your documents have all the right stamps. eXPat Benefits Find out if you are eligible for the Dutch 30 percent ruling and use the services of the various expat centres to help you cut through the red tape. oPen a dutCH Bank aCCount Opening a Dutch bank account will make your life easier. You’ll need your passport and/or residence permit, Burgerservicenummer (BSN), proof of address, and evidence of income such as an employment contract or payslip.

JoB Hunting If you’ve got a work permit (or don’t need one), you’re ready to go. Sign up with agencies that specialise in finding work for expats or start your search online. We offer job-hunting tips and information on Dutch labour law. HealtH Do you know what to do in an emergency or how to find a hospital, doctor or midwife? Did you know that you need to take out Dutch health insurance within four months of arrival? Our Health section guides you through the Dutch health system. getting around Find out about Dutch driving rules and regulations, if you can exchange your driving license, and how the Dutch public transport system works. Meeting tHe CoMMunity If you’re finding everything a little stressful, take heart: many others have been in the same position and made it through! Get active, start networking and find out about groups, clubs and best places to make new friends and enjoy your new life!

find a HoMe Our Housing section will help you decide whether to rent or buy and offers tips on dealing with housing agencies and where to live in the Netherlands. HoMe BasiCs After finding your home, you’ll need to sort out a broadband connection and water, electricity and gas services. We list the major suppliers and several useful websites to help you get connected. eduCation Should you send your child to a local or international school? What learning opportunities are available to expats? Get the lowdown on education (onderwijs) in the Netherlands. dutCH language The Dutch are great linguists, but don’t let that stop you learning Nederlands. We offer tips on where to find a Dutch language course and how to go about learning the language. 6

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Relocation The Netherlands is a bureaucratic country and proud of it. Regulations and procedures for expats and their families can seem daunting. Here’s what you can do to ensure to make the process easier and faster. First of all, ensure that your documents are in order. Check that your passport is valid for the period of your stay and that marriage and birth certificates are translated into Dutch, English, French, or German and sufficiently ‘legalised’. This is generally done with the addition of an apostille — an extra stamp on the original document — which you obtain from the ‘competent authority’ in your own country. See the apostille section of www.hcch.net. There are two main bodies involved: the IND, which implements immigration policy and makes decisions on residence permits, and the GBA, where you register your entry into the Netherlands. Registering with the GBA: everyone The gemeentelijke basisadministratie persoonsgegevens is the personal records database of the municipal authority. Anyone who intends to stay in the Netherlands for more than three months (including EU/EEA nationals) must register at the GBA within five days of arrival. Registration with the GBA triggers the start of other processes and proof of registration is essential for many more. The details you give when you register (such as the size of your apartment and family) determine charges for water and refuse collection, prompt the local health department to contact you regarding checkups for your children, and determines eligibility to register for social housing. As of November 2007, the burgerservicenummer (BSN) (which has replaced the old fiscal SOFI-number) is initiated here and you’ll need it to open a bank account. Once you have completed this process,

you can get a printout of your details (uittreksel), which proves your residence and rights, such as being able to vote in local and European elections. Documents required include a passport (valid for a minimum period of the length of your stay), rental contract (in your name), employment contract (if applicable), and birth and marriage certificates of all family members (see above for legal format). Registration is free. You don’t have to repeat this process every time you move house; you can generally just visit a local office (stadsdeelkantoor) to update your details (which you are legally obliged to do). You also need to de-register when you leave the Netherlands. The GBA no longer deals with applications for residence permits. For that you must contact the IND. In Amsterdam and The Hague, there’s a central location where non-Dutch nationals register for the first time. You need to make an appointment and all members of your family (regardless of age) must be present at the first interview. Once you have registered, contact the IND to make an appointment regarding the residence permit (if required). IND The Immigratie- en Naturalisatiedienst implements immigration policy including applications for residence permits, Dutch citizenship, visas, and asylum requests. The official policy line is “strict but fair” and efforts are being made to speed up the processes involved. The website has extensive information in English, a Residence Wizard for entering specific circumstances and downloadable brochures and forms. You need to make an appointment and visit an IND desk personally to be interviewed or have a sticker put in your passport. If you have applied for a highly skilled migrant residence permit, this is not necessary but voluntary. To collect a permit you need to visit an IND desk in person. If you receive a letter stating the permit is ready, you can visit the IND desk without an appointment. Renewal forms are automatically sent to you. Office locations can be found on the IND website at www.ind.nl (tel: 0900 1234561 or +31 (0) 20 889 3045 outside the Netherlands).

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What kind of residence permit? A residence permit (verblijfsvergunning) is related to the purpose of your stay. Your country of origin, purpose for coming to the Netherlands (work, study, marriage, reunification with family), income, age, and period of residency are the key factors in determining what kind of residence permit you need or are eligible for. There are 29 variations (with plans to reduce that number), all individually priced. The most expensive relate to family reunification or formation, but if a family arrives in the Netherlands together there is a family tariff. Other requirements include no criminal record, proof of sufficient means of support, Dutch health insurance, and no risk to public order, national peace or security. A temporary residence permit is issued initially for a fixed period with a maximum of five years. Most permits are issued for one year (and can then be renewed); those issued for work or the highly skilled migrant scheme can be longer – up to a maximum of five years. After five years of legal residence, you can apply for a permanent residence permit or consider naturalisation. EU/EEA and Swiss nationals IND Registration for EU citizens is compulsory. You will require proof of GBA registration, health insurance and a valid passport and will also be interviewed about your purpose in the Netherlands. The registration certificate is a sticker in your passport. Nationals of Bulgaria and Romania apply for a different permit: proof of lawful residence. If you have been a resident for five years or more, you are eligible for the Permanent Residence for EU Citizens certificate that costs EUR 40. This also applies to nationals of Bulgaria and Romania and non-EU/EEA/Swiss family members who have lived with you for five years. 8

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Non-EU/EEA/Swiss All non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals require a residence permit and may also need an MVV (see below) to enter the Netherlands to stay for more than three months. Once registered with the GBA, you make an appointment with the IND to apply for a residence permit. MVV (Machtiging tot Voorlopig Verblijf) This is an authorisation for temporary stay that applies to migrants intending to stay longer than three months (90 days) and it can only be applied for while you are outside the Netherlands. An examination covering Dutch language and culture (Civic Integration Abroad, EUR 350) is part of the procedure for some family-based MVVs but generally not for family members of expatriates. See www.naarnederland.nl for more details on the test. The MVV is a sticker (valid for six months) placed in your passport and its costs vary according to the purpose of your stay. Who doesn’t need an MVV? When applying for a residence permit, there is no MVV requirement for nationals of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA, and Vatican City. Independent permits After three years in the Netherlands, a non-EU national who has a residence permit based on a relationship (a Dutch partner, for example) can apply for a permit in their own right (Residence Permit for Continued Residence). Costs (January 2012. See IND website for full list.) Stay with/join a family EUR 1250 Additional family members EUR 250 Temporary residence (no MVV) EUR 750 Highly skilled migrant (no MVV) EUR 750 Extension EUR 375 Continued Residence EUR 950 Permanent Residence EUR 401

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Group Brighter Solutions for People and Businesses on the Move We offer the following services: • Relocation • Immigration Services • Real Estate • Property Management • China Office • Moving Services • BISIS Education • Business Centre • Consulting Services

NOVA Group Het Kleine Loo 414 T - NL-2592 CK The Hague Flightforum 3830, NL-5657 DX Eindhoven Tel: +31 (0)70 324 25 24 - info@novagrp.eu Offices in The Netherlands The Hague Eindhoven Belgium Brussels Antwerp Ghent Mechelen Diest NATO Staff Centre Brussels France Paris Luxembourg Luxembourg United Kingdom Preston

Group

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Why limit yourself? Choose a truly global university!

Webster University is the only American-accredited university in the Netherlands. European campuses in Geneva, London, Vienna and Amsterdam. Worldwide campuses in the USA, Thailand and China. Visit www.webster.nl to find more information about our flexible Bachelor & Master programs.

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There are also ‘accelerated’ EUR 600 tariffs for students, scientific researchers, exchange programmes and au pairs. These rates are subject to frequent change, so it is best to refer to www.ind.nl. Civic Integration Act The inburgering (civic integration) legislation obliges those who want to stay with a family member who already resides in the Netherlands on a permanent basis to speak the language by passing the integration exam abroad. Some elementary knowledge of the Dutch language, culture and society is required. The main exemption is EU citizens and their partners (also Switzerland, EEA, people under 18 and over 65). Passing the exam is a requirement for those who apply for permanent residence. Knowledge migrants and those in the Netherlands for work/study purposes are exempted while on temporary permits. Visit www.hetbegintmettaal.nl for more details. For information on taking the exam abroad, you can call +31 (0)70 3487575.

With an MVV under this scheme, it is possible to start work straight away, while waiting for the residence permit to come through. (Some applicants, who don’t specifically need an MVV, also get an MVV for this reason.) The sponsoring employer deals with the residence and MVV application. Since December 2007, foreign students who have completed an HBO/WO (higher education) course can file an application with the IND to remain in the Netherlands for a year to look for a job. This is known as a zoekjaar and during this period they are not eligible for social benefits and must support themselves financially. During this year they do not need a separate work permit in order to work. If they find an appropriate job (minimum salary EUR 26,931 for new graduates), they can apply for residence under the highly skilled migrant scheme. Changing permits Most residence permits can be extended, with the exception of, for example, working holiday scheme permits and the special permit for a preparatory year for students. If you switch permits (residency based on a work permit to residency as a highly skilled migrant), you must apply for that permit again with the IND, with supporting documentation. Identification All residents over the age of 14 must carry an ID that shows their residence status (for EU/EER nationals, a passport).

Highly skilled migrant scheme (Kennismigranten) This scheme is initiated by an employer authorised to admit highly skilled migrant applicants — there’s a complete list on the IND site — and it applies to jobs with a gross salary of over EUR 51,239 or EUR 37,575 for under 30s. These salary bands don’t apply to teaching and academic positions, which are also covered by the scheme. Footballers are explicitly excluded. A highly skilled migrant needs to get an MVV while staying abroad before applying for a residence permit in the Netherlands.

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Englishlanguage

books

in the heart of

Amsterdam

From gripping fiction to beautiful children’s books and everything in-between, explore fantastic titles at Waterstones. With our friendly, expert booksellers and unbeatable range and selection, you’ll find everything you need and more.

Waterstones, the home of English books. Kalverstraat 152, 1012 XE Amsterdam Tel: 020 6383821 Facebook.com/WatAdam Twitter: @watamsterdam

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Noordam Advocatuur legal services for expatriates Redundancy proceedings Employment contracts Employment disputes Housing and rental issues Tel. +31 (0)20-689 81 23

TULIP EXPATS SERVICES

www.noordamadvocatuur.nl

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Expat centres in the Netherlands expatcenter amsterdam World Trade Center Amsterdam F Tower - Strawinskylaan 39 (2nd floor) 1077 XW Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0)20 254 7999 welcome@expatcenter.iamsterdam.com www.iamsterdam.com/expatcenter expatdesk rotterdam World Trade Center Rotterdam Beursplein 37 - (Room 337/ 338) 3011 AA Rotterdam Tel: +31 (0)10 205 3749 / 010 205 2829 expatdesk@rotterdam.nl www.rotterdam.nl/expatdesk expat Center for the netherlands Startbaan 8 - 1185XR Amstelveen, P.O. Box 754 - 1180AT Amstelveen, Tel: +31 (0)20 441 1426 www.expatcenter.nl | info@expatcenter.nl the Hague international Centre City Hall (Atrium) Spui 70 - 2511 BT The Hague internationalcentre@denhaag.nl Tel: +31 (0)70 353 5043 www.denhaag.nl | www.thehague.com expat information services Center (almere) P.J. Oudweg 4 (WTC AA) - 1314 CH Almere Tel: +31 (0)36 548 5020 wtcaa@wtcaa.nl | www.wtcaa.nl

eindhoven Kennedyplein 200 5611 ZT Eindhoven Tel: +31 (0)40 238 6777 eindhoven@expatcenterbrabant.com tilburg Nieuwlandstraat 34 5038 SN Tilburg Tel: +31 (0)40 238 6777 tilburg@expatcenterbrabant.com expat Centre leiden Stationsweg 41 - 2312 AT Leiden welcome@expatcentreleiden.nl Tel: +31 (0)71 516 6005 www.expatcentreleiden.nl Holland gateway Schiphol-based hub for international business in the Netherlands WTC Schiphol Airport, Schiphol Boulevard 167 1118 BG Schiphol Tel: +31 (0)20 206 5920 contact@hollandgateway.nl | www.hollandgateway.nl/ international service desk Maastricht Region Mosae Forum 10 6211 DW Maastricht International@maastricht.nl Tel: +31 (0)43 350 5010 www.maastricht.nl nijmegen expatdesk Stadswinkel Mariënburg 75 - 6511 Nijmegen Tel: +31 (0)24 329 2408 openhuis@nijmegen.nl | www.nijmegen.nl/expats

expat Center Brabant Currently serving Eindhoven and Tilburg www.expatcenterbrabant.com

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Relocation service providers

Relocation Companies NOVA Relocation NOVA Relocation BV, offices: Het Kleine Loo 414T, 2592 CK The Hague & Flightforum 3830, 5657 DX Eindhoven + 31 (0)70 324 2524 info@novagrp.eu | www.novagrp.eu

Lawyers Noordam Advocatuur Noordam Advocatuur PO Box 75280 | 1070 AG Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0)20 689 8123 www.noordamadvocatuur.nl

PAS BMS Relocation Services Schoutenlaan 62 2215ME Voorhout Tel: +31 (0)25 234 7876 info@pasbms.com | www.pasbms.com Tulip Expats Services Malakkastraat 88/90, 2585 SR The Hague Tel: +31 (0)70 220 8156 www.tulipexpatsservices.com info@tulipexpatsservices.com

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Special needs A wide array of organisations assists people with special needs in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has legislation protecting the rights of people with a physical, mental, emotional, or sensory impairment that ensures equal access to social, economic and transport systems and full participation in society. In typical Dutch fashion, multiple ministries and organisations coordinate policy. Your doctor, city hall or one of the major advice centres (ANGO, CG-Raad or MEE) can point you in the right direction. Experienced expats can also provide invaluable advice and support; start a thread on a forum such as Expatica Community, if existing threads don’t cover your query. Transport Old Dutch cities with narrow, uneven streets and bikes parked everywhere are not brilliant terrain for those in wheelchairs, but access is improving. Help is available getting to/through Schiphol airport (www.schiphol.nl) and on the railways (www.ns.nl), and there’s a bureau for disabled travellers (030-235 7822). Your gemeente site will give local information, often in English, for the location of disabled parking places and other access issues. Or select zorg en welzijn and gehandicapten. Education Wherever possible, children are encouraged to attend mainstream primary schools under the ‘Going to school together’ policy. A quarter of Down’s syndrome children now attend mainstream education. Parents can also opt for a special school with a referral from a Regional Education Centre (REC). There are 320 special primary schools and 323 secondary schools. The language of instruction is Dutch, but children from a non-Dutch background can sometimes be taught in their mother tongue to help them settle in. You will find SEN teachers at international schools (public and private) where the language of instruction will be (mostly) English but you may 14

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have to fund the assistant. Contact the school directly in the first instance. For higher education, ‘education and disability’ is an expert centre (www.onderwijsenhandicap.nl). Funding Many services (such as transport) are supported by government funding but there is also financial support for individual families: additional child benefit; healthcare and carer allowances; adaptations to home or transport. Search for ‘special needs’ on the government social welfare site www.svb.nl/int/en. Going out Wheelchair accessible hotels are selectable from the national tourist board (www.holland.com) and restaurants from several sites (such as www.iens. nl, www.dinnersite.nl). Good sources for sporty types include Stichting Resa (www.stichtingresa. nl) or www.fondsgehandicaptensport.nl. Holiday De Zeeland (www.zeilenalacarte.nl) offers adapted sailing trips for wheelchair users and families and some campsites such as De Ruimte (www.campingderuimte.nl) cater especially for children with special needs. Find out about accessible nature reserves and recreation areas at Staatsbosbeheer (www.staatsbosbeheer.nl).

Links (mostly in Dutch) • ANGO (General Dutch Disabled Organisation): www.ango.nl • MEE: www.mee.nl (Enter a postcode for local resources). • CG-RAAD: www.raad.nl for chronically sick and handicapped. • Handilinks: www.handilinks.nl is a useful portal with lots of links. • Dutch Autism Network: www.landelijknetwerkautisme.nl • Autism Association for Overseas Families: www.aaof.info • Deaf/Blind: www.doofblind.nl • Children: www.nsgk.nl; www.moov.nl • Accessibility Foundation-for internet accessibility for all www.accessibility.nl • Valys: Regional Assisted Transport www.valys.nl.

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• • FA M I L I E S • •

Families Ranked number one in the world for children’s well-being according to research reported by UNICEF, the Netherlands is great for families. Recent immigration policies have had a significant impact on those wishing to bring their family to the Netherlands or join a partner. New rules requiring couples to be married to have their residency application accepted by the IND and the repealing of the ‘extended family reunion’ purpose of residence will likely come into force in 2012. Visit the news section of the IND website (http://english.ind.nl/ nieuws/) for the most up-to-date information. The costs are considerably higher for migrants joining their family than for newcomers coming for work or study. If you come to the Netherlands to form or join a family, you may need to follow an integration programme. Check with the IND for the latest information and prices. Family members of expats living in or coming to the Netherlands with a residence permit for work or highly skilled migrants do not need the integration programme. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and family members You need to register at the GBA. When you (plan to) reside in the Netherlands for more than three months, you are required to register at the IND after three months. You must ensure that all appropriate documentation (marriage certificates, birth certificates for you and your children etc.) is duly stamped with an apostille (if this is relevant for your country) and that you have valid passports for all family members. The IND doesn’t charge for this. Bulgarian and Romanian citizens can submit an application for verification with community law at the IND. This applies to Romanian and Bulgarian nationals who would like to register independently in the

Netherlands and to non-EU family members of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals. This application is compulsory and costs EUR 43. EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and their family members do not need a work permit. This does not apply to Bulgarian and Romanian citizens. Visit www.ind. nl or www.szw.nl for more information. Non-EU/EEA All non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals must have their own residence permits. The family rate is EUR 1250 for the first applicant and EUR 250 for each family member. Simultaneous application as a family is cheaper. The employee pays EUR 600 and EUR 250 for each family member. These rates are subject to frequent change, so it is best to refer to www.ind.nl. Partners of highly skilled migrants do not need a work permit and will usually get a residence permit that is valid for a year; children get the same permit conditions as the highly skilled migrant. Significant conditions You must be able to prove you can support your family. The IND publishes a table of required income rates. If you, along with your family, come to the Netherlands as an employee, your contract will be sufficient to meet the requirements regardless of the length of employment. Au pairs Bringing an au pair to the Netherlands is restricted. One of the key rules is that the au pair cannot have previously worked for your family abroad, and if your au pair overstays you will be held responsible for repatriation costs. An au pair can stay in the Netherlands for one year for the purpose of cultural exchange and is not allowed to work outside of the au pair duties. The IND website (www.ind.nl) has a separate section for au pairs who wish to come to the Netherlands as well as forms and guidelines for those who want to sponsor one. Below are some general facts; consult the IND website for more details. Au pair: Over 18 and under 26; unmarried with no dependents; only light domestic duties to

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advertentie E

• • FA M I L I E S • •

assist the host family with a maximum of hours: 8/day, 30/week, 2 days off, expenses max. EUR 340 per month; appropriate health insurance, TB test, if necessary; no previous Dutch residence permit.

Pre-school/playgroups (peuterspeelzalen): Activities and play for 2 to 4 year olds. This is more often a social thing rather than proper daycare but — if you can get a place — it might be sufficient if you intend to work part-time.

Sponsor: Sufficient income to support family and au pair; signature on sponsor document; daily schedule for au pair.

Some employers have their own daycare arrangements or local daycare places.

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After-school care: Some daycare centres provide this (for children up to 12) but it is also provided by buitenschoolse opvang (BSO) and naschoolse opvang establishments (also on www.kinderopvang.net).

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Childcare (kinderopvang) It is never too early to register your child for daycare; for instance, when you are pregnant. Governmental policy (in English) can be found on the ministry site www.ocw.nl. Options Kinderdagverblijf: Public daycare for children aged 6 weeks to 4 years. Centres are generally open from 8.00 to 18.00. Find a local one at www.kinderopvang.net. Urban areas have a shortage so expect long waiting lists. Private daycare: In large cities there are private facilities with longer (up to 24 hour) opening hours, which are considerably more expensive, as well as international nurseries and pre-school establishments. 16

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Child benefit Parents living or working in the Netherlands with children under 18 are entitled to the kinderbijslag, a quarterly contribution to the cost of raising children from the Sociale Verzerkerings Bank (SVB). The amount depends on the number of children in your household, special needs etc. but is not income-related. It can be paid into an international bank account (but this will take longer). Find information in six languages and a list of local offices at www.svb.nl.

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EXPATDESK ROTTERDAM Rotterdam is a hospitable international city. The city welcomes you as an expat with open arms. When you come to live, work or recreate in Rotterdam, we offer tailormade information. The Expatdesk Rotterdam is the place for all your questions.

EXPATDESK ROTTERDAM WORLD TRADE CENTER ROOM 337 / 338 BEURSPLEIN 37 ROTTERDAM PHONE +31 (0)10 – 205 28 29 +31 (0)10 – 205 37 49 EXPATDESK@ROTTERDAM.NL WWW.ROTTERDAM.NL/EXPATDESK

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• • FA M I L I E S • •

Childcare allowance Parents working (or studying) in the Netherlands are entitled to the childcare allowance (kinderopvangtoeslag). This is a contribution to the cost of childcare, whether for a childcare centre, afterschool care or a private childminder (gastouder). The allowance can reduce childcare costs by up to 90 percent, depending on income and number of children. Contact the tax office for details. Changes to the Dutch Childcare Act in 2010 were a reduction in childcare allowance for private childminders and no allowance for live-in childminders. Private childminders need to show proof of formal training and/or experience, and first-aid training is mandatory. From 1 January 2012, the Dutch Social Affairs Ministry has imposed stricter rules on the granting of childcare allowances. To claim allowances, parents must be in regular employment. Retrospective applications for allowances are reduced from a maximum of one year to one month. In 2013, parents will risk being fined if they do not pass information to the Tax Office (belastingdienst) within the correct timeframe when they amend the number of childcare hours that they receive. Parents will not be able to claim allowances if they look after each other’s children and parents will not be able to claim more than 230 hours per child, per month for all types of care. There is a cap on the maximum number of hours that parents can declare, which is linked to the number of hours worked by the parent who works the lowest contracted number of hours.

As of 2013, the Government wants to repeal the employer’s contribution (werkgeversbijdrage), which is around 33.3% of the allowance. Should this regulation go through, households with a joint income above EUR 118.000 will no longer receive an allowance for the child receiving the most hours of day/afterschool care. Additional children in the family will no longer receive 50-70% but rather this contribution will drop to around 25-37% (depending on the family income). Top tips for families Get out and about! There are many playgrounds tucked between the houses, streets and shops but the Dutch transport system makes it easy to explore further afield. Good sites for finding out more about children’s activities include www.uitkrant.nl (choose Jeugd from the genres) and ‘out with children’ (www.uitmetkinderen.nl). Dutch publisher Kidsgids (www.kidsgids.nl) publishes a number of guides in Dutch (one in English) that will give you lots of ideas. • Fun for free. Visit a children’s farm or kinderboerderij. These city farms often have activities on Wednesday afternoons. • Cultural fun. Dutch museums often have audio guides for kids available in several languages. • Hit the beach. The Netherlands has 451 kilometres of (windy!) coastline accessible by car, bike, boat and public transport. • Theme parks – Dutch style. De Efteling is a huge park offering (scary/exciting) rides for older kids and a Disney-esque experience with folkloric touches for younger ones. • Top scoff. Who could resist poffertjes? Tiny puffed up pancakes served with butter and tons of powdered sugar.

In the event of sickness, holiday, parental leave, extra training, or part-time unemployment benefit, the number or hours worked remains unchanged as does the number of hours of childcare allowance granted. The same rules apply for both independent entrepreneurs and those employed by an organisation.

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•• HOUSING ••

Housing Finding the perfect home is not easy in the densely populated Netherlands. The Dutch housing market is characterised by low owner-occupancy and the biggest social housing sector in Europe. In the past, governments have promoted house ownership with some success using financial incentives such as making mortgage interest taxdeductible. Just over half of the housing stock is now owner-occupied, more in rural areas than major cities. In the past year, more houses have become available in the private rental sector mainly because more people have put their houses on the rental market, waiting for a better sellers’ market while minimising their double housing expenses and changes have been made to the social housing act and the related ‘point system’ that indicates if a rental property is subject to the social housing acts or not. Buying a property is now cheaper than it used to be. The reduced transfer tax (the Dutch government decided on a regulation to boost the Dutch housing market and transfer tax has been reduced from six percent to two percent) and lower prices make it more attractive than it was two to three years ago. RENT OR BUY? The usual advice offered is that if you are here for more than three to five years and are paying a significant rent (say EUR 1,500 a month or more), you are better off buying a house in the Netherlands. Buyers who may wish to retain the property and rent it out in the future should make sure that there is a scenario whereby given the restrictive verordening (regulation) in Amsterdam - the legal rent that they are permitted to charge covers costs. The main incentive for potential buyers is that mortgage interest payments are tax-deductible if the house is your main residence. However, there is ongoing political discussion regarding phasing this out. Current plans indicate that, as of

1 January 2013, only interest payments for full repayment mortgages will be tax deductible. Definite plans, however, depend on the outcome of the elections on 12 September 2012. Expats are advised to buy only if they will be in the Netherlands for three years minimum, mainly due to the recovery of start-up costs involved in buying property (around six percent of the purchase price). But, with an increase in interest rates, recovery could take longer. If you are only here for a couple of years, renting is likely your best option. Contract costs are fixed, repairs and maintenance are the landlord’s headache and contracts can be ended if you need to return home. FIRST, FIND YOUR HOME Properties to rent (te huur) and to buy (te koop) are in newspapers and agency websites including www.funda.nl, the national database of the Nederlandse Vereniging van Makelaars (NVM), and the Dutch Association of Estate agents. There are many agencies specialising in expats (be wary of those that charge a registration fee), which can steer a path through the local market. The downside of using an agency is the commission or finder’s fee. A month’s rent (plus 19 percent tax) is the going rate. On the other hand, by not using a reputable agent you run the risk of renting an illegal apartment, being removed by a handhavings action, not recovering your deposit, being bound by an unreasonable contract, and paying too much. Most agents who list their rentals at www.funda.nl do not charge tenants a brokerage commission since they charge their fee to landlords. If you’re baffled by real estate terminology, try a website like www.pararius.com with searches in six languages. However, be aware that pararius. com lists unscreened properties and there is no verification that the listing agent has actually seen them. In urban areas, rentals start at EUR 900 upwards, although most people will not qualify for these properties as they either earn too much or have no required link with Greater Amsterdam. You can search for English language postings on housing.expatica.com.

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Renting USING AN AGENT A good agent should be able to tell you about the market, city, price and quality of housing, as well as restrictions that apply to expats, arrange visits for you, negotiate with landlords, and provide a contract in English. Make sure they have a good choice of properties on their books. There are three sectors: • Distribution sector: these are properties that have restrictions on them such as income level, place of work, and visa type/status. These restrictions are applied by the local authority and which all intermediaries should be aware of them and also apply them. You are only allowed to rent property in this sector when your total taxable household income (i.e. the combined income of all occupants) is e43.000 or less. This is including holiday allowance, bonuses etc. • Liberalised sector: most expats end up living in accommodation in these sectors as there are fewer restrictions. • Housing corporations: rent-controlled property mainly owned by housing corporations. While these properties are often considered to be the best value, there are many restrictions regarding who may live in them and waiting lists can be several years long. RULES AND REGULATIONS • The Dutch rental system for housing, tenants and agents is intensely regulated but not necessarily reflective of current market conditions. The points system is the framework within which base rent (kale huur) is determined. However, the reality is that there are too few rental properties, which puts upwards pressure on some types of accommodation. Dutch base rents are calculated using a ‘points’ system, woningwaarderingsstelsel, which scores everything from the floor space and heating system to the size of the kitchen sink. See www.vrom.nl for more information on the House Value Rating System. • The government regulates base-rents up to EUR 653.85 a month (2012) and anything over this price is in the ‘liberalised’ sector (assuming it has 20

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the correct points/price ratio). • Signed the contract but now think you are paying too much? Contact a local huurteam. • Some landlords expect your employer to act as a guarantor. • Generally income and residency conditions for cheaper housing apply, and you need an economic tie to the region. • Be cautious of sub-lets when searching solo. You may have problems registering with the GBA and be evicted with little notice. Costs and contracts Your rental contract should cover: • Status: is the property furnished, semi-furnished or empty? There may be an inventory and/or photos. • Duration of lease (e.g. one year). • Notice period and stipulations about how notice should be provided. • Service charges (check “all-in.” What portion is rent?). • Utilities (apportioned how?). If you agree to a monthly fee, including an advance for utilities, then make sure that utility use is metered for your property. In this way, you can make sure you’re not paying too much (and the landlord can ensure that he/she is not receiving too little). • A diplomatic clause if you have to leave because your employer has relocated you elsewhere. You need to be clear on when and how this clause can be used to allow you to escape your rental obligations. Expect to pay one or two months’ rent as deposit, a month’s rent in advance to the landlord and a month’s rent plus 19 percent tax as commission if you use an agent. AGENT TIPS (PERFECT HOUSING) • Discuss your needs explicitly. • Select one, at most two, agencies: “we all talk to each other”. • Arrange viewings three weeks before you need to move in, no earlier. Oh, and have vision: “You may still have to look through the crap of the current tenant strewn randomly throughout every room.” • Make your mind up. You like the place. You agree terms in writing. You take it. • Don’t be pressured, but be ready to move quickly.

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•• HOUSING ••

OTHER OPTIONS If the agent brokerage commission seems one financial burden too many, there are other ways to find property but you will need to put in lots of legwork and don’t expect the monthly rental price to be much cheaper. Most of all, you will need luck and timing is important. If you start your search too early (say a couple of months before you need to move in) good properties won’t be available. Every avenue is worth exploring. Post a notice in the housing section of expat forums or Dutch internet sites with housing or reply to postings from private landlords. Steer clear of anyone asking for a cash payment or commission. Given the competition for housing, you need to be able to respond to adverts quickly and, if you can, take someone along with you when viewing. If you see a flat advertised in an estate agency window or in a newspaper with an estate agent contact number, make it clear you are only interested in that property and you shouldn’t have to pay a commission but you will still have to pay a deposit, share utilities etc. There may be room for negotiation. Always check that you can register with the GBA and check the contract. The standard NVM (Dutch estate agent association) contract has an English version for comparison. STUDENTS Universities try their best to help students with housing but don’t play down the shortage issues. There are non-commercial agencies for students, housing corporations and antikraak (anti-squat) agencies that rent out accommodation. Check the city housing department or Dienst Wonen for more information about low-priced housing. There are often links to other useful room (kamer) internet sites and other sources.

SHORTER-TERM HOUSING Many cities in the Netherlands have aparthotels for corporate clients, which can sometimes be less anonymous than hotels. If you are looking for a private apartment for a couple of months, the websites aimed at tourists are also worth scouring and they have a wide choice of accommodation including property in the choicest of locations, which will be priced accordingly. New short-stay rules in Amsterdam mean that it is ‘illegal’ to rent the majority of properties for less than six months. The only exceptions are where a property has been explicitly exempted or where the landlord has a short-stay permit and when a property was built after 1 January 2008. Despite this, there are many properties listed for less than six-month stays that are illegal due to new rules.

LIVING ON THE WATER Tempted by life on a houseboat or Dutch barge? The houseboat market is a very closeknit community so personal references will go a long way. There are many rules and regulations regarding permits and mooring conditions and, if you want to buy a boat, it will usually (certainly for newcomers) be a cash transaction. Track down a specialist agent to steer you through the procedures. Useful sites include www.waterwonen.nl; www.botentekoop.nl (which includes all kinds of boats for sale).

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•• HOUSING ••

Buying It is common to appoint a makelaar to do much of the legwork: tracking down appropriate houses, arranging viewings, suggesting areas where there’s room for negotiation, and advising on potential pitfalls. Some properties come with specific regulations; some expats have bought property only to find they don’t have permission (woonvergunning) to live in it. Another benefit might be that a makelaar knows which property will come on the market shortly. As with renting, find a makelaar who understands your needs and let them get on with it. The agent’s commission will be one or two percent of the purchase price. You can hunt on Funda (www.funda.nl) to get ideas of prices in particular areas or scour the pages of newspaper housing supplements. Proximity to work, schools and amenities all play their part. Be aware of the costs involved in renovating older property to current building standards or the quality required for renting. For leasehold properties, check out the ground rents. Tax is also levied on the deemed rental value (WOZ) set every year. See www.nvm.nl for useful information in English. ARRANGING A MORTGAGE (HYPOTHEEK) There are many different types of mortgage and the tax issues are complex. The general conditions for a mortgage up to four or five times your salary are: • You have a permanent residence permit (depending on nationality and employment contract, this may not be applicable). • You are in full-time employment or have a continuation statement from your employer. • If self-employed or a contractor, you have certified accounts for the last three years and forecasts for the following year. • Maximum mortgage obtainable is 106 percent of purchase price.

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COSTS The buyer generally pays costs (kk - kosten koper) but some costs are tax-deductible. Allow for around six percent on top of the purchase price. Once your offer has been accepted, the property should come off the market. A written agreement is mandatory. Make sure your finances are in place first (i.e. that a mortgage lender will lend you up to X amount). On completion, both parties sign a transfer contract (akte van levering) and the notaris informs the Land Registry (www. kadaster.nl). The whole process can take just two to three months. Pre-sale agreement (koopovereenkomst). Prepared by vendor’s agent or lawyer (notaris) with a 72-hour ‘cooling off‘ period. It will include details of when the 10 percent deposit should be paid. Valuation (taxatierapport). Designed for mortgage purposes; not a survey. Transfer or conveyancing tax (overdrachtsbelasting). Two percent of the purchase price (reduced from the former six percent by the government for one year, backdated to 15 June 2011 to boost the housing market). Deed of transfer (transportakte). Mortgage contract (hypotheekakte). Closing fee for bank (afsluitprovisie). Agent commission (makelaarscourtage). Generally one to two percent, if applicable. A full structural survey is sensible; possibly fees for translation, plus 19 percent VAT on the total. Updated in cooperation with Finsens, Expat Mortgages and Perfect housing.

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•• HOUSING ••

BUYING A HOUSE IN THE NETHERLANDS As an expat, buying a house in the Netherlands offers you financial benefits. Your personal advisor at ABN AMRO will guide you: • Through all the necessary steps to arrange your mortgage • Assist you in matters concerning insurance, savings, investments, loans en day-to-day banking For more information visit abnamro.nl/mortgages

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•• HOUSING ••

Amsterdam

housing. There’s a leafy, gracious-living feel with cafes and shopping streets to match. WEST (OUD-WEST) Across the park, housing is cheaper (and smaller) yet Oud-West is another area very popular with expats, particularly districts such as Helmersbuurt, which is a little more urban and edgy than Oud-Zuid and not as expensive for buyers.

Beautiful Amsterdam is a highly prized location with a diverse international population (over 170 nationalities) with people from Morocco, Turkey, United Kingdom, and Germany topping the list of non-Dutch citizens. There are many distinct neighbourhoods densely packed together and the competition for housing is fierce. Amsterdam is expected to have a population of 850,000 by 2030. This growth will be made possible by new residential developments: IJburg and Zeeburgereiland in Oost and Bongerd and Overhoeks in Noord. CENTRE AND CANALS In the centre, apartments veer towards snug rather than spacious and stairs are steep. Prices on the canal ring (grachtengordel) lined with 17th and 18th century houses are vertiginous. JORDAAN This district just west of the grachtengordel is an exceptionally desirable neighbourhood with beautiful canals and quirky, narrow streets occupied by a bohemian mixture of artists, yuppies and expats, with a core of workingclass locals. Prices have exploded in recent years and in terms of price per square metre, it offers poor value and accommodation is often cramped. SOUTH (OUD-ZUID) Oud-Zuid is a popular location for expats with easy access to international schools, the Vondelpark and spacious, privately-owned 24

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ZEEBURG, KNSM and DOCKLANDS Behind Centraal Station lies a very different Amsterdam. Zeeburg (which comprises Oostelijk Havengebeid, the Indische Buurt and the new islands of Ijburg) offers architecturally interesting surroundings in one of Amsterdam’s hottest development areas. A little less familyfriendly, but a growing area. Further west and growing in popularity are KNSM Island and the Eastern Docklands. This former working port established on four artificial island peninsulas is becoming home to locals and expats who enjoy their modern accommodation options with a twist of traditional Dutch streetscapes and buildings. The area offers more space for your housing budget, while remaining easily accessible to central Amsterdam.

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Population: 780,559 (www.os.amsterdam.nl) International residents: ‘Non-Western foreigners’: 34.9 percent ‘Western foreigners’: 14.9 percent International schools: Amsterdam International Community School: www.aics.espritsholen.nl British School of Amsterdam: www.britams.nl International School Amsterdam (in Amstelveen): www.isa.nl The Japanese School of Amsterdam: www.jsa.nl Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh: www.lyceevangogh.nl Links: www.amsterdam.nl www.iamsterdam.com (English site)

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In House of Bols, the Cocktail & Genever experience, visitors can discover the world’s oldest distilled spirit brand Lucas Bols, in Amsterdam since 1575. House of Bols is an experience into the world of cocktails and bartending, as well as a discovery of the traditional Dutch drink: Genever.

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The experience is a spectacular combination of taste, smell, visuals, sounds and films; where Dutch history meets contemporary design. A lot of attention in House of Bols is focused on the glamorous world of bartending and the self-guided tour ends with a Bols cocktail of your choice in the mirror bar. House of Bols offers a unique variety of different activities to extend your tour. Surprise your friends, INCLUD family or colleagues with a culinary liqueur tasting, a cocktail workshop or celebrate your special occasions in the mirror bar of the House of Bols with delicious Bols cocktails. A

C O K TA C

HOUSE OF BOLS, OPPOSITE VAN GOGH MUSEUM Paulus Potterstraat 14, Amsterdam OPENING HOURS 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm daily, Friday Night till 10.00 pm (Closed on Tuesdays) ENTRANCE FEE â‚Ź 11,50 (min. age 18 years) this includes a cocktail of your choice WWW.HOUSEOFBOLS.COM

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•• HOUSING ••

Eindhoven Philips and Eindhoven go hand-in-hand. But the city and surrounds also have a lot more to offer - as many expats have already discovered. In 2011, Eindhoven was dubbed the smartest city in the world by the Intelligent Community Forum ICF in New York. This doesn’t mean that the citizens have the world’s highest IQs but rather that the region makes best use of ICT and broadband internet. It’s not surprising that the region accounts for around 40 percent of R&D (research and development) investments in the Netherlands and is officially referred to as ‘Brainport’. Until the arrival of Dr Philips in 1891, Eindhoven was not much more than a collection of villages. Because of 19th century urban planning decisions, there are no canals and pre-1940 architecture was destroyed by wartime bombing. But over the years, things have changed immensely and for the better. Thanks to hi-tech multinational employers, there’s a large community of expats. Eindhoven also has a world-class Technical University and the Design Academy Eindhoven. Well-connected, Eindhoven railway station is close to the centre and the airport is about 3 km away. Centre Accommodation is mainly in new, pricey apartments, which are popular with single expats and couples without children. People living in the centre have plenty of facilities, including a shopping mall and scores of international restaurants. International schools (attended by children from Den Bosch and Tilburg) and the PSV football stadium are also located here.

east Situated around the Karpendonkse Lake and Eckart Forest, the area has a range of housing including some exclusive detached properties. soutH The Philips High-Tech Campus is situated at Gestel along with the International Primary School, the Open-air Museum and the Tongelreep International Swimming Complex. villages The villages surrounding Eindhoven’s centre are popular with expats. International schools are still within cycling distance and the sense of community is greater. Nuenen was home to Vincent van Gogh (1883-1885) and the older centre stretches around a leafy village green. Some detached housing; outer areas are newer and mid-priced. Veldhoven is virtually a southwest suburb (the other side of the A2 from Eindhoven). Housing is modern and in a range of price bands. More rural retreats can be found in Waalre, which is surrounded by large areas of forest. The twin towns of Son and Breugel are usually mentioned in a single breath. Son has a pleasant old centre but the majority of housing is located in newer, greener (and more expensive) districts. Popular with expats.

Population: 216,068 (The region has around 725,000 inhabitants) (www.eindhoven.nl) international residents: 29 percent international schools: Regional International School (4-12) and International Secondary School Eindhoven: www.isecampus.nl links: www.eindhoven.nl www.eindhoven.eu

nortH (woensel) The area north of the centre is divided by wide, tree-lined boulevards. Housing is mostly newbuild with apartments and terraced houses for all budgets. Woensel South is cheaper and the market is great for ethnic shopping.

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•• HOUSING ••

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Amstelveen

Prices are slightly cheaper than in Amsterdam but there’s more family-style housing with gardens (70 percent built after 1960) and excellent shopping and local amenities, particularly for sporty types. The extra space means parking is not a problem and many homes have garages. Amstelveen’s population is booming, with a total of 85,000 citizens predicted for 2020. Another 3,800 houses will likely be built between now and 2020, with more than half on the edge of the Westwijk area. Key attractions for residents, workers and businesses are the proximity to Schiphol airport and access to international schools. The International School of Amsterdam is based here with over 950 children from over 50 countries but pupils at Amsterdam’s other international schools (such as the British School) often live in Amstelveen. The area is flanked by Amsterdam’s largest park, the Amsterdamse Bos, and the CoBrA Museum adds of a dash of culture.

HET OUDE DORP ‘The Old Village’ is the ancient hub of the original settlement (1278) with the Amsterdamse Bos to the west and the town centre to the east. There’s a mix of older detached houses, farms, terraced houses, and apartments. WESTWIJK Westwijk is a relatively new area of Amstelveen, which is more modern and spacious and lined with small canals. The one central shopping zone in the centre of the neighbourhood preserves the feeling of a residential area. Larger detached family homes and villas are available here, in a green and tranquil setting that offers a lot of individual privacy. These are premium properties, so expect to pay premium prices. ELSRIJK Directly north of the town centre, this is considered classic Amstelveen with its wide streets, huge trees and post-war housing next to small parks. There are terraces, semidetached houses and villas. PATRIMONIUM Running along the Amsterdamse Bos, there’s a mix of housing, shops and businesses in a variety of styles and periods. The Prinsessenbuurt in the north west of Patrimonium is known for large open spaces and detached houses set amongst some of the oldest small parks in the area.

Population: 83,336 (www.amstelveen.nl) International residents: 11,117 total ‘non-Dutch’ (13 percent) International schools: International School of Amsterdam: www.isa.nl Links: www.amstelveen.nl www.amstelveenweb.com

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•• HOUSING ••

The Hague (Den Haag) Den Haag is the third most populated city in the Netherlands, the capital of South Holland, the seat of government, and the home of the Dutch royal family. It is also an outpost for most of the world’s human rights organisations including the International Court of Justice. Many embassies are based here and, with numerous international schools, it’s a comfortable place for relocation. The city has its own hospitality centre for expat residents and information on the city website (www.thehague.com) is available in eight languages. Its official name is ‘s-Gravenhage (literally, the count’s hedge) dating back to the 13th century and the Count of Holland’s hunting lodge, which was based in a village called Die Hague. History, ritual and tradition play their part in this city, with terrific museums and cultural events. Smart areas nearby such as Rijswijk and Voorburg have a sprinkling of Michelin-starred restaurants, though Den Haag itself is most famous for Indonesian cuisine. WASSENAAR The gated villas of Wassenaar house diplomats and upmarket expats, as well as members of the House of Orange. This district is known by some as the Beverly Hills of the Netherlands, and it remains a favourite among up-market expats with children and a large budget for housing. ARCHIPELBUURT/ WILLEMSPARK A city centre area of beautiful 19th century houses and apartments full of character. Broad streets and big town houses and villas. This is embassy land and a top location where prices are premium and parking places problematic.

STATENQUARTIER / DUINOORD A similar feel to Archipel, with charming, spacious, elegant homes. A solid investment all-round. BENOORDENHOUT A green, quiet location but still close to motorway and other transport links with woodlands to the north and east. Traditional, beautiful 1930s villas inhabited by wealthy older residents. Considering the space and environs, it would be a good option for young families with children. Also in this area is Mariahoeve, which has the benefit of being on the train line. SCHEVENINGEN If you want something less genteel, head for the seaside town of Scheveningen with its casino and long, sandy beach. Population: 496,745 (www.thehague.com) International residents: Non-Dutch: 48 percent International schools: The American School of the Hague: www.ash.nl; The British School of the Netherlands: www.britishschool. nl; Deutsche Internationale Schule Den Haag: www.disdh.nl; European School in The Hague: www.europeanschoolthehague.nl; HSV/The Hague International Primary School: www.hsvdenhaag.nl; The International School of the Hague: www.ishthehague; Le Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh: www.lyceevangogh. nl; Szkola Polska/Polish School in The Hague: www.spk-haga.nl; Sekolah Kedutaan Republik Indonesia di Wassenaar/Indonesian School in the Netherlands: www.sekolahindonesia.nl Links: www.denhaagwoonstad.nl/en • www.denhaag.com www.thehagueonline.com

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Utrecht Arriving in Utrecht by train, you emerge into the country’s largest shopping mall, but don’t let that put you off. Utrecht is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture. With its unusual sunken canals and cellar bars, the medieval centre is a delightful place to live. “A pleasant mix of urban excitement and small-town charm,” according to local convention centre Jaarbeurs. The vibe gets particularly lively at night due to the huge (70,000) student population. Utrecht is an attractive destination for international companies and enterprise because it has the most highly-educated labour force in the Netherlands. However, house-hunting here can be even harder than in Amsterdam. To deal with the shortage, the city is in the midst of expansion projects such as in Leidsche Rijn, and around the railway station to the west. No changes will be made to the historic city centre, and the Station Area will form a natural extension of the central district, bringing together the areas to the east and west of the railway tracks. Transport links are excellent, particularly by train. Utrecht is HQ for NS (Dutch National Railways) and Utrecht Centraal is the biggest and busiest train station in the Netherlands. The centre is prime territory, particularly the museum quarter and Wilhelminapark with its well-maintained 1930s houses. It is an easy commute to Amsterdam (25 minutes by train) and the service is regular (five trains an hour). IJSSELSTEIN Twenty minutes down the motorway is the popular suburb of IJsselstein, complete with a car-free medieval city centre and castle (now a museum). There are fast train connections to Utrecht and Nieuwegein and good cultural amenities. Nature lovers can enjoy the beautiful green heart of the Netherlands with bike trails through lovely countryside and along the river Lek.

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LEIDSCHE RIJN Officially part of the city of Utrecht, Leidsche Rijn consists of the two small villages of Vleuten and Meern, which were recently annexed and includes the entire agricultural area between those villages and Utrecht itself. Some 30,000 houses and new space for industry and companies are being built in Leidsche Rijn. In effect, this means that a medium-sized town, which will house 80,000 people, is being built out of nothing. Great effort is being made to create an environmentally friendly town with high quality housing. An underground motorway is the pride of the project. NIEUWEGEIN Lying 7 km south of Utrecht, Nieuwegein is a new town created in 1971 to cope with the expanding population of Utrecht. There are a variety of housing styles from classic Dutch brick homes to modern high-rises and, if you need to drive to work, easy access to nearby motorways (A2, A12 and A27). To the east is Houten, a fast-developing town, where a third of the population is under 20. DE VECHSTREEK This beautiful area is north west of Utrecht and close to the Loosdrechtse Plassen lakes. Popular with young families and retirees, Breukelen and Maarssen are connected to Utrecht by local rail and bus services. Older villages include OudZuilen (built around a castle) and MaarssenDorp. Maarssenbroek contains newer housing estates with local amenities and services in place.

Population: 316,448 (www.utrecht.nl) International residents: ‘Non-Western foreigners’: 21 percent ‘Western foreigners’: 10 percent International schools: IS Utrecht: www.isutrecht.nl Links: www.utrecht.nl www.iwcu.nl

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•• HOUSING ••

Rotterdam

Rotterdam is one of the most dynamic, booming cities in the Netherlands, with a growing expat population and a refreshing lack of tourists. Most of the city was destroyed by WWII bombs and, rather than rebuilding in traditional style like many Dutch cities, Rotterdam has been radically modernised. CENTRE The city centre offers characteristic buildings dating back to about 1900 alongside minimalist new-build in various guises: simple buildings with shared staircases, spacious villas and modern apartments. KRALINGEN If you’re young, single or ‘dinky’ (two incomes, no children), the neighbourhood of Kralingen is likely to appeal. Fifteen minutes east of the centre, Kralingen’s multi-million-euro mansions stand cheek by jowl with student digs and council housing. Near a lake and woods, the area has a very international feel and a huge variety of affordable to upmarket housing. KOP VAN ZUID Also favoured by young expats, Kop van Zuid (‘Head of South’) is the trendy extension of the city centre on the southern bank of the Nieuw Maas; great for executives wanting to get to work quickly in the mornings. Like London’s Docklands, it’s a mix of renovated old warehouses and smaller, newer housing and apartments. Upmarket urban prices apply.

HILLEGERSBERG Rotterdam’s jewel is Hillegersberg, a leafy suburb on the northeast of the city. The area escaped wartime bombing, leaving the old village centre and elegant residential streets intact. Homes in Hillegersberg are expensive but enduringly popular, sought after by the Dutch and expats alike. It is home to several of the international schools. Hillegersberg is only 10 minutes from the city centre, thanks to the excellent bus and tram network, or 20 minutes by car. Conversely, a few minutes on your bike brings you out of the city to meadows or the river Rotte. Hillegersberg is located around two fair-sized lakes, where there is endless boating and sailing in the summer, and skating in the winter. OTHER SUBURBS Schiebroek (west of Hillegersberg), and the newer Prinsenland and Ommoord (in the northeast) are becoming favoured expat sites. For those looking to rent rather than buy, it is relatively easy to find family accommodation at reasonable prices in Ommoord.

Population: 615,937 International residents: ‘Non-Western foreigners’: 37 percent ‘Western foreigners’: 11 percent International schools: Rotterdam International Secondary School: www.wolfert.nl/riss American International School of Rotterdam: www.aisr.nl De Blijberg (primary school with international department): www.blijberg.nl Japanese School of Rotterdam: www.jsrotte.nl/ Links: www.rotterdam.nl (some information in English) www.yourrotterdam.com (guide to moving to and settling in Rotterdam) www.rotterdamdailyphoto.blogspot.com (photographic impressions of Rotterdam)

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Housing Accomodation agencies Stoit Groep Tel: +31 (0)40 214 0660 www.stoit.nl info@stoit.nl HousingXL Eindhoven Kruisstraat 90A 5612 Eindhoven Tel: +31 (0)40 243 0030 Fax: +31(0)40 243 0034 E: eindhoven@housingxl.nl

Mortgage Provider ABN AMRO www.abnamro.nl/mortgages International Clients in Amsterdam: Tel: +31 (0)20 343 4002 expat.clients@nl.abnamro.com

International Clients in Rotterdam: Tel: +31 (0)10 402 5888 international.clients@ nl.abnamro.com

International Clients Clients in The Hague: Tel: +31 (0)70 375 2050 international.clients@ nl.abnamro.com

Miscellaneous DRINKS House of Bols - Cocktail & Genever Experience Opposite Van Gogh Museum, Paulus Potterstraat 14, Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0)20 5708575 www.houseofbols.com Food UKFood.nl Schoutstraat 15 C 4204BA Gorinchem Tel: +31 (0) 6 8303 4664 www.ukfood.nl Books Waterstone’s Kalverstraat 152, 1012 XE Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0) 20 6383821 Facebook.com/WatAdam Twitter: @watamsterdam

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Dental Care Ivory & Ivory - Amsterdam Center Reguliersgracht 142 Tel: +31 (0)20-6260289 info@tprg.nl www.ivory-ivory.nl Ivory & Ivory - The Hague Wateringse Veld 120 Tel: +31 (0)70-3599774 wateringseveld@ivory-ivory.nl www.ivory-ivory.nl Ivory & Ivory - Nieuwegein Krijtwal 15 Tel: +31 (0)30-6057000 nieuwegein@ivory-ivory.nl www.ivory-ivory.nl Ivory & Ivory - Utrecht Center West (Oudenoord) Oudenoord 619-621 Tel: +31 (0)30 231 53 70 utrecht@ivory-ivory.nl www.ivory-ivory.nl

Ivory & Ivory - Utrecht Center East (Maliebaan) Maliebaan 44 Tel: +31 (0)30-2310003 tpmaliebaan@ivory-ivory.nl www.ivory-ivory.nl Family law Smeets Gijbels B.V. PO Box 1629 3000 BP Rotterdam Westersingel 84 3015 LC Rotterdam Tel: +31 (0)10 266 6660 Fax: +31 (0)10 266 6655 PO Box 78067 1070 LP Amsterdam Jacob Obrechtstraat 70 1071 KP Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0)20 574 7722 Fax: +31 (0)20 574 7733 www.smeetsgijbels.com info@smeetsgijbels.com

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Your turn key solution for housing in the Netherlands

HousingXL helps you to find a new place in the Netherlands. With 26 offices, HousingXL has become one of the leading specialists in residential lettings. Therefore we now provide our professional and welcoming service in the entire country.

www.housingxl.nl HousingXL Eindhoven | Kruisstraat 90a | 5612 CK Eindhoven T +31 (0)40-243 00 30 | F +31 (0)40-243 00 34 | eindhoven@housingxl.nl

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•• FINANCE ••

Finance Money matters can be complex in the Netherlands. The Dutch tax system is anything but simple. The Netherlands is home to some of the world’s banking giants. Before you open a Dutch bank account, you should have no problem obtaining cash from an overseas account using an ATM or geldautomaat. They dispense money (in several languages) and accept a wide range of debit and credit cards. The amount you can withdraw and any extra service charges will depend on what kind of account you have and where it is. There should be no charge if you are using a card from one of the 17 eurozone countries (Britain is not one of them). If you want to exchange cash, good rates can usually be found at the Post Office (postkantoor) or a GWK exchange office. Other banks and bureaus mostly don’t offer such good rates and/or higher commission. The Netherlands has had the euro since 2002 and paper denominations are EUR 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500, though you may encounter problems using anything bigger than a EUR 50 note. The coins, with an image of Queen Beatrix on the back, come in denominations of EUR 1, EUR 2, and 5, 10, 20 and 50 eurocents. Coins for 1 and 2 eurocents have been discontinued but prices will be quoted exactly, for instance, as EUR 37, 21, but will be rounded up to the nearest 5 eurocents for giving change. On bank statements, the exact figure will appear. All major credit cards are accepted but not everywhere. Hotels, restaurants, large department stores and tourist attractions present no problem, but you can’t use a credit card in the supermarket. Cash is still widely used, even for large transactions. But the most common method of payment is pinnen, using a debit card plus PIN code.

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Opening a Dutch bank account The main Dutch banks are: • ABN-AMRO (www.abnamro.com/internationalclients) • ING Bank (www.ing.nl) • Rabobank (www.rabobank.nl) • SNS (www.snsbank.nl) ABN-AMRO, which is now nationalised, has the most information in English online and a special expat package but you should generally have no problem conducting business in English at any of them. Postbank merged with ING in 2009. Documents legally required: • Passport and/or residence permit. • BSN burgerservicenummer. You’ll get this when you register with the GBA or direct from the tax office. • Proof of address (bevolkingsregister extract, utility bill, rental contract etc.). If you want to open anything other than a savings only account you will also need: • Evidence of income such as an employment contract or payslip. The credit rating of new clients may be checked with the Central Credit Registration Office (BKR). An account can be opened in your name and your partner’s (they will also need identity documents). A private bank account is a privérekening. Various cards are on offer but the bankpas is standard. You must pick up the pass personally (with ID). A four-digit PIN code (pincode) will be posted separately but you can change this at a bank. When you pay by pin, you swipe your card through the machine and punch in your four-digit number. It’s the most common method of payment used in shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants.

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•• FINANCE ••

Chipknip / Chippas / Chippen Next to many ATMs is a Chipknip machine where you can load your card with ’virtual cash’. The money is immediately deducted from your account and ‘sits’ on your card until it is used; if you lose the card though, the money is also lost, just like cash. Chipknip was intended as a fast, convenient way of paying for small transactions since, unlike with pinnen payments, you don’t need a PIN. However, the Chipknip system is gradually being phased out as a pinpas is increasingly used for small transactions. Credit cards Commercial banks usually have an arrangement with Mastercard or VISA but you will generally need to be a customer for a while before getting one. A credit card will be more expensive than other bank cards and you will be encouraged to pay off the card swiftly and consistently. Internet banking Online banking is common in the Netherlands. You will usually be issued with a calculator-sized device into which you slot your bankpas and enter your PIN, then exchange numbers with the login system to gain authorised access to your account. You can pay bills directly or set up direct debits (automatische overschrijving) for regular payments. There is usually information in English but you can also get step-by-step tuition at the bank. Acceptgiro A common method for paying bills, this is a yellow payment slip attached to the bottom of an invoice into which you enter your bank details and sign. You can pay online into the account on the slip or ‘post’ it at the bank, where there’s a box for them.

Offshore banking The term ’offshore banking‘ originates from the Channel Islands (Jersey, Guernsey etc.) but is generally used today to refer to any tax haven (such as the Netherlands Antilles). Essentially, it is any account held in a bank located outside your country of residence in a low tax jurisdiction offering certain financial benefits for expatriates who may wish to reduce their tax liability. Accounts can be held in a variety of currencies and there’s a diverse range of savings and investment products backed up by a high degree of confidentiality. For expats based in the Netherlands, the tax situation can be complex. Dutch tax residents pay tax on their worldwide income and there are wealth, inheritance and gift taxes. Nonresidents however, generally pay tax on Dutchsourced income, but if you are a US citizen or green card holder and have the 30 percent ruling, you can be considered as a non-resident or partial non-resident taxpayer. In such a case only offshore banking might offer some advantages. Pensions, investments and savings can all be arranged through a licensed independent financial adviser (IFA) or a bank. Interest rates for savings can be fixed or variable; some banks’ websites provide tools to predict investment returns. The type of fund and level of appropriate risk will obviously depend on individual circumstances, and it is advisable to consult an adviser to ascertain your ‘Risk Profile’. In the current economic climate, there are additional risks to depositing money offshore: recent bank mergers, differing protection schemes and deposits held in a different country to the bank’s service centre can mean investors are unclear about how safe their deposits are. Before settling on a bank, expats would to wise to ask themselves the following basic questions: Which bank is my money in, who owns it, what is its credit worthiness, and which jurisdiction does it fall under?

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Tax The Dutch tax system, especially for an expat, is anything but simple. The Netherlands is a socially conscious country, and you can expect to pay a substantial proportion (up to 52 percent) of your salary to the taxman. But your personal situation (non-working partner, for example), type of work, residency status and other assets and earnings (particularly from abroad) affect your position considerably. In many cases, you will still be filing a tax return in your home country and will be entering the land of double taxation agreements. There are many expat financial specialists who can complete your tax forms for you or provide other consultancy services. Other useful information can be found on the Expatica website (Ask the Expert) where financial experts answer readers’ questions. The Ministry of Finance publishes a guide (in English) on the Dutch Taxation System (www.minfin.nl). The tax office is the Belastingdienst (www.belastingdienst.nl) and their website has some information in English. In general tax returns are submitted digitally, except the M form which still must be filed on paper. The M form must be filed in the year of migration. The deadline for the tax return is 1 April, for the M form 1 July. If you are not able to file before 1 April, you can request an extension. To file a return, you will need a digital signature or DigiD (www.digid.nl) or the services of a tax consultant. The DigiD is essentially a personal login that you use with all government agencies enabling some transactions (paying parking fines, applying for permits etc.) to be done over the internet. Authentication requirements may vary according to the sensitivity of information in transit. Particularly in the year of arrival and the year of departure, filing a tax return may result in a substantial rebate. Tax returns can be completed retrospectively for a period of five years. Residency status If you have demonstrable ties to the Netherlands (for instance, you live here, you work here, your family is based here) you are generally regarded 36

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as a ‘resident taxpayer’ from day one. If you live abroad but receive income that is taxable in the Netherlands you are generally a ‘non-resident taxpayer’. Non-residents can also apply to be treated as residents for tax purposes (in order to gain access to Dutch deductible items) and an additional category of partial non-resident taxpayers covers those eligible for the so-called 30 percent ruling (see below). As a resident taxpayer you are taxed on your assets worldwide. The Box system Different categories of income are treated differently for tax purposes on the tax return and there are three types of taxable income: • Box 1: Income from profits, employment and home ownership. This includes wages, pensions, social benefits, company car, and WOZ value of owner-occupied property (max. 52 percent) • Box 2: Income from substantial shareholding (5 percent minimum holding -25 percent rate) • Box 3: Taxable income from savings and investments. Income from property for instance, owned but not lived in as a main residence, is taxed here: not the actual income but the value of the asset (fictitious return: 4 percent taxed at 30 percent = 1.2 percent). Calculating tax: the amount of tax payable is calculated by applying the various tax rates to the various taxable incomes in the boxes. The amount calculated is then reduced by one or more tax credits. Tax credits and allowances Everyone is entitled to a general tax credit (EUR 2,033 in 2012) and may be additionally entitled to other credits. The employed person’s tax credit is age and income-related (average cases EUR 1,533 in 2012); the single parent’s tax credit (EUR 947 plus at maximum EUR 1,319 under additional conditions in 2012). The general tax credit comprises an income and social security element (to which you are only entitled if you have compulsory Dutch social security coverage). Your employer will take these into account when deducting wage withholding tax but not any other personal circumstances. You claim other allowances and potential refunds when you file your tax return or request a provisional refund.

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F


EXPATICA.JOBS Find a job with Expatica.com Check out our LISTINGS at: jobs.expatica.com/netherlands

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•• FINANCE ••

Partners Where possible, partners are taxed individually but, when only one partner works, the other partner is generally entitled to a refund of general tax credit and deductible expenditure can be apportioned to take advantage of tax credits. Please note that the conditions for unmarried couples to qualify as a partner have been changed as of 2011. 30 percent ruling This is a tax incentive for employees, recruited from abroad who bring specific skills to the Netherlands. It acknowledges the additional expenses incurred by expats (extraterritorial costs) by allowing the employer to grant a taxfree lump sum to cover these costs up to a maximum of 30 percent of the sum of wages and allowances. Applications (completed by both employer and employee) should be made to the Belastingdienst Limburg Kantoor Buitenland in Heerlen. The conditions for qualifying for the 30 percent ruling were changed as of 2012 to be more relevant to the intended focus group. Mortgages and tax implications When arranging a mortgage it is important to look at the whole picture: interest, cost of life insurance, savings plan and investment accounts. If you are intending to sub-let, you may need to pay off a substantial part (say 30 percent) of the mortgage to get permission from the lender. When your interest rate comes up for renewal, it is important to check that it is still competitive. Tax implications include: • Interest payments are tax-deductible if the property is your primary residence and the loan is used for acquisition of the house. • There is no capital gains tax in the Netherlands but increases in the value may impact your mortgage relief if and when you use the profits to buy another house in the Netherlands. • Tax is levied on the deemed rental value of the house (WOZ) determined by the local authority. Expenses in financing the purchase of a house are tax-deductible. 38

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Insurance You can arrange insurance through your employer or a private insurance company. Aside from obligatory medical insurance (see the Health section), you may need specific insurance if you are self-employed (and pregnant while self-employed) although there may be an applicable welfare benefit. House and home Homeowners or house insurance is known as woonhuisverzekering. A standard policy covers fire, storm, flood and theft. In terms of flood, there is a distinction between rainwater flooding and damage (covered) and water damage due to a breakdown in the dykes, for example (not covered). Houseboat dwellers come under separate conditions. Contents An annual household contents policy starts at about EUR 20 depending on what is covered. This insurance is known as inboedelverzekering. Higher priced items such as art, jewellery or antiques will need to be individually valued and insured separately. Drivers Third-party insurance is required by law. An all risk verzekering covers you and your car against fire, theft and damage. Life insurance Known as levensverzekering, it is similar to schemes in most other countries. Other types of insurance By law, you must have at least third-party insurance for your car. You might also want to insure your car against theft, fire and damage/ injury to yourself and your vehicle. This is known as allriskverzekering. Third-party insurance, or aansprakelijkheid, or liability insurance, protects you if your cleaner drops your precious china, or your child spills grape juice on your neighbour’s oriental carpet. Many large insurers offer combination packages that can bring down costs and avoid the problems of figuring out which company or policy covers which damage in times of need. Most

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•• FINANCE ••

companies recommend a combination which also includes third-party liability insurance, whether a homeowner or tenant. Research shows that some 15 percent of Dutch households have legal insurance (Rechtbijstandverzekering), guaranteeing (cheaper) access to legal advice. It insures against costs of lawsuits and personal and labour disputes. het Verbond van Verzekeraars The national association of insurers. www.verzekeraars.nl If you need advice, call the Dutch Association of Insurers () on 070 - 333 85 00 or speak to your bank or financial advisor.

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TAX SERVICES The Dutch tax expert with local contacts in 46 countries worldwide. Member of

Belastingdienst www.belastingdienst.nl The website for the tax authority has extensive information in English and downloadable forms and brochures. There are separate offices for resident and non-resident taxpayers. Email queries are not possible. TaxLine: 0800 0543 This is the central information line for residents (only Dutch spoken). Mon-Thurs 0800-2000 Fri 0800-1700 Information line for non-resident tax issues 055-538 5385 or Tel: +31 (0)-555 385 385 This covers businesses and individuals based abroad who are liable for Dutch tax and also those classified as non-residents for tax purposes. CustoMs www.douane.nl Has extensive information in English regarding duties payable and procedures for individuals and businesses. If you move to the Netherlands from outside the EU or if you wish to bring your car, enquire about the exemption for moving household goods (in Dutch on the website).

The Hague – Rotterdam – Amsterdam Bloemendaal - Driebergen – Zaandam

digid If you want to file your taxes electronically, or indeed any other official form (local taxes etc.) you need a DigiD registration number. The website www.digid.nl has an English section. governMent www.minfin.nl The Ministry of Finance site provides details (in English) of the Dutch Government’s financial policies including the 30 percent facility. Tax section updated with the help of Arjan Enneman, Managing Director Expatax BV.

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+31 (0)10 4202717 www.noortgassler.nl

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•• FINANCE ••

finanCial and taX advisors van noort gassler & Co Westerkade 6b, 3016 CL Rotterdam Tel: +31 (0)10 420 2717 rotterdam@noortgassler.nl www.noortgassler.nl expatax Keizerstraat 3 3512 EA Utrecht Tel: +31 (0)3 246 8536 info @ expatax.nl www.expatax.com

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aBn aMro www.abnamro.nl/en International Clients in Amsterdam: Tel: +31 (0)20 343 4002 expat.clients@nl.abnamro.com International Clients in The Hague: Tel: +31 (0)70 375 2050 international.clients@nl.abnamro.com International Clients in Rotterdam: Tel: +31 (0) 10 402 5888 international.clients@nl.abnamro.com

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1|1_Adv


•• FINANCE ••

Looking for international tax and legal assistance? > Dutch tax returns > Accounting > Payroll > Business set-up > 30%-ruling > Tax advice

Utrecht Headoffice +31 (0)30 - 246 85 36

info@expatax.nl | www.expatax.nl

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Education The Netherlands is committed to choice in education. Compulsory education under Dutch law applies to children of all nationalities from five to 18 years who are residing in the Netherlands. The school system is, however, quite unusual. CHOOSING A SCHOOL There’s a commitment to educational choice in the Netherlands. Schools following particular religious or pedagogic principles have had equal state funding to public schools since 1917 and there are now twice as many privately run as publicly run schools. International education is available at both Dutch and private schools throughout the country. LOCAL OR INTERNATIONAL? Your finances, location, nationality, the age of your children, and how long you are likely to stay in the Netherlands are the main factors you should take into account when selecting a school. Many companies reimburse international school fees as part of a relocation package, and the reimbursements could be exempt from income tax (though not for all schools). While teenagers might appreciate the educational and social continuity provided by an international school, younger children might get a greater sense of belonging by going to a local school. By learning good Dutch they will connect to their new world more easily. You certainly won’t be the only non-Dutch parent in the playground.

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APPLYING FOR A SCHOOL Register your child as soon as possible at the school of your choice. Technically, public schools are not allowed to refuse admission. Popular schools, however, have waiting lists (you can register a child from the age of three) and the municipality can assign catchment areas based on postcodes. All schools have brochures and websites where they announce ‘open days’ when you can visit the school. Most children start at about four years — 98 percent start at three years and 10 months when they come in for five orientation days before they turn four). Children are leerplichtig (under a learning obligation or leerplicht) from five years for 12 years full-time education and one or two years part-time (until the attainment of a diploma). School inspection reports can be viewed online (this applies to state schools and Dutch international schools only) at www.owinsp.nl: select schoolwijzer and enter the name of the school and/or town. The visual representation of green (good) and red (not good) blobs will at least give you some idea of performance. In the Pisa/OECD international rankings for 15-year-olds in 56 countries (published in December 2007), the Netherlands was “above average” for both mathematics (5th) and reading (10th). TYPES OF SCHOOL Source schools at www.voo.nl, www.scholenlijst. nl or via your city’s website (onderwijs = education). Public (openbare) schools State-run schools (non-denominational) provide secular education, but they can also offer teaching around specific philosophic or pedagogic principles (Montessori, Steiner etc.). Public schools are governed by the municipal council or a public legal entity or foundation set up by the council.

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Private sCHools Most private schools are denominational (Roman Catholic, Protestant, Islamic, Hindu) or follow specific philosophic principles, as above. Private schools are governed by a board or the foundation that set them up. Financially, they have the same status as public schools and are basically free, although all schools ask for a small contribution for things such as school trips. sPeCial sCHools The national ‘Going to school together’ policy is designed to enable as many children as possible to be educated in mainstream schools, but there are schools for children with special needs and also special needs teachers at Dutch schools. Lighthouse Special Education provides extensive assistance in the English language. Entry is by referral. Costs Primary and secondary state education is free, with parents being asked to contribute a ‘voluntary’ nominal amount, which varies from school to school with additional payments for lengthier school trips and lunchtime supervision (tussenschoolse opvang) and after-school care (naschoolse opvang) which the school is supposed to provide or sub-contract. eduCation PoliCy The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science set quality standards, attainment targets and social objectives but individual schools ‘fill in the details’ of the curriculum and budget allocation. Education policy includes combating school segregation, integrating special needs children, tackling early school leaving and addressing teacher shortage.

dutCH PriMary eduCation (priMair onderWijs or basisonderWijs) There are eight years of primary schooling. Most children start at four years in group one and move up a group every year. Different age groups may be in the same class. In ‘Group 8’ (in February of each year), children in 85 percent of primary schools (basisscholen) sit the CITO test (www.cito.nl) which will determine their next level of education. CITO tests are also used in some schools to measure the literacy and numeracy of younger children. The government sets attainment targets in six curriculum areas: Dutch, English (taught in Groups 7 and 8), arithmetic and mathematics, social and environmental studies, creative expression and sports and movement. New targets include citizenship, technology and cultural education.

✆ 070 3272088

The Windmill Preschool is an English speaking preschool for International children aged 2 to 5 years old. We use a carefully planned curriculum giving all children an opportunity to succeed in an atmosphere of care and of feeling valued. Each session is designed to develop your child’s creative, physical and social skills.

www.thewindmill.nl

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VWO (six years). Preparation for academic studies at a research university (WO Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs). VWO schools are called Athenaeum, Gymnasium and/ or Lyceum. In the past, the various forms of secondary education were provided in different schools but now there are broader combined schools allowing movement between diploma programmes.

International School Hilversum Alberdingk Thijm

The International School Hilversum is an internationally oriented school with over two decades of experience in international and bi-lingual education. We are a small, friendly yet professional international community of 600 students and 70 staff members. • Coordinated programmes of study for 4-19 year olds and: - International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme - International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme - International Baccalaureate Diplome Programme • Transition to and from other national and international systems • Easy access by public transportation • Many extra-curricular activities • Cultural exchange and excursion programmes • An outstanding succes rate (over 95% pass rate) International School Hilversum ‘Alberdingk Thijm’ Emmastraat 56, 1213 AL Hilversum The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)35 672 99 31 Fax: +31 (0)35 672 99 39 Email: ish@atscholen.nl

www.ishilversum.nl

Learning through diversity DUTCH SECONDARY EDUCATION (voortgezet onderwijs) From 12 years. Four main diplomas:

ISH-ad Expatica 70x100-070912.indd 1

07-09-12

VMBO (a further four years of school). Prep school for vocational secondary education. A VMBO-T diploma can lead onto secondary vocational education (MBO). HAVO (five years). Senior general secondary education. Provides entrance to hogescholen or ‘vocational universities’ (HBO Hoger beroepsonderwijs).

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MBO. Secondary Vocational Education. If a student has successfully completed the Dutch VMBO-t or the international middle school programmes, the IGCSE or IB-MYP, but is not admitted to the IB-Diploma Programme, the MBO (three to four years) might be a good option. In the Netherlands students can follow several MBO-programmes taught in the English language as well. Just under a third of secondary schools are run by the public authority. English is a compulsory subject. VMBO-T pupils study one modern language and HAVO/VWO pupils at least two. A Gymnasium (VWO) programme will also include Greek and/or Latin. Other core areas include mathematics, humanities, arts and sciences. In the first few years all pupils study the same subjects (to different academic 12:52 levels), which is known as the basisvorming. This is followed by a second stage (tweede fase) in which specialist profiles are selected. School holidays Major holidays for state schools are set nationally with staggered start/finish times between three regions. Private international school holidays can be different. (For school holidays per region, check out: w w w. r i j k s o v e r h e i d . n l / o n d e r w e r p e n / schoolvakanties)

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Amsterdam

Prinses Irenestraat 59

International

1077 WV Amsterdam

Community

T: 020 - 57 71 240

School

E: info@aics.espritscholen.nl

We are a unique Primary and Secondary school located in Amsterdam, offering International education in English. We are pleased to offer: • The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) for children aged 16 - 19 years • The International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) for children aged 11 - 15 years • The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) for children aged 4 - 10 years

• 3 hours of Dutch per week • Additional English lessons (EAL) • Activities organised by the AICS and the Dutch community • Affordable tuition, Primary School (€ 4200); Secondary School (€ 5100 - 6100)

The IBDP is an internationally recognised pre-university course of study that leads to the acquisition of the IB Diploma, offering entrance into universities and institutions of further education worldwide. Mission statement The AICS facilitates high quality, accessible, community-based international learning for students of all nationalities living in The Netherlands. Vision statement To be a community where learning is at the heart of everything we do.

w w w . a i c s . e s p r i t s c h o l e n . n l

Rotterdam International Secondary School

Bentincklaan 294, 3039 KK Rotterdam +31 (0) 10 890 7744, info.riss@wolfert.nl, www.wolfert.nl/riss

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International schools These provide education for global nomad students of any nationality. Dutch International Primary Schools (DIPS) and Dutch International Secondary Schools (DISS) provide international education at a reasonable fee because of a subsidy from the Dutch government. They are designed for nonDutch families living in the Netherlands for a limited time, and Dutch families returning from, or preparing for, an overseas assignment. These schools teach either the International Primary Curriculum (4 to 11 years); the IGCSE (11 to 16 years) or the International Baccalaureate programmes at primary (4 to 11 years) and middle years’ level (11 to 16 years). All DISS teach the IB-Diploma programme (16 to 18 years). International schools (Private Sector) These schools teach the national curriculum of a specific country (UK, US, French, German, Japanese) or an international curriculum as described above. Facilities (swimming pools, football pitches) are often spectacular compared to the Dutch schools. For about half of the school population at all international schools, English is not the first language. Bilingual education There are 99 schools with a VWO bilingual stream and 20 with HAVO. Only students that master the Dutch language at an appropriate level will be admitted. (www.netwerktto.europeesplatform.nl)

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Listing ALKMAAR AREA The European School Molenweidtje 5 | 1862 BC Bergen NH Tel: +31 (0)72 589 0109 www.europeseschool.nl ALMERE Primary International Dept. at Letterland Roland Holststraat 58 | 1321 RX Almere Tel: +31 (0)36 536 7240 www.letterland.nl Secondary Dept. at International School Almere Heliumweg 61 | 1362 JA Almere- Poort Tel: +31 (0)36 7600750 info@internationalschoolalmere.nl www.internationalschoolalmere.nl AMSTERDAM AREA British School of Amsterdam Nursery & Early Years School Anthonie van Dijckstraat 1 | 1077 ME Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0)20 679 7840 www.britams.nl Het Kinderhonk Villa Vondel Waldeck Pyrmontlaan 23 1075BT Amsterdam www.hetkinderhonk.nl Amsterdam International Community School (AICS) Prinses Irenestraat 59-61 | 1077 WV Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0)20 577 1240 info@aics.espritscholen.nl www.aics.espritscholen.nl International School Amsterdam Sportlaan 45 | 1185 TB Amstelveen Tel: +31 (0)20 347 1111 www.isa.nl

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4th graders Sydney and Katy and 3rd grader Aspen

Inquiring Minds. At ISA we foster curiosity, creativity, and a passion for learning that inspires students to look beyond simple answers and facts, to pursue real understanding. What lies behind the numbers? Why? How many different strategies can we use to approach a problem? Learning at ISA is about asking the right questions, going deeper, and making connections. It’s about lighting a spark for learning that will last a lifetime.

Exciting and developing young minds Sportlaan 45 - 1185 TB Amstelveen - The Netherlands - Tel. +31 20 347 1111 - www.isa.nl

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Annexe du Lycée Français Vincent van Gogh Rustenburgerstraat, 246 | 1073 GK Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0)70 306 6920 www.lyceevangogh.nl/

The International Secondary School Eindhoven Venetiёstraat 43 | 5632 RM Eindhoven Tel: +31 (0)40 242 6835

The Japanese School of Amsterdam Karel Klinkenbergstraat 137 | 1061 AL Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0)20 611 8136 www.jsa.nl/

ENSCHEDE International School Twente (IST) IST Primary Dept. at Prinseschool Daalweg 32 | 7541 AN Enschede Tel: +31 (0)53 431 1173 or by mobile at Tel: +31 (0)65 052 0750 (Astrid Hofstede) www.prinseschool.nl/

ARNHEM/ NIJMEGEN Arnhem International School Primary Dept. at Dr. Aletta Jacobsschool Slochterenweg 27 | 6835 CD Arnhem Tel: +31 (0)26 323 0729 Secondary Dept. at Lorentz Groningensingel 1245 | 6835 HZ Arnhem Tel: +31 (0)26 320 0110 www.arnheminternationalschool.nl/ BREDA, covering Zeeland and West Brabant International School Breda Mendelssohnlaan 1 | 4837 CV Breda admissions@isbreda.nl Tel: +31 (0)64 172 9984 www.isbreda.nl BRUNSSUM (Limburg) Afnorth International School Ferdinand Bolstraat 1 | 6445 EE Brunssum Tel: +31 (0)45 527 8220 www.afno-is.eu.dodea.edu EERDE (near Zwolle) International School Eerde Kasteellaan 1 | 7731 PJ Ommen Tel: +31 (0)52 945 1452 www.eerde.nl EINDHOVEN International School Eindhoven Postbus 1310 | 5602 BH Eindhoven Tel: +31 (0)40 264 5367 www.isecampus.nl Regional International School (Primary) Humperdincklaan 4 | 5654 PA Eindhoven Tel: +31 (0)40 251 9437

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S w d S t

W o N

O u E E

IST Secondary Dept. at the Stedelijk Stedelijk Lyceum, Loc. Zuid Tiemeister 20 | 7541 WG Enschede Contact: Els Weir Tel: +31 (0)53 482 1151 www.hetstedelijk.nl/zuid/onderwijs/ international-school GRONINGEN International School Groningen Primary Dept. at Groningse Schoolvereniging Sweelincklaan 4 | 9722 JV Groningen Tel: +31 (0)50 527 0818 | Tel: +31 (0)6 2073 8551 www.g-s-v.nl/ Secondary Dept. at St. Maartens College P.O. Box 6105 | 9702 HC Groningen Rijksstraatweg 24 | 9752 AE Haren Tel: +31 (0)50 534 0084 www.maartenscollege.nl

E A m u

THE HAGUE AREA The Windmill Preschool PO Box 1022 | 2260 BA Leidschendam The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)70 327 2088 www.thewindmill.nl Elzendreef 6-8 2272 EB Voorburg The Netherlands www.thewindmill.nl American School of The Hague also (IB Diploma) Rijksstraatweg 200 | 2241 BX Wassenaar Tel: +31 (0)70 512 1060 www.ash.nl

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Small classes and personal attention. At the British School of Amsterdam we get to know each and every student. We provide an all-round education that develops the whole person and delivers academic success. From Early Years to Secondary School, we provide top-class British schooling for everyone from expats to locals seeking an international education. With pupils of more than 40 nationalities, the British School of Amsterdam offers a stimulating and inclusive learning environment for students aged 3 to 18. Non-native English speakers are welcome. Our curriculum leads to the respected British A-Level qualification accepted by universities worldwide. In addition to the formal academic subjects, we teach European languages including Spanish, French, German and Dutch, as well as English as a foreign language.

“I love coming to school. Everyone’s friendly and the lessons are fun.” Every day is an open day at the British School of Amsterdam. Why not come along and visit us? For more information, see www.britams.nl, or contact us at +31 (0) 20 67 97 840 or info@britams.nl.

TEACHING PEOPLE, NOT TOPICS Onyinye Age 8 English / Nigerian

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the British school in the netherlands (Bsn) www.britishschool.nl Junior Schools Vrouw Avenweg 640 2493 The Hague Vlaskamp 19 2592 AA The Hague Diamanthorst 16 2592 GH The Hague Tel: +31 (0)70 315 4077 senior school (also iB diploma) Jan van Hooflaan 3 2252 BG Voorschoten Tel: +31 (0)71 560 2222 deutsche schule (german school) Van Bleiswijkstraat 125 2582 LB Den Haag Tel: +31 (0)70 354 9454 www.disdh.nl european school in the Hague This new European School opens on 1 September 2012. Until the permanent location at Houtrustweg 2 is available, visit the temporary office at Parkweg 20a | 2271 AJ Voorburg Tel: +31 (0)71 573 0910 To make an appointment, send an email to esh@ rijnlandslyceum-csb.nl www.europeanschoolthehague.nl

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Haagsche schoolvereniging www.hsvdenhaag.nl International Primary Department Admissions: Tel: +31 (0)70 318 4965 Nassaulaan 26 | 2514 JT Den Haag Tel: +31 (0)70 363 8531 Koningin Sophielaan 24a 2595 TG Den Haag Tel: +31 (0)70 318 4950

the indonesian embassy school in the netherlands Rijksstraatweg 679 2245 CB Wassenaar Tel: +31 (0)70 517 8875 www.sekolahindonesia.nl

Van Nijenrodestraat 16 2597 RM Den Haag Tel: +31 (0)70 328 1441

HilversuM international school Hilversum Alberdingk Thijm (Secondary Dept.) Emmastraat 56 | 1213 AL Hilversum Tel: +31 (0)35 672 9931 ish@atscholen.nl www.ishilversum.nl

the international school of the Hague Wijndaelerduin 1 | 2554 BX The Hague Primary Dept. Tel: +31 (0)70 338 4567 Secondary Dept. Tel: +31 (0)70 328 1450 www.ishthehague.nl lighthouse special education [Part of Hsv: Haagsche schoolvereniging] Amalia van Solmstraat 155 2595 TA Den Haag Tel: +31 (0)70 335 5698 cjaeger@hsvdenhaag.nl www.lighthousese.nl/ lycée français vincent van gogh Scheveningseweg 237 2584 AA Den Haag Tel: +31 (0)70 306 6923 Tel: +31 (0)70 306 6920 www.lyceevangogh.nl

Polish international school(s) See www.fpsn.nl for different locations in NL.

violenschool international department (Primary) Rembrandtlaan 30 1213 BH Hilversum Frans Halslaan 57A 1213 BK Hilversum Tel: +31 (0)35 621 6053 www.ipsviolen.nl/ leiden area leiden international Primary school International Dept. at Elckerlyc Montessori Klimopzoom 41 2353 RE Leiderdorp Tel: +31 (0)71 589 6861 www.elckerlyc.net/

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BBA /MBA

ACCREDITED BACHELOR & MASTER DEGREES > Small classes > All courses taught in English > Excellent mix of theory and practice > International environment > Global campus network:

BARCELONA | MUNICH | GENEVA & MONTREUX

www.euruni.edu Business Education

Het rijnlands lyceum international secondary Apollolaan 1 2341 BA Oegstgeest Tel: +31 (0)71 519 3555 www.isrlo.nl MaastriCHt united world College Maastricht Primary and Secondary School Maastricht Nijverheidsweg 25 6227 AL Maastricht Primary School: Tel: +31 (0)43 356 1100 Secondary School: Tel: +31 (0)43 367 4666 www.uwcmaastricht.com

Ganduxer 70 - 08021 Barcelona, Spain Tel: +34 93 201 81 71 info.bcn@euruni.edu

rotterdaM rotterdam international secondary school (riss) Bentincklaan 294 3039 KK Rotterdam The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)10 890 7744 www.wolfert.nl/riss de Blijberg – international Primary department Graaf Florisstraat 56 3021 CJ Rotterdam Tel: +31 (0)10 448 2266 www.blijberg.nl american international school of rotterdam Verhulstlaan 21 3055 WJ Rotterdam Tel: +31 (0)10 422 5351 www.aisr.nl

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the Japanese school of rotterdam Verhulstlaan 19 3055 WJ Rotterdam Tel: +31 (0)10 422 1211 www.jsrotte.nl utreCHt international school IS Utrecht (opens in August 2012). Notebomenlaan 400 3582 CN Utrecht www.isutrecht.nl List composed and updated by EDUCAIDE, International Education Solution House (www.educaide.nl)

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Higher education Third-level education, as it is known in the Netherlands, is offered at vocational level (HBO, at a ‘university of applied sciences’ or hogeschool) and at academic level (WO, at a university or universiteit). Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees are available at both HBO and WO institutions but you can only do a PhD at a (WO) university. There’s a huge range of courses taught in English (around 1,300). You can see what’s available and where on the Nuffic (Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education) website (www. nuffic.nl) which includes extensive information about the Dutch higher education system. Institutions are either government funded or government approved. There are also privately financed institutions that are not recognised. The accreditation organisation is NVAO (www. nvao.net). HBO Around 370,000 students are enrolled at 44 ‘universities of applied sciences’ or hogescholen, which provide general courses or specific study in one of seven sectors: agriculture, engineering and technology, economics and business administration, healthcare, fine and performing arts, education/ teacher training and social welfare. For more information, visit www.hbo-raad.nl. WO There are 14 research universities with around 205,000 students involved in intensive academic studies. For more information, visit www.mastersportal.eu, www.studyin.nl and www.vsnu.nl.

How to apply There are nearly 50,000 international students studying in the Netherlands — Germany is top of the international student list — and information on fees, qualifications and study programmes is widely available in English. Students should first contact the institution offering the course, which will specify what education qualifications are required for admission. A quota system is in place for oversubscribed courses; places are allocated by lottery. At www.studielink.nl you can apply online for third-level courses which are subsidised by the Dutch Ministry of Education. University programmes consist of a Bachelor’s or undergraduate phase lasting three years and a Master’s or graduate phase lasting one to two years. As many Dutch universities have partner institutions in other countries, students can study part of their course abroad. Qualification accreditation Diplomas and certificates awarded overseas need to be accredited by the Dutch authorities. Often the school where you have applied takes care of this. If not, you can check IDW Internationale Diplomawaardering (www.idw.nl) for information. Check with the institute to see if costs are involved. Non-native English speakers are required to pass an English language test at a specified level, most commonly the TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Test. Too busy, writer’s block or English not your mother tongue? We make sharing your experience of life in the Netherlands easy via our online interviews. Share your experiences on living in the Netherlands and add some images! We will contact you before publishing and edit the texts where necessary to make your message clear.

Costs Fees depend on your nationality and age. There’s an EU fee for EU/EEA nationals, which is set by the Dutch government. Otherwise you pay the institutional fee (three or four times higher). The fees at private institutions can be substantially higher.

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Our personal approach takes you further »Thinking Business«

The Amsterdam MBA ■ Part-time (evenings), or full-time ■ Taught in English ■ Linking theory to practice ■ International in students, content and staff ■ Develop your network abroad and start in September 2013 Plantage Muidergracht 12 | 1018 TV Amsterdam | admissions-abs@uva.nl

Education links Ministry of Education, Culture and Science www.minocw.nl Lots of information in English. Educaide The Professional Helpdesk for International Education in the Netherlands: Tel: +31 (0)65 598 8998 (contact: Willemijn van Oppen-Stuyt). (info-educaide@xs4all.nl) Eurydice www.eurydice.org Detailed information on the Dutch education system. Colo www.colo.nl Portal for vocational training.

IDW www.idw.nl Non-Dutch diploma evaluation. Nuffic www.nuffic.nl Everything you need to know about higher education in the Netherlands. Masters www.mastersportal.eu SIO www.sio.nl Foundation for International Education in the Netherlands. Studielink www.studielink.nl Apply online.

IB-Groep www.ib-groep.nl Information about studying and funding.

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Business education Amsterdam Business School University of Amsterdam International Office: MBA /MIF Plantage Muidergracht 12 1018 TV Amsterdam The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)20 525 5655 admissions-abs@uva.nl European University Geneva Quai du Sujet 30, 1201 Geneva, Switzerland Tel: +41 (0)22 7792671 info.gva@euruni.edu www.euruni.edu European University Munich Theresienhöhe 28, 80339 Munich, Germany Tel: +49 (0)89 55029595 info.muc@euruni.edu Website: www.euruni.edu European University Barcelona Ganduxer 70, 08021 Barcelona, Spain Tel: +34 (0)93 2018171 info.bcn@euruni.edu www.euruni.edu Maastricht School of Management Endepolsdomein 150, 6229 EP Maastricht, the Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)43 387 0808 admissions@msm.nl www.msm.nl Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University J-building Burgemeester Oudlaan 50 3062 PA Rotterdam Tel: +31 (0)10 408 2222 mba.info@rsm.nl www.rsm.nl/mba

Webster University Boommarkt 1, 2311 EA Leiden Tel: +31 (0)71 516 8000 www.webster.nl The Hague University Johanna Westerdijkplein 75, 2521 EN, The Hague, The Netherlands +31 (0)70 - 445 8888 www.thehagueuniversity.com

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Language Schools Nedles Nieuwe Herengracht 145 1011 SG Amsterdam T +31 20 6243510 / +31 6 25585653 info@nedles.nl www.nedles.nl Talencoach Keizersgracht 8 1015CN Amsterdam 020 331 3738 www.talencoach.nl Get social on Expatica Join Expatica Community at community. expatica.com and network with like-minded members of the international community. This year-old online platform features better profiles and connectivity with other Expatica members, an improved forum, plus functionalities for groups, events and instant messaging. Try it out, make friends and have fun! Get published! Share your perspective on living and working in the Netherlands via our Insider Views section. We welcome your viewpoint whether it’s a story about living in the Netherlands, practical tips for newcomers, or expert advice in an area you specialise in. We want to hear from you!

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• • E D U C AT I O N • •

Empowering people, organizations and societies

Located in Europe, but an established global player for more than 60 years, Maastricht School of Management knows how much good management matters for success. Empowerment through management education, that’s the purpose of MsM’s programs. MsM offers internationally accredited degree programs: • • • •

1 year full-time MBA program 2 year part-time modular Executive MBA programs Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Additionally MsM offers a broad range of certificate and diploma-based executive training programs varying from 2 weeks up to 12 weeks duration. Check out www.msm.nl and join the unique, interactive, stimulating and multicultural MsM learning experience.

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•• EMPLOYMENT ••

Employment expats are an essential component of the dutch workforce. office life has its cultural quirks. The Dutch workforce (7.86 million people) is internationally oriented, highly educated and multilingual. Unemployment is relatively low at 5.2 percent, and workers’ rights are strongly protected. The demand for highly skilled workers remains high and there are incentives for international employees such as the 30 percent ruling (a tax benefit scheme) and a fast-track highly skilled migrants programme (no separate work permit application required). According to figures from the immigration department (www.ind.nl), in 2011 there were 5,210 applications for a regular provisional resident permit (MVV) under this scheme and 6,580 applications for regular resident permits from highly skilled migrants. work PerMits If you are a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national and want to work in the Netherlands, in most cases your employer will need to apply for a work permit (tewerkstellingsvergunning or TWV). There is a number of exceptions, some of which are listed below. The permit is specific to the job and employer, and is issued for a specific employee and for a specified period (up to three years). Work permits and residency status are intimately connected. The IND site (www. ind.nl) has detailed information on coming to the Netherlands to work as an employee or on a self-employed basis, as well as the financial and other conditions that need to be met. Once your employer has been issued a work permit, you can start to work. You must have applied for a residence permit but you do not have to wait for the IND’s decision on your application. If the residence permit application is rejected though, the work permit is no longer valid. The consequences of illegally working can be severe for both employer and employee.

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wHo doesn’t need a work PerMit? The main exceptions are: • EU/EEA/Swiss nationals (except Bulgarians and Romanians, who need a work permit for a year and the ‘proof of lawful residence’ permit). • Highly skilled migrants. • Self-employed workers (their eligibility for residency is assessed by the IND). • Workers on short assignment (performers, musicians, guest lecturers, journalists etc.). • Those with a residence permit or passport sticker stating ‘Arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV is niet vereist’ (free to work, no work permit is required). Partners: wHo Can work? If you are allowed to work in the Netherlands then generally your spouse/partner and children are also allowed to work. How quickly you can start work depends on the status of your working partner (EU/EER resident, knowledge migrant etc.), whether you have an MVV, and whether applications for residency for you and your partner are filed at the same time (advisable). You may need to wait until you have received your residence permit before you can start to work. work PerMit tHrougH eMPloyer Work permits are initiated by employers who apply to the UWV WERKbedrijf (www.werk. nl) with supporting evidence, such as copies of advertisements, postings on the Internet, statements from agencies. Your employer has to show that the position cannot be occupied by an EU/EEA national. This supporting evidence is not necessary in case of in-company transfers, internships and most scientific jobs. For a company to apply for a work permit, the candidate must be aged between 18 and 45. If an MVV is required for a particular applicant, the employer can start the application process at the IND (‘a request for recommendation for an MVV’). After a positive response, the applicant applies for the MVV in his own country and applies for a residence permit once in the Netherlands.

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•• EMPLOYMENT ••

After three years of employment with a work permit and a residence permit in the Netherlands, the employee is free on the labour market. Employers can employ you without needing a separate work permit. In case your residence document is being renewed, your new labour market position will be mentioned as ‘Arbeid vrij toegestaan. TWV is niet vereist’. Changing jobs Any changes in your work or partnership status must be reported to the IND. When applying to extend a residence permit, your circumstances will be assessed again in reference to the original application. If you change jobs, the same rules apply as for the first permit you were granted. So if you worked with a separate work permit, your new employer needs a new work permit as well. If you worked as a highly skilled migrant, your new employer needs to be eligible to apply for residence permits based on the highly skilled migrant scheme. The main exception is that, after three years working on any given residence permit that allowed you to work (such as for [marriage] partners or labour with a work permit, excepting highly skilled migrants), you no longer need a separate work permit. After three years of legal stay as a highly skilled migrant you can change your purpose of stay into ‘labour’, which allows you to work without a work permit and without meeting the requirements for the highly skilled migrants scheme. If you have a highly skilled migrant residence permit and you change jobs, you do not need to change your permit. Your new employer will need to send proof to the IND that you still meet the requirements of the highly skilled migrant scheme and send in your contract to prove that you still earn the required salary. It is essential to apply for a new residence permit before the old one expires. If you wait for more than two years after the expiry date, you will most probably have to leave the country to obtain a new visa (MVV) in your home country.

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Highly skilled migrants To be able to employ expats under the highly skilled migrant scheme, employers must sign a statement with the IND. If the employment contract is issued for an indefinite period, the residence permit will be issued for a maximum of five years. If it is a fixed-term contract, the residence permit will be issued accordingly. Partners of highly skilled migrants can work without a work permit, though they do require a residence permit. If the highly skilled migrant (and/or their partner) has an MVV, they can start to work immediately. Otherwise they need to wait until the residence permit comes through. They are legally permitted to work in this interim period if they visit the IND desk and get a sticker for their passport that proves that they have applied for a residence permit. Self-employed/entrepreneurs Conditions for granting residency based on self-employment (for non-EU/EEA/Swiss) are that “with your business activities you must be serving a material Dutch economic purpose.” A point system is used to assess this. Your personal experience, business plan and what you expect to offer to the Netherlands (innovation, job creation, investment etc.) is taken into account. You will also need to prove you have the appropriate qualifications for carrying out your business. If you have a residence permit for an independent entrepreneur, you are also allowed to work as an employee provided the UWV WERKbedrijf has issued a work permit to your employer.

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Dutch American Friendship Treaty American citizens (under 60) who wish to start up a business in the Netherlands can apply under this scheme, which has been in operation since 1956. They don’t need to satisfy the Dutch economic interest conditions as above, but they do need to be registered at the Chamber of Commerce (Kamer van Koophandel, www.kvk.nl), have accounts verified by a qualified accountant, a business plan and substantial capital, and they cannot apply for social welfare.

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•• EMPLOYMENT ••

students There are no restrictions on working hours for students who are EU/EEA/Swiss nationals; they don’t need a work permit. All other nationalities can only work if a work permit has been granted. Regarding the hours these nationals are allowed to work, there are two options: fulltime seasonal work in June, July and August or part-time work (max. 10 hours a week) throughout the year. The employer or agency must apply directly to the UWV WERKbedrijf for a work permit and the permit will be valid for the same period as the university registration. working Holiday sCHeMes Those (aged 18 to 30) from Australia, Canada or New Zealand can apply under these schemes to live and work in the Netherlands for one year. Conditions include proof of sufficient funds. JoB Hunting Recruitment agencies are big in the Netherlands and several specialise in recruiting non-Dutch nationals. It’s worth exploring every avenue, from Internet job engines such as www.intermediair.nl or the popular www.monsterboard.nl, to sec tor-specific sites (architecture, biotechnology, finance etc.). The UWV WERKbedrijf portal www.werk.nl has a useful list including EURES, the European job mobility portal (www.eures.info). Expat community sites such as Expatica also have extensive employment listings (http://jobs. expatica.com). Getting a job through personal contacts is quite common, so don’t be shy about making a direct enquiry to a company or dropping in at a branch of an agency or uitzendbureau. Vacancy (vacature) advertisements are covered in all Dutch newspapers and senior positions at international companies are often placed in English. The list of companies that are eligible for applying for highly skilled migrants is a useful source and can be found on the IND site (www.ind.nl). skills in deMand Expats with French, German, Flemish, and Scandinavian language skills are always in demand, according to expat agency 60

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Undutchables. There is a (worldwide) shortage of engineers and those with technical skills. The job market is also strong for those in finance and IT, sales and marketing and customer service. Be flexible and open-minded; don’t write off specific areas or industries when job-hunting. ContraCts and eMPloyMent law The laws covering employment in the Netherlands are many and various. Your personal contract will determine your pay and specific conditions. Dutch legislation covers key areas such as trial periods, holidays, notice and dismissal, minimum wages, health and safety, and equal treatment. The system for dismissal is particularly unusual in being so protective of the employee: in most cases the employer needs permission from the UWV WERKbedrijf or the court to fire you. Useful information regarding working practises, employment law and the minimum wage can be found on the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment website (www.internationalezaken.szw.nl) or the UWV WERKbedrijf website (www.werk.nl). If you want to check the market rate for your salary or calculate bruto/netto rates (before/ after tax and social security deductions), then try www.loonwijzer.nl. It is standard practice in the Netherlands to get extra wages (usually eight percent of your salary) for holidays (normally paid in May) and four weeks of paid leave. Sanne van Ruitenbeek of Pallas Advocaten provides the following important information: • If you work in the Netherlands, Dutch law is partly and often fully applicable to your employment, even if the law of another country is declared applicable in your contract. • The number of succeeding employment contracts for a fixed term is limited to three. The total duration of fixed term contracts is limited to three years. If the duration of the contracts or the number of fixed contracts exceed the legal limit, the employment contract will automatically become a contract for an unlimited term. • If the contract is for less than two years, the trial period cannot be longer than one

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Professional Resource Solutions

Throughout the Netherlands and across Europe, Madison Parker International has consistently delivered high quality recruitment solutions to both candidates and clients. Our multilingual team of industry experienced recruiters have the drive, the expertise and the contacts to provide you with a world class recruiting service. If you are a recent arrival in the Netherlands or simply seeking a new career challenge we would like to hear from you. Visit our website for more information, email your enquiry to info@madisonparker.nl or call us on +31 (0) 70 387 5911. Hague office: Koningin Julianalaan 351 A, 2273 JJ Voorburg

www.madisonparker.nl

People • Jobs • Careers

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•• EMPLOYMENT ••

month. The maximum duration of a trial period is two months. During the trial period, both employer and employee are allowed to terminate the employment contract with immediate effect. • The notice period for the employee is usually one month. If the notice period for the employee is extended, the notice period for the employer should be double the notice period of the employee. • Employment contracts for an unlimited term can only be terminated by the employer with consent of the employee, the labour office (UWV WERKbedrijf) or the Court. The court and labour offices assess whether there are grounds for a valid termination. If an employer gives notice of termination without obtaining prior approval, the employee could nullify the termination. This rule is not applicable in the case of summary dismissal (such as fraud or theft by the employee). Courts are however very reluctant about accepting summary dismissals. It is therefore very important to contact an employment lawyer immediately if you are fired on the spot. • The legal minimum number of holidays per year is four times the weekly working time. This means 20 holidays in the case of a fulltime employee working a five-day week. However, it is common practice in the Netherlands for a fulltime employee to be entitled to approximately 25 holiday days per year in addition to Dutch public holidays. A new law on holidays recently introduced an expiration date of six months for the legal minimum number of holidays. Employees should therefore take all their holidays within six months after the year in which the holidays were accrued. Should the employee not take the holidays on time, the holidays will lapse without any compensation or payment. The expiration date of six months is not applicable to the holidays which the employee is entitled to on top of the legal minimum number of holidays. These extra holidays will not lapse until after a period of five years. Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) This is a written agreement covering working conditions and benefits that is drawn up by employers, employers’ organisations and 62

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employee organisations (such as unions). A CAO operates at company or industry sector level and the provisions (number of holidays, for example) are often more generous than statutory requirements. It should state in your contract whether a CAO is applicable; you don’t have to be a member of a union to benefit. If no CAO applies - they all have to be registered you will need to negotiate your own terms and conditions. The largest trade union federation in the Netherlands is the FNV (www.fnv.nl). Working culture Work life and home life are kept separate, and office hours will be strictly observed. Newcomers working at Dutch companies are often surprised by the informal working relationships, horizontal management structures and (lots of) meetings (overleggen) at which every point of view must be discussed to reach a consensus. There’s a punctilious approach to these meetings, indeed social engagements of any kind: always carry your diary (agenda). Colleagues often lunch together (all part of working as an egalitarian team) or there may be a canteen. The working environment in an international company can be very different. Flexible working is common, particularly for families with children, however senior executive women are still some distance from the boardroom. In terms of gender diversity at the top level, “the Netherlands lags sorely behind other countries,” says cultural consultant Mary van der Boon. However, things are looking up. According to the EuropeanPWN BoardWomen Monitor 2010, the Netherlands grew by 28.6 percent in two years, ranking it as the 4th best European country. Cultural competency Many international companies have headquarters in the Netherlands. For senior executives, ‘cross-cultural competency’ tests may be part of the selection procedure for international assignments. Following on from standard personality analysis programmes such as the Meyers Briggs Type Indicators, these tests analyse personality preferences and prejudices that could affect performance in a new cultural environment; technical competence to do the job is already assumed. Top firms are looking

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•• EMPLOYMENT ••

for executives and are open-minded, flexible, mature, who show respect for, and interest in different cultures. Culturally correct CVs Concise, direct and professional communication is the style for job applications in the Netherlands. “Remember that a Dutch CV only states facts and figures,” urges the former Centre for Work and Employment (www. werk.nl) UWV WERKbedrijf. One or two pages maximum in this order: • Personal details (address etc.); • Education (courses, not results). • Work experience (the most recent first is popular with recruiters but some like to see career progression). Include job responsibilities. • ‘Leisure activities’ are valued “very much” by Dutch companies, according to the UWV WERKbedrijf. In your cover letter (which should be in Dutch if possible), include more about your motivation for the job, but keep the tone professional. If you’ve done your research, you should know what the company is looking for and how you fit in. Social Security The Dutch social security system is one of the most comprehensive in Europe but access to the welfare system is becoming more restrictive. There are three strands: • National Insurance administered by the social insurance bank (www.svb.nl), which includes old age pension (AOW) and child benefit (AKW); • Employee Insurance administered by UWV (www.uwv.nl), including unemployment benefit (WW, see below), long-term disability (WIA) and sickness (ZW), and • Social Assistance administered by municipalities (www.rechtopbijstand.nl). Specific conditions apply to each benefit. Also, do check that your residence rights are not affected if you apply for benefits. Your official documents will need to be in good order. Consult the Ministry of Social Affairs and Welfare website (www.szw.nl) for more information.

Unemployment benefit (WW) Your employment history will determine the amount and duration of payments. It comprises the first two months at 75 percent and thereafter 70 percent of your last earned salary (there’s a maximum daily rate of EUR 193.09 gross). You must have worked for 26 out of the previous 36 weeks before the first day of unemployment (or fewer if you are a musician or artist not in regular employment). It can be restricted if other benefits are in operation. You apply for benefit online at www. werk.nl or at a local office of UWV WERKbedrijf. Voluntary work A volunteer is a vrijwilliger and there are many opportunities depending on your skills. Expat advice centre ACCESS is always on the lookout for volunteers in its offices in Amsterdam and Den Haag (www.access-nl.org). Finding a job Expats seeking a new career challenge in the Netherlands will find ample opportunities. The Dutch employment market is mature, sophisticated and boasts an impressive array of both local and international companies spread across the Randstad region and beyond. It also has a vast network of specialist and generalist recruitment firms. Many newcomers choose to take the recruitment agency route for speed and convenience, as well as for the valuable contacts that established agencies can tap into. But how do you find an agency that is both tuned in to the local market and to your personal needs? WORKING WITH AGENCIES Specialist and generalist agencies openly advertise their services on websites geared to expats and are frequent advertisers on job boards and leading publications. Trade directories also carry agency listings and search engines like Google will help you navigate your way to various websites. So how do you ensure that your partner agency will serve your needs positively?

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Here are some golden rules: • Maintain an up-to-date curriculum vitae (CV) in English that fully reflects your skills, education, work experience, and personal profile, and try to keep it as succinct as possible. • Always support any application with a clear overview or motivation letter setting out your primary work requirements and career objectives. • Follow up any application if you hear nothing back within three to five days. • Always try to meet your agent in person as this can build rapport and trust — and make sure that your CV does not get sent anywhere without your permission. • Be clear about your work preferences and present yourself in a positive and personable light. • Stay flexible and be ready to attend interviews as opportunities emerge, but remain patient whilst your agent scours the market for the right opportunity. • Keep your agent informed of any personal developments that might affect the work they are doing on your behalf.

When you receive a job offer that fully matches your expectations, your agent will help you to assess the various aspects of the offer, including salary level, benefits, role progression, and career development. Unless you are fully convinced it is the right job for you, allow yourself two or three days to consider all of the angles. Starting a new job in a foreign country might be a daunting prospect for many, but the Dutch are very tuned into working with foreign nationals and you can be reassured that your new co-workers will be supportive of their new ‘international’ colleague. Finally, make an effort to learn some Dutch as it will pay dividends in the long run! Text on finding a job courtesy of Madison Parker International – Professional Resource Solutions

tHe interview ProCess So, you’ve set yourself up with your preferred agencies and the enquiries are starting to flow in. Now you need to prepare yourself for interviews. As an expat, one of your primary concerns may be about language. Fortunately, many HR personnel and other hiring managers in the Netherlands speak English at a high level, but this should not stop you from speaking clearly and slowly. Avoid using jargon or colloquial expressions. Just like in your home country, prospective employers expect interviewees to be well-presented, enthusiastic and well-informed. You should research the company in advance, and most good agencies will prepare you in the best possible way based on their intimate knowledge of the company, but self-preparation is equally important.

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•• EMPLOYMENT ••

Recruitment agencies aMsterdaM unique Multilingual amsterdam Piet Heinkade 221 1019 HM AMSTERDAM Tel: +31 (0)20 570 2094 / 020 535 3409 amsterdam@uniquemultilingual.com

unique Multilingual den Haag Fluwelen Burgwal 1D 2511 CH ‘S-GRAVENHAGE Tel: +31 (0)70 310 2740 / 070 310 2727 thehague@uniquemultilingual.com undutCHaBles recruitment agency Bv Nassaulaan 1B 2514 JS Den Haag Tel: +31 (0)70 711 8300 denhaag@undutchables.nl

undutCHaBles recruitment agency Bv Westeinde 20 1017 ZP Amsterdam Tel: +31 (0)20 623 1300 amsterdam@undutchables.nl

utreCHt unique Multilingual utrecht Maliesingel 39 3581 BK UTRECHT Tel: +31 (0)30 232 6340 / 030 232 6349 utrecht@uniquemultilingual.com

aMstelveen undutCHaBles recruitment agency Bv Burg. Haspelslaan 21 1181 NB Amstelveen Tel: +31 (0)20 445 9738 amstelveen@undutchables.nl

undutCHaBles recruitment agency Bv Achter de Dom 14 3512 HV Utrecht Tel: +31 (0)30 238 2228 utrecht@undutchables.nl

rotterdaM unique Multilingual rotterdam Lichtenauerlaan 182 3062 ME ROTTERDAM Tel: +31 (0)10 503 2900 / 010 503 2909 rotterdam@uniquemultilingual.com

eindHoven unique Multilingual eindhoven Dr Holtroplaan 32 5652 XR EINDHOVEN Tel: +31 (0)40 239 5200 / 040 243 3392 eindhoven@uniquemultilingual.com

undutCHaBles recruitment agency Bv Oudehoofdplein 4 3011 TM Rotterdam Tel: +31 (0)10 404 6650 rotterdam@undutchables.nl

undutCHaBles recruitment agency Bv V. Montgomerylaan 7 5612 BA Eindhoven Tel: +31 (0)40 237 3395 eindhoven@undutchables.nl

tHe Hague Madison Parker international Bv Koningin Julianalaan 351 A 2273 JJ Voorburg The Netherlands Tel: +31 (0)70 387 5911 info@madisonparker.nl www.madisonparker.nl

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• • H E A LT H • •

Health General medical care in the Netherlands is of a high standard but non-interventionist in nature. The Dutch healthcare system has undergone radical change in the last few years. It is now mandatory for everyone to purchase at least a base level of insurance (basisverzekering) or run the risk of a warning and fines. However, you are free to choose your own health insurer (zorgverzekeraar) and change companies once a year. You must take out insurance with a Dutch insurer within four months of arrival even if you already have an existing policy that gives you cover in the Netherlands. Certain employers and work arrangements can be exempt from this requirement, but you should check carefully whether your situation qualifies. In the Dutch healthcare scheme, children under 18 are included in their parents’ insurance at no additional cost. A Dutch insurance company cannot refuse to cover you for the basic package, regardless of your age or state of health. The standard basic package is pretty much the same from all providers except that costs may vary. If your income is under a fixed minimum level, you can apply for a healthcare allowance (zorgtoeslag) from the tax authorities (belastingdienst). Visit www.toeslagen.nl (in Dutch) for more details. The trade association of health insurance providers (www.zn.nl) includes some information in English and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (http://www.government.nl/ministries/ vws) offers information in several languages including English (see top left of website for more languages). At www.kiesbeter.nl (‘choose better’) and www.independer.nl you can compare health insurance (zorgverzekeringen) policy costs and find the cheapest (goedkoopste) basispakket. Both websites are in Dutch.

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Tip: You can cut your monthly costs by around EUR 8 by taking out an internet-based package, as this reduces admin costs for the insurer. This is popular with students but is available to anyone. Basic insurance The basic insurance covers general medical care (visits to the huisarts, for example), hospital stays, dental care for children up to age 18, most prescription medicine, and various appliances. Costs start at approximately EUR 100 a month. The government tweaks this package on a yearly basis. You will need extra coverage for extensive dental treatment, physiotherapy or anything else the government considers to be your own responsibility, and it is in these additional areas that companies compete. You can change the extras each year, effective 1 January, so let your provider know before then if you would like to make a change. Some insurance companies have policy documents in English. It is also worth checking with your colleagues, if you work at a company, whether there is a collective scheme that provides health insurance at a discount. Some employers cover (some) costs. If you are self-employed, you may want to take out extra cover. Always check that the healthcare supplier (such as a physiotherapist) is registered with your particular insurer before starting treatment. It is possible to purchase the additional coverage (aanvullende packet) from a different insurer than your basic insurer. This may make things more complicated when processing bills, but it can sometimes lower your overall costs, or allow you to purchase additional coverage tailored for the needs of international persons residing in the Netherlands. The standard insurance package includes a mandatory excess or deductible. This is a contribution made by the policy holder towards the cost of an insurance claim. Family doctor visits, obstetric and postnatal care, and children’s dental services are exempted from the deductible, so those expenses are ordinarily paid in full by the insurer. In 2012, the

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Ivory & Ivory offers state-of-the-art dental service in customer-friendly full service clinics. We offer extended opening hours including evenings and Saturdays. Our city locations are easy to reach by car, bike or public transportation and have English speaking staff.

DENTISTS & SPECIALISTS

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Nieuwegein Krijtwal 15 030-6057000

Utrecht Maliebaan 44 030-2310003

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• • H E A LT H • •

deductible amount you must pay is EUR 220 per adult. This means that you will pay the first EUR 220 of bills each year, in addition to your health insurance premiums. You can choose a higher ‘own risk’ (deductible) amount, in which case your monthly health insurance premiums will be lower. Based on statements from the Dutch government, this amount is expected to continue to rise and additional fees or copayments are likely to be added. Doctor A huisarts is a family doctor and you need to register with one convenient for you. The idea is that they are no more than ten minutes away in case of house calls. However, as house calls are rarely done these days, some people choose a huisarts close to work, or travel further to a family doctor they feel comfortable with. Some doctors will turn you away because their practices are already full. Your insurance company can provide a list or check the local gemeentegids (a guide to everything in your area). Sound out friends and colleagues for recommendations. It is important to register with a huisarts when you arrive in the Netherlands, even if you are not ill and rarely use a doctor. If you have not registered with a family doctor and then become ill, you may have difficulty finding a nearby doctor who is taking patients, which can delay your care and extend your illness. You’ll need a referral from a huisarts to receive non-urgent medical treatment from a hospital or other specialist health provider (like a cardiologist), if you would like to have those costs covered by your Dutch medical insurance. Many practices have a spreekuur (or consultation hour) where you can consult your doctor without an appointment. At weekends or during holidays you’ll hear a recorded message on their telephone telling you how to contact on-call medical services. These are often only recorded in Dutch, so if you do not speak Dutch it is best to have a Dutch speaker call for you. In case of urgent matters, your huisarts can alert the hospital (for instance, if you’ve broken your ankle while skating, they can call ahead to ensure that X-rays are ready 68

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to see you). Don’t expect a lot of medication. For instance, Dutch doctors are generally reluctant to hand out antibiotics. Dentist A dentist (tandarts) can also be located via your insurance company and this is one area where you want to check your policy carefully. Dental care for those under 18 is covered in basic insurance. An annual check-up for adults may be included in the basic insurance package (but not the hygienist fees, for instance). You can pay for additional cover. Just as with the family doctor, it is important to register with a dentist. This is to ensure that a dentist will be available to take care of you, if an urgent dental problem should arise. Dentists are in short supply in the Netherlands so many practices are full and not taking new patients. Orthodontics Orthodontists are available in the Netherlands for children and adults. Extra coverage is usually necessary for this to be covered by your insurer. If you or a family member is arriving in the Netherlands with orthodontic appliances already in place, some research will be necessary to determine which orthodontist can continue the care here, as there are various types of orthodontic systems and equipment, and not all practitioners use all of them. GGD: Healthcare for children The municipal health service (Gemeentelijke Gezondheidsdienst, www.ggd.nl) covers all aspects of children’s growth and development from 4 to 19 years. On the website you can search for your local GGD, but if you have young children, they’ll probably find you first via your registration with the GBA. Inoculations and checks from birth to age four take place at the consultatiebureau, which is usually part of the GGD. Expect a big check-up just before starting school. Publications are available in several languages. Childhood immunisations in the Dutch scheme have changed often in the past 10 years. You may wish to check whether the Dutch immunisation scheme is the same as the one

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from your home country, especially if you expect to return to your home country while your children are still school age. Immunisations different from those on the standard plan can be arranged, although that must sometimes be done via the family doctor rather than the consultatiebureau. Hospitals Accident and emergency is SEH (Spoedeisende Hulp) at the hospital, or for first aid EHBO (Eerste Hulp Bij Ongelukken). The emergency services line is 112. In some cases, there is a HAP, or Huisartsenpost (family doctor post) that you must visit before being admitted to the emergency department, in case the matter is something that the family doctors can handle without involving hospital care. For a hospital admission for non-emergency treatment, keep your insurance company informed and check your policy. Your insurers will require a referral letter from your huisarts. You usually personally make the appointment with the specialist at the hospital. Pharmacies Once you have located a huisarts, you need to locate a nearby pharmacy where you will pick up prescriptions. If this pharmacy deals with your particular insurance scheme, you won’t have to pay bills directly. Pharmacy services vary, so look for one that has the services you need. For example, many can deliver medications to your home free of charge, and some also offer services such as secured pickup boxes accessible with a key, so that you can retrieve prescriptions after hours. Pharmacies in the Netherlands expect patients to register with them, meaning that they take your contact and insurance information and then consider you a long-term client (although it is possible to fill prescriptions elsewhere, if needed). If you have been treated at a hospital, you can sometimes fill your prescription at an onsite pharmacy. This will often save a lot of time and hassle, especially after business

hours. Pharmacists are able to give advice for minor complaints. Opening hours vary but the address of the nearest out-of-hours pharmacy will be indicated on the door. Drogists supply over-the-counter remedies. Having a baby The Netherlands has a strong tradition in prenatal care and childbirth. A quarter of babies are born at home (which means 75 percent are born in a healthcare setting, so don’t worry if a home birth doesn’t appeal to you!). Your insurance company will supply you with a special package for giving birth at home, which just arrives automatically at your door. A midwife, an independent medical practitioner, will generally be your sole care provider during your pregnancy and delivery. There are also more and more doulas available these days, an experienced woman who can give continuity of care, complementary to the midwife or obstetrician. They are (not yet) covered by insurance though. Expectant mothers with certain sorts of medical conditions and multiple pregnancies will automatically be handled by an obstetrician (gynaecologist), often without the involvement of a midwife. Childbirths managed primarily by an obstetrician/gynaecologist will automatically take place in the hospital. Should you prefer to give birth in a hospital, just let your midwife know. However, you should also check that your insurer will cover a poliklinische hospital birth. Some hospitals have birth centres, where the environment is made more ‘homely’. If you do deliver your baby in a hospital, you can often be back at home the same day for postnatal care. Regular check-ups take place with the primary caregiver (midwife or obstetrician). Prenatal testing and genetic screening are not routine for women under 36 unless there is some medical history that puts her or the baby into a higher risk category. If you need further tests according to Dutch practice, your caregiver will arrange that. The routine prenatal testing recommended in the Netherlands is different from the guidelines in many other countries. If

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you are not comfortable with skipping some of the testing, then discuss this with you caregiver. It may be possible to arrange the testing, although you might be required to pay for it yourself.

of transporting a fragile newborn to a different hospital.

There are many types of birth preparation classes, some of which are offered through a local homecare (thuiszorg) organisation.

While some women complain that the Dutch childbirth system is becoming too medicalised, and others that it is not medicalised enough, most are positive about the postnatal care (kraamzorg). Once your baby has arrived, you will be given assistance at home by a maternity nurse (kraamverzorgster). She will monitor you and your baby’s health, teach some general childcare and set up a daily routine. Best of all, it may include household help. The amount of kraamzorg varies (from a few hours a day for eight days to full-time care) and a representative will come round to discuss what is appropriate. The insurance generally covers the costs. It is important to register for kraamzorg early in your pregnancy, as they are sometimes in short supply.

ACCESS runs a number of popular ones, from the general workshop ‘Having a Baby in the Netherlands’ to childbirth preparation and breastfeeding classes. Pregnancy yoga is extremely popular, offering a variety of approaches, from gentle breathing and relaxation exercises to more energetic stretching. One of the best things about taking a class is meeting other parents-to-be and sharing experiences, information and concerns. Finding a midwife or obstetrician/ gynaaecologist The majority of women giving birth in Netherlands are cared for by a midwife (verloskundige or vroedvrouw) during pregnancy and childbirth. Gynaecologists/ obstetricians are part of the care process for women who have (or are expected to have) complications or multiple pregnancies. If your caregiver is a midwife, you can choose to have your baby at home (thuisbevalling) or at a hospital with a midwife (poliklinische bevalling). If your caregiver is an obstetrician then the delivery will take place in the hospital, although the specific arrangements within the hospital vary from hospital to hospital. When locating a midwife, word of mouth is best but your huisarts might be able to make a recommendation. You can also visit the website of the Royal Dutch Association of Midwives (www.knov.nl). If the supervision of an obstetrician/gynaecologist is needed, your huisarts or midwife can assist you in locating one. Very few hospitals in the Netherlands have newborn intensive care units, so if complications are anticipated with the baby, it is often preferable to select a healthcare provider already located at one of those hospitals. This minimises the risk that you and your baby will end up in two different hospitals after the delivery, as well as eliminating the risks 70

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It is important to let your caregiver know your feelings about pain relief.

Maternity leave New mothers are entitled to 16 weeks paid leave in the Netherlands, and in some cases more depending on the type of work the expectant mother does, and the type of pregnancy. During this time, they are entitled to 100% of their earnings paid out by their employers or the Uitvoeringsinstituut Werknemers Verzekeringen (UWV). Pregnant women may leave on pregnancy leave (zwangerschapsverlof) between four to six weeks before their due dates. After the birth, women are entitled to ten weeks of childbirth leave (bevallingsverlof), even if the child is born later than expected. Updated with the expert help of Christine Houser MD, Director, Expat Medical Advisor

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Health service providers

Dental Ivory & Ivory Amsterdam Center Reguliersgracht 142 Tel: +31 (0)20 626 0289 info@tprg.nl | www.ivory-ivory.nl

ONVZ Zorgverzekeraar De Molen 66 | 3995 AX HOUTEN Tel: +31 (0)30 639 6524 www.onvz.nl

Health contacts ACCESS: www.access-nl.org - ACCESS publishes excellent Babies and Toddlers book.

an

Midwives: www.knov.nl Doula: www.doula.nl Thuiszorg: thuiszorg.startpagina.nl Medical 112 is the emergency number (for fire, police and ambulance). Doctor Don’t wait for an emergency before registering with a family doctor. Find one at www.huisartsen.nl. Central doctors’ services: Amsterdam: 020 592 3434 Emergency number for nights, weekends and public holidays in the Amsterdam region: 0880 030600.

The Hague Wateringse Veld 120 Tel: +31 (0)70 359 9774 wateringseveld@ivory-ivory.nl | www.ivory-ivory.nl Nieuwegein Krijtwal 15 Tel: +31 (0)30 605 7000 nieuwegein@ivory-ivory.nl | www.ivory-ivory.nl Utrecht Center West (Oudenoord) Oudenoord 619-621 Tel: +31 (0)30 231 5370 utrecht@ivory-ivory.nl | www.ivory-ivory.nl Utrecht Center East (Maliebaan) Maliebaan 44 Tel: +31 (0)30 231 0003 tpmaliebaan@ivory-ivory.nl | www.ivory-ivory.nl Find a dentist at www.tandarts.nl. Emergency numbers Amsterdam: Tel: +31 (0)900 821 2230 The Hague: Tel: +31 (0)70 311 0305

The Hague (SMASH): Tel: +31 (0)70 346 9669

Rotterdam: Tel: +31 (0)10 455 2155

Rotterdam: Tel: +31 (0)10 290 9888 Information line (not all areas, though they can locate the right number): Tel: +31 (0)900 1515

Pharmacy To locate an apotheek: www.apotheek.nl

Hospital A hospital is a ziekenhuis and a complete list of hospitals and medical centres for the Netherlands can be seen at www.kiesbeter.nl.

Insurance For more information about your specific situation, you can contact the following: College for Health Insurances at Tel: +31 (0)20 797 8555 (For questions regarding Health insurance.) Sociale Verzekeringsbank at Tel: +31 (0)20 656 5352 (For questions regarding social security.)

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Setting up home Utilities In many cases, the utilities (gas, water and electricity) will already be connected and you just have to have them transferred to your name. If you are paying an inclusive rent, check your contact carefully for what is covered. Water There are two elements of water payments: a consumption charge based on actual water usage (which is estimated if you don’t have a meter) and a municipal tax for services (sewage, pollution, etc.). To see which water company covers your area, visit www.vewin.nl and fill in the box Uw drinkwaterbedrijf with your postcode, or ask at your local gemeente. Amsterdam - Waternet: 0900 9394 Den Haag/Leiden - Duinwaterbedrijf Zuid-Holland: 088 3474747 Rotterdam - Evides: 0900 0787 Utrecht - Vitens: 0900 0650 PWN Waterleidingbedrijf Noord-Holland: 0900 405 07 00 Electricity and gas The energy market is liberalised, so you are able to choose (or change) suppliers. Most have ‘green’ options, where energy is bought from alternative sources such as wind, water and biomass. Regulatory authorities ensure fair practices and tariffs. On the Office of Energy Regulation website (www.dte.nl) there is a complete list of gas and electricity suppliers (Energiebedrijven > wie is wie > vergunninghouders). Main suppliers: Dong Energy: www.dongenergy.nl Eneco: www.eneco.nl Essent: www.essent.nl Greenchoice: www.greenchoice.nl NEM: www.nederlandenergie.nl Nuon: www.nuon.nl - main supplier for Amsterdam Oxxio: www.oxxio.nl You can compare energy prices via Compare Energy Prices (English language section): www.energievergelijken.nl/en/ Communication There is a huge range of options from many 72

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suppliers with combination deals for telephone (bellen), Internet (surfen) and TV. Then you just pay one monthly fee. Telephones KPN is still the main supplier for landlines. The easiest way to get connected is often to visit a KPN Winkel (shop) with appropriate identification and they can set it up. There are many additional services such as voicemail, call waiting, discounts for favourite numbers, etc. and deals in combination with Internet and TV. For low cost international calls, you can have calls charged via a cheaper provider. For instance, you rent the line from KPN but the calls go through Tele2, or register with bell1649 (www.bel1649.nl), or use an international calling card, which you can buy from independent call shops. In all these cases, you key in a combination of codes before dialling overseas. Internet telephony (such as Skype) is becoming more common. To use a public phone, you’ll need to buy a phone card from a supermarket or newsagent. Mobile telephones The cheapest deal for a mobile will be via a contract (abonnementen) with one of the main suppliers. Shop around or compare the latest rates on www. bellen.com (in Dutch). You’ll need proof of address and income and a bank account to sign a deal. A prepaid phone is more expensive but you can top it up with cards from supermarkets. If your phone is unlocked, you can buy a Dutch SIM. Every phone has a unique IMEI serial number (enter *#06# to find out yours). You’ll need this when reporting a stolen phone. 0800 numbers are toll free; 0900 numbers are charged (per call or minute). Internet All kinds of dial-up, ISDN, ADSL, and cable options are available, and can be combined with telephone and TV deals. Depending on the current TV channel deals, you might go for a TV option from one supplier and telephone/Internet from another. You can compare deals at www. internetten.nl. It will take about three weeks to set up, and you need a cable connection. There are Internet cafes dotted about and many more with WiFi. If you are in Amsterdam, you can go to the central library (www.oba.nl), which offers free Internet and fabulous views.

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•• HOME BASICS ••

television Cable TV is cheap and widespread. The main provider is UPC and included in the standard package are BBC 1, BBC 2, BBC World, and CNN alongside Dutch channels which include the government-owned Nederland 1, 2 and 3 and RTL 4, 5, 7. You’ll also receive Veronica, Net 5 (quality films and drama including popular US serials), National Geographic, and the Discovery Channel. Local TV channels are another option. For Amsterdam, it is AT5. Subtitling, rather than dubbing, is used except for children’s TV. For more films, sport or other interests, you can select different options for extra payment. Check out www.digitelevisie.nl for coverage in your area (by postcode) or compare prices at www. vergelijkdigitv.nl or at any of the suppliers. You get a media box and then pay for your chosen option. Satellite TV is also possible but you will need to be able to fix a dish facing in the right (southern) direction and (of course) there are regulations.

for Priority service are slightly higher, as it is a quicker service. There is also a guaranteed next day delivery inside the Netherlands called Garantiepost.

suPPliers of PHone / internet CanalDigitaal: www.canaldigitaal.nl KPN: www.kpn.com Tele2: www.tele2.nl Telfort: www.telfort.nl T-mobile: www.t-mobile.nl UPC: www.upc.nl UPCLive: www.upclive.nl Vodafone: www.vodafone.nl Xs4all: www.xs4all.nl Ziggo: www.ziggo.nl

setting uP HoMe HEMA (www.hema.nl) is a Dutch Institution for all household matters. Blokker is cheap (www. blokker.nl) and lKEA (www.ikea.nl) has many branches across the country.

Postnl (formerly tnt) (national) 0900 0990 (10 ct/pm) www.postnl.nl (English language section) useful weBsites Advice: www.access-nl.org Film: www.filmladder.nl Government info: www.government.nl News, information, community: www.expatica.com Opera: www.dno.nl Restaurants: www.iens.nl Royal family: www.koninklijkhuis.nl Social networking: www.hyves.nl Weather: www.hetweer.nl Website links – by category: www.startpagina.nl Yellow pages: www.goudengids.nl Telephone directory: www.detelefoongids.nl

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You generally pay on a monthly base. Post offiCes Post offices are marked with an orange sign that says postkantoor or PostNL. Formerly TNT, the company changed its name to PostNL in 2011. In some villages and neighbourhoods there are small post offices inside shops, newsagents or tobacconists (postagentschap). Stamps can be bought in all of the above places and in some of the larger supermarkets. Post-boxes are red and are scattered throughout shopping areas and neighbourhoods. On the post-box there are two slots: the left is for delivery within the city limits (streekpost), the right (overige bestemmingen) is for post delivered outside the city. Note: for mail outside of the Netherlands, you have a choice of Priority or Standard Post. Rates

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06-83034664

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•• TRANSPORT ••

Driving To drive a car in the Netherlands you must have a valid license recognised by Dutch law, be at least 18, have third party insurance, and be driving a registered vehicle. Once you are a resident of the Netherlands (registered in the municipality database) you cannot drive a car registered in another country. Exchanging a driving license To exchange (omwisselen) your existing national driving license (rijbewijs) for a Dutch one, you must fit into one of the categories below. Otherwise you can use it for 185 days after arrival, after which you must pass the regular CBR theory and driving tests. You can take both the theory and practical exam in English. ‘Drivers in international traffic’ — essentially tourists or short-term visitors — are non-residents on the Dutch roads and do not need a Dutch driving license. Dutch licenses are generally issued for 10 years. If you have a license from an EU country, it is also valid for ten years from the date of issue. You may like to exchange it anyway: it is a valid proof of identity in many cases. Licenses that can be exchanged: • Aruba, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Hungary, Republic of Ireland, Iceland, Italy, (States of) Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Isle of Man, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands Antilles, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Sweden, and Switzerland. • Specific licenses from Taiwan, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Andorra, South Korea, Canadian Province of Quebec. • Residents with the 30 percent ruling status (whatever nationality). For most of the countries listed above, the licenses will be valid for 10 years from the date of issue at the most. Note: Several countries issue a license for less than 10 years. 74

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Apply at a municipal office for an ‘Aanvraag omwisseling voor Nederlands rijbewijs’ form — you must have a BSN and be registered in the municipality database as a resident — and an ‘Eigen Verklaring’ (a CBR statement of health). If you are 70 years or over you need an ‘Uitgebreide Eigen Verklaring’ (an extensive statement of health). There are fees for these. If you are applying under the 30 percent ruling you will need a statement from the tax office’s international department in Heerlen. Additional documentation may be required in certain circumstances so check with your embassy for any specific translation or authentication requirements. You will generally forfeit your original licence (unless applying under the 30 percent ruling).You need a special license for a bromfiets (moped), snorfiets (light moped), or brommobiel (mobility car) (unless you have a license of the A or B category) and you must be 16 or over to get one. For all information on driving licences visit the website www.rijbewijs.nl (English language section). Registering and owning a car The hefty disincentive for bringing a car into the Netherlands is the private motor vehicle and motorcycle tax (BPM) levied as a percentage of the value of the car. Exemption certificates are dealt with by customs (www.douane.nl). There are many other tax implications for car owners: consult the website www.belastingdienst.nl for full details (in English). Also note that you, as a Dutch resident, may not drive in a vehicle with foreign registration plates as you will be considered to be evading the import duty on the vehicle and road tax and you risk being heavily fined. All cars must be registered with the RDW. You can register a car at a post office with all the usual identification documents and a certificate of ownership, statutory liability insurance (WA) and safety certificate (APK). For second hand vehicles, there is a transfer certificate (overschrijvingsbewijs). A seller should ensure their previous ownership certificate has been officially invalidated. After registering your car, you will receive a bill for road tax (motorrijtuigenbelasting) from the tax office.

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•• TRANSPORT ••

The vehicle’s registration certificate (kentekenbewijs) and the certificate of ownership (tenaamstellingsbewijs) must be in the car at all times when on the road. The APK test (at an RDW-approved garage) measures the road-worthiness of your vehicle. For cars brought into the Netherlands, a test is necessary if the car is older than three years. For insurance, check the yellow pages or other sources for suppliers of autoverzekering. General driving You drive on the right. Unless otherwise marked, the speed limits are 50 km/hr in the city, 80 km/hr on other roads and 100 or 120 km/hr on motorways. Traffic is an issue (www.trafficnet.nl) and so is parking, for which you generally need a permit. There are various options for paying for parking: by cash, chip or via your mobile phone. See www.parkmobiel. nl, www.park-line.nl or www.yellowbrick.nl. Most Dutch drivers are members of motoring organisation ANWB (www.anwb.nl), which can provide breakdown cover (wegenwacht) at home or abroad. There are park and ride (P+R) schemes in most cities and the car sharing scheme Green Wheels is a popular option (www.greenwheels.nl). Contacts The Department of Road Transport (www. rdw.nl) 0900 0739 or outside the Netherlands +31 (0) 598 393330 Driving licenses (www.rijbewijs.nl) Driving tests (www.cbr.nl) 070 413 0300 You can download the brochure ‘Road Traffic Signs and Regulations’ from the website of the Ministry of Transport and Public works (www. verkeerenwaterstaat.nl). For information on traffic offences, the BVOM (Bureau for Traffic Enforcement of the Public Prosecution Service) has details on its website about common offences (www.verkeershandhaving.nl). Public transport The Netherlands has excellent public transport links, but the newly installed swipecard payment system has come under much scrutiny and is costing the Dutch government

considerably more than anticipated. The smart-card system, the OV-chipkaart, is now in use throughout the Netherlands as the official transport payment system for the metro, bus and tram. There are two types of cards: anonymous, which you can buy from the OV-chipkaart machines, or personal, which you can apply for online. Your pass can be loaded from one of the OVchipkaart machines strategically placed at train and metro stations. You can arrange for your personal card to ‘load’ automatically from a bank account. You pay for the distance travelled by swiping it upon entering and leaving your transport station. Personal products, such as season or discount tickets, can be loaded to your personal OV-chipkaart and you are automatically eligible for discounts. The OV-chipkaart website (www.ov-chipkaart. nl) also has an English language section where you can find lines of action should you lose your card or forget to swipe out (you will automatically pay the maximum travel price.) Helpline: 0900 0980 (EUR 0.10 p/m). Train The Nederlandse Spoorwegen (www.ns.nl) is the national train company. NS offers season tickets and discounts for off-peak travel (Voordeelurenabonnement) including a kortingskaart (‘discount card’) which takes 40 percent off the price of tickets, not only for you but for up to three other people travelling with you. Visit an NS counter for more information. Tickets are checked regularly and fines are heavy. You save 50 eurocents through purchasing your train ticket via the ticket machines (also in English) rather than at the counter. You can now travel on the NS with your OVchipkaart. Make sure you have minimum EUR 40 uploaded to an anonymous card and that you swipe out on arrival or you travel costs could triple! If you forget to swipe out, you must claim back the added costs within three months. Call 0900-202 1163 for help with claims.

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For smaller cities, you can organise a treintaxi when you buy your train ticket. This is a shared door-to-door taxi service at a fixed price (EUR 4.30). Information services The website www.9292ov.nl provides doorto-door itineraries for national travel (now in English too). National transport (local and city to city information) 0900 9292 (EUR 0.70p/m) 0900 555 9292 (EUR 0.70 p/m) Text telephone OV-fietspass (bicycle pass) www.ov-fiets.nl (Dutch) NS (trains): (www.ns.nl) 0900 9296 (EUR 0.35 p/m). 030 235 7822 (to book assistance 07.00 – 23.00) 030 235 3033 (fax for the hearing impaired) OV-Begeleiderskaart (Carers Travel pass) 0900 1462 (EUR 0.10 p/m) Arriva Trambaan 3 8441 BH Heerenveen General Number: 0900 - 202 20 22 Office Number: 0513 – 65 58 11 www.arriva.nl/ Connexxion Connexxion Klantenservice Openbaar Vervoer Postbus 357 8260 AJ Kampen 0900 - 266 63 99 http://www.connexxion.nl/

RET Klant Contact Center Postbus 112 3000 AC Rotterdam 0900 - 500 60 10 kcc@ret.nl www.ret.nl Railrunner: Kids of 4-11 years pay a flat rate of EUR 2.50. Schiphol Airport 0900 72 44 7465 (EUR 0.40 p/m, general information) www.schiphol.nl (English section) 020 316 1417 International Help to the Disabled Schiphol Travel Taxi 020 653 1000 National Treintaxi 0900 8734682 (0.35 euro p/m). Valys (Regional Assisted transport) 0900 9630 (local rates) (If you do not make a menu choice, you will be automatically connected to an operator) www.valys.nl (Dutch) Main taxi numbers Amsterdam: 020 677 7777 The Hague: 070 383 0830 Rotterdam: 010 462 6333 Utrecht: 030 230 0400 Het Gooi: 035 691 8888 Credit: Driving section updated by Michael Davidson of The International Driving School of The Netherlands (www.driveright.nl).

Antwoordnummer 2125 8270 WB Ijsselmuiden 0900 - 266 63 99 http://www.connexxion.nl/ GVB Arlandaweg 100 1043 HP Amsterdam 020 - 460 60 60 www.gvb.nl

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•• EMERGENCY NUMBERS ••

Emergency numbers 112 is the number for emergency police, ambulance or fire (www.brandweer.nl). You will be asked for the address and city where you are calling from and the nature of the emergency. Police: (www.politie.nl) 0900 8844 is the non-emergency number. You will be connected to your local police station. If your passport has been stolen, contact your embassy immediately for instructions as to what to do next. You generally need to make a statement at a police station to start any kind of official procedure (insurance, applying for a new passport etc.).

the yellow pages (gouden gids) for a loodgieter (plumber). Lost and stolen: American Express. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 504 8666 Diners Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 020 557 3407 VISA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0800 022 3110 MasterCard/EuroCard . . . . . . . . . . . . 0800 022 5821 Lost property Schiphol: 0900 0141 Public holidays There are a few regional variations with carnaval celebrated in February and March in Catholic areas. For all Dutch citizens, Queen’s Day is the big one. Sinterklaas [Not an official holiday.] Wednesday, 5 December 2012 (Sint arrives in the Netherlands on Saturday, 17 November.)

Helplines ACCESS: (www.access-nl.org) Invaluable resource for all international residents. 0900 2 222 377 (20c per minute) helpdesk@access-nl.org

Christmas Day (Eerste Kerstdag) Tuesday, 25 December 2012.

Alcoholics Anonymous: (www.aa-netherlands.org) - National: 020 625 6057

New Year’s Day (Nieuwjaarsdag) Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Gay & Lesbian Switchboard: (www.switchboard.nl) - National: 020 623 6565

Good Friday (Goede Vrijdag) [Not an official holiday.] Friday, 29 March 2013.

Kindertelefoon: (www.kindertelefoon.nl) - 0800 0432

Easter Sunday / Monday (Pasen) Sunday/Monday, 31 March/ 1 April 2013.

SOS 24-hour helpline: (www.sensoor.nl) - 0900 0767 Staffed by Dutch volunteers but many speak English.

Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) Monday, 30 April 2013

Gas and electricity emergencies: (www.gasenstroomstoringen.nl) If you suspect a gas leak (gaslucht) or have a power problem (stroomstoring) the national line is 0800 9009 or, for serious emergencies posing a public threat, call 112. Water emergency: Contact your local gemeente for serious (sewage) issues. If the problem is in the length of pipe between the street and your house, this is the local water board’s responsibility (visit www.vewin.nl and type in your postcode in the box Uw drinkwaterbedrijf). Otherwise search

Boxing Day (Tweede Kerstdag) Wednesday, 26 December 2012.

National Remembrance Day (Dodenherdenking) Saturday, 4 May 2013. [Not an official holiday.] Liberation Day (Bevrijdingsdag) Sunday, 5 May 2013. [Official holiday every 5 years.] Ascension (Hemelvaart) Thursday, 9 May 2013 Whitsun (Pinksteren) Sunday, 19 May and Monday, 20 May 2013. School holidays: www.minocw.nl/schoolvakanties

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•• GROUPS & CLUBS ••

Groups and clubs

International childcare centre www.commealamaison.nl

Advice and Information ACCESS

Haarlem: English Speaking Contact Group www.esphaarlem.nl

Helpline (Amsterdam, English) 020 423 3217

Nijmegen/Arnhem: Information and assistance for the English-speaking community www.fexchange.net

Helpline (Amsterdam, Japanese) 020 423 3218 Helpline (Den Haag, English) 070 346 2525 www.access-nl.org Autism Association for Overseas Families (NL) www.aaof.info mail@aaof.info

Gorinchem: International children and parents club www.icpc.info

Rotterdam: English-speaking mother and toddler group www.intouchnl.com Voorhout: International parent and toddler group firstfriendsvoorhout.blogspot.nl

Birth/Babies/Toddlers Parenting in Holland – links, information, Q&As www.parentinginholland.com/nl

Voorschoten: Voorschoten Toddler Group voorschotentoddlers.webs.com Business/Professional

Almere: ABCDE - Almere Baby Club for Dutch and English www.abcdeplaygroup.nl

Amsterdam American Business Club (AABC) www.aabc.nl

Rotary Club Utrecht International www.ikzie.org Society of English-NativeSpeaking Editors www.sense-online.nl Toastmasters Club www.toastmasters.nl Culture Anglo American Theatre Group (Den Haag) www.aatg.nl InPlayers (Amsterdam) www.inplayers.org International Drama Group of English-Speaking Associates (IDEA) (Dordrecht) www.idea-panto.nl/ Reading Circle Eindhoven (RCE) (Eindhoven) www.tcw.nl/rce Gay and Lesbian COC www.cocamsterdam.nl Gay Amsterdam www.gayamsterdam.nl

Australian Business in Europe www.abie.nl

Gay Tourist Information Centre www.gaytic.nl

Connecting Women (The Hague) www.connectingwomen.nl

PinkPoint (Gay Information Centre) www.pinkpoint.org

shop.englishbookshop.nl/ childrens/the_playgroup

European Professional Women’s Network (Amsterdam chapter) europeanpwn-amsterdam.net

Sappho Sisters Abroad www.sapphosistersabroad.com

Delft: Delft Maternity and Motherhood Assistance www.delftmama.nl

International Business Club for the Eindhoven region (IBUC)

Den Haag: Birth preparation/ baby massage: www.greatexpectations.nl

Junior Chamber International (Amsterdam)www.jciai.nl

National Australia Australians abroad in Holland www.australiansabroad.com/ hollandsite

Netherlands British Chamber of Commerce www.nbcc.co.uk

France www.alliance-francaise.nl www.amsterdam-accueil.org

Amsterdam: Childbirth preparation courses www.bumpandbeyond.nl International Playgroup www.robbeburg.com The Playgroup

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The Love Exiles Foundation www.loveexiles.org

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•• GROUPS & CLUBS ••

India www.indiawijzer.nl

Expatica Forum community.expatica.com/

Ireland Irish Club www.irishclub.nl

Expatica Date www.netherlandsdating. expatica.com

Latin America CLO Stichting Centro Latinoamericano de Orientación www.cloeindhoven.nl

Legal Aliens www.legalaliens.eu

International Women’s Club South Limburg www.iwc-sl.nl Pickwick Women’s Club of Rotterdam www.welcome.to/pickwick

Leiden Expats Club www.groups.yahoo.com/group/ Leidenexpats

‘s-Hertogenbosch’s International Women’s Club www.hiwc.webs.com/

Meet in Eindhoven www.meetin.org/city/ meetineindhoven

Women’s International Group Zeeland www.wigz.nl

Singapore Singapore Netherlands Association sna.snappages.com

Women’s Clubs American Women’s Club of Amsterdam www.awca.nl/amsterdam

Spain La Asociación Hispánica de La Haya www.asoha.nl

American Netherlands Club of Rotterdam www.ancorotterdam.com

Visit Expatica.com for our full listing of groups and clubs, which covers: Advice & Information; Activist; Art & Photography; City; Food & Wine; Educational; Family; Gay & Lesbian; Language; Literary; Music Clubs; National; Political; Professional; Regional; Religious; Social; Clubs; Sports Clubs; Theatre Clubs; Writing; Women’s.

New Zealand New Zealand’s Global Network www.keanewzealand.com/ node/122

South Africa The South African Club in the Netherlands www.southafricanclub.nl UK British Society of Amsterdam www.britishsocietyofamsterdam.org British Club of The Hague www.britishclubthehague.nl/

American Women’s Club of The Hague www.awcthehague.org Australian and New Zealand Women’s Club www.anzwc.org/ MOPS in Holland (Mothers of Preschoolers www.mopsinholland.org

St Andrew’s Society www.standrews.nl

The Petroleum Wives Club of The Hague www.pwc-thehague.com

Politics/Activist Amnesty International www.amnesty.nl

International Women’s Contact Amsterdam www.iwcamsterdam.nl

Democrats Abroad www.democratsabroad.nl

International Women’s Contact Utrecht www.iwcu.nl

Social Amsterdam Expat Meetup Group www.laughingatpotatoes.com/

International Women’s Contact The Hague www.iwcthehague.nl

English speaking contact group of Haarlem www.esphaarlem.nl/

International Women’s Club Breda www.iwcbreda.nl

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Page 1;

•• INDEX ••

Advertisers index A ABN AMRO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Back Cover, 23 AICS - Amsterdam International Community School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Amsterdam Business School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover, 54 B British School of Amsterdam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 E European University . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Expatax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Expatcenter Amsterdam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Expatdesk for The Netherlands. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Expatdesk Rotterdam. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 H HousingXL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Het Kinderhonk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 I International School of Amsterdam. . . . . . . . . . . . 47 International School of Hilversum. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Ivory & Ivory. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 L Lucas Bols BV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 M Maastricht School of Management . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Madison Parker International. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 N Noordam Advocatuur. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Nova Relocation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

80

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O ONVZ. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 P PAS BMS Relocation Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 R Rotterdam International Secondary School . . 45 Rotterdam School of Management ........................................

Inside Back Cover

S Stoit Groep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 SmeetGijbels BV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 T The Hague International Centre. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Tulip Expats Services. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 The Windmill Preschool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 U Undutchables. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 UKFood.nl. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Unique . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 V Van Noort Gassler & Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 W Waterstones. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Webster University. . . . . . . . . . . . .Inside Front Cover, 9 NEED MORE GUIDES? The Expat Survival Guide will be distributed this year to over 40,000 expats in the Netherlands, through embassies, international companies, expat housing and relocation companies and international schools. If you are involved in managing expats, or run a bookshop, cafe, bar, or restaurant frequented by expats, and would like to distribute the Expat Survival Guide, then please contact us at info@expatica.com to order your free guides. Delivery is also free within the Netherlands.

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WELCOME TO THE NETHERLANDS ABN AMRO: Expert in financial services for expats For more information, please visit www.abnamro.nl/expats

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NL Survival Guide 2013  

The magazine provides a selection of essential information for new expats to the Netherlands. For the reader’s convenience, the Survival Gui...