A move can be fun but also a bit exciting. It often helps to prepare yourself as well as possible for the move.
You can already do quite a bit of groundwork when it comes to learning the language, making new friends, learning about the culture and getting used to the new country.
Other things are important for your parents, such as arranging Dutch lessons, finding a house and knowing how the health insurance system works, for example.
If you prepare yourself well, you can be flexible when things don’t go as planned. After all, you have already sufficiently oriented yourself on these types of topics so that you know what a different or next step should be.
In this blog post I provide tips for children and parents on how to prepare when they plan to move to the Netherlands.
We’ll start with the tips for the children.
- Learn the language: It is important to learn the Dutch language so that you can express yourself better and communicate with other children and adults. Practice the language by, for example, reading Dutch books or listening to Dutch music.
- Make New Friends: It can be exciting to move to a new country, but try to make new friends school or by joining a sports club, taking part in activities at school or taking part in local events.
- Learn about the culture: The Netherlands has its own culture and customs, it can help to learn more about this. This can be done, for example, by watching Dutch films or by exploring the city with your family and discovering what the Netherlands has to offer.
- Keep in touch with friends and family: Moving to a new country can mean leaving friends and family behind. It is important to keep in touch with the people who are important to you, for example via video chat or social media.
- Be patient: It may take you a while to get used to life in the Netherlands. Be patient and give yourself time to get used to the new environment and culture.
- Ask for help: If you have problems or questions, ask for help. You can always ask an adult for help at school or at a local organization that helps people who have recently moved.
Moving to a new country can be an exciting, but also challenging experience. By being open to new experiences and giving yourself time to get used to the new environment, it can be a great opportunity to discover new things and grow as a person.
And of course the tips for the parents:
- Learn Dutch: Although many Dutch people speak English, learning Dutch will help you integrate into the local community and make your daily tasks easier. It’s also a great way to show respect for local culture and customs.
- Arrange the paperwork: Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork in order before you move. This includes visas, work permits and residence permits. Ask the Dutch embassy or consulate in your own country which documents you need.
- Find an accommodation: The Netherlands has a competitive housing market, so it is best to start looking for accommodation as soon as possible. This can be done online or through a broker.
- Buy a bicycle: The Netherlands is truly a bicycle-friendly country and many people use the bicycle as their main mode of transport. Buying or renting a bicycle is a wonderful way to get around and explore your new surroundings.
- Understand the healthcare system: The Dutch healthcare system is different from many other countries, so it is important to understand how it works. You must register with a local doctor and purchase health insurance. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask for help.
- Embrace the culture: The Netherlands has a rich cultural heritage and there are many opportunities to learn about it. Attend local festivals, try the local cuisine and visit museums and galleries to fully immerse yourself in Dutch culture.
- Connect with other expats: Moving to a new country can be challenging, so it’s important to connect with other expats who have done the same. Join expat groups or clubs to meet new people and make new friends.
- Enjoy the outdoors: The Netherlands is known for its beautiful parks and nature. Take advantage of the great outdoors by going hiking, biking, or picnicking in one of the many parks or natural areas.
- Use public transport: The Netherlands has a well-developed public transport system, including buses, trams and trains. It’s often faster and more convenient than driving, so consider using public transportation to get around.
- Be prepared for the weather: The Netherlands has a temperate maritime climate, which means that it can sometimes rain and wind. Be sure to pack appropriate clothing for all seasons and invest in a good raincoat and umbrella.
With these tips and tricks you can adapt to life in the Netherlands and enjoy your new environment to the fullest. Remember to keep an open mind and embrace the culture and lifestyle of your new home.
Do you need help learning the Dutch language? Leave your details on this form and one of our certified teachers will contact you as soon as possible.
This blog post was written by Anouk Hosman, owner of Dutch for Kids