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Moving to Groningen

Netherlands, Groningen, windmill

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What you need to keep in mind when relocating to Groningen....


Elementary school: children between the ages of 4 to 12 attend elementary school.  
High school: at the 8th grade of elementary school the students take a test that determents which course they can follow in the high school. There are 3 different courses:
  • VMBO: takes you 4 years to get your diploma.
  • HAVO: takes you 5 years to get your diploma. HAVO degree gives you way in to HBO.
  • VWO: takes you 6 years to get your diploma. There are 2 types of VWO education:
  • Atheneum
  • Gymnasium
The only difference between the two education ways is that for gymnasium you are obligated to follow the course of Latin and Greek language.
Tertiary education
  •  MBO: if you have finished VMBO at the high school you can apply for MBO. The levels of VMBO also matter to MBO, because you will be following courses on the same level as you were following at the VMBO. For example if you have a degree from VMBO level 3, you can only apply for MBO level 3.
  • HBO: if you have finished HAVO at the high school you can apply for HBO. HBO is a 4 year course.
  • UNIVERSITY: Groningen has its own university and it is called The University in Groningen. University of Groningen is in the top 100 in Europe of the best universities.


 Types of housing
  • Detached: are houses who share no walls with other houses. These type of houses is mostly in the South of Netherlands where the population density isn’t that high. Those houses are pretty expensive.
  • Semi-detached: are houses which do share one inside wall with one other housing.
  • Terras/town houses: are houses which that 2-3 storeys and usually have a porch and a slightly bigger garden. This type of houses are the most common ones in the Netherlands and are meant for family use.
  • Apartments: in the Netherlands we have much apartment buildings which are mostly 10 storeys high.  Those apartments are mostly rented and all of the tenants share one front entrance. 
most of the houses in the Netherlands are the town houses and the apartments. The reason is that those houses are affordable by the most people. Apartments are mostly rented by students and expats because this the cheapest type of housing. Detached and semi-detached houses are the expensive ones. 
Groningen is a city where almost everybody who lives in the city centre has a rented apartment. Detached and semi-detached houses you will find out of the city centre and those are mostly bought houses. The town houses are mostly in the city centre and are also mostly rented. The contracts are mostly for a short period.

Medical Care

The health care system in the Netherlands are quite effective in comparison with other Western countries but not the most cost effective one. Medical care is very well organized and almost all the doctors speak multiple languages. That makes health care very accessible for the foreigners. Dutch residents are automatically insured by the government for the basic health care with exemption for children under age which are automatically covered by their parents insurance. If you don’t have an insurance you are risking a fine because you are obligated to have one.
Groningen has a very good university hospital which gets visited by patients very often. They are one of the best in the country and specialized in almost everything. The doctors are highly skilled and the hospital has a very good reputation because of it. They even do organs transplant. 


How to find a job?
You will find the best vacancies on the internet via job agencies like:
Most companies in the Netherlands almost always include their vacancies to their websites. When you go to a specific company website you are most likely to find a tab open vacancies.
Growing markets:
  • ICT
  • Constructional business
  • Tabaco industries
  • Chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • Ship building and repair
In Groningen you will find lots of boats because it is a city with lots of canals where people drive with boats. Many job opportunities lay in that area because those boat need to be maintained every once in a while. Also in pharmaceutical manufacturing because of the very often visited university hospital.

Bank Accounts

It is not necessary to have a Dutch bank account because you shouldn’t have any problems getting money from any overseas account. The money can be obtained by any ATM as long it is a maestro card. The ATM’s in the Netherlands have different language manuals including French, German and English. 
The main Dutch banks are:
  • ABN-Amro
  • ING
  • Rabobank
  • SNS bank.
The most common one for foreigners in the Netherlands is ABN-Amro because they have a broad information based on English online and specific expat packages.
It doesn’t matter if you are a foreigner and you want to open a bank account. While applying you will only be asked to show some kind of identity proof and also there isn’t something like a certain amount of money that you need to have on your account like in Switzerland.


 In the Netherlands you have a few types of visa but it depends on how long are you planning to stay and which country you come from.
Residents of the EU don’t need to have any visa of permits because Netherlands is also part of the EU. If you are a foreigner from out of the EU than you have to apply for a visa. The first you will get is so called ‘Verblijfs vergunning’ for at first 5 years and then for 10 and then you can apply to get Dutch documents.

Cost of living

Costs of living in Groningen are pretty average compared to other cities, of course it differs in a lot of subjects but here is an useful link where you can check the prices of common expenses: Numbeo
This chart shows what kind of costs an average family in the Netherlands has. The most money gets spent on the rent and markets, least amount of money gets spent on the clothes and utilities.


 Taxes in the Netherlands are pretty high compared to other European countries. 
  • The Tax you pay on secondary needs like clothing are 21%
  • The tax you pay on primary needs like food are 9%
  • There is a 0% taxation policy on medicine
Income Tax
The income tax in The Netherlands depends on how much money you make. In the chart underneath you will find the basic information about the Dutch income taxes.

More than Less than this amount Tax per bracket Premium national insurance Total rate Total per bracket Cumulative
 €0  €19,645  5,10%  31,15%  36,25%  €7,121  €7,121
 €19.645  €33,363  10,85%  31,15%  42%  €5,761  €12,882
 €33,363  €56,531  42%    42%  €9,730  €22,612
 €56,531  €-  52%    52%    

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