What you need to keep in mind when relocating to the Netherlands...
The Netherlands has one of the most advanced education systems. It is mandatory in the Netherlands to attend school till the age of 18.
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 and it is also divided in 4 groups:
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.
University: Rotterdam has one of the best University in Europe, Erasmus University. University of Leiden is one of the oldest ones and the University of Utrecht is the best for medical care.
Types of housing:
Detached: These type of houses are uncommon and are mostly found outside of the big cities where the population density isn’t that high. These houses are the most expensive type of housing in The Netherlands.
Semi-detached: Almost as uncommon as deatched properties. Again mostly found in the suburbs of larger cities.
Terras/town houses: usually with 2 to 3 storeys with a porch and a garden. This type of houses are the most common ones in the Netherlands and are meant for family use.
Apartments: apartment buildings are on avaerage 10 storeys high but are often much lower. This is the most common form of housing in te Netherlands 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 as that type of accomodation is readily affordable for most of the population. Apartments are popular under students and expats because this the cheapest type of housing. Detached and semi-detached houses are expensive so unless your employer is repared to help out with the cost of housing this may be beyond your budget.
Location: is very important and has big influence on the price. For example Amsterdam as the capital is considered the most expensive city of the Netherlands however other popular destinations for expats like The Hague & Utrecht will rival this claim. A shortage of space, The Netherlands is the third most densely populated country in the world, ensures that house prices will alwasy remain high.
The health care system in the Netherlands is one of the most efficient in comparison with other Western countries but not one of most cost effective ones. 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 obliged to organise one as soon you arrive in The Netherlands.
You will find the best vacancies on the internet via job agencies like:
Most companies in the Netherlands almost always include their vacancies on their websites. When you go to a specific company website you are most likely to find a page with open vacancies.
Growing job markets:
Chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturing
Ship building and repair
It is not necessary to have a Dutch bank account because you shouldn’t have any problems getting money out of your overseas account. Howevr for domestic bills and your salary payments it is advisable to have a Dutch bank account. The money can be obtained from any ATM. The ATM’s in the Netherlands operate in different language including French, German and English. The main Dutch banks are ABN-Amro, ING, Rabobank and SNS bank. These banks commonly operate specific expat packages. When applying for a Dutch bank account you will only be asked to show some kind of proof of identity. Be aware that you may be required t hld a minimum desposit on your account particuar in the first few months.
In the Netherlands the types of visa you require 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 outside of the EU than you have to apply for a visa. This visa is known in Dutch as a ‘Verblijfs vergunning’ which will be valid for an initial period of 5 years and then for 10 years.
Cost of Living:
A normal Ducth family doesnt really have high cost of living. The largest single item of expenditure is the monthly rent. After that groceries fallsinto the second place, but these are no more expensive than the european average. More detail is provided by the following link -Numbeo - Dutch household expenditure
If you have a foreign driver’s license you are able to drive for upto 6 months. At that moment you must apply for a Dutch one. If you are a resident of the EU and you want to get Dutch driver’s license you can just swap it for the Dutch one. If you aren’t a resident of the EU you must complete your driving test again. You can choose to do theory in English if you don’t speak Dutch well enough. One exception to this rule exists. If you came to the Netherlands from outside the EU as a highly skilled professional at the bequest of your employer then you may be able to swap your driving licence very easily without doing any tests. You should talk to your employer to see if this excemption exists for you.
Taxes in the Netherlands are pretty high compared with European countries. The tax you pay on clothes, cars and furniture is so called BTW and is charged 21%, tax on most items and 9% on food.
The income tax in the Netherlands depends on how much your salary you earn. It is a pretty wide range, from as little as 32% up to52%. Every year you are required to fill in a tax return. You must do it before 1 April for the last year you have worked. The tax office will then calculate how much you have earned that year and if you come into consideration to get some of your tax back or if you have to pay more. Factors that influence this are mortgage payments, and saving schemes. If in doubt consult your employer or a tas speacilist.