Cultural Differences in the Classroom

By Jan Vincent Meertens Cultural differences have an influence, in multiple ways, on the relationship between teachers and students, teachers and parents and between students.... read more >

Daring to Dream Big

It was nothing more than a dream two decades ago: ensuring the right of every man woman and child to protection against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Today,... read more >

Post Plaza

As mentioned on page 30, Leeuwarden is one of Europe’s Cultural Capitals this year, which will be celebrated not only in the city itself, but throughout the whole province. Once... read more >

Leeuwarden, European Capital of Culture 2018

The center of Leeuwarden is cozy and manageable in size – the one time we got lost lasted about 20 seconds – and the people are very friendly. At the end of the market... read more >

Can Anything Prepare You for Expatriation/Global Living?

If education is the key to success – however you define it – then what is there to learn, prepare for, when moving overseas, or crossing borders? As the American tennis... read more >

All I Really Need to Know About Dutch Education I Saw on De Luizenmoeder

By Greg Shapiro Dutch TV has a real hit with De Luizenmoeder, set in a first-grade classroom at a Dutch grade school. I’m pretty sure it’s based on a true story, possibly... read more >

Plan of Action

By Chris Smit This will be my fourth year contributing to The XPat Journal. This also means that it’s my fourth article on this issue’s topic: Education. Given this... read more >

Leeuwarden, European Capital of Culture 2018

The center of Leeuwarden is cozy and manageable in size – the one time we got lost lasted about 20 seconds – and the people are very friendly. At the end of the market... read more >

Coming to the Netherlands as a Student

When coming to the Netherlands as a student, special immigration procedures apply. Which specific requirements are to be met depend on your nationality and the purpose of... read more >

Traffic Education

By Wijnand de Gelder The focus of this issue is education. Which is the author has chosen to direct your attention to a number of issues in the context of participating... read more >

Incubating World-Class Talent in The Hague

By Diane Lemieux Ève-Marie Dalcourt and Donnie Duncan are in The Hague because it is home to one of the world’s top dance companies, the Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT).... read more >

Scholarships and Grants

In this article, we go into the possibility of arranging a scholarship or grant if you are coming to the Netherlands as a non-Dutch national to study. We also provide a short... read more >

The Dutch School Attendance Law

By Annebet van Mameren Last year there was a lot of commotion on the playground of a small town in the south of the Netherlands. What had happened? A family from the school... read more >

Lost in Translation

By Robin Pascoe This season’s big television hit is a series about a typical Dutch primary school called De Luizenmoeder – the nit mother – and follows the trials... read more >

From the Point of View of… Nancy Mayer

Nancy Mayer has a very special life; she makes a living teaching people how to sing. Or, in reality, how to find their voice. For she also gives speaking lessons. “Fantastic... read more >

More than Half the Fun

As I sit behind my desk, I can see the snow falling. Beautiful big, white flakes. And I know the woods nearby will be full of moms and dads, dragging their kids on sleighs... read more >

Your House on Wheels

One of the stereotypes that people have about the Dutch is that they are stingy or cheap. But in actual fact that is not true. The Dutch are among the most generous people... read more >

Step-by-Step Buyer’s Guide

It would be nice if the process of buying a house were simply a matter of “yes, I would like that one” and handing over your credit card. Though this may be the case for... read more >

Easy Living…

Although The Hague is a booming city for expats, there is no realistic market for high-quality rental properties that can provide easy living for busy executives. Currently... read more >

Friendly Neighbors

Expats who are settling in the Netherlands are often faced with cultural differences, especially when it comes to sensitive and private issues such as moving into a new home... read more >


A stranger who’s been through your stuff, who’s taken some of it with him and who has left a path of destruction in his wake. This can have quite an impact on your life.... read more >

Home for the Holidays?

The winter holiday season in the Netherlands is magical, with all the trees and houses lit up by twinkling lights. But for editor Robin Pascoe, the Christmas... read more >

Learn to Cycle in Amsterdam

Whoever thought that riding your bicycle could be so complicated? That it required not just motor skills and traffic awareness, but also social and emotional skills? If... read more >

Legal Aspects of Buying a House

For most people, the purchase of a house is an important and exciting event. This is especially so for expats who find themselves buying a home in a country other than... read more >

New Studies, New Insights

In their mission to serve the international community, ACCESS plays a role in managing the expectations of locals who meet, work with, and/or provide services to the growing... read more >

Be a Good Sport at the 2018 Feel at Home Fair

On Sunday February 4, 2018, The Feel at Home in The Hague Fair will be celebrating its 11th edition. More than 4,000 visitors attended the event in the Hague City Hall in... read more >

The Hague

For someone for whom the buzz of Amsterdam leaves her breathless, I would have never guessed that The Hague would knock my socks off. Yet it’s true: Den Haag has also stolen... read more >

The IamExpat Fair – The Hague

An important day to mark on your agenda!: the Fall is the IamExpat Fair in The Hague, on November 4. The meeting place for expats and local businesses The IamExpat Fair... read more >

Check out the brand new XPAT.NL website!

For more than 10 years, WWW.XPAT.NL has been the major online information platform for those seeking English-language information on the Netherlands. The website now has... read more >

Frank’s Smoke House

The name might make you think, Oops, is this a decent place for a nice person like me? – as the combination ‘smoke’ and ‘Amsterdam’ does tend to point you in a ‘certain... read more >

National Park Weerribben Wieden

  Though very few people know about it, it really should come as no surprise that this country, riddled as it is with canals, should have its own Venice. Not a city,... read more >

Do We All Agree?

By Jan Vincent Meertens Consensus has always been in the DNA of the Dutch. It is the basis of what the Dutch call ‘effective decision-making’. The expat is often fascinated... read more >


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken” – is probably the best career advice to give to young people, and we have Oscar Wilde to thank for his wise words. But... read more >

What’s the Role of a Dutch Manager in the Office?

By Chris Smit I like the saying an ex-colleague introduced me to: “We all do the same things, just differently”. In other words, we all eat, drink and sleep, but what... read more >

For this issue of The XPat Journal, we interviewed Marjolein Leopold-de Vos tot Nederveen Cappel, who was born in Indonesia and survived a Japanese internment camp during... read more >

Though most people work directly for an employer, over the past years, a considerable and growing number of people in the Netherlands have chosen to work in self-employment,... read more >

Do It Yourself

By Robin Pascoe   Journalist may be her main profession, but bank clerk, travel agent, postman and garbage collector could easily be included on her cv, writes... read more >

Nederland Dans Theater, the International Pride of The Hague

The New York Times: “If you see only one live performance this year… Nederlands Dans Theater is the one to see.” LA Times: “Unpredictable NDT is memorably modern.”   The... read more >

How Not to Get a Proper Job

By Phoebe Young “Most of my friends from the UK took sensible, vocational degrees that guided them straight to the safe and sturdy rungs of the London job ladder. I set... read more >

Orange Is the New Green

By Greg Shapiro Looking for employment at a Dutch company? Greg Shapiro takes you behind the scenes for a unique peek at the bizarrely revealing rituals known as ‘Dutch... read more >

Days of Physical Presence

By Robin Schalekamp and Kees de Graaf If an employee works (in employment) in more than one country, or lives in a country other than the one he works in, both countries... read more >

The Future Is Here

The potential we see at ACCESS, among the available (international) talent already here in the Netherlands, is simply mindboggling. In this, the Employment issue, we could... read more >

The New Immigration Directive and Permanent Residency

Since the introduction of the ICT (Intra Corporate Transferee), formally known as EU Directive 2014/66 (as of November 29, 2016), Altair Global has received many questions... read more >

‘i am not a tourist’ Annual Expat Fair for Internationals

Sunday, October 8 will see the 15th edition of Amsterdam's renowned "i am not a tourist" Expat Fair. Come to the stunning Beurs van Berlage in the heart of Amsterdam to explore... read more >

From the Point of View of… Bryna Hellmann

“I have really marvelous memories of my life,” Bryna tells. “I've written in my books that poor children don’t know they’re poor – they don’t think, ‘I’m... read more >

Following in the Footsteps of an Emperor

The Utrechtse Castle Route takes you through an area you could explore for days. In this issue of The XPat Journal, we take you along the manors, mansions and castles of this... read more >

It All Began At Home

Chef at was born out of a love for food and wine, and as the name suggests they can cook everywhere (Chef at… you fill in the blanks). Chef at brings the fine-dining experience... read more >

Why We Like Different Sports

The Impact of Culture on Sports by Tom Fadrhonc As a student, Tom Fadrhonc played rugby at a university in the Netherlands. Sports was a social thing and the majority... read more >

“Our Main Goal As a Family Is Education”

What do you think of when you hear the label ‘refugee’? Diane Lemieux interviews Manar Aburshaid and busts a few stereotypes. Whatever image the word refugee elicits,... read more >

Come Visit the IamExpat Fair

The meeting place for expats and local businesses The IamExpat Fair is designed to support internationals in the Netherlands, and connect them with local businesses and service... read more >

Catamaran Sailing at the KZVS

How about a day at the beach: you cycle to Scheveningen on a nice and sunny day, rig your catamaran, hit the waves, maybe participate in a regatta and finish with a drink... read more >

Special Needs Education in the Netherlands

In general, the Dutch education system works very well, but because of its unique features and many different types of schools, a lot of international parents have a tough... read more >

Dutch Education: Burnout Early and Burnout Often

The assignment was simple. Write an essay on the question: “What is a burnout, and how can I avoid it?” And by the way, “You have to write the essay while you’re juggling... read more >

Building Bridges

For their regular columns in The XPat Journal, ACCESS, in 2017, will focus on how it represents, informs and manages the expectations of the local community and its service... read more >

A “B-” Is Good Enough

“Relax man” is an expression you might associate with a stereotypical Caribbean island such as Jamaica. But in Dutch schools, when it comes to being the best, the atmosphere... read more >

Traffic Education

The focus of this issue of The XPat Journal is education. Which is why the author has chosen to focus on participating safely in traffic, as it is up to us adults to set the... read more >

Come Fly with Us

By Richard Laribij My first introduction to general aviation was during the time I lived in Cyprus. I had always been fascinated by aviation; even as a kid I used to sit... read more >

Lessons in Life

The Dutch political system invariably creates coalitions – and goodness knows how many parties will be needed this time round. The process of coalition building can take... read more >

Feel at Home in The Hague Fair 2017

On Sunday 5th February 2017, The Feel at Home in The Hague Fair will be celebrating its 10th edition.  More than 4000 visitors attended the event in the Hague City Hall in... read more >

Access MBA event in Amsterdam

Top international business schools meet executive talent through One-to-One meetings in Amsterdam on the 26th of January. The prestigious Master of Business Administration... read more >

We did it again!

We are pleased to announce the appearance of the second online issue of The XPat Journal!   The December Issue is the yearly Housing Special. Please explore, enjoy... read more >

The End of Optimism

I always believed that America’s greatest export product was its optimism. No country in the world could rival our ability to dust ourselves off and start anew. Despotism... read more >

The President and the Taxi driver

By Bob Bragar It’s not the great and the good who are going to decide who is the next president of United States. It’s the taxi driver. This summer I spent an inspiring... read more >

Letter from the Editor Sept 2016 Issue

When I was ten years old, I moved to South America with my Dutch father and American mother. Though my father loved history, he had studied law in order to be ensured of a... read more >

Walter Benedict & Franklin

Franklin and Walter Benedict, ever heard of them? Brothers maybe? Or cousins? In fact, it is neither of these, as they are not even related. ‘Birds of a feather’ comes... read more >

Dutch Vacation Days:

“It feels good to be back from vacation. Mostly it’s because I grew up in America, and Dutch vacations seem so long. Back in America, you’re lucky to get two weeks off... read more >

Factors of Success

ACCESS turned 30 in 2016; August 11 to be specific. It is exciting to reflect on the fact that a volunteer-based, and run, organisation has managed to reach this age of maturity.... read more >

The Four Things You Didn’t Know About Dutch Meetings

In this article, the author takes a look into the details of a typical Dutch meeting. Let’s share his vision on the Agenda: The agenda, if at all present, consists,... read more >

From the Point of View of… Deborah Valentine

Deborah on being placed abroad: “Partners embark on the adventure together, but once the adrenaline of the first year wears off and the house and spouse are all sorted,... read more >

The Dutch Freelancer

In the Netherlands, there is a difference in tax treatment between an employed person and a self-employed professional. If the relationship between you and your principal... read more >


Gouda is a lovely city to walk through, thanks to its reasonably compact size, historic buildings, clean appearance, car-free center and pleasant atmosphere. But there is... read more >

A Double Expat Event

Learning Dutch, finding a house, experiencing Dutch culture, making connections, solving immigration and tax issues, and finding employment – all at the “i am not a tourist”... read more >

The IamExpat Fair

The IamExpat Fair is designed to support internationals in the Netherlands, and connect them with local businesses and service providers. This event is an exciting opportunity... read more >

A Storyteller’s Lens

“Stories are contextual. They begin long before a professional goal has been achieved, fueled by incidents that have deeply impacted the teller. Workshop organizers, who... read more >

Managing Your Own Career Across Cultures

by Ruddy Swinnen and Sjaak Pappe For many expats, an international career can be a road littered with pitfalls, allergies and culture shock – but also with great fun,... read more >

Back to School

By Wijnand de Gelder Summer vacation is over. A new school year has begun. The children’s minds are still filled with images of their vacation and they are excited about... read more >

Sarina Maat

One summer evening in July, Sarina Maat was enjoying a drink and nibbles on a terrace in the sun with her fitness coach-turned-friend. Summer evenings don’t get much better... read more >

Job Hunting Season in the Netherlands

There is a Dutch saying that goes “You have a No, but by asking you may get a Yes”. Remember this when you start looking for a job in the Netherlands, because in this... read more >

Nice Work

Now our children are graduates, or nearly graduates, things are changing. The world of eternal internships looms. Working a 40-hour week for work experience expenses of €... read more >

The International Fireworks Festival

During The International Fireworks Festival you can enjoy spectacular displays from 8 competing nations. This annual festival draws some 400.000 spectators, so if you want... read more >

A Global Search for Education 5

According to Center for Curriculum Redesign (CCR) founder Charles Fadel, education is “falling behind its mission to prepare students for the future: a world that’s increasingly... read more >

The Global Search for Education 4

What will be the legacy of Race to the Top and Barack Obama’s other education initiatives? Indeed, what’s been accomplished in education reform around the country since... read more >

New ‘short stay’ apartments in Park Hoog Oostduin, The Hague

On behalf of Bouwinvest Residential Fund, Bouwinvest has rented out approximately 1,095 m² of living space to Corporate Housing Factory in Park Hoog Oostduin, The Hague.... read more >

The Global Search for Education

In the profit-above-all-world of digitization and automation, ethics and the nature of professionalism seem to be in question and under attack from all sides. Will the new... read more >

The Global Search for Education

In the profit-above-all-world of digitization and automation, ethics and the nature of professionalism seem to be in question and under attack from all sides. Will the new... read more >

The Global Search for Education:

“I see the range of professions, both in the United States and abroad, as under severe strain, because of both internal and external forces.”  — Howard Gardner In... read more >

Here comes summer:

After a winter and spring that seemed more like an never ending autumn, we suddenly had a  very UnDutch hot summer weekend in May. Yes, summer is at our door. And with summer... read more >

GOING DUTCH the healthy way

With so much lycra around these days, stylish looking racing bikes, runners, power joggers and Organic supermarkets popping up like ‘paddenstoelen’ (toadstools) you’d... read more >

The Global Search for Education 3

Innovation and Quality: Two Sides of the Same Coin? was the title of Education Fast Forward’s 17th global debate at Mobile Learning Week in Paris in partnership with UNESCO.... read more >

Meet Socrates, the Camarasaurus and Buddha

If Spring this year proves to be wet and cool and you are looking for something to do (with or without kids), then Leiden is an excellent place to start with the following... read more >

Seafood Delight in an Amazing Ambiance!

The XPat Journal was one of the first to be informed about the fact that cozy new venue was going to be opening soon. Now that it is up and running, we are glad to share this... read more >

Ich Bin Ein Hamburger

When you walk into a restaurant and immediately feel at home, you know you are going to have a fine lunch or dinner. After all, a first impression can only be made once. And... read more >

Implementing Mother-Tongue Literacy Program at Primary Level

Three years ago, the American International School of Rotterdam (AISR) started offering an expanded mother-tongue language program in grades PreK1 - 5 (ages 3-11). Since 2013-2014,... read more >

From the Point of View of…

Dubravka, who studied English Language & Literature in Zagreb, as well as Philosophy, has two jobs: one, teaching English Teaching Methodology at the University of Utrecht... read more >

Dutch Schools Let Kids Be Kids

I was reading one of those articles about how Dutch kids are the happiest in the world. Every so often someone does a survey and finds that – instead of pushing kids to... read more >

Education for Expatriation

In 1986, a red flag was raised by a Counsellor at the American School. There were troubles in the community. Troubles which needed a response. A gap in services which needed... read more >

Should You Choose an International Education

Before enrolling your child at a school, you’ll have to decide whether to send them to an international school or ‘go Dutch’. Both have their own advantages, and in... read more >

Back to School

While there is a well-documented shortage of places at some international schools, a survey in Amsterdam last year showed that what most parents really want is help in getting... read more >

Not A Contest

Different cultural value patterns of teachers and students are frequently responsible for a suboptimal transfer of knowledge. The ability to understand, accept and reconcile... read more >

I Could Learn Anything

In this edition of The XPat Journal, Chris Smit focuses on two aspects of education. Namely the fields of study available at Dutch Universities and the coaching phenomenon... read more >

Educating for a Changing World

What kind of education is needed to equip students for the challenges of an unpredictable, complex, rapidly changing world? What’s the role of Educators? What can parents... read more >

From the point of view of…

To Federico Cheri, the Netherlands is the European equivalent of the American Dream: the Dutch Dream. If you come to Holland and you work hard, you can become anything you... read more >

From the point of view of…

Julia Townsend has her own business in England. On the day she landed a big contract, she came home jubilant, hardly able to wait till her husband came home, so that she could... read more >

From the point of view of…

Eighteen months ago, Steve Dailey came to the Netherlands for a day. And he’s been here ever since. What started out as a day of consulting, turned into an employment contract... read more >

From the Point of View of…

Our interview for this month took place in the soon-to-be former home of Mrs. Ruby Vos (she’s moving to a new house). Ruby moved here in 1994 with her Dutch husband. However,... read more >

The Global Search for Education – 2

“Numeracy and literacy are important, but learning is also a vehicle to help people recover and regain what is most critical to them – their own dignity, self-esteem,... read more >

The Global Search for Education – 1

At the IB Heads World Conference in The Hague, I talked to Peter Senge, the renowned expert on systems, business management and learning, and senior lecturer at MIT. His bestselling... read more >

Are You Moving Abroad?

Then you need to be able to quickly focus on your new job and living environment, without having to worry about your relocation. Atlas International Movers takes the entire... read more >

The Student Hotel

By fusing luxury and flexible-stay with top-notch facilities, The Student Hotel is pioneering a modern hybrid in hospitality, and the perfect base for the new generation of... read more >

How to Buy a House in the Netherlands?

  Finding somewhere to live is the main concern of expats when they arrive in the Netherlands. Buying a home is certainly an option and may be even more interesting... read more >


In the past, wine bars were unknown in Holland. London, Paris and New York boasted great places to sit & sip. But here in Holland it was not so easy. Bit by bit, the wine... read more >


For a city as modestly-sized as Nijmegen, it has a significant place in Dutch history. In fact, it is presumably the oldest city in the Netherlands, and recently celebrated... read more >


The former, colonial, connection of the Netherlands with Indonesia has resulted in a large number of Indonesian restaurants in Holland. What they serve varies from cheap,... read more >

From the Point of View of… Kalindi Soni

Kalindi Soni didn’t go from rags to riches, she went from riches to rags. “I’ve learned that when you’ve gone from having everything that you could want, to having... read more >

Buy-to-Let Mortgages

Expats often ask whether it would be possible for them to purchase an apartment for purposes of renting it out, for apartments and residences in the large Dutch cities are... read more >

International Art Deco & Design Fair 2016

The largest public fair for Art Deco & Design, with art and design dating largely from the 20th century, will be taking place for the 18th time in the Grote Kerk in The... read more >

A Day in the Life of…

When we think of traditional classrooms, we think of desks and chairs and the teacher at the head of the class – but if we think of teaching and learning rather than classrooms,... read more >

A Community for All Cultures

That time passes and life moves on is, of course, not news to school children. Families that move cultures, countries and even continents face a challenge. For children, however,... read more >

Simple & Stingy

Last year, when The XPat Journal published a special on housing, Chris Smit wrote an article on why the Dutch keep their curtains open all the time and why it is OK to peek... read more >

Mi Casa Could Become Su Casa

Of course, there are a lot of benefits to buying a house. Apart from the fact that you own real estate of which the price may increase again, there is the advantage of a tax... read more >

Finally Found a Place to Live.

You have arrived, manoeuvred the hurdles of registration, figured out the transport system, managed to open a bank account – the gateway to just about everything here –... read more >

Can Individual Freedom and Socialism Co-Exist?

Well, the Dutch culture seems to be an example of this, and it is one of the many fascinating paradoxes that often puzzle expats who come to the Netherlands. When Fernando... read more >

Housing Quiz

Welcome to the Netherlands. You’re going to need a place to live. What should you expect? Here are some helpful quiz questions, based on my own personal research and submissions... read more >

Safety First…

When viewing a rental property, have you ever taken a close look at how safe (or unsafe) it really is? Expats tend to assume that safety regulations are the same all over... read more >

Golden Age Revisited

For centuries, the Low Countries had an open door policy with regard to foreign entrepreneurs. A considerable part of the affluence in the Golden Age came from foreign business... read more >

Home Is Where the Bath Is

The Netherlands wants to encourage start-ups, keep its international students and be a magnet for global talent. But we seem to be incapable of coming up with a solution to... read more >

Expatica’s International Job Fair

After three successful editions, Expatica’s International Job Fair returns on Sunday, October 4th. The event for pursuing an international career in the Netherlands will... read more >

The 12th Annual “i am not a tourist” Expat Fair in Amsterdam

Learning Dutch, finding a house, experiencing Dutch culture, making connections, solving immigration and tax issues… Everything is possible at Expatica’s 12th “i am... read more >

Snapshots Behind the Scenes of Dutch Offices

I came to the Netherlands to work with a comedy theater: Boom Chicago. Some of my favorite shows were the corporate events we’d do for big Dutch companies. That’s where... read more >

Organic Wines

Remembering the often quite dismal quality of organic wines sold in the past, wine lovers might not be motivated to try the new wave of organic wines produced today, despite... read more >

Discover Eindhoven’s Technological, Design and Cultural Backgrounds

There are plenty of reasons to take a trip to the south to explore the city that is reinventing itself! Although international tourists are not yet including Eindhoven... read more >

From the Point of View of… Ana Fernández

“I like to believe that everyone has wisdom that we can benefit from. Also the people in that little village in Spain, who have never gone beyond its boundaries; what they... read more >

Going Home

The return back home of the expatriate family is an aspect of expat life that is often overlooked by those responsible for human resources. Much corporate effort is put into... read more >


Are you one of those restaurant visitors who are bored to bits by those rectangular plates with 32 ingredients, all sitting side by side, not in any way related to each other?... read more >

New Rules on Temporary Contracts and Dismissal

To the delight of employees and to the dismay of some employers, there are few countries where employees enjoy as much protection against dismissal as they do in the Netherlands.... read more >


Imagine an entire country working together to achieve a single goal: to create the space where entrepreneurs stand up, start up, and scale up! Welcome to the Netherlands! strategies... read more >

Opportunities for Expat Partners

There is a high percentage that needs to work, for financial reasons. However, when asked why they are looking for a job, many of the responses ACCESS hears have little to... read more >

Applying for Jobs

The mobile lifestyle can make looking for a new job quite challenging. In this article, Diane Lemieux looks at ways of highlighting your expat skills and knowledge in your... read more >

30%-Ruling in the Netherlands

If you come to the Netherlands to work, you will most likely incur extraterritorial expenses. Extraterritorial expenses are expenses that occur because you are living outside... read more >

Attitude towards Work and Superiors

The magazine The Economist sites a reason for this high level of part-time work in the Netherlands: few men had to leave their homes to fight in the two world wars in Europe,... read more >

Ultimate Summer wines

Sunny summer days and evenings ask for a certain type of wine. They are not the right moment for massive and concentrated reds, but lend themselves much more for light and... read more >

Asiatic Elegance

During the production of the cook book Smart Cooking 3 by Holland’s TV Chef Julius Jaspers, we were working in Asia. This book features the cuisine of China, Indonesia,... read more >

Visiting a Specialist and Hospital Care

If you have to see a specialist in the Netherlands, you have to take a rather roundabout route to get there – at least, if you’re not used to the Dutch system. We have... read more >

Your Good Health?

One of the worst things about being a foreigner in a strange country is dealing with illness, particularly when you are confronted with a health system which differs from... read more >

From the Point of View of… Albert Dolmans

“I decided that if I painted full-time, I could probably make a living off it, so I quit my job. Through the huge network I had in California I was able to arrange a lot... read more >

Volvo Ocean Race

For the first time in its history, the legendary Volvo Ocean Race will be making a stop in The Hague. On June 18, 19 and 20, the harbor of Scheveningen will be home to the... read more >

No Kidding

As the author says: “I always make clear to my clients, either in mediation or in cases in which proceedings are to be started, that the children are the most vulnerable... read more >

National Park Maasduinen

Ask anyone if they know of a big park in the Netherlands, and they are sure to come up with De Hoge Veluwe National Park. However, another park that is at least equally as... read more >

North Sea Jazz Festival

This year is the 40th edition of the North Sea Jazz Festival. A world-famous three-day event that attracts people from around the world. What better way to prove this than... read more >

The Dutch Are Very Tolerant.

The Dutch have a reputation for being an open and tolerant society. This includes a rather high pain tolerance, as anyone who’s visited the Dutch healthcare system will... read more >

Building Communities

The relationship between health and community has never been so exemplified as it is in the very popular ACCESS Childbirth Preparation Courses. No, ‘expats’ don’t have... read more >

Albert Dolmans

An American-Dutch painter, that’s what Albert Dolmans calls himself. This was confirmed when I visited his atelier in Rotterdam. His entire oeuvre seems to be divided in... read more >

To Your Health…

There’s a saying that goes: “The Dutch think that they are the only sane people in a totally insane world.” When it comes to health(care), it is no different. In this... read more >

(In)famous Healthcare Customs

Elsewhere in this XPat Journal, you have read about what to expect when visiting a specialist and about mental health care for expats. In this article, we will go into the... read more >

The Dutch Mental Healthcare System

Half a year ago, you and your family came to the Netherlands for a new job; a new challenge, with new opportunities. Or: you have been living in the Netherlands for a few... read more >


For a city this modest in size, Haarlem is rich in fascinating museums. We started out at the Frans Hals Museum, where we thoroughly enjoyed the exhibition... read more >

Stedelijk Museum for Modern Art

After its closure of eight years, an extensive € 127 million renovation, cost overruns of € 20 million, multiple delays, a bankrupt building contractor, temporary relocation... read more >

International Film Festival Rotterdam – IFFR

By Jonte van Essen From 21 january until 1 february 2015, the International Film Festival Rotterdam took place in its namesake city. One of the largest public film events... read more >

When Parents Stay, and Children Depart

Inevitably, international families are then confronted with the choices, dilemmas, and challenges which arise when they stay on in their expatriate assignment location, and... read more >

Is There a Monster Living Under Your Bed?

First and foremost, if you are an American expatriate living in the Netherlands – or many other countries – you absolutely need to report your income to the United States... read more >

From the Point of View of… Sally Squirrell

Traveling alone had an unexpected side, too: “I had always thought that it would be just one crazy, massive party – but I didn’t really meet as many people my own age... read more >

Turning Technology Into Business

Where better to explore those ideas than at High Tech Campus Eindhoven (HTCE)? Set up in 1998 by Philips, its doors opened to other companies in 2003, and the campus is now... read more >

Jip and Janneke

Volksuniversiteit Amsterdam offers Dutch for non-Dutch courses, during which expats learn something about the Dutch culture, as well as how to speak the language. It also... read more >

Choosing Between Local or International Education

When living outside your home country, you will undoubtedly encounter this question: is local or international education the best option for your child? There are various... read more >

News from ‘the East’

The International School Twente (IST) is the only international school in the Twente region, located in Enschede. It is a so-called Dutch International School (DIS) which... read more >

International Education Options at the Primary and Secondary Level

As mentioned in the article, When Parents Stay and Children Depart, there is a wealth of international schooling options in the Netherlands, both at primary and secondary... read more >

Higher Education for International Students

In this global world, studying abroad is not only popular and possible, but often also a prerequisite for getting a job. And one of the best places to follow an international... read more >

Why, How, What for?

If you’re an expat living in the Netherlands, and your children go to a local, Dutch school, you might wonder who is in charge, or how any teacher manages to teach these... read more >

Great Chefs Come & Go

Restaurant Bij Erik In recent times, the world of Michelin-awarded Chefs has taken a bit of a beating in the greater The Hague area. Restaurants have closed, or moved away,... read more >

Old School, Now Trendy

My two kids both went to Waldorf School in Amsterdam. In Dutch it’s called ‘Vrije School’, which translates to ‘Free School’. I don’t know why they call it ‘Free’... read more >

Mark This Date on Your Calendar!

The IamExpat Fair The first IamExpat Fair will be held at Amsterdam’s Westergasfabriek, a former gasworks factory that is now a major cultural venue for hosting events... read more >

Art, Fine Food & Wine

The city of The Hague has some world-class museums, but most certainly also some very fine ‘tables’. In this edition of The XPat Journal we bring two of each together.... read more >

Houses in Multiple Countries

Thanks to the economic crisis, a lot of houses are for sale, at often attractive prices. So once the decision is made to stay in the Netherlands, the step to buy a home here... read more >

It Was Yours and It Was Mine:

Given the fact that one out of three marriages ends in divorce and other relationships are at an even higher risk of coming to an end sooner or later, it might be wise to... read more >

Are the Dutch Bonobos?

Chris Smit’s article, Nothing to Hide, mentions Geert Hofstede’s dimensions and how – on his dimension Feminine-Masculine – Dutch society scores high on the Feminine... read more >

Hazards of Renting

Before actually signing a rental agreement, make sure you are aware of the contract terms and what could possibly go wrong! Bill and Tamara, a lovely Australian couple... read more >

What You Need to Know When Renting Property in the Netherlands

If you have come to the Netherlands temporarily for work and/or to live here, the rules surrounding housing can be different from what you are used to back home. As there... read more >


When I think of Ghent – located nearby in Belgium, approximately 25 minutes west of Antwerp, yet only 22 kilometers from the border with the Dutch province of Zeeland... read more >

The Dutch Put the ‘Social’ in Housing

To learn about Dutch society, sometimes all you need to do is rent Dutch property. My first housing in the Netherlands was a brand new building, fully furnished, and a total... read more >

Dreaming of Home

We’d all like to live in a luxury flat in a smart part of town with a reasonable rent – but most of us can’t, writes editor Robin Pascoe. Of course we... read more >

Nothing To Hide

Many expats living in the Netherlands look at the Dutch, and probably think that they are a strange people. However, one thing about the Dutch really does seem to stand... read more >

Hidden Defects

In a number of the articles in this issue of The XPat Journal, the authors have focused on the challenges posed by defects in the property you have bought or rented. The matter... read more >

Mortgage and Owning Your Own House:

It has always been relatively attractive to buy a house in the Netherlands. However, the rules are about to change. Henk van Seijen shares a few of these changes with the... read more >

Redoing Your Home

Few people have bought a house of which they thought: ‘Yup, precisely the way I wanted it,’ and left everything the way it was. On the other hand, few people are as notorious... read more >

From the Point of View of… Arjen Wiersma

“What the Dutch don’t understand is that the democratic premise behind the Poldermodel can only be achieved within a group that has the same background/values, and the... read more >

What Visiting Parents & Lunchtime Recess Have to Do with Housing

One of the unique features of ACCESS is that our volunteers, being expats themselves, often share their own experiences amongst each other, which in turn become subjects we... read more >

A Double Expat Event on November 2nd

"i am not a tourist" Expat Fair in Amsterdam For Expats Who Want to 'Arrive' Learning Dutch, finding a house, experiencing Dutch culture, making connections, solving immigration... read more >

The Baltic Overture

A relative newcomer to the European Union, Lithuania will soon be ascending to the EU presidency. This small but proud Baltic state has gone to many lengths to meet the European... read more >

A New King

If you are hoping for an overdose of royal pomp, glittering ceremony and all the crowned heads of Europe at the investiture of King Willem-Alexander on April 30, you may well... read more >

Dead Ball Tennis

“Shit!!!!!” I screamed, as only a New Yorker can. Okay, so I was a bit loud. Big deal. I couldn’t help myself. The damn wind forced my cross-court shot to go wide and... read more >

Education for Successful Expatriation:

For more than 25 years, expats (internationals) have been sharing their experiences through ACCESS in order to serve and help others who have arrived in the Netherlands to... read more >

It’s a Crazy Job Market, But It’s My Job Market

I came to the Netherlands to work. My friends from school were setting up a comedy theater, and – unlike anyone in the US – they were offering me a job. That’s how I... read more >

Cross-Border Employment

An interview with Inge Nitsche, managing director of the Expatise Academy for Education and Research on International Labour Mobility, about the increasing complexity of the... read more >


When it comes to history, Zeeland, due to its location on (or, if you will, in) the sea, and with one part only accessible by tunnel or by driving through Belgium, has had... read more >

Becoming an Entrepreneur

According to the website,, the number of self-employed persons in the Netherlands is growing explosively; approximately 130,000 persons start up their own... read more >

Disproportionality of the 150 Kilometer Border in the 30%-Ruling

In the Netherlands there is a special regime for expats who will be assigned to the Netherlands, namely the 30%-ruling. To qualify for the 30%-ruling and thus the tax-free... read more >

Stay a Little Longer…

Wine2Share New in the harbour of Scheveningen is Wine2Share. This cute and intimate wine bar is run by Bas Loeve & Nicole Lousberg. Here, top-level wine is presented.... read more >

The Career of an Expat Partner

The concept of a ‘career’ for the partners of globally mobile expatriates is usually not a straight path up a corporate ladder but rather a meander through available opportunities.... read more >

From the Point of View of… Mardjan Seighali

“Many people fail to realize that refugees have been through a lot, not just to get here, but also before. There is a reason why they have become refugees. And they carry... read more >

Introducing the All-New XPAT.NL

XPAL.NL is proud to announce an exciting revamp of its website, an indispensible source of information for expats living in the Netherlands. Online for over a decade, the... read more >

Inheritance Tax

When you move to another country, you are faced with its rules and idiosyncrasies. Not only in daily life and at work, but also when it comes to other, more formal rules. Many... read more >

Labour Market, Marriage and Divorce

How economically independent are you? Who is financially responsible for your children’s happiness? These are two questions that pop up in my practice as a family... read more >

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