Corporate Housing Factory Launches New Website

Corporate Housing Factory (CHF), leading corporate housing provider in the Netherlands, is excited to announce the launch of its brand-new website,, which serves as a booking engine and guide for its six properties with serviced apartments in the cities… read more >

Unraveling the Mysteries of Culture

By Jan Vincent Meertens   Professor Geert Hofstede, one of the Netherlands' most widely cited and translated scholars, passed away in February 2020, at the age of 91. Hofstede is known for his pioneering research on cross-cultural groups and organizations… read more >

Why Do the Dutch Speak English So Well?

By Chris Smit The Dutch are internationally known for the fact that their English is of a very high standard. Why is that? Well, there are a couple of reasons. On a technical level, the Dutch language has its roots… read more >

Going to University

For those seeking an English-language study program, the Netherlands is one of the most accessible countries to explore, for a variety of reasons. For starters, over 2,100 courses are on offer here in English, constituting 23% of the bachelor’s degrees… read more >

Dutch Education: Even When You’re Sick, Just Act Normal

Greg:     Hi! It’s me, Greg Shapiro: The American Netherlander. And this time it’s also my wife Inez de Goede; author and mother of our two kids. Inez:      The mother-who-always-gets-the-blame-when-things-go-wrong-with-her-child. Greg:     Right. Inez has quite some experience with… read more >

From the Point of View of… Leila Prnjavorac

“Though there was a war, these were also some of the most valuable months of my life; what I saw, showed me how kind and compassionate people are – everyone shared whatever they could and they would never let us… read more >

When Does My Child Start School in the Netherlands?

And What Happens Next?   By Annebet van Mameren   To these seemingly simple questions, there are surprisingly no simple answers. In this article, Annebet van Mameren talks you through the procedures and practicalities, to make sure your child gets… read more >

Hello Neighbors!!

By Divya Susan Varkey   Looking out of my living room window, I see my neighbor’s house decorated for Christmas – Santa Claus, Christmas lights, reindeer and elves hanging in various angles across the wide glass. Walking past it, though,… read more >

Wines of the Year

By Nico McGough   Wine importers often look back as the wine year is coming to an end. I certainly do that, and for 2019 there are two, maybe three, ‘wine discoveries’ that have made this year special. We have… read more >

Economical, Not Stingy

By Chris Smit   Most of the work I do consists of giving 1 or 2-day workshops and giving lectures (anything between 20 minutes to 2 hours, I consider a lecture) about cultural differences. And to ‘ease’ the delegates into… read more >

Museum Voorlinden: Wonderment and Philosophical Questions

Museum Voorlinden, which opened in 2016, was created by Joop van Caldenborgh, a businessman and art collector who wanted to share his collection with the world. It houses both temporary collections, as well as (semi-permanent) pieces – such as the… read more >

Interior Decorating: From the First Moment of Magic to the Last Drop of Reality

One of the joys of moving to a new country is the opportunity to create a new home from scratch. All those times you’ve dreamed about creating your perfect home... Well, now is your chance. Of course, you don’t have… read more >

How Not to Find a Home in Amsterdam

By Robin Pascoe   The experiences of a young Brexit escapee trying to find a place to live in Amsterdam have proved quite an eye-opener to editor Robin Pascoe. When your own offspring have flown the nest, the rooms… read more >

Gouda: Medieval Charm by Candlelight

There are cities that come to life in spring, but become drab, unimaginative blocks of building materials in the winter. However, one city that becomes part of a fairytale in the winter is Gouda. The highlight of this fairytale, this… read more >

Financial Considerations Surrounding Finding a Home

One of the most important issues involved with buying a house – in fact without these you could not buy one – is finances. You either have to be able to rent a home, buy it, or finance it and… read more >

Providing a Home, Away from Home

By Deborah Valentine Those of us who have been living in the Netherlands for a while, have noted with sadness the number of international students starting their studies, without yet having a place to live. Each year, the lack of… read more >

She’s the Boss

By Chris Smit   “Belgium has a higher score on hierarchy than the Netherlands. This means that in Belgium, like in Guatemala, the boss is much more the boss than in the Netherlands, where the boss is more of a… read more >

Words Are All We Have

By Jan Vincent Meertens   In many cultures, people use high-context communication for two key reasons. One reason is their sensitivity to social hierarchy, also described as the power-distance dimension in the Hofstede model for intercultural management. Another key reason… read more >

All Is Quiet on the Western Front?

By Patrick Rovers   It is clear that the European Union is facing its largest downsizing operation since its genesis in 1951. It stands to lose 67 million citizens, and 5.42% of its territory. It stands to lose London, its… read more >

The Dutch as Seen by the Dutch

It is often said that asking a person to describe their own culture is like asking fish to describe water. How do you describe something that you have been surrounded by all your life, without being aware of the fact… read more >

Managing Change, a Valuable Skill for your CV

By Deborah Valentine   “Succeeding in Change – Agility and Change Management” was the title of a networking event – Hague Hub – organised by the International Leadership Academy and OPCW in The Hague earlier this year. One way of… read more >

From the Point of View of… Frans Lemmens

The special theme of this issues is careers, and sometimes you come across someone who has followed a truly unconventional and adventurous path that makes you realize that there is more to a career than climbing the corporate ladder. In… read more >

Dutch Corporate Culture Backstage

By Greg Shapiro   When it comes to Dutch employment, Shapiro takes you behind the scenes for a unique peek at the bizarrely revealing rituals known as ‘Dutch corporate events’. “Granted, I’m just a comedian, but I do get some… read more >

‘So What Do You Do?’

The Power of an Elevator Pitch By Nannette Ripmeester and Sevi Christoforou Every job seeker has heard about the importance of having an elevator pitch ready, in case they find themselves stuck on an elevator with the CEO of their… read more >

My Not So Brilliant Career

By Robin Pascoe   Today’s breed of young adults just starting out on the career ladder might have the world at their feet, but editor Robin Pascoe would not swap places with them for anything. I never set out… read more >

There’s no such thing as Organizing Festivals for dummies

Interview with Scholtes & Janssens Piano duo With events at historical sites, the Pianoduo Festival Amsterdam touches the soul of the old city center of Amsterdam in October for the seventh time. Artistic directors Lestari Scholtes and Gwylim Janssens, also… read more >

The IamExpat Fair Is Coming to The Hague

The Meeting Place for Expats and Local Businesses The 9th edition of the IamExpat Fair is taking place on Saturday, November 9, at the Grote Kerk in The Hague. At the IamExpat Fair in The Hague you will learn all… read more >

The Hague’s Next Michelin Star?

Success for The Knott, Straight Out of the Box   By Nico McGough   The ‘oldies’ among us will remember a ‘straight out of the box’ maiden victory, long ago when German industrialist Walter Wolf built a Formula 1 car… read more >

National Park Maasduinen

As Far as a Cannonball Would Travel   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… read more >

Mental Health & Sanity

Fish Discover Water Last By Chris Smit   The old Arab proverb “Fish will discover water last” is a very useful term to describe, in a cultural context, how people only realize that they have a culture of their own… read more >

Events for all Internationals in The Hague

Every year, more than 4,500 new internationals come to the Hague region. In total, more than 60,000 internationals live and work in The Hague, in various sectors such as embassies, NGOs, universities and multinationals. The Hague International Centre is the… read more >

Doctor You

By Melanie Genssler   Chronic illnesses, such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are experiencing a rapid, world-wide spread. The World Health Organization has reported that, in 2001, chronic illnesses represented approximately 46% of the global burden of disease, and… read more >

No Smoke Without Ire

By Robin Pascoe When you are a former smoker and a current insomniac there is nothing worse than being woken up by people on their balconies, smoking and having a laugh in the wee small hours, says editor Robin… read more >

Expatriation and Mental Well-Being

More than 30 years ago, a Community Needs Assessment undertaken by the American Community Council “…recognised the sombre reality that numerous families were experiencing significant stress and personal problems during their settlement and integration”. While the most recent research is… read more >

To Know About Wine Is to Learn About Wine

The Wijnstudio Is Your mentor Many wine lovers want to know more about this marvelous beverage but are not fluent enough in Dutch to follow regular courses. For people like these, De Wijnstudio has created the ultimate solution; a course… read more >

A Pocket of Dutch History Among the Dunes

Ask the question, What is the national flower of the Netherlands? and people will answer: the tulip. However, as many of you might already know, the tulip did not originate here. It arrived here in a rather roundabout way. Popular… read more >

Being Bored Out of Your Skull

Having kids that go to school or university is always a good source of inspiration for writing an article. This year, my son spontaneously gave me the topic of this article when he was telling me about his current school… read more >

Chronic Disease? Enjoy Our School’s Chronic Response

My son was 13 when he was diagnosed with a chronic disease. We almost didn’t want to tell his school, because we knew we’d get a chronic response. But – before we get too far – let me say a)… read more >

Tapisco – Brilliant Bites, Wonderful Wines

The owner of this fine culinary ‘hotspot’ is Mister Modest, Marcel van der Kleijn. First, he founded Restaurant Callas (one Michelin star), then he opened a sympathetic outlet on the Denneweg, now called Oogst (harvest), where Michelin awarded him the… read more >

Bilingual Schools

A Good Option for Your Child Who Doesn't Speak (Fluent) Dutch? By Annebet van Mameren   In the almost six years Annebet van Mameren has been advising international parents on the most suitable schools for their children in the Netherlands,… read more >

Zoekjaar for Highly-Educated Graduates

Zoekjaar  – translated literally it means “search year” – refers to a status for graduates with advanced education who would like to work in the Netherlands after graduation.   Think of a zoekjaar as an orientation year for graduates from… read more >

What’s for Homework?

First Impressions of an Indian Mother in the Netherlands By Divya Susan Varkey I silently mused at the contrast that they were faced with, while they continued telling me of how here in their public school in The Hague, kids… read more >

From the Point of View of… Baraa Alnawakil

“Within a few weeks, I already knew that I had been granted refugee status. That was very good news. It was a feeling of complete awe. I was now a resident of a new country and I took it upon… read more >

A Year of Immersion Before Going Dutch

By Annebet van Mameren   More and more international families relocating to the Netherlands. While previously most expats received an extensive relocation package from their employers, these additional benefits are no longer standard. As you can imagine, not everyone is… read more >

Private Education

By Robin Pascoe   Group by group, we filed out of the room and went our separate ways. I was left feeling enormously humbled. There was me, loud-mouthed Brit with my cynicism about the whole process, surrounded by people who… read more >

Beyond the Classroom

It has been more than 32 years since ACCESS was founded, but still, Community Education plays a similar function; that of offering something to help internationals, expats if you will, from feeling isolated in their new surroundings, or offering them… read more >

Safety In and Around the House

Forewarned is Forearmed By Wijnand de Gelder Don’t forget that you are making things easier for potential burglars if you leave a door or window open to a room that you are not in – if even for a few… read more >

Two Ducks Are Better Than One

Last summer editor Robin Pascoe wrote about how the fire brigade took down the drainpipe attached to the front of her house in their hunt for a baby duck. But the story was far from over. “Regular readers of… read more >

Leclerc Briant

Champagne’s Rising Superstar   This tiny champagne house was founded back in 1872. It remained a small house until Pascal Leclerc, who had a profound interest in organic viticulture, took its reigns. He began cultivating his vineyards with biodynamic techniques… read more >

What Makes a House a Home?

When relocating anywhere in the world, for an extended period of time, finding a place to live is among the first steps which need to be taken. Intuitively we know this can be of vital significance in getting settled. More… read more >

House Pimping

It was early November. The leaves had turned yellow and were, with their last strength, still hanging onto their branches. The day was another record-breaking one, with temperatures soaring to a wonderful 15 degrees centigrade. The sun had just crawled… read more >


From National Bank to International Top Hotel   At the heart of the Parliamentary District of The Hague, located in a prestigious spot opposite the Royal Palace Noordeinde, you will find Hotel Indigo The Hague – Palace Noordeinde occupying a… read more >

A Homey Affair

Heading toward Winter   It’s that time of the year again. We’ve put the clock back one hour (more about that later), it’s cold outside, dark when you wake up, and dark when you come home. But then there is… read more >

Buying Or Selling a House

Each Comes With Its Own Rules   Whether you want to buy or sell a house, there are a few things you will want to keep in mind. In this article, a few words of advice for you, tailor-made to… read more >

The Woman With The Red Pen

Stephanie Dijkstra has been Editor-in-Chief of The XPat Journal since its inception 20 years ago. During a FaceTime interview, Diane Lemieux set out to uncover the vision of the woman who has set the tone and shaped the unique quality… read more >

Job hunting in the Netherlands

By Sevi Christoforou & Nannette Ripmeester There are currently abundant job opportunities in the Netherlands but, as with every country around the globe, there are some cultural norms that you have to take into account in order for your job… read more >

Ways to Employ International Talent in the Netherlands

Young professionals are moving to the Netherlands, attracted by opportunities to start a career at some of the major companies in this country. At the same time, there is a need for trained talent in today’s challenging employment market. Consequently,… read more >

Preparation and Patience to (Re)Start Your Career

The signs are almost imperceptible. But we see them. The employment market is growing and opportunities for internationals looking for jobs in the Netherlands are increasing… incrementally perhaps, but we see the trend. Here at ACCESS, there is a slightly… read more >


When a Dutch manager gives an ‘order’ to one of his or her colleagues it is always (no, there is no exception) met with the – one word only – question; “Why?” Could you make those photocopies for me? Why?… read more >

The Dutch Team: A Wheelbarrow of Frogs?

By Alette Vonk A German friend of mine came to work for a car company in the Netherlands. She was to head a relatively small production unit and expected that it would be fairly easy to manage this team of… read more >

My Green Gig for the King of Orange

In general, Dutch bosses have a reputation for being non-hierarchical and down-to-earth. Even the Dutch prime minister is known for biking to work and cleaning up his own spilled coffee. Once, I hosted an event for a company with a… read more >

Work in Progress

In the past few weeks, has reported on the shortage of qualified teachers, and Amsterdam’s efforts to solve the problem by drafting in civil servants, students and refugees. We’ve written about the crisis in the hospitality sector, with cafés… read more >

From the Point of View of… Ruby Vos

In our first interview, I asked Ruby to describe the Dutch in five words. With characteristic care, she gave the question some thought before answering: “Open-minded, liberal, frugal, environmentally and socially conscious and good business people.” What are five words… read more >

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

Sunday, October 7, 2018 – Beurs van Berlage - Amsterdam On Sunday, October 7, 2018, the 16th edition of Amsterdam’s renowned i am not a tourist Expat Fair for Internationals will take place. Come to the stunning Beurs van Berlage… read more >

Het Gouden Kalf

In the world of wine & food pairing there are good restaurants, better restaurants and superstars. In the latter category we have the ultimate example in the harbour of Scheveningen. Chef Niels Schavemaker is one of a rare breed; not… read more >

The IamExpat Fair – The Hague

Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Grote Kerk Another important day to mark on your agenda: November 10, for the IamExpat Fair in The Hague! The meeting place for expats and local businesses The IamExpat Fair is designed to support… read more >

Peace of Mind

There is no doubt; a relocation or expatriate assignment to a new country is often exciting, an adventure of sorts. However, it does not affect all involved equally. When the thrill or adrenaline of planning, arriving and settling has worn… read more >

A Dead Duck

How many people in uniform does it take to kill a duckling? In the case of the duckling born on top of a five-floor block in Amsterdam west, the answer is 13 – which was certainly unlucky for the bird… read more >

Relocating Your Relationship

In Life, Love Is Not Everything, But Without Love, Life Is Nothing By Wills Langedijk Sharing new experiences, spending more time together as a family, and having to turn to each other because there is no-one else can bring you… read more >

Making Up Your Mind About the Dutch Healthcare System

The ones who have been to a Dutch GP already know I’m right; two weeks’ rest and a paracetamol are the most-prescribed medicine in the Netherlands. Living in Belgium it’s a different story. Going to your GP in Belgium almost… read more >

Visiting a Specialist

Taking Away the Sting of Insecurity As mentioned elsewhere in this online issue, there is no doubt that the Netherlands offers top-quality healthcare. Various studies are cited, to which we can add the following: according to the Healthcare Access and… read more >

To Your Health!

In most cultures, people have their own way of making a toast. People raise their glass and say things like na zradavi, egészségére, salud, santé, zum Wohl or ganbei. And proost! here in the Netherlands. These are all local expressions… read more >

Summer in the City – Greens

Imagine a restaurant that serves only organic food and wine. You can arrive by car, bike, on foot or by boat. You can sit at leisure while the kids burn tons of energy in the play park next to the… read more >

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. The ultimate learning outcome, short or long-term, may not be what parents, teachers or 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, the International Criminal Court (ICC) contributes to a world in… 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 you are in Leeuwarden, where to eat and sleep? Post… 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 day, we witnessed how the owner… 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 player Arthur Ashe once said: “One important key to… 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 my own. Here are some of the most… 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 fact, it is not always easy to come up with a… 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 day, we witnessed how the owner… 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 your stay. Some nationals need an entry visa plus residence permit, while other… 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 safely in traffic. It is important that adults realize… 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). Diane Lemieux talks with these two young dancers about their life… 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 overview of the studiefinanciering-loan, which – subject to… 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 had gone skiing and had posted some… 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 and tribulations of a new parent finding her place in the… 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 voices are really fun to work with, because you… 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 down the tree-lined paths to where… 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 in the world when it comes to… 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 the top 1% wealthiest people… 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 there are more than 50,000 expats residing in The Hague. The iamexpat fair… 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 and meeting the neighbors. Take Fernando and Elmira, who moved into… 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. Be aware of the fact that… 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 period is also about an intangible nostalgia for ‘home’, wherever that is.… 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 you grew up riding your bike in some other less-bicycle-friendly country, then you… 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 their own. Of course, finding the right house in… 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 international community. It is their belief that when expectations are properly managed… 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 February 2017 and appreciated the unique ambiance created… 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 my heart. Two days of intense touring there… 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 is designed to support internationals in the Netherlands, and… 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 a brand-new design, easier navigation and offers more useful content than ever. Specially-designed for mobile… 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 direction’. But we can confirm that Frank’… 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, though, just a picturesque little town called Giethoorn,… 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 and frustrated by this culture of consultation and tolerance. 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 discovering and being yourself is not easy in this… 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 we eat, when we eat, how we eat, and… 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 WWII as a little girl. To Marjolein, who was little, life in the… 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, to the point where, at present, 1.76 million people have self-employment as… 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 editor Robin Pascoe CBS figures show that the Dutch work fewer hours… 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 double performance Side A: Split into One and Side B:… 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 off in a similar direction, and spent my student… 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 corporate events’. Though a comedian, he gets some lovely, candid snapshots… 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 could have the right to levy taxes over… 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 not help but reflect on our own volunteers, in the context of locally-based employers… 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 regarding the difference between the HSMP (Highly Skilled Migrant Procedure) and the ICT procedure… 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 what the Netherlands has to offer you!  … 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 deprived and I don’t have what other people have’. And it’s up to… 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 Route. You can do the whole tour on… 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 anywhere you want them to. They… 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 of the students played primarily to have fun, and secondly… 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, it is certainly not the charismatic, intelligent face of Manar Aburshaid. Had I… 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 providers. This landmark event is an exciting opportunity for internationals to find everything… 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 at the clubhouse? It’s all possible at… 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 job identifying the right school for their children. This job is… 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 homework for eight other high school classes,… 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 providers about internationals. In keeping with this advocacy role, ACCESS has… 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 is almost Jamaican; there is no pressure at all. In other… 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 right example. As the Dutch… 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 in the back seat of the car, staring… 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 forever – well, months and months at least. Manifesto points are ditched, compromises… 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 February 2016 and appreciated the unique ambiance created… 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 (MBA) degree has been an important contribution to career development over the last century. It has gained… 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 and share the preview version with as many people as you want. … 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 hadn’t etched itself in to our national psyches yet. We could still… 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 week at the Democratic National Convention in… 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 career. However, he never lost his… 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 much closer to describing their relation. Bas van der Elst… 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 in a row. In the Netherlands, if your… 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. Is it the formula, the people or the… 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, like most agendas, of the different points that are to… 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, they start to spend way too much time alone and in… 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 qualifies as an employment relationship, your principal (the employer) has the obligation to withhold… 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 one more detail that, if you fail to look up, might have you missing… 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” Expat Fair for Internationals in the Beurs van Berlage, in Amsterdam on Sunday,… 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 for internationals to find everything they need in one location, on one day. From… 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 ask me to help women learn to convey their professional accomplishments more confidentially, usually overlook… 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, enhanced performance and inspirational new relations. Economies, companies and human capital… 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 their new class. Many of them are walking or riding… 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 than that in the Netherlands. Well, actually, in this case they… 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 small and crowded country, everything is… 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 € 300 a month is far from unusual. So how can you pay the… 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 to ensure ring-side seats then grab your very own VIP table at Pier Zuid –… 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 volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.” Curriculum was significantly redesigned in the late 1800’s when… 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 2012? Does our current traditional model of education meet the needs of most… 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. In the ‘plint’, they will be creating 14 Serviced Apartments – for short or… 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 robots on the block provide the same expertise and multiple intelligences we expect… 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 robots on the block provide the same expertise and multiple intelligences we expect… 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 the profit-above-all-world of digitization and automation, ethics and the nature of professionalism… 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 comes that OMG feeling -on the hips… 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 think the whole country is on a health kick. Often enthusiasts prefer to talk the talk rather… 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. The big debate brought together thought leaders in this field from… 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 three museums:   Museum of Antiquity Visiting… 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 great tip with… 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 it was certainly made at Ich… 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, the AISR has expanded the mother-tongue program to include French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin,… 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 and the other, teaching Research Methodology at the HVA University of Applied Sciences, at… 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 perform well on tests – Dutch schools… 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 a solution. The starting point was, of course, to… 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 this article, the author explores the differences. The author goes into… 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 their children into a Dutch school. International schools provide a great… 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 these cultural differences is necessary for teachers addressing students with different cultural backgrounds. Having been educated… 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 in the Netherlands. Both of these phenomena have their roots in two… 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 do to help? In my travels around the globe as an education writer… 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 want.   Love In High School on Sardinia, Federico met… 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 tell him the good news. As her… 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 with a Dutch employer, Origin.   Still no need… 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, Ruby herself is somewhat Dutch, as her parents… 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, and respect for the other,” comments Secretary General of the International Federated… 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 book, The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of The Learning… 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 relocation process off your hands. Since their daily work includes relocations… 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 young professionals, corporate expats, trainees and students. The Student Hotel offers safe, conveniently-located… 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 than renting. But there are conditions attached and customised advice… 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 culture has opened up, with… 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 its 2000th anniversary since its official establishment as a location for… 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, fast food to really interesting dishes; well-prepared and based on the finest ingredients. Quite… 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 nothing, to being able to build it all back up again… 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 considered an interesting investment. In addition to rental income, an… 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 Hague; from Thursday, January 14 to Sunday,… 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, our perspective on the learning experience broadens.… 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, there are the additional pressures of moving curriculums, class systems, peer… 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 inside if you want. This time,… 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 relief on the mortgage interest… 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 – and settled on a place to live. The shipment – from overseas… 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 Lanzer first came to the Netherlands on a work… 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 from readers of my book How to Be Orange. Question… 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 the world, but Holland unfortunately stands out as… 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 owners who were allowed to settle in the Netherlands, start a… 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 the shortage of housing for people on lower incomes. Scarcely… 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 join forces with the longstanding "i am not a tourist" Expat Fair, which is taking place… 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 not a tourist” Expat Fair in the heart of Amsterdam on Sunday, October 4. For those not… 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 I gained my insight into Dutch business. My experience can… 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 their recent world-class quality. Many of the wine world’s greatest… 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 on their ‘Must-see destinations’ list, there is plenty to explore in this… 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 know about finding happiness in life it at least… 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 a successful expatriation of a family. Its return, however, is… 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? Food without head or tail, even worse; food… 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. The flipside of this is that employers are very careful… 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 are about linking up, changing the system, and making an impact: aimed… 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 do with income to be earned, but rather fall… 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 job application process to your advantage. In today’s job market, employers… 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 your home country (for example: double housing costs, home leave tickets, costs of requesting… 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, contrary to the US and Britain. In… 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 fresh wines, to accompany summer foods and, of course,… 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, Malaysia and Vietnam. To me, as a wine advisor, this trip… 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 contributed this article to prepare you… 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 the one you are used to back home. Earlier this year… 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 of exhibits and I have… 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 race, with a three-day festival… 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 parties in a divorce and that they should not… 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 deserving in fame is de National… 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 to stand in line – across the world – at… 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 know. In the US & the UK I’ve encountered the phrase “This… 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 babies differently than other expectant couples around the world; rather, they give birth far… 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 two: warm paintings with a lot of ochre and purple, as opposed to… 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 article the author takes a cultural look at how… 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 rules and regulations surrounding the (in)famous referral note, and… 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 years now, but you grew up in… 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 Emotions – Pain and Pleasure in Dutch Paintings of the Golden Age,… 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 to the Post CS building, a public outcry at the new design identity and… 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 the children are ready to move on – embark on their own. For those contemplating post-secondary… 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 government, via a ‘tax return’ (Form 1040), regardless of how… 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 as I had thought I would. The people… 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 a hive of activity for many established companies… 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 runs a monthly NT2-café where expats have no choice but to speak Dutch. Volksuniversiteit… 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 factors to consider, and what is best greatly depends on your family's individual situation:… 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 means that the school is fully recognized by the Dutch Ministry of Education and… 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 level, as well as at university level. For the latter, we refer you… 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 course is the Netherlands, with its affordable tuition and… 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 kids anything. The kids are running around; outside,… 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, and chefs have found a new venue. Yet, though several… 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’ because it’s based on the philosophy of a rigid 19th-century German… 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 and festivals such as Unseen Photo Fair, Fringe Festival and the TNW Europe… 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. We invite you to pay a visit to one of… 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 is no longer such a large… 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 keep this eventuality in mind when… 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 side. This does not mean that, in the Netherlands, testosterone levels are lower than in… 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 with three kids and a dog, were living happily in The Hague… 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 are many private people who rent out their property,… 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 – I imagine a rich cultural history, filled with colorful people,… 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 accident. The place had been bought by a Dutch… 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 foreigners all want to live in the… 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 out. And that is the fact that in many Dutch… 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 of how to deal with these can… 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 readers in this article. For instance: the maximum mortgage… read more >

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