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 Universal Studios, chatting with the person behind you, only to discover that he is sporting … Continued

(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 the (in)famous custom of home births. One of the first issues that is always stressed … Continued

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 education the question then is: Where? Do they go home? Where is home? Do they … Continued

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 students, and their guests if they want to take them along, can gather on a … Continued

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 Park Maasduinen in the northern part of Limburg – just 34 kilometers southeast of Nijmegen. … Continued

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 cool, controlled, fresh-colored green and blue paintings. The first set of works, such as The … Continued

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 two successive directors, art lovers can finally breathe a collective sigh of relief at the … Continued

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 and young start-ups. Companies at the campus are exploring solutions to issues in Health, Energy … Continued

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 be forgotten. I remind them that they, as parents, have a parental responsibility to take … Continued

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 from home, in an environment where the approach to pregnancy and birth may vary from … Continued


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, which showed how painters portrayed emotions during that Age. An extraordinary museum is Teyler’s Museum … Continued

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 long you have lived abroad. Along with that obligation comes another surprise to many expats. … Continued