I am an Arizona export establishing new roots in Amsterdam. I love listening to and waxing philosoph...
Expats praise Amsterdam's quality of life, but feel left out17 October 2012, by Carly Blair
In spite of some social difficulties, internationals living in Amsterdam generally consider the quality of life in the city to be excellent, according to the first research study organised by the Amsterdam Expatcenter, along with Bureau Onderzoek en Statistiek.
Internationals gave the quality of life in Amsterdam an average score of 8 out of 10, with 46 percent of respondents giving it a 7 or 8, and 40 percent a 9 or 10. Social life in Amsterdam scored slightly lower, with a rating of 7 out of 10. Both results showed little variation between age groups and were not correlated with the length of time the respondent had lived in the Netherlands.
The majority (60 percent) of respondents think that Amsterdam is "certainly a welcoming city for internationals," whereas one third found this statement to be "somewhat true." Just one tenth found the statement to be "untrue" or disagreed completely.
The vast majority of internationals value having an active social and cultural life: 43 percent consider it "important" and 48 percent consider it "very important." The most frequently mentioned activities in the socio-cultural life of internationals are hobbies, concerts, pubs, clubs and social groups. Internationals are also generally involved in Amsterdam’s cultural scene, with over 75 percent having visited an exhibition, museum, or gallery during the past year.
Having friends in Amsterdam was considered to be (very) important by 80 percent of the respondents, but the majority (58 percent) were dissatisfied with the number of friends they had in Amsterdam. Also, the majority of respondents (59 percent) noted that their social network primarily consisted of other (non-Dutch) internationals.
Photo by Flickr user Jim Bahn
Furthermore, 33 percent of internationals found it "difficult" and a further 16 percent found it "very difficult" to successfully integrate into Dutch society. The majority (57 percent) felt that they were not actually integrated and 57 percent did not feel like they were a part of Amsterdam culture.
A total of 510 internationals participated in the research. More than half were European, nearly 20 percent were Asian (with over 10 percent from India), and 13 percent were from Canada and the United States. Eight out of 10 internationals had lived in the Netherlands for less than 5 years, and respondents were most commonly living in Amsterdam with their partner and without children (44 percent).
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