New to the Netherlands? Here’s what you need to take care of!
So, you’ve just landed in the Netherlands. You’ve picked up the key to the place you’ll be renting, or you’ve checked into your hotel, and unpacked your things. Now what? What kinds of things should you get sorted out and what kind of steps do you need to take? Here are a few tips from ABN AMRO that can quickly make you feel at home.
First things first
Your to-do list upon arrival in a new country can be dauntingly long: things to take care of, companies and organisations to contact, and choices to make. What do you do and in what order? Well, first things first. It’s a good idea to register with the local council as soon as you can. You’ll be issued a personal number there that you need to be able to arrange a lot of other things, such as health insurance, which everyone in the Netherlands is required to have.
Make sure to get these important things sorted soon after you arrive
You should also request what’s known as your DigiD. You’ll be using that to log into the websites of local and national government agencies, where you can get a lot of things sorted out quickly and easily. Read about the most important things to arrange when you arrive, and check out ABN AMRO's handy digital checklist: an overview of to-dos that you can tailor to your own situation.
Banking in the Netherlands
Once you’ve registered, you can open a bank account. In the Netherlands, many people manage their money online. For the most part, in addition to a credit card, Dutch people use iDEAL to shop online. Your Dutch bank account lets you pay directly using iDEAL without having to register or download software. The culture of making payments online is reflected in everyday life: many Dutch institutions and some shops and restaurants only accept payment by bank card, not in cash. ATMs are therefore becoming scarcer on the streets, but if you need cash you can go to the interbank ATM Geldmaat or to a bank branch. Read all about payments and cash withdrawals in the Netherlands.
Don’t get lost in translation
Perhaps you’ll pick up some Dutch customs and words from colleagues at the coffee machine or in meetings. And you’ll probably also hear people say things, and think to yourself, “I haven’t got a clue what that could mean.” Take ABN AMRO’s quiz and test your knowledge of the Dutch language. You’ll quickly learn the meaning of a few frequently used expressions and won’t get lost in translation if a colleague tells you that one of your other colleagues is a krent (literal meaning: raisin, meaning a stingy person).
From a house to a home – join their event
When you’ve just arrived in another country, it’s nice to rent a house. But maybe after a few months, you’ll want to settle down and buy a house of your own. The process of buying a house in the Netherlands is complicated, and you have to arrange various things in order to get a mortgage. You can find a lot of information on the ABN AMRO website, but you can also sign up for a number of online events to find out more about the process. Register for free for the “Buying a house” event, and check the calendar to see all their upcoming online events for expats.