Moving to the Netherlands: an expat’s story

Moving to the Netherlands: an expat’s story

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Moving to another country, whether to work or study, can be daunting, to say the least. From student fees to accommodation, there’s a lot to consider and things can become overwhelming quickly. The folks at Expat Mortgage Platform know that moving to a new country can be frightening and have decided to share an article from a client of theirs, to show that moving to the Netherlands is an experience like no other.

Delayed gratification

Delayed gratification, these words sum up my journey in the Netherlands. My name is Katherine and I'm Chinese Indonesian. I was born in Jakarta, the current capital of the largest archipelago country in Asia. In the past twelve years, I have lived in three different countries, eight years in Singapore, a year in Beijing (China) and I moved to Amsterdam in July 2017 to pursue further study. Three years have passed since I moved. Retrospectively, it was a big decision to come to the Netherlands, but definitely a fruitful one.

Generally, it's fairly an easy adjustment in terms of lifestyle. The country is clean, people speak English well and there is a good work-life balance. However, I encountered four general issues which are food, public transport, healthcare system, and accommodation.


In my first month, I missed Singapore’s abundance of food options compared to Amsterdam. This forced me to hone my cooking skills, from basically nothing to edible. However, I am still grateful for the whole new experience Amsterdam has offered me and I'm especially glad that so many shops and restaurants are open until late, as well as on the weekends.

Public transport

A country of bikes: the number of bicycles is greater than the inhabitants of the Netherlands. While cycling in the Netherlands is safe due to its dedicated bicycle lanes, I choose to commute with public transport. In my opinion, public transport is generally efficient, and I rarely had a transport delay. I do think the amount of time you wait for the next train could be improved though.

Healthcare system

When the season changed, paracetamol became the one-for-all magic solution that would solve all kinds of sickness. To date, I still find it amusing. I learned that getting an appointment with a general practitioner can be quite challenging and getting access to a specialist is somewhat of a luxury. Regarding the Netherlands’ healthcare system, I prefer more of a "back to nature" policy; recovery through adequate rest instead of just strong medicines.


Finally, the basic human need for accommodation. I've moved several times in the past three years and I would say that finding suitable accommodation in Amsterdam is competitive. I’ve since grown tired of moving and so I decided to buy my own little corner in Amsterdam. I was lucky enough to have a smooth and quick process.

Time to move to the Netherlands?

All in all, there are many things that this country offers. The Netherlands is an enchanted melting pot; the warm-hearted local outweighs the all-year-around cold weather. I personally say it's a nice country, despite the dynamics I've encountered, I'm still enjoying my life here.

If you are planning on moving to the Netherlands and need help finding accommodation, get in touch with Expat Mortgage Platform. They pride themselves in helping their clients choose the right mortgage for them, at the best possible rate.



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