Moving to a new country and making it your home can seem overwhelming at times. The IamExpat Fair in The Hague next month offers information and expert advice so you can really thrive in the Netherlands.
“You can find out so much information online, but nothing beats meeting people face to face,” says Claire Leunissen, event coordinator of the IamExpat Fairs in The Hague and Amsterdam.
“Of course you can read an article about buying a house, for example, but it is very different when you can actually ask questions and share the nuances about your life, and your hopes and desires.”
This year’s IamExpat Fair in The Hague is, once again, being held at the Grote Kerk, one of the oldest buildings in the city with a distinctive spire that dominates the surroundings.
Make the most of free workshops
The church will host a marketplace of stands covering everything from childcare to tax and a rent-a-bike service, plus an impressive line-up of speakers in the workshop agenda.
Easing people into life in the Netherlands, or helping them move onto the next stage – think a career change, or putting children through school or even retirement – is a key function of the IamExpat Fair programme.
“You move here at one stage in your life and grow into the next. Then you have to start learning new things all over again,” says Claire. “And this is where we come in. We really do offer something for everyone.”
Careers, housing and wellness
The “classic” subjects, like learning Dutch and buying a house will come on board, of course. These, says Claire, are the “foundations of moving to the Netherlands”.
For those looking to further their career or perhaps change direction, the jobs section will include recruitment agencies, companies looking to fill specific vacancies and coaches who can help point you in the right direction. Several MBA schools will also be represented for those who are thinking about adding to their qualifications.
But there will also be sessions covering health, wellness issues and leisure and, should things go wrong, the legal side of ending an expat relationship. You can even attend a workshop about print making for nature lovers. Seats in the workshop programme are limited so sign up in plenty of time.
Entry to the fair is free and you can enjoy coffee, have a bite to eat and relax in the Grote Kerk during your visit.
The market for expat-related services has been growing steadily since IamExpat burst on the scene 16 years ago. The first fair took place in Amsterdam 13 years ago and this November is the sixth time The Hague has had an event of its own.
“This year’s IamExpat Fair is one of the biggest editions we’ve ever had and the biggest ever in The Hague for workshops,” says Claire. “We will actually have workshops at four different locations within the church this year so we can really help expats, as global citizens, with their local needs.”
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