Monday 18 November 2019

Longer articles about living in the Netherlands, Dutch society, culture and travel plus third party content from our partners

Despite internet, clubs and societies still have a key role for internationals

Despite internet, clubs and societies still have a key role for internationals

It’s 2019. The internet is beyond prevalent and internationals in the Netherlands are very online. Yet groups that meet face to face to socialise and network are still a key part of the international community. Ionna Dimitriou would describe herself as a person who is very online. The 27-year-old Greek native plays Fortnite, a cooperative video game where she and her teammates battle against zombies. She’s active on a forum to discuss the game, which is how she met her... More >


Weather warnings, bikes and waterproofs: your tips for newbies

Weather warnings, bikes and waterproofs: your tips for newbies

We asked our social media followers for the single most important tip they would give a newcomer to the Netherlands. These are your answers. Customs Learn that please (alstublieft) is when you give someone something not when you ask for it Choose wisely – you can only have one (1) cookie with your cup of coffee. Buy an agenda and get used to know what are you are going to do two weeks in advance. Start eating slice of bread... More >


By Frankey: street art to make the city smile

By Frankey: street art to make the city smile

Have you sometimes thought that a strange public sculpture looks rather like a skate park? That there are some house numbers missing, or that a bit of brickwork looks a bit like a pizza oven? If you are street artist Frank de Ruwe, that means that it is crying out for an intervention. This 41-year-old from Eindhoven, a creative director of ad agency Natwerk, has a mission to raise a smile on the faces of Amsterdam’s city dwellers. On dozens... More >


Little change in health insurance premiums in 2020, so what should you do?

Little change in health insurance premiums in 2020, so what should you do?

If you are considering switching health insurer, all the big health insurance companies have now published their premiums for next year. And there is bad news in particular for people with a collective policy – because their discount is being halved. Health insurance premiums are going up marginally in price for the basic package next year, according to an overview by Zorgwijzer.nl. While some policies will actually be slightly cheaper,  the price differences between policies is increasing yet again. In... More >


When does gaming get too much? Experts answer parents’ questions

When does gaming get too much? Experts answer parents’ questions

Gaming. The word triggers worry and fear in many parents and caregivers. Gaming addiction is a growing problem but at the same time, kids who game are acquiring valuable knowledge and skills. Gaming makes digital environments and experiences familiar and helps them understand gamification (using game design and game principles outside of gaming) which is a tool being used by companies and organizations such as ING, Nike, Starbucks and Microsoft to engage people, sell products and services, and influence behaviour.... More >


Meet Pixie the school dog, Amity International School’s classroom assistant

Meet Pixie the school dog, Amity International School’s classroom assistant

The newest recruits to the classroom are furry and four-legged. We visit Amity International School Amsterdam to learn how their school dog helps create an innovative and nurturing learning environment. It might sound barking mad, but the staff list at Amity International School Amsterdam includes Miss Pixie, a three-year-old dog. Fitting in snugly with the school’s caring philosophy, where social and emotional development is as important as academic excellence, the adorable cockapoo – a cross between a miniature poodle and... More >


DJ Martin Garrix and rapper Snelle pick up MTV Europe prizes

DJ Martin Garrix and rapper Snelle pick up MTV Europe prizes

Dutch DJ Martin Garrix and rapper Snelle have picked up prizes at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Seville. Garrix won the Best Electronic category ahead of Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers, DJ Snake and Marshmello, while Snelle was named Best Worldwide Act. The 23-year-old Garrix, who was recently knocked off the top of DJ Mag’s Top 100 list after three years by Belgian duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike, was not in Seville to collect his award in person, but... More >


Blogwatching: Lessons – Five mini tales of taal

Blogwatching: Lessons – Five mini tales of taal

Rebekah was born in Ireland, grew up in England and met her Cornish husband in Catalonia. They now live in the Netherlands, in Dutch suburbia, with their two differently wired, small kids. She spends her days parenting, writing and being amazed at all the Dutchness around her. She writes at Write Now Rebekah. Five mini tales of taal One I’m in Dutch evening class, trying to write a short story with another student. We’re so drained from our day, that between... More >


Nr 1 tourist attraction? Sex work exhibition in Amsterdam Museum

Nr 1 tourist attraction? Sex work exhibition in Amsterdam Museum

On one side of the room are images of happy hookers – red light district souvenirs like a miniature house of sex workers, or a condiments dish where a woman’s giant breasts figure as salt and pepper. On the other are 17 videos of re-enacted interviews with sex workers, telling darker stories of the legalised trade in Amsterdam, and other tales from across the world. Above them hang 60 masks, self-portraits by sex workers, some of whom are illiterate or... More >


The deadliest woman in the Netherlands: Goeie Mie

The deadliest woman in the Netherlands: Goeie Mie

Maria Swanenburg is arguably the most prolific female serial killer of all time, so why isn’t she world famous? Here’s a look at a fearsome former Leidener, and a group of modern day residents who are keeping her macabre legend alive. How many people did Maria ‘Goeie Mie’ Swanenburg kill in Leiden during her murder spree in the 19th century? Teacher and author Stefan Glasbergen believes he found the answer while he was working on a new biography about her.... More >


Lots of English theatre, and Audrey Hepburn: 15 great things to do in November

Lots of English theatre, and Audrey Hepburn: 15 great things to do in November

There is plenty of English language theatre on offer this autumn, as well as great art and great debate. Get close to Audrey In 2016 the Nieuwe Kerk celebrated Marilyn Monroe’s 90th birthday by having a half-filled pot of face cream and some hair in a curler on show. This year Audrey Hepburn would have been 90, and the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam presents Intimate Audrey, an altogether more respectful affair. Put together by her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer,... More >


ML6: the machine learning company that helps company data unlock success

ML6: the machine learning company that helps company data unlock success

ML6 might sound like a spy agency but it does not want to be a secret service – this young, Dutch business wants to blow open the mysteries of machine learning and show companies within multiple industries how data can solve their challenges. From allowing financial services to detect fraudulent transactions to improving cancer diagnosis, ML6’s self-learning solutions aim to help leading businesses and give them the competitive edge they need. ‘We help companies that struggle with unlocking their data... More >


Blair Witch and a Brexit brunch at Leiden’s no-theme international film festival

Blair Witch and a Brexit brunch at Leiden’s no-theme international film festival

The Leiden International Film Festival takes place every autumn. Since its launch in 2006, it’s turned into one of the most diverse and popular movie events in the country. Here’s a rundown on its history and what you can expect at this year’s edition. It seemed like a great way to promote the festival. Women could leave their boyfriends and husbands in a tent where their male counterparts could eat cheeseburgers and watch action movies while they were running errands... More >


The IamExpat Fair returns to The Hague – and it’s bigger than ever

The IamExpat Fair returns to The Hague – and it’s bigger than ever

For the fourth year in a row, the IamExpat Fair will take place this autumn at the iconic Grote Kerk in the centre of The Hague. With more exhibitors than ever before, this year’s fair on November 9 will be the most comprehensive yet hosted in The Hague. Bringing together local businesses, service providers and thousands of expats from all over the world, this event is an exciting opportunity for internationals in the Netherlands to find everything they need, in... More >


Sing it loud! House buyers join music lovers in choosing Rotterdam

Sing it loud! House buyers join music lovers in choosing Rotterdam

Rotterdam will be in the global spotlights when some 180 million viewers turn on next year’s Eurovision Song Contest. But according to housing experts, Rotterdam isn’t only attracting lovers of this spectacle of vocal rivalry between far-flung countries. Europe’s largest port city is a magnet to 635,000 inhabitants from 174 countries, including savvy modern house buyers. ‘It is a huge city with huge potential,’ says Richardo Cruz Fortes, a mortgage adviser from Expat Mortgages. ‘I strongly believe that if you purchase and... More >


Bells at Dutch war memorial in Arlington to fall silent for restoration

Bells at Dutch war memorial in Arlington to fall silent for restoration

The Netherlands Carillon memorial at Arlington war cemetery in the US is to fall silent for a year while the bells are sent home to be restored. The monument with its 50 bells was given to the United States by the Dutch government in 1954 in recognition of the Americans’ role in the Second World War. However, the steel tower has been closed to the public since 2016 because the structure is rusting. The US National Park Service has made... More >


ANW, WAO-WIA, heffings and kortings: Here’s how to decipher your Dutch pay slip

ANW, WAO-WIA, heffings and kortings: Here’s how to decipher your Dutch pay slip

So you’ve been told your salary will be €4,500 a month but when you look at your bank account, you see an amount that is way, way lower than that. Here’s how to decipher your salarisstrook or pay slip. Every employee in the Netherlands receives a pay slip each month – nowadays usually by email. Most of us only check the net amount, but the document contains a lot of other figures, percentages and weird acronyms as well. Here’s a... More >


Sidewalk or stoop? Has your English evolved into Expat Speak?

Sidewalk or stoop? Has your English evolved into Expat Speak?

Have you found yourself talking in ‘expat speak’? Linguistic theory suggests that there is an important place for it. A few years ago, via a mutual friend, I was reunited with a fellow English expat also living in the Netherlands. After a series of underwhelming exchanges, I became impatient with his slow, over-enunciated speech, now tinged with a North-American twang that was at odds with his British upbringing. A rising inflection with every sentence, apparently seeking confirmation, made me wonder... More >


28 Days at Africa’s most luxurious rehab can change your life forever

28 Days at Africa’s most luxurious rehab can change your life forever

If you are burned-out or battling with addictions, you can find help at one of the most beautiful places on the planet. White River Manor is an exclusive addiction treatment centre in South Africa, located in the picturesque town of White River in Mpumalanga Province offering modern luxury addiction and wellness treatment at a fraction of the international cost. Founded in 2015, White River Manor has established itself as a leading facility for those seeking discreet intervention for addiction and... More >


‘Colours of the World’ on display at next year’s Keukenhof flower show

‘Colours of the World’ on display at next year’s Keukenhof flower show

The Keukenhof bulb park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Netherlands and work is now beginning on getting ready for next year’s flowering season. If you have any tulip bulbs that need planting, now is the time to do it. With summer officially over, the planting season has begun. This means the gardeners of the Keukenhof Botanical Garden have been hard at work setting up the flower display for next spring. The centre piece of the... More >