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Old 28th July 2016, 8:39 AM   #1
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Amsterdam

Has anyone here worked and lived in Amsterdam? I've been there 3 times so I know it as a tourist but wonder what it's like to work and live there? Thanks.
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Old 28th July 2016, 12:59 PM   #2
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In one of my threads about Europe, username "No_Go" mentioned that she had worked in NL. I think you should DM her.

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Very different IME. I worked 4 years in NL, now going on 4th in US.
You can expect much more consistent schedule, more holiday days, generally lower number of working hours in Europe. This also comes with less competitive culture and slower progression within/between companies.
If you ask more specific questions, I'll share more experiences (Germany is different than NL, but not that much I think).
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Old 28th July 2016, 1:34 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Emilia View Post
Has anyone here worked and lived in Amsterdam? I've been there 3 times so I know it as a tourist but wonder what it's like to work and live there? Thanks.
Have a friend who is a uni lecturer at a Uni there.

Been there 5 years, she loves it.

She loves the slower pace to LDN.
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Old 28th July 2016, 2:58 PM   #4
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Have a friend who is a uni lecturer at a Uni there.

Been there 5 years, she loves it.

She loves the slower pace to LDN.
I hear it's pretty social and while learning Dutch is obviously a very good thing, you can get by well speaking English. The Dutch are also well traveled.

Won't lie, I'm considering it. If there is a brain drain from the UK to Berlin and Amsterdam with tech and finance firms going, I won't stick around either.

I'd be curious if anyone has had negative experiences living there.
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Old 28th July 2016, 3:21 PM   #5
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Pros and Cons of Moving to the Netherlands | Expat Arrivals


Many more out there, someone told me this was brief but pretty good.
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Old 28th July 2016, 3:28 PM   #6
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Pros and Cons of Moving to the Netherlands | Expat Arrivals

Many more out there, someone told me this was brief but pretty good.
Yes thank you. Read the one on Berlin too, that's a bit harder to gauge because employment levels aren't that high but apparently that's what startups are looking at right now, as well as multis.

More than 100 of London's tech startups consider moving to Berlin post-Brexit | Europe | News | The Independent

Brexit potentially will have a big boost for the rest of Western Europe.
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Old 28th July 2016, 4:54 PM   #7
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I studied, worked and lived in the Netherlands, 4 years of my time there was in Amsterdam. Generally I was happy with my experience there. I didn't speak a word of Dutch when I arrived and it has never been a problem. Everybody speaks English. People are generally friendly and helpful, a bit reserved though. Work conditions are great. I had 8.5 weeks per year! of paid holiday, they decreased it to 5.5 weeks which caused tons of protests People are generally keeping good work-life balance, you can work on 4 day week (4 d x10 h instead of 5 d x8 h) if that suits your needs better, most parents do that.

Let me know if you want to know anything specific.
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Old 29th July 2016, 3:55 AM   #8
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Thanks No_Go! The post is great. I'm curious about the overall feeling of living there, how you are treated, etc.

I get the impression that the Dutch are well traveled and educated - would you say it's possible to generalise like that?
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Old 29th July 2016, 5:07 AM   #9
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I've been reading messaging boards and that reminds me of the stereotype I was told about when I worked for an airline with an office in the Netherlands.

Netherlands rated most unfriendly country for Expats

The comments section is interesting - as always. Is Amsterdam a bubble the way London is?
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Old 29th July 2016, 12:32 PM   #10
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People are generally very helpful. The may appear unfriendly, but that is just because they are direct compared to other cultures (e.g. if you compare the Dutch attitude to British or American).

I looked at the expat's article, it is generally correct, but I disagree wiith 2 things:
1) efficient healthcare: IME health care is veeeery slow. If you go to the Dr they usually tell you to come back in two weeks if the pain is not going away But my experience is limited
2) Dutch knowledge is not a must. Literally everyone speaks English + 2-3 other languages Sure you'll integrate better if you learn Dutch though

Well traveled and educated - yes! I feel like they spend most of their expendable income on travel! It is not uncommon people to take e.g. the whole August off work to travel. Most people learn 4 languages in school and are generally well-cultured. However, there is no competitiveness in education. Coming from Eastern Europe where it is all about grades, it kind of shocked me All major universities are about the same level, pretty good.

They are very much into street festivals etc, you can meet people there e.g. King's day, Sinterklaas and other local holidays.

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Originally Posted by Emilia View Post
Thanks No_Go! The post is great. I'm curious about the overall feeling of living there, how you are treated, etc.

I get the impression that the Dutch are well traveled and educated - would you say it's possible to generalise like that?
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Old 29th July 2016, 1:14 PM   #11
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People are generally very helpful. The may appear unfriendly, but that is just because they are direct compared to other cultures (e.g. if you compare the Dutch attitude to British or American).

I looked at the expat's article, it is generally correct, but I disagree wiith 2 things:
1) efficient healthcare: IME health care is veeeery slow. If you go to the Dr they usually tell you to come back in two weeks if the pain is not going away But my experience is limited
2) Dutch knowledge is not a must. Literally everyone speaks English + 2-3 other languages Sure you'll integrate better if you learn Dutch though

Well traveled and educated - yes! I feel like they spend most of their expendable income on travel! It is not uncommon people to take e.g. the whole August off work to travel. Most people learn 4 languages in school and are generally well-cultured. However, there is no competitiveness in education. Coming from Eastern Europe where it is all about grades, it kind of shocked me All major universities are about the same level, pretty good.

They are very much into street festivals etc, you can meet people there e.g. King's day, Sinterklaas and other local holidays.
That's pretty awesome, thanks. Eastern European here too so I know what you mean about competitive education, I went to selective schools and was shocked that here in the UK that wasn't a given at all.

Did you travel around much outside Amsterdam?
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Old 29th July 2016, 2:01 PM   #12
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Has anyone here worked and lived in Amsterdam? I've been there 3 times so I know it as a tourist but wonder what it's like to work and live there? Thanks.
I have traveled there only once on a business trip. My experience is pretty much limited. Few things I have noticed: -
1. Look in any direction, within your eyesight you will definitely find something ORANGE. So if Orange color overwhelms you, this city is not for you.
2. Things close early (by 7 - 8 PM).
3. Unlike Paris and Rome (people are very helpful there), people actually understand and speak English.
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Old 29th July 2016, 4:10 PM   #13
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I have traveled there only once on a business trip. My experience is pretty much limited. Few things I have noticed: -
1. Look in any direction, within your eyesight you will definitely find something ORANGE. So if Orange color overwhelms you, this city is not for you.
2. Things close early (by 7 - 8 PM).
3. Unlike Paris and Rome (people are very helpful there), people actually understand and speak English.
Haha I do like Amsterdam, I find it very easy to get around. If more jobs move there from the UK, it will be definitely worth the consideration.

I'll be curious to see how you get on in Germany.
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Old 30th July 2016, 7:14 PM   #14
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Yes, I travelled all around The Netherlands - everything is so close!
If you plan living in a city outside the big ones (Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hague, Utrecht), I think the only negative is that the shops close earlier and do not work on Sundays (they may have changed that though, Albert Heijn supermarkets were already open on Sundays when I left 3 years ago).
Train system is generally very convenient (also for international travel - Brussels is I think on only 2 h, Paris on 4 h etc). Many of my coworkers would train-commute daily.

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That's pretty awesome, thanks. Eastern European here too so I know what you mean about competitive education, I went to selective schools and was shocked that here in the UK that wasn't a given at all.

Did you travel around much outside Amsterdam?
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Old 1st August 2016, 9:11 AM   #15
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I haven't lived there but we have set up our international corporate office there and I am involved in the set up and hiring/set up of direct hires and ex pats. So may be able to help answer any questions.
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