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Getting Situated

October 17, 2020 2:13 PM | Anonymous

It’s not easy to arrive in a new country and figure out how to arrange everything right away. You are overwhelmed by newness — a new city, a new language, a new home, probably a new job (for at least one family member) and, if you have children, new schools. If you are lucky, you may have a relocation company helping you to settle in. If not, we will provide you with some information here to help you get your new life organized. 

Before we start on the nitty gritty, here is a random fact you need to know right away: The Netherlands has a public warning system that is tested at noon on the first of Monday of each month, except on religious or national holidays, including Remembrance Day (May 4). 

For basics on day-to-day living in the Netherlands, in English, IamExpat and I amsterdam both do a fantastic job of providing information. I amsterdam has a lot of helpful information on settling in and life in Amsterdam. For official things like registering with the gemeente (municipality) when you move here or getting a BSN number (burgerservicenummer, which is like a Social Security number) or a DigiD (digital identification used to access government websites), the two websites cover these topics and more. It's worth exploring both websites to see who you need to contact for what and what you need to do if you are moving here without any relocation help. 

For dealing with Dutch resources, Google Translate is handy online and has a useful app. You can type in words, scan them with your phone’s camera, or even use the microphone for a verbal translation. If you install Google Chrome on your computer or phone, it can translate entire websites for you.

There are a few things worth pointing out, however. 

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