Jairo from Spain
How was the process of moving from Spain to the Netherlands?
The most difficult thing is to get everything ready at the other side: Enschede? What is it like? Where is it? How is it? Trying to find any information online blogs, forums, etc. And how is Dutch? Searching is your everyday, specially if you have not been in the Netherland before, like me.
Of course a lot of questions but you won’t get the answers until you get here.
My first contact with the Netherlands was just for three days, I met the company my future colleagues and had the opportunity to see and feel this country. It was awesome. So I decided to come.
Was it easy to find a place to live and to arrange everything, like a social security number, health insurance, etc?
Enschede is a small town with two universities in it, so sometimes, especially August /September, the city is a bit packed, but it is not really difficult to find a room/house-share/studio.
Some paperwork needs to be done, very important but no big deal. Both Vera (Sonder) and the Dutch company I am working at helped me in anything I needed. The three most important things to do as soon as you arrive to the Netherlands:
1. Get a place to live
From a distance it was a bit difficult, specially to arrange the contract, but I did it, so you just need a bit of patience and a lot of searching. This websites are really helpful:
https://kamernet.nl/ (NL & EN)
There are not many options such as Hostels here, but there is always a possibility to get an airbnb here meanwhile getting a house.
2. Get the National Insurance Number (BSN)
To do this you have to go to the City Hall with a prove of your address in the Netherlands (rental contract) and your ID (passport). I went with Vera (Sonder) the day after I arrived Enschede, she helped me to get the BSN. This number will allow you to work and live in the Netherlands.
3. Get your health insurance
In the Netherlands health insurance is mandatory. There are a lot of insurance companies for this. A basic package will cover your basic health needs but depending on what you want prices will vary.
To compare all possibilities I recommend these websites:
What you want to know: average 70€-100€ / month, for a basic one.
After these three you are ready to care about how to get Dutch :-)
Do you feel at home in the Netherlands and especially in the city of Enschede?
The adapting process might be slower than expected, specially if you do not speak Dutch, but that is at the same time a good excuse to practice with local people. Dutch language is like a mix of German, English and a bit of Spanish. At least that is how I see it after all this time. If someone Dutch does not know a word in English (I use English all the time), I just ask them to say it in Dutch, and a lot of the times I understand as is similar to Spanish.
I really recommend to learn the language, Dutch people love to see your effort.
People here are very honest and responsible and they do not worry a lot about things. Dutch people always say something to you with a smile.
Weather, well, I miss the sun. But Dutch weather makes beautiful woods you can pass through all the time with your bike.
Small country with so many typical things there is not enough time to go around and see all of them.
Enschede is very cosy, nice small spots you will discover. I love music, here I found an awesome place to practice and where you will find concerts every week: Atak. My favourite spot is Jazzpodium de Tor, of course jazz every week. Dance, art, ice sky, water sky, football, party…
Any place like this is my home.
What activities do you like the most in the region of Twente/ Enschede?
The most I like is travel around, to know as much as I can in the Netherlands, that is awesome. But what I really love is go into the woods with my bike and get lost.
What still surprises you about the Dutch people or the Netherlands?
How can they have just sandwich for lunch? But pretty much everything is a surprise. New food, new places new way of life, a new word in Dutch. I think I will be surprised for a long time.
What tips or advice would you give someone who’s relocating to the Netherlands?
Enjoy every single moment in here. Do not step back because you do not know the language or anything, I know for sure coming here was the best decision I could make and of course I will be around so you can call me anytime, I will be your guide :)