Moving abroad?

Moving to the Netherlands for the
love of your life

Diana and Florin’s story

Diana found her true love on New Year’s Eve, and for true love you will do anything. So when Florin asked if she would be willing to move to the Netherlands to be with him, Diana didn’t have to think very long. But how do you build a new life in a foreign country when your partner is busy with his work? Read the story of Diana, who gave up her old life to be with her boyfriend Florin.

 

Diana and Florin met in Austria in 2015, when they went skiing with a mutual friend. That was around Christmas and New Year’s, and you could say that it was really love at first sight. Since that first kiss at the end of the old year and start of the new, they've been inseparable. Florin was already living in the Netherlands at the time for his studies. 

Choosing love

A few months after that first kiss, Florin and Diana went to Bali to spend more time together, and to assure themselves that their relationship was more than just a holiday fling. And that it certainly was: after five days Florin asked Diana if she would like to move to Amsterdam to be with him. ‘I had never been to Amsterdam, but if it allowed us to be together, I was willing to consider it. I took some time to get used to the idea, because it meant completely changing the course of my life.’

Building a new life

Moving to another country is quite a step. But if you’re going there to live with the love of your life, that’s a step you’re willing to take. Of course, it also helped that Florin had been living in the Netherlands for a few years and had gathered a great group of friends there. So Diana wasn’t too worried about her new social life, though she was concerned about finding a good job. For Diana, work is more than just earning a living: it gives her energy, and she feels it should give her a sense of purpose too. Like the job she had back home in Romania.

Moving abroad?

Finding a job in the Netherlands

Once in the Netherlands, it was difficult for Diana to find a good, enjoyable job. And that applied equally to gathering her own group of friends. It became increasingly clear to her that, to find a job, she needed a good network. It took a full six months, over which time Diana sent out hundreds of applications before she finally found a job. So, her tip for anyone who follows his or her love abroad: ‘Get in touch with as many people as possible who have also moved to the Netherlands from abroad, and ask them as many questions as possible. Questions like what should you keep in mind when looking for a job, which organisations can help you, and what’s the best way to build a network in the Netherlands.’ 

New additions to the family

After her first job, Diana found a second job fairly quickly, which she unfortunately lost due to the company restructuring. What followed was a two-year ‘break’, during which time Diana met the second love of her life: their daughter Gloria was born. So it wasn’t really a big deal that Diana was between jobs for a while. This way she could stay home and fully enjoy the bliss of motherhood. However, after some time she wanted to go back to work; after all, Diana gets a lot of energy from that too. Unfortunately, she was not able to find a new job right off the bat; to her it seems like she sent out thousands of job applications during that period. It is still her biggest challenge to find an enjoyable, inspiring job.

The Dutch and the Dutch culture

Florin and Diana have been living in the Netherlands for a number of years now, and they have a good idea of the Dutch and their culture. ‘I noticed that the Dutch are generally satisfied with what they have. They are not constantly looking for a better job, or buying a bigger house or nicer car,’ says Florin. It’s not that handy to have a car in the city anyway. Diana: ‘I love biking. You can cycle from one side of the city to the other in 20 minutes. Biking gives you so much freedom.’ Not only that: it also saves a lot of time. ‘In Bucharest I was stuck in traffic every morning. And once you got to work, you also had to spend a long time trying to find a parking spot,’ says Diana.

Culture shock

And what did Florin and Diana think was the biggest culture shock? Diana still finds it strange that the Dutch set a date to visit each other weeks or even months in advance. ‘In Romania we simply drop in on friends. No appointments, just go and enjoy each other’s company.' Florin and Diana also find the Dutch rather aloof. ‘The Dutch could be a little more hospitable to foreigners, a little friendlier and a little more empathetic.’

Childcare and education in the Netherlands

Florin and Diana are very happy with the provisions in the Netherlands, like the healthcare system. Diana: ‘From midwife to medical specialist, and from maternity care to childcare, healthcare is really well organised in the Netherlands. This makes parenting almost a holistic experience.’ Florin and Diana are also on the same page when it comes to upbringing. ‘We have no problem with Gloria growing up as a Dutch woman. It is our job as parents to teach her about her background. And we hope that when she’s older, thanks to this she will realise that there are always alternative ways of doing something, and that you can look at certain things differently.’

Tips for other expats

  • Get in touch with as many people as possible who have also moved to the Netherlands from abroad.
  • Ask them what you should keep in mind when looking for a job, which organisations can help you, and about the best way to build a network in the Netherlands.
  • Be open to your child growing up Dutch.
  • Think of it as a parent’s job to teach your child about his or her background.

Payments and cash withdrawals

If you’re an expat, it’s good to know the best way to make payments in the Netherlands. Read on to find out more about the most popular methods used here.

Open a Dutch bank account

  • Apply in our Mobile Banking app
  • Digital identification
  • Get your account number within 4 hours
Learn how to apply About the bank account

Welcome to the Netherlands

Our handy checklist will help you sort out of all the things you need to take care of before moving to the Netherlands.