After my graduation, I tried to find a job in my native country, Italy, with no success. I decided to move, also full of the feelings and memories I had experienced after moving to Spain. Why Amsterdam? Everybody asks this question but I don’t really have an answer. I had never visited The Netherlands before moving here. I just packed my stuff and caught my flight. I can say for sure that it is not the weed, the legalized drugs and the crazy life that brought me here. I came to Amsterdam to find myself, to prove myself that I could build a new life in a new place, with new people; to demonstrate that I am free to be myself and to mold my own life the way I like the most.
Moving to Amsterdam is easier to say than to do. The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch and the majority of Amsterdam’s residents speak English well so one can usually get by effortlessly in Amsterdam without knowing a word of Dutch. But everything concerning the municipality and the ordinary life is in Dutch, so if you want to find a better job and want to live there for few years (or maybe settle down forever) learning Dutch is a must. Moving to another country can be an overwhelming experience, however a good organization can help make it a smooth process, as it happened with me: I created a list of things to do once I arrived in Amsterdam and I’ll share it here with you:
× Register with the local municipality (meaning you get an appointment to state that you live in that address with those people. The hardest part is to find a roof above your head where you can register..) If you don’t find immediately a place to register, you can demand for a temporary sofinummer (RNI, registratie niet-ingezetenen) – a number that identifies you- which lasts only 4 months. During this time you have to find a place to stay where you can register. The permanent number is called BSN (burgerservicenummer).
× Arrange a local bank account: once you have your home, get a job (it is easier to find a job than a house) and open a bank account. Normally ING is the chosen one by expats.
× Arrange local health insurance: do you have your BSN, job and bank account? Go and get a health insurance soon. It is mandatory and you have to pay monthly around €100,-. No worries. If your income is not high (and for a person earning 1800€ per month is considered not high) you can ask the government to pay almost the entire amount of money back. (Thank you Holland!)
As I mentioned earlier, finding a place to live in Amsterdam can be a challenge. My personal advice is to come here with a considerable amount of savings as every room or apartment you find, asks you for a deposit, which is typically the equivalent of one or two month’s rent (consider rent for a single room as 600€; for a double room 1000€ and for an apartment 1500€). I know it is a little bit crazy; it is hard at the beginning but once you find a job, the balance is established. Have you ever thought about moving to Amsterdam, my Dear You? It is tricky, but it is definitely worth it!
I was lucky (even if I don’t really believe in luck, you made your own path, but..) to find a beautiful apartment, in one of the most beautiful street in Amsterdam, Keizersgracht, where the owner was not a scammer but a serious lawyer who allowed me to register in his house with a proper contract thanks to which I could start immediately to be a Dutchy. Maybe my “luck” was having a good savings to spend, so no budget limit in the beginning. So I could settle down with no fears.
But a good budget didn’t mean “just be a tourists and spend everything in fun”; the good budget has been used just to find good houses but the need of a job was pushing. Maybe lucky again (mmmm), I got a job as a receptionist in a Hotel after 3 days I had moved to Amsterdam and it was located 3 mins walking from my house.
As I said before, job listings are hundreds more than house listings, so it is very easy to find a job as long as you can speak English and you are open to do anything (I am not talking about being a stripper 😀 but you can also think about it haha).
There are a lot of bureaucratic stuff to still talk about but i don’t really want to bore you with this. Just ask me if you need to know something more, I’ll be happy to help!
“Italian expat found her comfort zone in Amsterdam, where she can discover always something new to do and to see and, of course, share it with you! Amsterdam is not only a discovery itself but allows her to explore the world and give you some stories and tips in her personal blog” .. Joana Nucci