Indians in netherlands my experiences washington university eye center

• if you are browsing to find information and everything is in english charaters but strange words, it is probably because it is dutch language. Download google chorme. It will ask you if you want to translate dutch to (decent enough) english. City center is called ‘centrum’

• mid oct thru early march is cold. Outside temperature will likely be in and around 0 degree centigrade. If you want to know how it feels, just keep your hands inside a fridge freezer for 2 minutes! Carry a good woolen gloves, woolen cap that covers even your ears, a good winter jacket and thermal wear. For april thru september, it is better to carry a good warm jacket anyway. It could be very warm or chilly at random. Google “weather in >” to know the current weather conditions. The forecast is fairly accurate for upto a week ahead….Only that I think it rains less than what they forecast.

• unlike india, 95% of the shops (excluding restaurants) close by 6:00PM. On sunday, except centrum almost all shops will be closed. Top universities korea even the few restaurants that open will close early. (one exception is albert heijn grocery store. They are open till 10:00PM mon-sat and also few hours on sunday in most cities. Go to their website to find a store near your destination and open timings).

• if you want to cook yourself, carry your pressure cooker (carry spare gasket and safety valve), mixer (mixers here do not scale up to indian needs of grinding). You may want to carry home made ‘saaru’ and ‘sambar’ powder. However MTR is available in indian shops here.

• if you have a child and need english medium school, you need to find an ‘international school’ first and based on that decide your housing. There are not many international schools and so this check is important. Contact the school immediately (even before coming to netherlands) to get advice on vacancy.

• for the india to netherlands flight journey, ideally you will need very little money – to cover for any food/shopping need during your stopover. But carry at least €200 to €300 more just in case something goes wrong midway forcing longer stopover (snow, fog, iceland volcano, strike etc). It is best to carry in euro, US dollar or pounds. BEWARE……INDIAN RUPEES MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED OUTSIDE INDIA even in currency exchange centers.

• if you are really out of stuff late at night, you can go to ‘night shop’ or ‘albert heign to go’ shop that are open till late in the night. However you will get only limited stuff and is not a substitute for your grocery shopping. Also, these shops are more expensive than regular grocery shops. Night shop will be open till about 1.00AM.

• indian store: most cities have indian stores where you get almost all of your day to day needs as if in india. You will get ready to eat, maggi, soan pappdi, grated coconut…everything! If you have a stove and a microwave in your accomodation, life is easy here!

• electronics store: media markt.…look for sale. Also check the price in mediamarkt.Nl. Products are often much cheaper there. You can even order it to the nearest store at no additional shipping cost and pick it up from there a day or 2 later.

• to travel by train, it is good to know the basic ticketing system. Go to http://www.Ns.Nl for timetable, ticket price. Click english if you prefer information in english. Trains have a confusing variety of discounts, ticketing modes and eligibility criteria for these. If you are confused, go to the ticket counter at the station and ask them what is best for your situation. Best universities canada however you will pay 50cents extra per ticket if you buy tickets at the counter instead of the vending machine.

• other than health insurance, it is strongly advised to take 2 more types of insurance. Personal insurance- in case you/family damage someone else’s property by mistake. Theft insurance – to cover your house hold items in case of theft. ABN-AMRO also offers both and cost very nominal amount.

• buy a cycle. New one will be very expensive. Top universities in usa you should easily be able to find a good used (second hand) cycle. Do not buy from unknown people who look like thugs and are ready to sell at very cheap price. Most likely these are stolen cycles and police might question you. Look for something within known circles. There are second hand shops but cost much more than private owners.

• if you have a small child, you will need a stroller (buggy). They are available in different sizes. Big and bulky ones look very fancy and attractive to buy. But buy a small handy stroller. Primary reason is, if you are new to europe, you will probably travel by public transport or to other euorpean countries. Bulky ones are really a nuisance to carry around and handle in transport vehicles and in sightseeing areas. They are very heavy as well.

• if both you and your spouse are working and you need a day care for your child, you can get partial day-care fee refund from the government. Depending on the city you live in, it may be easy to extremely difficult to get a day care for your child. Try nearby smaller cities if getting it in your city is difficult.

• in spite of the luxuries, you will need friends….Especially for a housewife/kids. The best way to make friends is to invite someone who you meet with similar situation as you to your home formally for tea/dinner (and not just “come home sometime”…this will never work). Don’t wait for the other party to initiate. Also, long timers in NL would already have their circle. So best bet is to make your own group of recently arrived.

• if your 30% ruling is approved, you can exchange your indian license for a dutch license paying a nominal fee at your local town hall (for a fee of about €50). Spouse of a 30% ruling holder is also eligible for this exchange. For further details on DL: http://www.Expatica.Com/nl/leisure/travel_tourism/how-to-get-a-dutch-drivers-licence-1672.Html. You can collect your indian license back from VFS den haag about 3 months after the exchange. Go to VFS den haag with copy of indian license and collect the license 5days later.

• spouse of a knowledge work permit holder is not eligible for 30% ruling if he/she gets a job after coming to netherlands as a dependent. However many have received the 30% ruling if they got employed within 3 months of coming to netherlands.

• you could get calls like “we are calling from IND. Your visa is illegal…your records are illegal. You urgently need to transfer money to correct it” etc. These are fake calls. If anyone calls you, ask them to talk in dutch, or you say you will call back to IND to check the validity of the call. They will hang up and stop bothering you.

• ryanair is a good low cost airline for travel within europe if planned at least 4 weeks in advance. Use the ‘skyscanner’ mobile app to plan your vacation. It lists in the order of ticket cost to all destinations from a given source for a given period.

• if you are a vegetarian, you will most likely develop vitamin D deficiency because of limited exposure to sunlight especially in the winter months. American college sofia consume vitamin D supplement tablets. This is available without prescription at any medical store.

• this point is a little too far away for most, but you must know if you are working in NL. For every year of working in NL, you are eligible for 2% of AOW value as monthly pension after you reach retirement age (about 66). The AOW value is determined by SVB every year depending on inflation etc. In 2013, its value is about €725.00. So before leaving NL for good, call SVB and ask for a statement. Then call them when you are 66 to arrange for the pension!! 🙂

• over and above the previous point, your employer might subscribe to additional pension scheme. When leaving NL, you can either get this transferred to a similar policy in india or just leave it as is and check back with them when you are 66 years old!

I received an email and appointment letter from heineken breweries amsterdam netherlands to serve as system administrator at the royal bam construction company, for a monthly salary of 5000 euros. With free food and accommodation. Can i manage with this sort of payment . I am a bachelor. I earn my money the hard way, in india. I am in a state of penury. I need to know more about the background of the company and its true bearing and reliability. I am now asked to pay about thirty thousand indian rupees towards the visa processing fee, to be deposited into their account. I am a in state of confusion as to whether it is genuine or not ? I am reading a lot of cyber crime facts that appear on the internet. Can i ask for a waiver of this visa fee processing or pay the same when i reach their workplace in amsterdam netherlands? Kindly sort out my confusion mr madhu. I have very little time left. I am to reach and report at netherlands by the 31 st march. Hope you would understand my anxiety and eagerness to join and work for foreign company, to better my future prospects.