Joining Entelect NL - I could immigrate to Europe smoothly and stress-free!
Updated: Aug 29, 2019
For a very long time now I had wanted to move overseas from South Africa and during that time I considered a lot of different places but always hesitated and put it off, waiting for the right kind of opportunity. I had not previously considered anywhere in Europe as a potential place to move to and when the opportunity came across my path I did the research about the Netherlands and instantly felt an attraction to come here. The biggest things that attracted me to the Netherlands were the Dutch approach to lifestyle/work life balance, cultural similarities and the opportunity to be closer to tech developments in the industry here. Obviously easy access to travel basically anywhere is a great plus :)
The immigration process:
I think the most difficult part of the immigration process is how you can easily underestimate the difficulty of wrapping up your life that you've known for so long. The admin alone of just getting rid of your possessions, closing accounts, cancelling subscriptions, relocating pets, squeezing in last visits with friends, all while planning out your arrival on the other side of the planet, can be very daunting. Not knowing what to expect when you arrive adds a lot of stress but on that same note, Entelect Netherlands (formerly known as Fixx iT Detachering B.V.) made this part of the process very smooth and stress-free by planning out all your administrative tasks ahead of our arrival. Being able to tap resources on this side to help guide you through some of the more intricate things is a massive help.
About living in the Netherlands:
As with any decision you make in life there are pros and cons, and it is also the same with immigrating. There are a lot of amazing things I love about the Netherlands: efficient public transport, being able to cycle anywhere and everywhere safely, being gifted the freedom of movement again, very friendly and helpful people, the absolute straight forward nature of the Dutch people, awesome health care, when you get sent post it arrives super duper fast, when you order online your things get delivered to you quickly. Things are very easy here, but at the same time, the Dutch have a very big do-it-yourself attitude and take pride in those things. They like simple, good solutions (I'm pretty sure we stole "'n Boer maak 'n plan" from the Dutch).
I think what people might underestimate or find tough about adapting here is the new language they have to learn (Afrikaans != Dutch). You could most definitely get away, at first, with understanding nothing and speaking little to no Dutch, but if you want to truly assimilate into this country and maximize the enjoyment of your time here you will definitely need to put the effort into learning Dutch as much as possible. With the right attitude and effort this will not be a daunting task but a fun challenge!
If I had tips to share it would be:
Finding pet-friendly places that suit your needs is difficult from the other side of the world, start early. You will not be able to pick your perfect location from that side of the pond so don't stress about it too much, you will have time here to figure out where and what you like. If you are picking a location, make sure your town has access to a train, this is really important when you start out. Don't be scared to ask for help if you're unsure how to go about something, everyone here (at the Entelect Netherlands office and in the country) are more than happy to help you. Get your NS Flex pass as soon as you have a bank account: public transport costs will eat your budget if you don't have the discounts (pick the package that will suit your needs, you can always change it). Remember to ask about all the cool smartphone apps that will make your life easier :) If you're transporting pets here: "They will be fine. It is worth it."
So in short:
Things are different here, they are not like home. You don't move somewhere else to have more of the same, you move somewhere to experience a new life. Would I recommend the Netherlands and specifically Entelect for other people? Hell yes.