I felt in love with The Netherlands last year when I came here as exchange student in the University. Then I have to come back to Spain to finish with my studies but I promise to myself that I’ll be back to that country very soon.
When I had the opportunity to go abroad again with the grant Erasmus for young entrepreneurs I had no doubt that Netherlands will be for sure my first option.
One of the thinks I like the most of the Netherlands is the good organisation they have in almost everything. In the Netherlands things work… most of the time. NS trains, though sometimes late, are frequent and modern, and many other forms of Dutch infrastructure are reliable.
Rubbish is collected regularly, streets are cleaned, you can apply for unemployment benefits if you’re fired and emergency surgery is covered by health insurance.
Effective administration comes at a price, and taxes and insurance fees are not cheap, but they provide a blanket safety net and peace of mind that can spare you from bureaucratic stress that can be common in other countries.
I love travelling and exploring new cities, the Netherlands is a small country, meaning that is so easy to travel from one side to the country to the other. That means that you can explore every corner of the country within the same day.
But what most impressed me was seeing people cycling everywhere and I do not mean students, I mean people all kinds of all lives students, employees, CEO’s, doctors and families cycling all together.
Even it was freezing, every morning I enjoyed riding the bike from home to the office crossing the different neighbourhoods.
There are special rules about not building too many different types of houses in one street, so what you get is a row of well-keps, with picture-perfect front yards and uncurtained windows.
The Dutch don’t feel self-conscious about what goes on behind their front door and feel comfortable with their curtains open. If you close your curtains, you probably have something to hide. Which is why many Dutch families leave their curtains open: so that everyone can see for themselves.
With some of the lowest working hours in Europe, the Netherlands is renowned for its excellent work-life balance and informal work culture.
Part-time employment is common and it is not unusual for parents to renegotiate their working week with their employer after the birth of a child.
There is a freelance culture, you can see many entrepreneurs working from their kitchen table or holding important meetings in cafés.
I really enjoyed the experience of moving to another Country, I had no warning that life in Netherlands would mean adapting in so many little ways like developing thick skin, being a bike fan and loving the orange colour.
I hope I can come back to The Netherlands soon.