How to cope as an Expat

So, you are fresh off the boat and getting started in Almere or even the Netherlands?
Well, first of all: Congratulations for being so brave to come to a totally new place. We at International Almere have all been there. And we know that sometimes – it isn’t all that easy.

Our top 10 tips for coping

  1. International Almere
    Seriously, we mean it. We are here for you and we do want to get to know you. We are not very scary, unless it’s Halloween. You have come all this way to the Netherlands – don’t hesitate to make that last step to meet us. Check out the events for what’s up next.
  2. Get Out
    Whatever you do, just don’t sit at home and stare at the walls. You need to get out and about as soon and as much as possible, especially in the beginning. Go for a drink with colleagues or fellow students. Meet us at the Friday Night Drinks or just get in touch on facebook. But go out, make friends, enjoy getting to know different ways.
  3. Facebook & Skype
    Facebook is a life saver and we are very active on facebook. Check out our page and our group for more info. Do join the group – it’s only a click away. You will see, that we chose to have a closed group on facebook, so that we can talk freely amongst ourselves.Skype is our most important lifeline back home. Free calling and video conferencing with anybody around the world – who would not love it? So get it installed and tell your friends and family back home.
  4. Learn Dutch
    You don’t need to perfect it, but learn the basics as quick as you can. You will find that most Dutch people are perfectly comfortable in English and will be happy to practice their language skills. However, if you really want to integrate, you just have to learn to communicate in Dutch.
  5. Get the Food Shopper’s Guide to Holland
    This book is so amazing. It gives English and Dutch names of food stuff, where you can buy them and some nice recipes. A must have if you have just arrived and like cooking… or just finding your way around the supermarket.
  6. Read UnDutchables
    It’s a book about the Dutch – you will get an introduction the the people, the culture and the country in the humorous way that you need it right now. You can order it via Amazon UK
  7. Check out IamExpat
    A great portal for expats in the Netherlands with all the essentials you must know. You will find us linking back to IamExpat.nl frequently on this site, because we believe they are one of the top resources for expats in Holland.
  8. Get in touch with ACCESS
    Another of our favourite expat oriented organizations on national level is Access. Many useful tips, classes and things to buy.
  9. Give yourself time!
    Accept that it’s difficult getting used to a new culture and language. No self pity, but give yourself a break now and then.
  10. Understand culture shock
    It is important for you to realize what’s going on, so you know how to judge your own behaviour and emotions. As hard as it may seem any given point in time, it will get better if you  come and meet up with fellow expats. Watch out for the four stages of culture shock:
    Stage 1: Honeymoon Period
    Stage 2 : Crisis Period
    Stage 3: Adaptation Period
    Stage 4: Stabilization Period