Category Archives: Misc

These are all the posts that we really wanted to say but had absolutely no idea where to put it. So we put it here. Whatever works.

Is Almere serving its expat community well?


Sometimes you are in the right place at the right time. We were this time. The Municipality (Gemeente) of Almere is more and more aware of its international community here in town. They have decisions coming up (like about the international school campus) for which they would like to have more information on the international community. So, we offered them to do a survey among the internationals of Almere that we are connected with, to find out their opinion about Almere. What are they happy with, what not, and what are their suggestions? We published an online questionnaire on the Facebook page and website of International Almere.

The questions

In April 2017 we sent out the following five questions to more than 1000 internationals/expats living in Almere:

  1. Why did you choose to live in Almere?
  2. What can the Almere municipality do better to help you to find your way in Almere? 
  3. What do you like about living in Almere?
  4. What don’t you like about living in Almere?
  5. How could Almere attract more internationals?

The answers

The overwhelming response we received gave valuable insights for the municipality about the motives, complaints and suggestions of the international community living in Almere. Some highlights of this survey: many expats are very happily living in Almere. Important reasons to live in Almere are the affordable prices of the houses (especially compared to Amsterdam), the proximity to Utrecht and Amsterdam and many expats view Almere as a child friendly city. Specially appreciated are the nature in and around the city, the public transport and the safety and quietness of Almere. Main topics of dissatisfaction are the roadblocks on the A6 and A1, the negative image of Almere and the somewhat boring atmosphere of the city center, especially at night. Almere seems to be appreciated especially by families with children, that want to escape the busy cities of Utrecht or Amsterdam. So, this is more or less the same group as the non-internationals who like to live in Almere. What should the “Gemeente” improve the most?  By far: availability of online information for living in Almere in English and a sort of helpdesk for internationals at the town hall to help newcomers to get started. If Almere wants to grow the expat/international community, international school availability is very important. People want to live in the near vicinity of the school their children go to.

General conclusion

Next to the availability of schools the main issue for current residents and future newcomers is communication: give information in English and also actively promote the city. The possibilities and opportunities that Almere has to offer are little known amongst new arrivals.

Now what?

A report along with a list of recommendations for the municipality was presented and discussed with a delegation of four representatives of the municipality of Almere on Monday 15th of May.  At the end, we officially handed over the report to Monique Vredenburg, senior project manager Economic Affairs of the Municipality. Again, we’d like to thank all the internationals that took the time to fill in the questionnaire, called us with their remarks or sent us emails with answers. Your input is highly appreciated. We hope the municipality will use all suggestions you gave to further improve their service to the internationals in Almere.

Stephanie Ernst and Michel Daenen present Monique Vredenburg with the results of the survey.

Stephanie Ernst, International Almere,

Karin Gabor and Michel Daenen, Crossing Cultures,


For further information, you can contact: Stephanie Ernst, or

Karin Gabor, or Michel Daenen,   

It’s time for an update in April!

It’s been a little while since an update from us, and we’d like to apologise. You see, we’ve been working on making our website a little cleaner, faster and also moving it to a new hosting network – and TADA! We’re back!   A special thank you to Frank of SnowBuddha for his amazing work and patience over the last months.

Over the next few months we’ll be gradually updating and upgrading the content on the site, so that it shows more about us, and also about the wonderful city of Almere – a one stop shop for English speakers.  If you would like to contribute a story or an article, drop us a line at and Stephanie will get back to you.

And now an update on our events.  Since we last updated, we’re excited to announce that we have permanent new home for First Friday Night Drinks! We’ve welcomed Cafe op 2 to the International Almere family. Over the past 6 months, they’ve been awesome to our members, and so we’ve made the move permanent. Thanks to Patrick and his wonderful team.

Quiz Night is still going strong at our new digs at Eetcafe Mokum! With our reading team of Gerard and Mark (aka ‘Gezark’), and a series of new quizzes, we’re looking for a larger space we can use so we can expand.

Buiten Borrel (Formerly Buiten Mum’s Night) continues to expand and grow every month!

This month sees our annual Easter Egg Hunt, and next month we look forward to a return from our major sponsors at Beacon Financial Education for another Financial Awareness Seminar.

We also held our Annual General Meeting on the 1st of April – you’ll find the minutes here, but if you’d like more information, drop a line to  Later this month our director, Doreen, will send out an email going over the key discussion points from the night, including an exciting change to membership as of January 1st, 2018.  We’ll publish this on the website as well.  We also welcomed Thomas Besuijen as our secretary.

Don’t miss out on any of our event updates by signing up to our newsletter here.

We also welcomed as a sponsor!

Stay tuned, because the website is back in business and we’ll be putting reminders for our events as well here! If you have questions, please get in touch, either by email or in person at one of our events!

Have a wonderful Easter break if you’re celebrating!

The International Almere Board

Doreen, Stephanie, Gerard, Norma and Thomas.