Moving from China to the Netherlands
Do you work as an expat, and will you soon move from China to the Netherlands to work here? Then there are several useful tips and pieces of information that we would like to share with you in advance. In this blog you can read more about the history of the Netherlands, what to look out for when you move here, and the cultural differences between the Netherlands and China. That way you can already read up on what to expect. It is of course nice to know how things work in another country and on another continent.
A short piece about the history between the countries
The history between China and the Netherlands focuses mainly on trade and art. For example, the Dutch received silk from China to the Netherlands. From this, beautiful garments were made. In addition, statues, art, decorative vases of porcelain and other Chinese-Asian products were mainly shipped to the Netherlands. The Dutch were always fascinated by the empire in history. When you move to the Netherlands as a person from China, you can expect the Dutch to be respectful of you as an expat. The Dutch love people who work hard and know what it takes to get their lives in the Netherlands on track.
What should you be aware of when you come to the Netherlands?
Are you coming to the Netherlands to work for a Dutch employer? In that case, your employer can directly act as your referent. This means that your employer can apply to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (IND) for your residence permit. This is very important, because until you have the permit, you cannot work in the Netherlands and will therefore not be paid. As a Chinese expat, it is important that you start by making sure all your papers are in order. For example, you need to register with the municipality where you will be living; if you stay for less than 4 months, you need to register as a non-resident with a Basic Registration of Persons (BRP).
Furthermore, it may be the case that your employer arranges accommodation for you, but this is not always the case. Make sure that you know whether there is a temporary home for you, or that you have to find a real estate agent yourself in order to find accommodation in the Netherlands as quickly as possible. Furthermore, everyone in the Netherlands is required to have health insurance, so you will need to apply for this for yourself and possibly for your family as well. In the Netherlands everyone pays tax to the tax authorities, so you have to file a tax return. You will receive a letter from the tax authorities. It is also useful to find a family doctor.
Moreover, as an expatriate you can sometimes make use of certain government benefits. Think for example of childcare, rent or health care benefits. You also need to apply for a DigiD, which is your digital identity. With this you can arrange matters with the Dutch government and the Tax and Customs Administration. Are you coming here with your family? Then also look for a school for your children.
What are the cultural differences between the two countries?
In China, business is all about a strong hierarchy. When the boss leaves the building, the employees are only allowed to go home. The boss or the manager are the most important people in the workplace. In the Netherlands, people are still more likely to be seen as equals, although there is respect for those with higher positions. Dutch people are less strict with personnel. It is expected of you that you are willing to work hard and you also pick up tasks from your own resume and cross them off your to-do list. In the Netherlands it is important that you can work independently and that you do not wait but dare to ask questions. Here, the individual is higher than the group, making it an individualistic society.
Lastly, in the Netherlands you will see a lot of freedom around you. Here, people are allowed to express their opinions about anything and anyone, hence freedom of speech. Furthermore, we are against discrimination. There is an anti-discrimination organization where you can report possible cases of discrimination. In the Netherlands it is appreciated if you try to learn the language as an expat, but you can also speak English everywhere. You are free to practice any religion you want. Furthermore, Chinese and Dutch culture differ in many other ways. The nice thing is to find out for yourself when you’re in Holland. But the basics we have taught you through this blog. In case you have any other questions, feel free to contact us.