Twenty things you need to know when moving to The Netherlands
First Dutch word to learn! "Gratis" means "free", so you see it a lot in the supermarket: 10% gratis, 1+1 gratis, ...
2. Ride a bike
A bike is a useful and necessary means for transportation. Many people in The Netherlands bike their commute, and you surely should considering joining them when you move to The Netherlands - by the time you reach the office, you've had some exercise, and you'll feel refreshed and ready to start the day. Don't bike too slowly though, you'd be a bottleneck in the traffic.
3. University buildings have closing times
Unlike in the United States where most university buildings are open 24/7 if you have door access, the Dutch universities and laboratories typically have closing times for safety reasons. Don't try to break into the building on a Sunday, or stay at night past closing time... the guards will find you.
4. Start looking for housing early on
Finding affordable housing in The Netherlands can be quite a challenge, and I wrote a post about this topic for AcademicTransfer earlier on. Start looking for housing as soon as you can, and you will find something.
5. The Dutch are not misers, but they use their resources wisely
What I appreciate a lot about the Dutch, is that they use their resources wisely. In their neighboring countries, this might be seen as being stingy, but in reality they are not misers (and donating much more to charity than the Flemish!). As compared to Ecuador, I see much less excessive wealth in The Netherlands (luxury cars, houses with tons of antiques, ...). Sure they exist, and sure there are superwealthy neighborhoods in The Netherlands, but most people are not big fans of excessive spending on material goods. Calvinist spirit or something...
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