Holland, also known as the Netherlands, is a liberal country, evidently shown by their approach to drugs and prostitution. The traditionally Catholic country has changed over the years, welcoming people with varied religious beliefs and has adapted laws that contravene the strict Catholic doctrine. As an international destination for students, it has a lot to offer both academically and personally.
See Also: How to Relocate to the Netherlands
1. Embrace Community Life
Universities in Holland have very few societies, as you can find a majority of activities in the local town. As part of the community, you can participate in amateur sports or join the local choir or a theatre group. Communities around universities offer a wide range of activities and volunteer opportunities suitable for students. By participating in these activities, you get to experience more the Dutch life.
2. Can You Cycle?
The question may sound far-fetched, but cycling is an integral part of life in Holland. You may have to buy a bicycle as it is the best way to get around. The country is designed for cycling, encouraging an eco-friendly mode of transport.
3. Take up a Sport
Sport is an integral part of the Holland lifestyle. Children start participating in sports at a young age and keep the habit as they get older. The sporting community includes both girls and boys, with teams based in the community as opposed to being university teams. Taking up a sport is a good way to spend your time away from class and making friends.
4. Travel Wide
Holland is located in the middle of Western Europe, which means cities such as Paris, Antwerp and Cologne are a few hours away by coach. But in case you crave the Dutch experience, you can explore your university’s neighborhood, or hire a car for a road trip around the country. However, note that schools have a tight schedule, 40-school weeks a year, thus you must plan your trips wisely and preferably on the weekends.
5. Get a Job
If you are a EU/EEA (except Croatia), a Japan or Switzerland citizen, you can work freely in the country. However, if you come from a country not listed above, you must apply for a work permit; your employer can use UWW to get you the permit. Note that you must apply for health insurance as soon as you secure a job, or risk paying a hefty fine. However, if you take up internships as part of your coursework, you do not need a work permit.
6. Take Advantage of Available Discounts
While in Holland, get a discount card to enjoy services and products on a budget. Some of the discounts include 40 percent when travelling by train, free entrance to over 400 museums, shopping discounts and discounts for entertainment venues. Your discount card can also help you when travelling to neighboring countries or booking your flight back home.
See Also: How to Find a Job in the Netherlands
While Holland is part of Europe, it is very different from its neighbors; there is so much to discover about the country and its people. Live with an open mind and embrace the diversity in the Dutch community, whilst also teaching them back about your own culture.
Have you ever been to Holland? Did you go there as a student or a tourist? Tell us your experiences in the comments section below.