Expatcenter Seminar: Family matters

Living in another country is exciting and invigorating. At the same time, this change can have a lot of impact on your family. So what hurdles can you expect, and what is the best way to deal with them?

On Thursday 28 April, the Expatcenter will host an informative event all about family matters in Amsterdam. The evening will include short presentations from Expatcenter partners who specialise in the fields of education, adjusting to new family dynamics and building bridges between people and cultures. 

Tickets for the event cost just €5 and must be purchased in advance. 

Amsterdam Salon returns in June 2016

Blending the best of business networking with the finest cultural activities in the city, the Amsterdam Salon is set to return in June 2016. Hosted by the Expatcenter, the Amsterdam Salon brings together ambitious internationals in informal, inspiring settings to make new connections, spark new business opportunities and, of course, to enjoy life in Amsterdam to its fullest. Our events typically combine high quality performances with exclusive opportunities to gain new insights and even meet the performers. Afterwards you can break the ice with fellow professionals, discussing the cultural action over a drink or two.

Save the date: the first Amsterdam Salon event of 2016 is set to take place at the Holland Festival on 24 June. Stay tuned for more event details and Amsterdam Salon membership applications in May 2016.

Step-by-step DigiD guide for expats

You may be aware of 'DigiD'; a digital signature required by many official organisations and businesses in the Netherlands in order to access their online services. Your DigiD is your unique online identification, in the same way that your passport or driving licence is your identification offline. 

To get DigiD you must first acquire a username and a password through the official DigiD website. Although much of the information about DigiD is available in English, the online application form is in Dutch, so if you're having trouble understanding the finer points of the form you can download a step-by-step application guide in English via the link below.

More information and English application guide

Primary school applications

Children living in the Netherlands normally start school at the age of four. So if your child is three years old, it's time to apply for a place at a primary school of your choice. You will have received an official application form in the post, on which you should list at least five schools (in order of your preference). The form then needs to be handed in personally at the first school of your preference, where your details will be entered into a central system. Children have priority for placement at the eight primary schools nearest to the child’s home address. 

For more information on the application process, catchment areas, enrolment and registration, click the link below. 

Find out more about applying for a primary school 

Unjust rental agency fees: Are you entitled to a refund?

For decades, expat tenants have been charged agency fees when they rented an apartment. Often these fees can be as much as a month's rent and, although this practice was extremely common, it was usually not legal. If you've paid unjust agency fees when renting an apartment, you could be entitled to a refund.

In October of 2015 the High Court issued a very clear verdict: if the agency is representing the landlord (which is almost always the case) tenants are not obliged to pay commission, agency fees, contract-costs, or whatever those cost might be called. If tenants have been unjustly charged they can demand a refund.

Find out more about reclaiming illegal agency fees

Free city guide app Manyguide now available in Amsterdam

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Manyguide is the free city guide app that connects you with 600 local experts, who provide help, just when you need it.

Want to know at which terrace the sun still shines? Or what shoe repairman fixes your heels on the spot? Just ask Manyguide andget a personal answer in a few minutes from one of their local experts. The app is available for Amsterdam and Brussels.

The service uses its own artificial intelligence that matches users’ questions to the expertise of its guides’ database. It sends out a notification after which a real person takes over to provide current and honest information about what to do, see, eat, or drink. It also provides you with a digital card containing opening hours, directions and more. When you look for a personal answer, you need a person, not a virtual assistant using a narrow field of pre-existing knowledge.

Find out more and download the free app

Seeking Amsterdammers of 180 nationalities

From Peru to Paraguay and Botswana to Belarus, we are looking for Amsterdammers of  diverse nationalities to share their story as part of the 180 Amsterdammers project. Would you like to be involved?

Amsterdam is a city with freedom at its heart. This openness has been part of the city’s DNA since the 17th century, and nowhere is it reflected more clearly today than in the kaleidoscopic diversity of the city's population.Today, people of 180 different nationalities call Amsterdam home. And this year we are celebrating each and every one of them by collecting 180 stories by 180 diverse Amsterdammers. Nearly 100 Amsterdammers have already shared their experiences, but we are still seeking participants from a wide variety of nationalities. View the complete list to see who we'd particularly like to hear from. 

If you are an Amsterdam resident with a diverse background and you would like to be featured in 180 Amsterdammers, please get in touch by email: [email protected]

What's on in April

Make sure to delve into this city’s cultural life this spring! Below are some tips to get you started.

King's Day

The Netherlands' biggest street party returns on April 27, bringing hundreds of thousands of oranjeclad revellers onto Amsterdam's streets, canals and squares for a right royal knees up in honour of King Willem's birthday. Find out where to find the best parties and events!
Read more

Keukenhof Gardens now open

Spring in the Netherlands means one thing: flowers! Each spring, the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse come alive with blooming flowers in every colour of the rainbow. Tip-toe through the tulips at the world’s largest flower gardens until 16 May 2016. 
Read more

Tulp Festival

Until the end of April, look out for more than 400,000 colourful and occasionally rare tulips on display in the gardens of museums, private homes and other spaces around Amsterdam. 
Read more

Browse complete agenda

Discover your Amsterdam!

Get to know Amsterdam even better with I amsterdam's brand new neighbourhood guide.

Each area of Amsterdam has its own character and charm, and its own unique variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, museums and attractions. Many residents tend to stick to one or two favourite areas of the city, but why not take some time this month to explore a neighbourhood you may not know as well?

Featuring interactive maps, neighbourhood hotspots and hidden gems and local tips, the guide showcases all of the wonderful treats waiting to be discovered in Amsterdam's neighbourhoods.

Amsterdam neighbourhood guide  

Interactive neighbourhood map

Get in touch!

Do you have any questions regarding life in Amsterdam that the Expatcenter could help with? Send us an email or visit us in person at the World Trade Center (WTC) in the Zuidas district. Visit the Expatcenter website for more details about our services.