Yes!! We moved to Amsterdam!!!
We have been wanting to go abroad for some time now. This year was perfect for us since it is the last year before Luka is finding a more permanent job and a gap year before the final year of uni for me. We weren't so sure about where we want to move as we were about the fact that we want to move.
This post will be a bit different than were previous ones – more like a life update but since I will be posting a lot related to Amsterdam and the Netherlands, I thought I might just as well update you on my current situation and encourage you to plan something similar for yourself. This post will have a form of Q&A so it will be easier to navigate through it.
As previously said, we weren't sure about the city we want to move to. We knew it will be Europe (for practical reasons) and we thought we want to find something in Northern Europe. However, nothing was set in stone, and if I got a job in Spain, I think we might as well landed there.
I was applying to internships over LinkedIn and especially in Denmark, France, and the Netherlands. France was my personal favorite as I wanted to improve my French and am anyway absolutely in love with the country. At the end, I ended up getting an offer for an internship in Human Resources department of TomTom (yes, that navigation company) and we were head over heals excited to accept the offer and move to the Netherlands!
Once I had the internship secured (to start in 4 weeks), it was time for Luka to find a job as well.
How did you find a job?
I plan to make a separate post about this but essentially, LinkedIn was our savior. I know that some people really struggle to find anything over LinkedIn but I guess it also depends on the job that you are looking for.
We were really lucky in a sense that Luka got a job really fast and actually started working a day after I did. Of course, there is an element that our criteria wasn't too high – we just accepted the jobs we were offered (but I guess we selected them in the first place once we applied for them).
What followed offer acceptance? How did you move to a new city?
Once I had accepted the offer, I first told my family and friends that I will be leaving – where to and when. I find it easier to plan once the people surrounding me are onboard and can help me with it.
Then, I was informed by my future colleague and manager that we can stay in a temporary living arrangement covered by the company for up to 30 days after we arrive to Amsterdam. That was a real life saver as it gave us some time to settle in and find a permanent place.
The main thing left to do was booking the flight tickets. We were thinking about either driving or flying there but decided to fly since that's really easy and at the end, we didn't really have furniture or bigger pieces that we felt we needed to get to Amsterdam. Almost everything could be purchased once we got there.
We booked one way tickets just because we weren't sure about how long we are going to stay and if we will be able to go home for Christmas. Buying one-way plane tickets was a bit scary but it helps that Amsterdam is not too far from our home, essentially just a 2 hour flight away.
Obviously, this flight is not the one to go cheap and take no clothes so we bought some extra large suitcases so that we could fit the most important things to take with.
How is expat life in Amsterdam?
We are more than a month in and so far, Amsterdam treated us really well. Virtually everybody speaks English and the Dutch seem to be very welcoming of foreigners. While the housing market and getting registered can be a bit tough, Amsterdam comes with so many fun things to do.
At any moment, there are numerous events going on, museums, shows, and bars waiting to be visited and streets waiting to be strolled. What I really like about Amsterdam as well is the whole bicycle thing – the city is compact enough and perfectly connected so that you can get to any part of it simply by cycling.
Since we've arrived, none of us has really been homesick, but I guess this is because we are here together and also, when there is so much going on, you kind of don't have time to mourn your life back home. However, only a month has passed, so I will definitely get back to you about this later.
I was even thinking about writing some hacks on how to start a life abroad, how to find a job in another country and what are some tricks and hacks when it comes to living in Amsterdam and getting the most out of it. Let me know if you would be interested!