Life in NL – pros and cons

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Do you try to look at the bright side of life or do you have an eye for negativity? A lot depends on your outlook on life, but some facts cannot be changed. Below you can find only a few of pros and cons of living in the Netherlands, but in the end you need to decide for yourself if you can live with it or not.

  1. Money

Con: Life is expensive in the Netherlands. Finding affordable housing in the Netherlands is quite a challenge. So especially in the beginning you may feel like you spend most of your money on rent and bills. And if you have a car, you spend even more. And then there is obligatory health insurance, and many other things you would like to buy. So no wonder, Dutch people are notorious for their thrift. There is simply no other way.

Pro: On the other hand there is a reason we come here. It is because the minimum wage is one of the highest in Europe. Your salary often comes with extra perks, such as paid holidays and holiday money paid once a year. On top of that the Dutch government offers many subsidies to help you pay for health insurance, rent, or childcare. So in the end many of us stay here, because after final calculation it is still not terribly bad.

2. Work

Con: Job agencies are very popular in the Netherlands and companies are not vary hasty to offer someone a contract, so there might be little stability and disappointment. Probably you also often felt disappointed or underappreciated as a temporary worker.

Pro: There is a lot of work currently in the Netherlands, so finding a new job, if you speak some English should not be a problem. Since some time already companies start to appreciate foreign workers, their work ethics, and motivation and hire them. Nothing is for free, but it’s possible.

3. Language

Con: Dutch language is difficult to learn and sounds strange in the beginning.

Pro: Everybody speaks English, and if you do learn some Dutch, it’ll open a lot of doors for you.

4. Transporation

Con: If you drive a car you’ll probably complain about traffic jams during the rush hour, or cyclist that cross the road without really looking. If you use public transportation you will complain about the times. Buses rarely go before 6 am and after 11 pm. If you have to go somewhere by train you might get stuck at a train, because your train got cancelled due to all sorts of reasons. If you cycle, you will probably complain about the weather.

Pro: The highways are nice, right? Also the bus drivers are very polite and helpful if you ask them a question. Bicycle paths are phenomenal and it’s definitely safe, because it’s the drivers that have to look out for the cyclists. Also, cycling is free.

5. Weather

Con: It often rains in the Netherlands. And it’s cold.

Pro: There are no extreme temperatures. No droughts, no earthquakes, no floods. And we can enjoy all four seasons of the year.