Expat Community: Join Renzo on his Relocation Journey
We sat down with Renzo to talk about his relocation journey from South Africa to the Netherlands. Read more of his expat experience and tips and tricks he would like to share with those who are looking to relocate ✈️
- 11 January 2024
- Posted by: Expat Management Group
- Category: Insights, Managed
Hi Renzo! Where did you move from?
I relocated from South Africa to the Netherlands towards the end of January 2023.
What are your experience(s) as an expat? What have you learned?
Over the years, I have relocated myself between the UK and South Africa. And now I’ve landed in the Netherlands. Luckily, my experience within Global Mobility and Relocation has given me the insights and considerations needed to plan and structure each of the moves. Planning and researching are critical before you move. This helps you to be prepared for any unexpected obstacles. Such situations can happen easily, but remaining flexible and solution-driven is the key to your success.
How was your transition to the Netherlands? Any culture shocks? Challenges? Impressions?
My relocation and transition to the Netherlands has been as smooth as it could be. South Africa has a history with the Netherlands so there are similarities to some degree but there are differences as well. I purposely didn’t read anything about the Dutch cultures and habits before I arrived so that I could embrace it fully without any assumptions. It has been an intriguing experience to slowly understand Dutch norms, values, and culture to integrate naturally. I have found the Dutch citizens very accommodating and welcoming. The biggest challenge has been the housing market as well as understanding the Dutch employment landscape.
Did the move live up to your expectations or did any unexpected situations arise? How did you handle those?
Yes, my relocation to the Netherlands has lived up to my expectations.
I was fortunate to be guided and assisted by the Relocation Team at Expat Management Group before my move. This allowed me to better understand the housing market, arrange appointments, and provide me with any other important information. This knowledge and guidance helped me manage my expectations and make certain considerations before arrival and navigating practical tasks once here. My focus could then shift to settling in smoothly and adapting to a new country and culture. Having the guidance and support helped me a lot.
Would you do anything differently during your relocation?
Had I not received assistance from the Relocation Team before my move, I probably wouldn’t be aware of some things. I would have done as much initial research as possible beforehand, but there may have been specific details only a local would know. The knowledge, guidance, and expertise of the team were invaluable for those first few days and weeks upon arrival in the Netherlands.
What do you miss the most about your home country? Do you ever think about moving back?
The Netherlands has now become my new home and I have no intention of returning to South Africa. I do miss family and friends, the climate, nature, the sights and sounds of South Africa but it is only a flight away when needed. I’m excited to embrace my new life here and meet new colorful characters along the way.
Do you have any last tips for people looking to relocate?
My recommendation would be to plan and research well in advance. Ensure that you have considered as much as possible before you arrive in the Netherlands.
Key considerations would be:
- Research document requirements for Immigration and registration purposes
- Familiarize yourself with the Dutch housing market
- Check the details of the Dutch employment system, your rights and contract conditions
- Understand the 30% Ruling and how it’s applied
- Get to know the Dutch culture, habits, and norms