The Foreign Exchange
Expat Exchange
Expat Exchange
A World of Friend Abroad
February 6, 2023


Expats and digital nomads love living in Amsterdam. "I appreciate the relaxed atmosphere and level of safety compared to where I came from. I appreciate the Dutch appreciation for time off with family and friends. They know when to stop working and enjoy life, people, each other. They also don't consider themselves competitive as we are raised in the US. This has minuses but definite pluses in how they view life and what they feel is important," explained one expat living in Amsterdam. Here are some highlights from our article, 5 Tips for Living in Amsterdam:

Is it Easy to Make Friends in Amsterdam?

Making friends in Amsterdam takes time. "Don't wait until the honeymoon phase is over to work on making friends and integrating. Learn the language immediately. Show up at 'meet up' groups and social gatherings immediately. Even if you don't 'want' new friends now, you'll need them, and the worst is when you need them and don't have any, and have to start from scratch during a time when you could have had people to call on," advised an expat in Amsterdam. Another expat suggested, "the Dutch circles can be difficult to penetrate. Feeling friendless and an outsider after a warm start was confusing to me and I did feel sad, depressed and confused. I'm an intelligent person and it baffled me why I couldn't figure it out or a way in. Having expats around me - who I at first refused to accept their criticism of the Dutch or Holland - became a big help to me to share experiences and feelings. I wasn't so alone after all."

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What are the Best International Schools in Amsterdam?

An expat described The British International School of Amsterdam saying, "the School is a 'well oiled' machine for the small years, till year 7. If you like the structured aspect of the British learning program, you will feel very comfortable. The Upper School is a more recent development of the School, which needs further detailed inquiry depending on what you are looking for." The expats' reviews of Amsterdam International Community School are mixed at best. Outside of the city of Amsterdam, there are several other options. The International School of Amsterdam is located in Amstelveen, The International School of Utrecht, The International School of Hilversum, The International Primary School of Hilversum, The American School of the Hague in Wassener, Rotterdam International Secondary School are among the list of schools outside of the city.

What are the Best Neighborhoods in Amsterdam to Live in?

In his article, Where to Live in Amsterdam, Lucas Heckenbucker says, "Amsterdam is undoubtedly an exciting city to live in. This small, atmospheric city has plenty to offer everyone: culture, museums, great food, nightlife, parks and family activities. Amsterdam is officially divided into 15 districts, which are each further subdivided into neighbourhoods. The city's history, tolerance and social housing policies have helped to ensure diversity throughout the city. The majority of expats looking for a 'typically Dutch' urban environment tend to end up in the canal rings encircling the old city centre, the Jordaan, the Old South or the Pijp." His article goes on to describe each of the neighborhoods popular with expats. Real estate broker, Barry Burgemeester, offered an overview of the neighborhoods that he feels are the most popular among expats in his article, Popular Neighborhoods in Amsterdam. Barry said, "Oud Zuid is traditionally known as the posh neighborhood of Amsterdam and is one of the most popular areas for expatriates. Many houses are built in the style of the Dutch School and originate from the early 20th Century. Most dwellings are privately owned, well kept and for Dutch standards spacious. In Oud Zuid there is also the Vondelpark. This area is extremely desirable. It offers the best of urban living with a leafier suburban feel. Lots of restaurants, luxury shops and cafes are located in this area. Transport is excellent with the centre just 20 minutes by tram. The area around the Rudolf Hartplein is called Duivelseiland where you can find up market shops, restaurants and pleasant apartments blocks."