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An Expat Talks about Living in Amstelveen, Netherlands

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Amstelveen

How long have you lived there?

9

What activities, clubs and organizations would you recommend to newcomers to help them meet others?

Has a great Sports club - Special Sports. They have a featured sport every night where people can just show up and play along with the group. This is very well organised and features basketball, badminton, indoor soccer, table tennis, squash. In the summer, tennis and beach volleyball (I didn't believe it either - but they have two courts next to the tennis - and it's popular).

Additionally, because of the large expat community (Amstelveen has the largest Japanese community in the Netherlands), there is a very large International school, many Japanese restaurants and a nice amateur Baseball club. Cricket club, too... and even a Rugby club.

Amstelveen borders Amsterdam on its southern border - so there are all the expat conveniences there too. Largest shopping mall in the region.

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In terms of religious, racial, economic and cultural diversity, are the people of this city or town diverse? Are they accepting of differences? Describe.

FYI, I got this information from the city website (http://www.amstelveen.nl). Culturally diverse with many Japanese speaking residents, followed by British, Germans and other western Europeans. Economically a wealthy city with considerably higher than average incomes. Negligible unemployment. Extensive city-provided and subsidised facilities (eg a very large public music school, the best rated library in the Netherlands, the National Gallery of Modern art surround the city square).

The locals (after 9 years I feel like one) are well educated, open and very accepting of foreigners. I'm not religious myself, but religion in Amstelveen is probably as diverse as anywhere else in NL. Large Jewish community is second only to Amsterdam. English Protestant Church. No Mosque that I am aware of.

What are the main industries in this city? What types of career opportunities commonly exist? How do most people find new jobs?

US and Japanese companies abound. Head office of KPMG, Swiss life, Canon Europe and Sony NL are here. Additionally, it's a stone's throw from the National airport, Schiphol, which employs 50,000.

The two main Financial districts of Amsterdam, Buitenveldert and Zuidoost, are each roughly 7km (4miles) from the city center - with the head offices of ABN AMRO and ING banks, SNS Bank, the Amsterdam WTC etc etc etc

In general, what are peoples' priorities in this city? For example, do lives revolve around work, family, socializing, sports, etc.?

Family, sports, shopping. There are some really excellent restaurants, but a disappointing night-life. Amsterdam is only 15 minutes on the metro/ subway/ underground.

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If a friend of yours was thinking of moving to this city or town from far away, what other advice would you give them.

You live in Amsterdam for the night-life. You live in Amstelveen for the family life. Check the website and read this English guide:

http://www.amstelveen.nl/web/show?id=44489&langid=42

http://www.amstelveen.nl/web/show/file?id=44489&langid=42&contentid=523&filename=Athome-totaal-zs.pdf

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