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What do expats find most challenging?

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We asked expats and digital nomads what they find the most challenging about the local culture in Utrecht. They wrote...

"Visa, Inburgering, Language.... Fitting in - unfortunately you are always a foreigner - no matter how long you live here," said another expat in Utrecht, Netherlands.

"Of course, the language is challenging. It really does make all the difference when you speak the language. However, I would have to say that the biggest challenge is making friends. You really do have to start all over again from scratch. Thanks to the International Women's Club I joined, making expat friends has been easy and I've met some wonderful women. My Dutch classes have also proven to be great sources for friendships. But my only Dutch friends were those of my husband and, even then, they are still very much his friends and not so much mine. To meet more "locals" I joined an all-women Dutch singing group. The girls are lovely, but it has come to my attention that friendships here are valued much differently than in America. It is very American to have tons of "friends" that, in reality, are better described as acquaintances. The average American has several "best friends." Doesn't that sort of defy the meaning of "best friend". Because, there can really only be one best anything. In The Netherlands, once you have build up a strong friend base of 5 or so people, there is no longer a need for anymore friends. At a certain point, the Dutch aren't looking for any new friends. Because of this, they're much more difficult to develop friendships with. After several months in the group, I'm still working at it. But I have observed that once you break in, they are loyal friends for life. Something I think very few Americans really know about," wrote a member who made the move to Utrecht, Netherlands.

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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance in Netherlands

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

Other Questions:

What do expats find most challenging?

If you live in Utrecht, newcomers to Utrecht would love to hear your answer to this question.


William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William Russell Health InsuranceExpat Health Insurance

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
GET A QUOTE

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