My name is Annebet van Mameren. I am Dutch and married to an American. My husband came to Amsterdam for just one year, and is still here, almost ten years later! In 2010 and 2012, we were delighted to welcome our sons into the world.
I have always been inspired by different cultures and languages. My mother taught Dutch as a second language (NT2) to adults from all over the world, and as a child, I loved her students’ stories and colorful parties. I was especially fascinated by their children, who were fluent in multiple languages. At the age of 8, I decided that one day I would have bilingual children myself.
I have a Master’s degree in Organizational, Social, and Personality Psychology, and my thesis explored intercultural conflicts at work. After graduating, I moved to Italy, where some of these intercultural difficulties became very real to me. In the beginning, in particular, I struggled to find all the information I needed to make a home from home. But I soon became attached to my new country.
Two and a half years (and many valuable experiences) later, I decided to move back to the Netherlands.
I chose to live in Amsterdam because of its international atmosphere. I worked first for an international market research agency, and subsequently for a multinational corporation.
I have an international circle of friends, and switch with ease between English and Dutch. I am also fluent in Italian; speak reasonable German and some French. Some years ago I tried to learn Japanese; although I have now forgotten most of the language, it certainly gave me an understanding of the intriguing culture and traditions of Japan, and allowed me to make some very dear Japanese friends.
When our children were born, I started seeking connections with other international families. I wanted my children to learn at an early age about the multicultural world that we live in, and to give them as much exposure to English as possible. I volunteered to organize the Amsterdam Moms Meetup Group, part of Meetup.com, the world’s largest network of local groups. Through this group I have met many lovely international families. During those events many members asked me referrals for schools, real estate agents, midwives, and insurance companies, as well as help with Dutch forms or phone calls. The most commonly asked questions were, however, about the (confusing) Dutch education system.
Becoming ever more involved with helping Amsterdam’s international community to make their home from home, I finally decided to make it official. And so, New2nl was born. Since then, it has grown into an extensive network which brings together experts in schooling, housing and taxes, to provide invaluable services for international families in the Netherlands.