From Germany via London to Amsterdam

Navigate The Netherlands story, New2NL



New2nl wants to connect with our readers. We want to know where they live, what they do, what their family looks like, and most of all, what brings them to the Netherlands. The best way to do this? Ask our fantastic clients directly!
In this ‘Our Navigate the Netherlands story’ series, we’ll interview a family three times during their process of moving to the Netherlands: just before they move, after their first few weeks in the Netherlands, and a couple of months after their arrival.

This is part three about Janina’s, Dominik’s and Tom’s move to the Netherlands. Because of Brexit, their company moved to Amsterdam and they decided to follow. The beginning of their story you can read in part 1 and 2.

Be positive, embrace the new, discover your neighbourhood, the city, its surroundings.

How is everything going for you?

Things are well, thank you.

Navigate The Netherlands story, New2NLLiving in Amsterdam really improved our quality of life. Its so easy to get to anywhere in Amsterdam within reasonably short time by bike (we love the great cycling paths infrastructure!!). We have our work, Tom’s school and our home within 10 mins. distance from each other which helps a lot. Amsterdam has a lot to offer for families, from culture to sports and nature. We really like it here.

Tom has also integrated very well into his school/class as well as our neighbourhood. He speaks Dutch fluently and goes frequently on playdates 😊

For Dominik and me its also nice to have made friends through school and in our neighbourhood….and we actively try to learn some Dutch, much to the joy of our neighbours 😊


Do you already feel at home in your new home? What have you done to create this feeling?

Yes, very much so.

We were always very positive in our attitude and when opportunities opened we tried to connect to people around us…and Tom being a very social boy helped to connect us as well to many families.

We also went on exploring tours in our neighbourhood and throughout Amsterdam and its surroundings. So many beautiful parks, museums, shops, cafes,…also the sea is very close by.

Navigate The Netherlands story, New2NL

Which member of your family is currently most fluent in Dutch?



What has been your most valuable discovery so far? This can be anything you can think of!

Having nice neighbours and living in a friendly neighbourhood, the Mirandabad, the annual museums card, the libraries, the Amsterdamse Bos and Amstelpark, bike tours to Ouderkerk along the Amstel,…..


What is the most fun thing you have experienced so far? And the strangest thing?

Be positive, embrace the new, discover your neighbourhood, the city, its surroundings.

Jumpsquare Amsterdam

“Jumpsquare” was probably one of the most fun things we did so far as a family (its basically a huge building full of trampolines).

Strangest thing…we cannot really think about anything right now….not a strange thing but something different than we were used to in the UK is the no-nonsense and down to earth mentality in Dutch people…you do not make a fuss but just get on with things…and you do not see so much over-protection of children, meaning it’s a more trusting environment.

Oh yes, maybe one strange thing are the numerous racing bikers here. You sometimes wonder whether they own the streets/cycling paths and you just accidently took the wrong road :/

How is Tom doing at school?

Tom really likes his school and we like it too. Its very international and welcoming to families from abroad (e.g. every teacher is happy to talk in English to the parents during “oudergesprekken” and also the newsletter is in Dutch and English).


Does the school meet your expectations?

Yes. We are very happy with the school.


How is your job going?

The job is going well. The relocation did not mean that we had to change our employer, so most stayed the same. Its just busier at the moment.


Have you already been back to your (previous) home country since your move to the Netherlands? If yes, how was it?

No, we have not and are also not planning to do so any time soon. We like to think about our time in London but we do not miss it now.


What is the biggest obstacle/problem you have encountered so far? How did you overcome it?

Probably the double feature of home-schooling and work in parallel during these Corona times.

What helped was:

– Explaining the situation to our employer and getting some flexibility in terms of our core-hours

– Dominik and I sharing all the additional duties equally

– Keeping some sort of structure in the day of when to do what approx.

– Staying connected as much as the Corona rules allowed for Tom to still see some of his friends

– Going outside at least once a day

– Being very forgiving with oneself and the rest of the family

– Sometimes just letting things go even though not all items on the list have been completed…and have a glass of wine instead….


What tips would you give to families who are new to the Netherlands?

Be positive, embrace the new, discover your neighbourhood, the city, its surroundings.

Navigate The Netherlands story, New2NL

Thank you so much, Janina and Dominik, for your valuable contribution! 

Hopefully you’ll stay this positive and keep on enjoying your lives in Amsterdam.

Would you like to connect with Janina and Dominik? You may send a message to annebet@new2nl.com and we’ll make sure to pass it on.

Have you also worked with New2NL and would you like to be featured in the next ‘Navigate the Netherlands’ story? Please answer the above questions and send them together with some high-res pictures of your family and some favorite places of yours in your home country to annebet@new2nl.com.


Other stories in this series:

The Schavemaker family from South Africa – part 1 & 2 & 3

The Hayat family from Pakistan – part 1 & 2 & 3

The Davidson family from the USA – part 1 & 2 & 3