Welcome to Thuis in Nederland! This is the blog about integration into the Dutch society. I am an expat living in the Netherlands for 12 years, but a couple of years ago I realised that I don’t feel completely at home here.
What is the reason for that? Is it my Dutch which is not perfect and probably will never be perfect? Is it my lukewarm attitude towards the Dutch food and towards biking in the rain?
I started doing a research about it. Because I am a social scientist, a natural way of answering any question for me is doing research. First, I read all the books on integration of migrants I can find, scientific or popular, in any language I understand. I did not find the answer to my question: ‘What should I do to be happy as a migrant?’ So, the next step is an empirical research.
I decided to talk to people who are in the same boat. They are fully or partially integrated migrants who came to the Netherlands to study, to work or to start a family and who decided to stay. I am asking them about their experiences and I am trying to find the main ingredients that make integration successful. I hope it will help others to avoid common mistakes, to achieve their goals and to live happily ever after.
I am interested in talking to expats and migrants who are willing to share their experiences, difficulties and achievements of living in Holland. Have you lived in the Netherlands for at least two or three years and are planning on getting a permanent residence or citizenship? Or have you lived here for a long time and are willing to discuss your integration journey? I would be happy to talk to you. Full anonymity is guaranteed.
I am planning on regularly updating my project and summarising the preliminary findings in this blog. Critical comments and suggestions are welcome!