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Moving To Rotterdam

Rotterdam is a booming city that is undergoing continual development, with a growing expat population and multicultural vibe. It is one of the most dynamic cities in the Netherlands.

Rotterdam cube houses

One of Holland's most modern cities, Rotterdam began as a fishing village in the 13th century. It was developing into an industrial and trading power when German bombers destroyed the city centre and harbour in 1940. However, Rotterdam was rebuilt and now its unique architecture attracts visitors from all over the world. There are some excellent museums around the city that go deep into this interesting city's history.

Where To Live

The small country of the Nethelands shares borders with Germany and Belgium and is densely populated with 17 million inhabitants; the majority of its inhabitants living in the west of the country, in the so-called Randstad (Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam area).

Most of our NAISR families live in Rotterdam (in either the city centre or in the Northern suburbs such as Hillegersberg, Schiebroek, Kralingen, Rotterdam Noord, Prinsenland, Ommoord, 's-Gravenland etc.) and in villages close by such as Bergschenhoek and Berkel en Rodenrijs. Other families commute in from surrounding cities such as Schiedam, Vlaardingen, Maassluis, Dordrecht, Delft, Voorburg, The Hague, Breda, Wassenaar and Zoetermeer

Finding A Home

For both renting (te huur) or purchasing a house (te koop), you can retain a real estate agent (makelaar). That person can assist you in finding a home and with the appropriate paperwork for a fee. You can also use popular housing websites, such as Funda, for a good overview of all available properties, though there are many others.

You can find more helpful information on finding a house on the Rotterdam Expat Centre's website.

Expat Centres

Cities with many international residents often have an Expat Centre or Expat Desk, supported by the local government, where you can get a variety of information and access to services you might need during your stay in the country. The Rotterdam Expat Centre is a one-stop-shop for expats and international businesses. The team will gladly help you with all your questions, requests and ideas. Please contact them for more information about their services.

You can find a full list of all expat centers in the Netherlands, as well as the cities they serve, on the ACCESS website.

Registration At Municipality

Those who move to the Netherlands must register with their local gemeente (municipality). Once you have arrived in the country, our school can help you to set up an appointment at your local town hall in order to register. During this process, you will obtain a BSN (the Dutch equivalent of a social security number). You will need this number for many purposes, from obtaining medical insurance to a bank account.  

Health Insurance

Health insurance in the Netherlands is compulsory. You must buy your insurance from a private health insurance company. In order to purchase health insurance, you will need a BSN which you can get at your local gemeente or via your Expat Desk. The Dutch government regulates what insurance companies can charge for a basic insurance package and what must be covered, but you should compare what each company offers in each package and what they charge before you purchase one.