To start with, I’m half Welsh, half French, but I was raised in the South of France. I was 24 years old when I moved to Amsterdam. I came here with my girlfriend, whom I've met during my studies.
I'm originally from Antibes, this beautiful place in the photo. I lived there for 16 years and then moved to a different place to continue my studies. After that I went to Grenoble for my studies (and also to ski). I managed to get my double master's degree in Grenoble: A master's in Business Administration and another one in Information System Management. Indeed, I wanted to develop the dual competency of business and a something more technical.
During my studies, I had to do some internships, so I ended up working for Credit Agricole for six months. Then during my last year, I’ve followed an apprenticeship, which meant I was two weeks at the company and one week at school. When it came to finding a job after finishing my studies, I wanted to go abroad, and use my experience in banking to find a job at a fintech. And that is why I ended up at Backbase, working as a Business Analyst.
Concerns before moving
First one: the weather. Remember, I come from a sunny place.
Second one: the language. Dutch seems pretty harsh and difficult to learn. Which is really true.
Third one: welfare. Indeed, even if France is a leader in terms of strikes, we can on the other hand count on a nice welfare system. And I knew that the Dutch health system is not as the French one, especially in the way they deal with you when you’re sick.
Last but not least, leaving all my friends. The “usual” path for all youth in France is to go to Paris to gain some work experience and then move abroad. All of them are still in Paris currently. It could be hard and frightening to leave your friends and family behind you, for a job.
As expected, when moving to a new country, all the paperwork and administrative tasks that you need to do are tiring. Especially finding a place to stay. It is a war here to find something affordable.
Indeed, social life is still something missing after a year: if getting out with colleagues happens quite a lot, getting to know real Dutch and create a real connection is hard. However, the company vibe is so amazing that you feel home every day here.
Cost of living
Except for the rent in Amsterdam and the surroundings which are insanely high (really similar to Paris however), the cost of living is not so high here, especially with the 30% ruling that helps a lot.
With a rent of 750 EUR/person, all included (for a 50 square meters, for two persons), you can count up to 200-250 EUR for all the needed shopping for the rest of the month if you’re not going out for beers, restaurants, etc. But the good thing is that they have a wide choice of beers for quite a low price also!
They are really into the “veggie/vegan/hipster” way of living. However, if everywhere else this is synonymous with crazy prices, here it is reasonable.
Best thing about moving to Amsterdam
This city is just incredible: people are open-minded, it is a green city, with so many things to do. In summer, it is an incredible experience to be in Amsterdam. With the beach, the festivals, and all the life around the city, it's amazing.
Dutch: even if I made fun of the language, Dutch people are funny people (except when they are on the bike, haha). Always willing to talk, to help, to share a drink.
Bitterballen: saved me so many times when I was starving on Friday nights.
English: In the Netherlands, but especially in Amsterdam, everybody speaks English. It is so easy then to find your way, order something, etc.
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