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Language and Cultural Training for Expat Employees

By | Corporate support, Culture, Expats

Adapting to a new environment can be difficult. You might be moving to the Netherlands with family, alone or maybe you are even moving to another country or overseas for work, it can be a very daunting prospect. However, being prepared will give you the highest chance of intercultural competence which will, in turn, result in a successful relocation.

A study was conducted on the effects of language barriers and cultural shock on the performance of expats in organizations and 67% of the respondents reported that miscommunication and confusion due to cultural differences and language b barriers created inefficiencies in the organization. 40% further stated that all this affected collaboration. Fortunately, there are plenty of options to help you or your company eliminate some of these barriers when it comes to relocating.

The importance of language and culture training for expats

Language and culture training will help minimize some of the challenges described above. It’s also more than just a solution for expatriates, it also poses many benefits for organizations, such as diversifying their skill set.

Cultural training is very important in terms of cultural integration. Even a little grasp of the local Dutch language can play a significant role in helping you get oriented and understand the new culture and your surroundings. We highly recommend people relocating to the Netherlands or any other country to have language and cultural training. Below are 3 steps to help you get started:

1. Assess your cultural and language needs

You need to have an idea of how fluent you are in the new local language, and how fluent you want to be. Cross-cultural training mostly includes a comprehensive language and cross-cultural assessment which will inform the level and content of your training course, a program that will specifically be designed for your needs, and a personalized progress report that reveals how far you’ve come.

In most cases, companies that offer cross-cultural and language learning services will also have other services that are related to international relocation such as translation. It’s not everyone that will have a basic understanding of the new local language and for such reasons, it’s best to seek help from professionals when it comes to translating your legal documents.

2. Learning strategy

Once you have an idea of your language and cultural training needs, you can then go ahead and pair them up with a solution that’ll work best for you. There are two options available:

  • Cultural training and language learning as an employee benefit: This would be good for organizations that recognize the essence of cultural training for their employees, but don’t necessarily require them to do so.
  • Formal language training: This model works best for companies with specific goals that require knowledge of the new local language. For instance, companies that are strategically expanding into new markets abroad.

 3. Finding the right solution

Essentially, there are two options when it comes to cultural and language training. Each has its advantages and disadvantages and the ‘right’ option will largely depend on your desired strategy and needs. The two options are online learning and face-to-face learning.

Face-to-face learning is mostly known as the most effective way to learn due to some of the advantages it comes with such as body language, smiles, and posture that help with communication. These can influence how one’s intentions and speech are perceived. The other benefit it comes with is that there are no delays or lags or any technical interruptions when learning. On the other side of the coin, the programs tend to be a bit pricier than online training programs. There is also a lack of flexibility in terms of location and time.

Online learning relatively makes it much easier for fresh expats to learn the basics of a language, culture, or even conversational phrases. The great thing is that they can also be easily accessible from anywhere, at any time. This would be very ideal for people with busy schedules or people who like things to move at their own pace. There’s so much flexibility when it comes to location and scheduling the training sessions. However, as previously mentioned, sometimes they do come with technological issues such as lag, internet connectivity issues, etc.


For expats, the factors of cultural shock and language barriers should be considered as a factor in their relocation. As much as cultural training is important, language plays a significant role when it comes to cultural integration. When abroad, one may feel lost and baffled by many new things to learn. As such, at Jimble, we always do our best to try and ensure that you have the smoothest move and settle in well when you relocate.

picture-of-a-person-using-apps-on-phone

Our Top Picks for Helpful Apps to Use in the Netherlands

By | Expats, Lifestyle

Smart devices are practically useless if we don’t make the most of them. Luckily, here in the Netherlands, whether you’re dealing with an official process with the municipality, or just shopping around for pillows, an app probably exists to guide you on your journey.

DigiD

Starting with the most useful, having the DigiD app (short for Digital ID) can simplify a lot of governmental processes in the Netherlands. From taxes, educational forms, healthcare institutions, and even when managing pension funds, this simple app allows you to digitally identify yourself and proceed in your government-related process with peace of mind.

For Apple devices download here

For Android devices download here

112NL

In cases of emergencies, we call the authorities. But there’s an app for that in the Netherlands, and it allows non-Dutch speakers or English speakers, and individuals with hearing or visual impairments to contact the Duch emergency services: police, fire brigade, and ambulance in one platform. Users can also grant the app access to their location so the emergency services can reach them faster.

For Apple devices download here 

For Android devices download here

Google Translate

What if you’re faced with a train announcement in Dutch and are unsure what it means? Or maybe you’re already picking up some Dutch, but there’s a vegetable you’re trying to find at the store, and you’re not quite sure what the word for it is. That’s where Google Translate comes to the rescue, with its camera translation and the annotation options, in addition to the classic type to translate.

Tip: Make sure to download the Dutch language pack for expansive use, even when offline.

For Android devices download here

For Apple devices download here

Banking Apps

Having the option to manage your banking on the go is a must, and although the Netherlands isn’t exactly credit card friendly, the use of debit cards remains the most convenient throughout most of the country.
Our preferred bank is ABN Amro (
Apple | Android), but regardless of what bank you choose to complete transactions through in the Netherlands, make sure you have their app on your main screen.

Tip: The Netherlands isn’t entirely cashless so always carry some backup cash for when you hit local markets or small shops. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Buienalarm

One thing to learn and accept about the Netherlands is that the weather is can be very unpredictable, all year round, think Snow in March unpredictable. With moody weather, comes disturbances and delays, so the best way to be prepared is by being informed. This is where we would recommend having a trusty weather app for the ever-changing weather. While it doesn’t guarantee 100% accuracy at all times, it is far better to be prepared in a waterproof jacket than sorry.

For Apple devices download here

For Android devices download here 

Similar Apps to consider: Buienradar (Apple | Android | Website)

9292

Sure the Netherlands is known to be a flat and smallish country, but the ways to travel these flatlands are ever so versatile. From trains, buses, trams, and even ferries, with this app, you can plan your day’s journey ahead, from A to Z, using one method of public transport after the other.

For Apple devices download here 

For Android devices download here 

Similar Apps to consider: NS (Apple | Android) GVB (Apple | Android)

Marktplaats

Are you seeking an emerald-green lampshade from the late 50s? Or perhaps just looking for a way to get rid of your old mattress to make way for a new one. Whatever it is, in the used merchandise realm of the Netherlands, you’re sure to find it through Marktplaats.

For Apple devices download here 

For Android devices download here 

Official website

Reclamefolder

General stores and supermarkets in the Netherlands roll out new deals on weekly basis. Instead of having to physically visit the store for their available deals, this app offers a one-stop-shop to find out the latest (and greatest) deals at your local stores so you can snatch them bright and early each week.

For Apple devices download here

For Android devices download here

Official website

Vinted

Operating in 15 EU countries including the Netherlands, Vinted offers second-hand clothing shoppers and thrifters a chance to browse and offer items online through one designated and well-loved platform. The finds can range from casual items to brand names, so each shopper can search for what’s suitable.

For Android devices download here

For Apple devices download here

Official website

Too Good To Go

Surprise food experiences? Check. A way to combat food waste? Check. It’s wholesome if you ask us, with offerings for meals, desserts, smoothies, and more, Too Good To Go is the app that offers you the chance to simultaneously accomplish both targets.

For Apple devices download here 

For Android devices download here

SweatCoin

Do you walk a lot? Or maybe you aspire to, you just lack the motivation. We’re in Amsterdam, so we do our fair share of walking for sure. In a nutshell, this app pays you to walk in its own currency, and then you get to spend your earnings on goodies or even donate them to a cause of your choice. So go ahead, no more excuses, close those circles.

For Apple devices download here 

For Android devices download here

Stocard

Major Dutch stores throughout the Netherlands tend to offer a range of different loyalty programs. Stores from Albert Heijn, Jumbo, Kruidvat, Hema, Etos, IKEA, and more offer either a physical or digital format of their loyalty cards, but seriously, who has the wallet space (or phone storage) to carry all of those cards and apps. That’s where Stocard can help, as one app to store all of your loyalty cards for the next time you’re at the checkout.

For Apple devices download here

For Android devices download here

While providing some of the most useful applications in the Netherlands, Jimble hopes these recommendations help smoothen the settling-in process. We hope the practical information from each, respectively, can assist in navigating your new environment and help save some time and money. Jimble invites you to explore the rest as we are sure they will impress.

Dutch cities for work

Our Top 5 Best Cities to Work in the Netherlands

By | Expats

The Netherlands is becoming more and more one of the top destinations for expats, and this comes as no surprise when you think that the Netherlands is ranked #5 of the happiest countries in the world in 2021, based on Forbes.

Quality of life, work-life balance as well as the presence of many international companies that choose the Netherlands as their European headquarters, are some of the reasons why this country has become such a popular destination for expats. 

Here you can find the top 5 Dutch cities to work in as an expat, as well as which industries are the most prominent in each city.

1. Amsterdam

The Dutch capital is known for its diverse and multicultural ambiance, and it attracts a lot of international talent as it hosts a significant number of international companies.

Amsterdam for workNetflix, Tesla Motors and Adidas are only a few of the major multinational companies that are headquartered in Amsterdam. If you are planning to relocate to Amsterdam but you don’t speak fluent Dutch, it should not be a problem to find a job there, as many of these multinationals usually seek to hire highly-skilled, multilingual workforce from different foreign countries in order to cover several markets. Another advantage that Amsterdam has to offer is its proximity to Schiphol airport, one of the largest airports worldwide, which makes Amsterdam highly accessible no matter where you are coming from.

2. Rotterdam

Rotterdam for work

Known for its unique modern architecture and urbanism, Rotterdam is the second biggest city in the Netherlands and it is home to Europe’s largest seaport, which makes this city highly accessible as well. Like in Amsterdam, knowledge of Dutch is not always a requirement for working in Rotterdam, due to its diverse and cosmopolitan nature. The most prominent industries are shipping, trade, logistics, and [green] energy.

3. The Hague

the Hague for workThe Hague is the third largest city in the Netherlands and it is known as the administrative and royal capital of the country. The Dutch parliament, the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, the International Criminal Court, and many other international organizations as well as embassies are seated in the Hague, making the city the political heart of the Netherlands. That being said, there are many employment opportunities especially within diplomacy and international affairs.

4. Eindhoven

Eindhoven for workEindhoven is placed among the top destinations on global investors’ target lists due to its large presence of growth industries such as education, tech and life sciences. From the small village that it was in the past, Eindhoven has now been transformed into a huge industrial site, where many factories, tech companies and start-ups are located. If you are interested in an IT or engineering career, your chances of finding employment in Eindhoven are many!

5. Utrecht

Utrecht for workOnly 20 minutes away from Amsterdam, Utrecht is an impressive, picturesque city, with unique beauty and a very pleasant atmosphere. The Utrecht Sustainability Institute is responsible for sustainable development, renewable energy and circular economy systems, which makes the city a desirable destination for anyone seeking a career in sustainable development.

The Netherlands is a hub for innovation, it has an advantageous location, and many international firms choose it as their European headquarters. While Amsterdam, Rotterdam, the Hague, Eindhoven and Utrecht are some of the top cities to work in, there are other Dutch cities that are equally attractive and offer many career opportunities, such as Arnhem and Wageningen. 

At Jimble, we are specialized in Talent Mobility and we have supported thousands of expats to relocate to the Netherlands. Head over to our contact page and schedule an appointment with one of our skilled experts to discuss all your questions extensively.

Further reading:

Global Mobility Services

What is Global Mobility? Our Mission

By | Expats

While more and more small and large companies are expanding beyond their national borders and opening offices in different locations abroad, these same companies need to move their employees to new offices. This function of the businesses to move their workforce abroad is known as “Global Mobility” or “Talent Mobility” and, in real terms, it refers to the physical transportation of employees worldwide; while shaping an increasingly diverse and multi-talented workforce. To us, Jimble, “Talent Mobility” is more than just moving people and possessions; it’s about relocating lives and lifestyles.

What is global mobility and what does it entail?

The relocation of human resources requires a lot of attention and preparation, as there is a ton of paperwork as well as many different partners involved, which makes the overall process even more complex. Relocating companies along with their employees all have their own specific requirements which is why Jimble’s approach is designed entirely around your needs. Global relocations involve a number of aspects, especially for expats moving abroad. At Jimble we have constructed an international team of professionals, offering expertise from all perspectives and areas of business. We take the administrative burden from you by coordinating all the necessary processes from A to Z. You focus on your business, while we focus on your staff!

Our mission for talent mobility

Delivering proficient destination, talent mobility and relocation services is our specialty. Our primary goal is to support companies and individuals relocating anywhere within the Netherlands! We at Jimble make the dream of expanding your horizons and actually moving cross-country or cross-globe a reality in a stress-free, neatly organized, fun and friendly way. With years of experience we have been trusted with the relocation of many working individuals from the United States, to Canada, South-Korea, Australia-to name a few, back to our West European country on the North Sea. We take pride in supporting companies – from tech start-ups to entertainment giants – when they have their expat employees put down new roots in The Netherlands. Our people-first approach will make sure your needs are prioritised, offering an exceptional experience for every single relocating employee and their family! Rest assured that your employees are in good hands!

Our global mobility services explained

Here is an overview of the global mobility services you can expect from us:

  1. Moving services:  We offer you a customized moving plan to easily and securely transport your household goods from point A to point B. Our  ability to tailor the moving plan allows us to save you time and money. Who doesn’t want to save on these two commodities while minimizing one’s efforts?
  2. Settling-in services: Jimble’s common provided settling-in services, following a consultation introduction/analysis, are: itinerary development, immigration services, municipality  registration, financial advising, bank account setup, 30% tax ruling, temporary and  long-term housing, competitive contract negotiations, furniture rentals, utilities  connection, local doctor/dentist, academic research, insurance advising, driving  license conversions, and departure services just to name a few.
  3. Home finding: For both individual expat housing and company housing for a single person or a family we aim to give you the utmost choice and flexibility as to where, when and how to relocate. Our home finding service incorporates a flexible approach while being cost conscious, mindful of your budget.
  4. Integration services: Jimble offers extensive integration services to educate expat assignees and their  families surrounding multi-cultural obstacles and how to overcome them, they  include: youth cultural training programs, destination briefings, language training,  family services, child benefit, spouse advising, pet support, cross-cultural training,  business training, and self-awareness testing. Our training services are inclusive to  individuals, families and corporate groups tailor made to your specific needs.
  5. Specialized services: In reality, relocation is more than home finding and filling in forms. We understand the importance of remaining empathetic to the fact the transferee and  their family find themselves in a foreign location with different cultures, and laws. This is where Jimble’s aftercare services come in. Our  integration team will be committed to appreciate the emotional and cultural issues  involved, handle them personally, and help others deal with them constructively  throughout the lifecycle of their stay.

Get in touch and create your global mobility plan 

Still have questions about our services or our approach? Get in touch by scheduling a free consultation with one of our experts to discuss your situation.

moving during pandemic

How Do You Move Internationally During a Pandemic

By | Expats

The short answer: with great difficulty

But there are ways to make a move like this easier.

Moving internationally is never an easy thing

There are a million and one things that need to be taken care of at the best of times. Moving during a pandemic becomes even more complicated due to new rules and regulations which are often very different from one country to another.

What to do now?

With the current pandemic going on you don’t just need the correct immigration papers to move, but you also need proof that you’ve very recently been tested and that you aren’t sick. You still need to quarantine and you need to travel responsibly with a mask on. You also need to know where to find the local measures to help overcome the pandemic so that you know what is happening at your destination. The whole thing is just A LOT!

We have the solution!

This is where the help from a destination service provider comes in very handy. They navigate the local rules and have quick and accurate information at hand, which is ever changing in a pandemic. Since the rules differ per country, having a local to give you the answers you need, significantly reduces stress during these already stressful times.

Up to date information

Your relocation consultant can explain the up to date situation at your destination. Whether it comes to where to get furniture and appliances whilst stores are closed during a pandemic lockdown, to whether or not schools are open for children to attend or if you simply need to know how the items that are moving with you can be shipped during a pandemic; your relocation consultant is up to date and can assist at any time.

How can we help you move during the pandemic?

Are you considering a job in The Netherlands right now? Are you planning on relocating (part of) your staff to The Netherlands during this pandemic? Or would you like to inquire on successfully partnering with Dutch businesses? The Jimble team is happy to provide you with the necessary guidance and assistance during these strange times. For more information on how we can help, check out our e-book.

living in the netherlands after brexit

Life in The Netherlands after Brexit

By | Expats

On 31 January 2020, Brexit was officially set in motion and with that the transition period until 31 December 2020 commenced. In the so-called Withdrawal Agreement (WA), all of the agreements made have been specified. Are you a UK national and currently living in The Netherlands, or planning on relocating to The Netherlands? Let us inform you about where you can find all necessary information on which steps to take.

Find general information about living in The Netherlands as a U.K. national after Brexit here.

Brexit timeline 2020 in short

January, 2020 

Brexit bill is a deal as per January 31st with a transition period until December 31st

January 31st, 2020 

The U.K. leaves the E.U. and the Withdrawal Agreement becomes active

December 31st, 2020 

The official transition period ends. This automatically makes every U.K. national a non-EU member.

January 1st, 2021 

The new relationship starts to form between the E.U. and the U.K.

Apply now for your (temporary or permanent) residence permit! 

  • If you are about to relocate to The Netherlands as a U.K. national, you will now need to apply for a visa. Through this form, you can apply for a temporary residence permit as a first step of your future move. We recommend you reach out to an immigration specialist to inform you about the exact steps you need to take in your specific situation.
  • A different procedure applies if you have been a Dutch resident long before the Brexit completion date. The IND (the national naturalisation and immigration department) has invited all U.K. nationals to exchange their residence document for a new version in line with the newly instated Brexit regulations. You find all information available on a permanent residence permits.
  • The following link provides information on when your family is planning on relocating together with you.

How can we help?

Are you considering a career in The Netherlands? Are you planning on relocating (part of) your staff to The Netherlands? Or would you like to inquire on successfully partnering with Dutch businesses? The Jimble team is happy to provide you with the necessary guidance and assistance. Make sure to check out our e-book or our socials for more information on how we can assist you.

Looking for a home? Need help with your employees? Just let us know how we can help out.

Contact us Frequently asked questions +31(0)20 846 6002