What to do when you are not working (not planning to work)
Should you decide not to look for paid employment, here are some ideas
Although you have been told that it is very easy to get around with English in Holland, it might be nice for you to start with learning Dutch. Speaking Dutch will open the doors more widely. Dutch people are very happy when they see that you are making an effort. Ask Monika to help you finding the right Dutch school.
Dedicate your time to the UEN or other expat organizations for social contact (or if you want to organize fun activities for other people), Check out the list of International Clubs here
Add a degree – If you don’t have a job yet in the Netherlands now may be a time to add a degree to your C.V . Erasmus University Rotterdam provides a lot of courses in English also. www.albeda.com, www.eur.nl
The main public library of Rotterdam is the biggest in the Netherlands. On the 6th floor, you can use the internet for free. It’s the big building with the yellow pipers next to Station Blaak.
Rotterdam events – Rotterdam comes to life especially in summers checking these sites with various festivals like carnival, Port Day celebrations, music nights, film festivals to name a few. You would not like to miss them so keep an eye out: http://en.rotterdam.info/visitors/ or http://www.rotterdamfestivals.nl/public or http://eventful.com/rotterdam/events
Schools are always grateful if you are getting involved.
You can always start a book club, cookin g club, walking group etc within the UEN or outside. You might want to use the network when you are looking for like-minded.
What to do with small children / babys
Especially with small kids you are more likely to spend a lot of time at home. Nevertheless, there are many things you can do that are fun for you AND your baby. And it gives you (another) opportunity to meet other mothers.
One popular activity is “Muziek op schoot” , which roughly translates as “music on your lap” and it basically means that you and your baby/toddler are making music together with other kids. You can find this offered in most cities, see link.
“ Baby sensory” is another fun activity involving you and your baby (suitable for children from around three months up until they can walk). Basically, the idea is to stimulate all senses of your baby with music, textures, colours, etc. Here you can find more information.
Gymnastics for baby’s, toddlers and kids until 12 years old is being offered by the little gym (in Voorburg, near Den Haag, Amsterdam and Haarlem). These classes are being held in Dutch and in English, so they are especially suited for people that cannot speak Dutch (yet). They also offer holiday activities for older kids. Check out their website:
There are “mama-cafes” in many cities in the Netherlands: . Here, you cannot just feed your baby without weird glances from onlookers, but also it is a great opportunity to meet other mothers. Just google “mama cafe netherlands”
If you are living in the Rotterdam area you should definitely join the In Touch Rotterdam Expats, they have their own playgroup on Tuesday morning. Here you can meet other parents and your kids can play. Click here for website.
Family time = barbecue time in the summer in Rotterdam
Barbecuing is allowed in the Kralingse Bos, as long as there is no danger or any inconvenience to the surroundings (Law: art.5.4.1, lid4, onder d, APV) and additionally in compliance with further rules and also complying with other people who are there. The mayor has the right to forbid barbecuing when there’s draught or danger of fire.
· At least 2 metres distances from trees and shrubs
· Waste should be put in the waste baskets
· Hot coals may not be left on the grass but have to be put in special coal containers,
· The barbecue must be put on a stable ground
· The source of heat must not be put on the ground, at least 10 cm above ground
· Directions by police and fire brigade must be followed up
· You need a permit if you have a barbecue for more than 20 people
· Open fire is forbidden
· Mind the children
You may not make an open fire, such as a camp fire or burning waste or branches.
You may make a fire that doesn’t give any danger for the surroundings, such as burning candles or fire to cook such as a barbecue. You can have a barbecue in a park as long as this isn’t forbidden in the park. Look for the signs at the park, or get information from the town council or call 0800-1545. You cannot barbecue near shrubbery or under a tree. You may not cause burns on the ground and after the barbecue you need to clear all your waste.