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What's Amsterdam life REALLY like?

(9 Posts)
MrsGG1 Fri 19-May-17 19:05:05

We're considering a move to Amsterdam and desperately need some insights in to what family life is really like there. The company DH has a job offer from have made loads of noise about the fabulous work/life balance, which is a huge appeal compared to our hectic London lives. How true is this? I've also heard the cost of living is high, and while the part public/part state school appeals for our 6yo and, later on, 3yo (we can't afford full private), I can only find one with v mixed reviews. In short -! Anyone got any recent experiences to share? Thank you.

MickeyRooney Fri 19-May-17 19:07:32

Where in Amsterdam?

MrsGG1 Fri 19-May-17 19:58:45

Haven't really got that far @mickeyrooney! Would be inclined to be central, have looked at AICS, but at this stage still trying to assess whether it's a good option generally. Do you live there?

Laptopwieldingharpy Sat 20-May-17 04:15:11

It's great, we loved it. Good to be in a school/area with expats though as it is VERY hard to break the ice with the Dutch. It is not a myth, it is the only downside but you get used to it and when it stops bothering you, you move on to make great Friendships.
Sorry no recent experience of schools.
Did you have a look on
It's a very good resource

Iflyaway Sat 20-May-17 04:47:20

I thought AICS was a secondary school. Maybe it's changed. (I remember when they started it).

Have a look also at Iamsterdam dot com as it also has info for expats moving there. Expatica is very good.

Oh, and use the search engine on here cos there are a few threads about living/moving there.

The amazing thing about Amsterdam is it has 180-something nationalities living here in a population of not even a million.

The downside is it's getting like Venice and Barcelona - too many tourists!

Amsterdam is great for kids!

I don't know if you are planning to work but loads of women work part-time so yes, it's a good work/life balance.

cannotseeanend Mon 22-May-17 12:31:04

AICS is primary and secondary.

However what is wrong with local public education in a regular school as they also learn English? I'd save my money.

Here is the website of Dutch public subsidized international schools.

Kabex Thu 25-May-17 20:05:00

It is a great place to live. DH has flexible hours so is home by 330 everyday and there are so many great activities for the LOs. It's a lovely safe environment to bring up free and happy children IMO/experience. We live in the Hague now which is amazing but Amsterdam is great too. Food shopping and housing is expensive and health insurance is about 100€ plus per month depending on your package. Road tax is also very expensive for a car and parking is no easy in the city centre. You might like to check out Amsterdam Noord and Amstelveen or places close to Amsterdam with good access by train like Weesp or Haarlem as they are cheaper and expat rich and have good schools

MrsGG1 Sun 08-Oct-17 21:33:26

Thank you for all the feedback here, really helpful. After a brief hiatus this decision is now back on the table... Schools seem to be the major sticking point right now as we don't know where we would be living and are finding it hard to work out the best options. Anyone got any recommendations for how to navigate this? We won't be going private but feel slightly daunted by throwing the kids in to the Dutch system... TIA

MrsGG1 Sun 08-Oct-17 21:51:34

Thanks for the insight @kabex the work life balance is one of the main appeals to us. Would you say your DH's experience is quite common and that it's usual to have more healthy expectations of employees in Amsterdam than say London?! I'm mindful that with more international companies opening up, it's likely that the more laid back Dutch working culture might be quickly eroded...

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