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Moving to Amsterdam!


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  • Added on: May 9th, 2011
Hi all-

Got amazing news last night in that I was accepted to do a PhD at the University of Amsterdam starting this fall. :woot: The thought of living the next four years in Europe doing an exciting research project has left me ecstatic!

Thing is I've been around a lot of Europe (family is Hungarian) but I've never actually been to the Netherlands, so I'm not certain what to expect about that country. And hey don't even know the first thing about Amsterdam beyond the stereotype of the American college student going there to party and while I enjoy a good night out I'm not much of a pot smoker and it's obviously a bit different to live somewhere.

I'm going to go visit them in a few weeks so I'm sure I'll have a better idea of the situation, but just wondering if anyone who's been has anything about the city/culture to share. Any particularly chill neighborhoods? Good day trips from there/ budget airlines from Amsterdam? (As an American who's never had it, I am quite psyched to have good public transportation!) I'm going to try and learn some Dutch, obviously, but how important is it in the day-to-day?

Thanks a million- and if anyone has general advice for living the expat life I'd be curious to hear about that as well. :)


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Joined: November 19th, 2004

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  • Added on: May 10th, 2011
Congratulations!~ You are now going to live in Amsterdam!

Amsterdam is a fine place and is very civilized. It is very tame. Even their red-light district is tame.

The architecture is tame. There is an art scene, it is very civilised and very tame.
If you want more active, go to Rotterdam where its a bit more dangerous in some ways, and has tall buildings with more active people.

In short, it has a lot of great cultural assets, including the Van Gogh museum and the Reichsmuseum,.

They have a great open-air chess game every day near the center.

The great thing about Amsterdam is that Holland is such a small country that there is nowhere in the country that isn't just four hours driving away.

Definitely do the Haarlem thing, the Rembrandt museum.

When you have time, take a 2 hour drive and go to Friesland. That is a whole different kind of civilised, and very tranquil.


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Joined: March 26th, 2007
Location: New Zealand

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  • Added on: May 10th, 2011
woohoo :tup: congrats (I'm just a little jelly!)

Everything tortuga traveller said is bang on. From the museums to Friesland.
Don't forget to eat stroepwaffeln. And an extra for me.

As for the language, of course you'll learn some. But at the same time you'll be hard pressed to find a Dutchie who doesn't speak some English (and usually very well).

For novelty value, Dinxperlo is a cool wee place. It used to belong to the Germans and half the town is German, half Dutch. The border markings run down the middle of the road. In the supermarket on one side Dutch is spoken (and the stroepwaffeln and cheese are cheaper), in the supermarket directly across the road, German is spoken (and the milk is significantly cheaper). However, apart from the fact that it houses the smallest church in The Netherlands, there would be no other reason to go there.
Pilgrims' Progress

Erika Ayala

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Joined: February 21st, 2011
Location: San Francisco

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  • Added on: May 19th, 2011
I've always wanted to go to Amsterdam, for at least a month. Every time I hear my friends who went to Amsterdam talk about their trips, I couldn't help but feel bad for myself. I get jealous because they're trip was Amazing!!!
They can do almost anything they want there. Freedom is the word to be used!
Plus, the sights are to die for.
I'm praying and hoping I get the chance to visit the land of Amsterdam soon :)
It's for the Kids!! Support Adopt A School


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Joined: March 23rd, 2008

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  • Added on: May 20th, 2011
Thanks all- will be in Amsterdam for a few days visit next week, looking forward to finally seeing it!

Mama-to-many, I'm willing to start a stroepwaffeln for chocolate fish exchange come fall. ;)

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