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Howzit bru! South African Family considering Living in Rotterdam


My name is Darren George. My wife and i have 2 kids (4yrs & 2yrs) and we are considering moving to the Netherlands.

Although my office is based in Rotterdam we are considering whether we would need to send our kids to a local or an international school. The kids can only speak English, my wife and I can speak Afrikaans.

Anyone else been through this and could make a recommendation?

If i need to have a longer commute to work that's OK. I want to do what's best for my kids.

I did find the website which is good but wondering whether to go local? would they quickly learn Dutch.

Also assume that my wife and i would consider taking up some Dutch classes.

Last but not least (and i bet area dependant) what would the cost of living be for a family of 4?

I've seen alot of threads on this topic but pretty outdated. There is always that helps a bit but i think it's best to hear direct from the community on this site.

Any South Africans Groups i could join? would be great to know where most stay and to meet at some point should we make the final move.

Thank you in advance to anyone that responds!

Hi Darren and welcome to the Forum; at the top of the page is our Handy Tools link which will take you to various articles you may find of use in planning your journey.

With regards to your other questions:

Schools.  International Schools in Holland are very expensive and whether you should use one depends on your circumstances.  If you intend to move to Holland for good and not return to South Africa, then my opinion is that at their age, you are better off sending the kids to a local Dutch school, they will learn Dutch, make friends and integrate into Dutch society much more quickly.  However, if you're intending to return to South Africa, then perhaps you should consider an International school.  When we did it, we opted for the local school and had no problems what so ever.

Where to live.  Rotterdam will be more expensive than a town or village outside the city.  I have a friend who lives in Breda who makes the daily commute into Rotterdam with no problem.  Public transport is very good.

Living costs.  Numbeo is not a bad tool for giving you a steer on costs.  That said, it's a picture of costs over the previous 12 months, if you have expensive tastes, then you should expect to pay more.

I don't know of any South African groups in Holland; Google may help you with that.

Lastly - speaking Dutch; my own opinion is that it's very important to speak the local language where you live; although many Dutch people speak some English, official life and everything around you is in Dutch.

Hope this helps.

Thank you very much for the feedback, it really is appreciated!!

Hey Darren howzit.
Great to hear that you're considering to live in NL. Being South African myself i found it quite difficult to find other South Africans except for my own fam But never the less my story is quite different.. it's my parents who decided to move to the Netherlands.
It's social networks like these where we get in touch and perhaps meet oneanother. That being said, I would love to be meet up for coffee  ( at my cost ) some day whenever you are situated in NL.  Oh and btw I suppose you and your familly most probably won't experience the struggle of learning dutch as much as most people learning the language seeing the fact that you can speak Afrikaans. The kids will learn very fast at school especially the little one ,just like me among my older brother, will be able to speak fluent in no time!
Greetings 4rm NL

Hi Darren

I am from South Africa living in the Netherlands with my husband and 19 year old daughter. We relocated to the Netherlands just over a year ago. I know a few South African families/friends living in South Holland and North Holland.
You will understand Dutch however the grammer (tenses) and pronunciation of word can be a real challenge but maybe the guys from Cape area have a bit of an advantage  with pronunciation :). There are a lot of online courses which can help with the basics Dutch for a start. You can take a formal course which is quite expensive.

You are welcome to send me a mail to xxx if you require more information.

Kind Regards
Annette Steenkamp

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Thank you! The kids are always a big concern and glad you can share such a positive experience. Once we all settled it would be great to meet up.

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