Netherlands from Canada - jobs, language, housing etc?


I was born in Canada but luckily possess both a Canadian and UK passport. I am considering moving to Europe for a year to get some international work experience. I am a mechanical engineering graduate with several years work experience. Unfortunately, I speak only english and of course in one years time frame do not expect to become fluent in anything else.

I am hoping to find work in my field. Is this feasible? How is the economy in the Netherlands? Is there are large technical/engineering sector? Of course, Amsterdam is an obvious choice and it seems suitable to me.

What are housing expenses like? I am from Vancouver which tends to be expensive, though for $900 monthly or about 1/5 my salary I am able to find a modern 150 sq m place with 2 roommates.

Thanks for any help!


Hi Curtis!

Welcome on Expat-blog! :)

I suggest you to view our Netherlands classifieds for accommodation and job search. You might post an ad there as well.

I hope you will receive lots of replies soon.
Wish you good luck

In regards to language, The Netherlands is probably the best Non-English speaking country to go to if you're only going to speak english. I'm going to guess that (at least in the major cities) 90% of people can speak english.
I've been here for a little over a year and go to school in an international (english) environment, but I've still managed to pick up enough dutch to know what is going on around me.
As far as jobs and accommodation goes, I can't help too much with that. I pay about 700 euros a month for a 60 square meter apartment I share with my girlfriend in Den Haag.


I also sued to be in Vancouver and graduated from UBC before moving to the Netherlands for 2 years. I work now in Belgium. The living is a bit more expensive compared to canada. The housing prices can vary but if you go to Delft/Den Haag or even Haarlem the prices should be ok (shared would cost you about 400 euros/month). The language should not be an issue as everyone speaks english and you may be able to find a job if you like. Go to to check what is there, but there are plenty of chances for mechanical engineers. If you like more details, I would be happy to help out. Good luck:) Hany

Hey, concerning the language you will be absolutely fine here. Especially in the big cities like Amsterdam everybody speaks English and no one cares if you don't speak Dutch :P
Housing is a different story. It is very expensive and difficult to find something. You will have no trouble finding a room in a flatshare....but i wish you good luck with finding an apartment on your own (except you are prepared to pay 1200Euro a month for a small and crappy place). However this should not keep you from coming to the Netherlands because (especially Amsterdam) are absolutely amazing :)

Good luck, and let me know if you need any help :)


A practical advantage of your UK passport is, that you do not need a work permit for working in the Netherlands.
About language: I fully agree with the previous posts in this thread, that English is spoken by almost all the Dutch. Nevertheless, if you want to blend into Dutch society, it is well worth to start learning Dutch once you have arrived in the Netherlands.
Be a bit persistent to the Dutch when you want to try your freshly learned Dutch: they tend to switch to English to make communication easier.