Science - April 15, 2004

Practical Holland Handbook

The Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education (Nuffic) has just published the fifth edition of its Holland Handbook. The book is a practical handout for expatriates, students and their families.

The glossy book starts with a extensive and up-to-date introduction to the Netherlands, covering politics, the economy, climate and culture. The subsequent chapters deal with work, buying or renting a house, legal and financial matters, getting around, daily life, children, education, health care and free time. Various authors describe how things work in the Netherlands, who to contact and what to expect. At the end of each chapter there is a useful list of organisations and addresses. This makes it a practical and fairly complete guide for newcomers. The chapters on getting around, daily life, education and health care could be valuable for international students, although most information is available in other guides too. Only two tips are missing: they forgot to tell that you can eat out quite cheaply at the mensas and in the list of zoos, Ouwehands Dierenpark just down the road in Rhenen is missing. The book is attractively designed, so it’s the kind of book you can leave lying around, and pick up when you want information on a specific subject. But if you want more information on what’s displayed in the colourful photos, you’ll be disappointed, as the designers did not include captions. And at 22.50 euros, it will leave quite a hole in your purse.

Nuffic - Holland Handbook 2004-2005. X-pat media. 22.50 euros.
For a free summary: www.xpat.nl


Yvonne de Hilster

Re:act