Wetenschap - 13 juni 2002

Tips for international women

Tips for international women

Even though it may have been your own choice to come to the Netherlands, getting settled can be difficult. Scottish woman Janet Inglis wrote a book about being happy in Holland with information and advice for international women.

Inglis interviewed fifty women from fifteen countries who live in the Netherlands, most of them with children. The author used their stories to illustrate the questions of finding a paid job, making friends, staying healthy and how to enjoy yourself. This resulted in a book with practical references to sources of information and advisory remarks on very different aspects of life. Although the women interviewed in the book almost without exception live in the region of Amsterdam and The Hague, women living in other regions can still take their remarks to heart. That the author focuses on women only can be defended for reasons of female emancipation. Nevertheless men who arrive with their spouses or meet and marry a Dutch woman can also use the tips and references to books and sites on the Internet.

Newcomers are advised to learn Dutch because this gives access to the culture and will help them to feel more at home. They should not be afraid to ask for help when needed. Don't wait passively for things to get better, they say. Do something you want to do. It doesn't matter if that's a paid job, voluntary work or some course. But face up to the fact that things will never be the same as back home. You will have a much easier time when you get used to the new life. And don't give up, the book decides positively.

Handling Holland; a manual for international women in the Netherlands by Janet Inglis. XPAT MEDIA, The Hague, 2002. ISBN 90 5594 232 4. See also www.xpat.nl

Yvonne de Hilster

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