There are few parts of the world that have a more vibrant culture and longer history than the Netherlands, a region of Europe that has become a trend-setter for many social policies and remains one of the economic engines of the continent. If you want to do more than travel to the Netherlands, however, you will need to know much more about their life and society than what you can learn in the span of a single vacation.
Like its neighbors large and small, the Netherlands are part of the European Union and utilize the Euro currency for all their day-to-day trades and sales. As such, their economy is largely driven by the rise and fall of the Euro, and few currencies have risen and fallen in recent months more than this particular one. While the job market and economic outlook is stronger for Amsterdam than its southern neighbors, it still depends largely on whether or not the EU will retain its identity as a single unit. If some member-states are kicked out, the Euro may rebound; if they are bailed out, it is more likely the currency will decline. With the currency, so goes much of the job openings in the city and nation.
The Netherlands have been a proximate port for the entire world over the past five hundred years since the richest merchants of the nation kept extensive shipping fleets that delivered everything from coffee from Indonesia to silks from China and whale oil from the Americas. Much of Amsterdam’s history is on display, from the bridges built centuries ago that still span the canals to the museums that have thousands of years of Dutch history collected and presented. If you are a history buff, you are sure to love living in Amsterdam.
If there is one thing that Amsterdam is known for above all else, it is the lax and liberal attitudes towards life and vice. If you go across the border to Germany, you would be arrested for narcotics consumption, but you can purchase bags of marijuana from dispensaries in the Dutch capital. Likewise, Amsterdam has a thriving red light district that natives and tourists flock to for fun. Those with more stringent morals may have difficulty adapting to what they perceive as the loose culture, but those with an open mind may enjoy the lifestyle.
Any Canadian looking to live abroad needs to know what they are facing, with the rewards and challenges. We at canuckabroad have everything you need to make your relocation to Amsterdam as smooth as possible. Call us at 416-410-7484 for more details.