This year was the first Rotterdam Expat Fair on February 8th, 2015. Colleen Reichrath and Bettine van der Heijden did a great job of organising a professional, informative and fun fair, supported by Heleen van Tholen and Dymphna Elsink.
I enjoyed being part of the program and gave a workshop on “Building your Networking in The Netherlands”. You can see a copy of my presentation here in SlideShare:
Erik Peekel officially opened the Information Market at 10.15am and he did a good job of being MC and also leading the Interactive Virtual Tour of Rotterdam. There were around 150 attendees and it was a lovely, welcoming, friendly atmosphere.
It was hosted by the American International School of Rotterdam. A good friend of mine works here but I’ve not yet had the time to visit – it’s a really nice location. They offer excellent international education, and also an English Language Summer School in July and August for ages 11-18 of those who would like (their children) to enhance English Language skills in a friendly, fun, activity based environment under the guidance of qualified native English-speaking teachers.
There were a number of workshops throughout the day with helpful topics for expats in The Netherlands:
- Dutch Health Care
- Building Your Network in The Netherlands
- Finding Work in The Netherlands
- Navigating Dutch Bureaucracy
- Growing up Between Worlds
- To Buy or Not To Buy? (a house in The Netherlands)
- Navigating Your Portable Career
- Dutch Tax Tips
- @Home in Rotterdam
- Starting a Business in NL
With 46 stand holders, there were plenty of people to talk to! It was great to catch up with some people I know and meet some new people too. As I always do, I collected a pile of paper – but it was also a neat idea that attendees got a USB to take home with details of the day as well.
Here’s links to some of my favourites:
- Career in Your Suitcase – this book is a must for anyone who would like to develop a portable career…and also helpful for those staying put!
- Bettine van der Heijden – Dutch expat expert, assistance on expatriation, repatriation, relocating with children and cultural awareness.
- Triple E Tax – Jaco explained the difference to me between accountants, bookkeepers and tax specialists in the Netherlands and will do my tax return this year.
- Dymphna Business Assistance – Dymphna can help busy professionals as a PA for a few hours a month or more, in Dutch and English
- WBII – Women’s Business Initative – I’m a member of this community of entrepreneurial women and it’s always nice to see them at events
- Vinita Salome – beautiful photography, I particularly love some of the photos in flower fields she’s taken of families.
- Simply Made By is a unique concept representing handmade products in The Netherlands
- Doula Sophie – I’m not having another baby but if I was, I’d love to have a doula like Sophie as part of this special experience
- Ute’s Expat Lounge – coaching and training for international living families.
- ACCESS is a must for anyone in the international community anywhere in The Netherlands!
- Open The Door is a leadership programme for Women, run by friends of mine who were a huge help to me when settling in here in NL
- DutchNews.nl is the leading source of Dutch news in English for an international audience
- Erasmus University – I’m considering doing a Masters here
- Xpat Journal is a high quality read for expats each quarter
- Expat Child Psychology – Jet can help expat children who may be having trouble adjusting to life in a new country, or with other issues as well
Here’s a few I might look into when I have some more time:
- Dutch Global Citizens aims to assist, inform and support those who have international lives, with things like tax, housing and more.
- The Student Hotel offers temporary accommodation to young professionals, interns and trainees and corporate expats.
- Tornate Tutorials gives Dutch language lessons for expats
- Bimbola offers an english day care group and offers family dinners, hairdresser, art workshops and more.
- A2Z Professional Organising for Expats because we all could do with some help when settling in a new country (or just in general!)
There were a lot more, you can take a look at the whole list of collaborators on the Rotterdam Expat Fair website.
We also enjoyed a lunch and networking drinks and the general vibe of the day was wonderful, I met with lots of internationals from all over the world.
The presenters also received a lovely bunch of tulips, very fitting for The Netherlands! Behind us is the great artwork created on the day, based on visitors comments about Rotterdam.
You can view more photos of the day here:
Great job to all involved!