Going on exchange and moving to a new city can be a logistical and bureaucratic nightmare. Most countries are happy to accommodate internationals, but there are hoops to move through, cultural faux-pas to avoid and, you know, a new language to learn!
Moving country should be the most exciting time of your life. You’re going to meet hundreds of new people, have once-in-a-lifetime experiences and broaden horizons you never knew you had. That’s why, using all of our own life experience, the team at Housing Anywhere has put together this guide to help you in moving to the Netherlands.
We’ll talk you through everything you need to know, from finding cheap accommodation in Delft, to navigating the city using public transport and sorting out your health insurance. Of course, we’ll also give you a few pointers on things to do and places to see around the city as well!
From everyone here, have the best time in Delft and we hope you love every minute of your exchange!
The Netherlands is commonly associated with canals, and you’ll find no shortage of them in Delft! They are beautiful, and lend a character to the city that you won’t find anywhere else. It’s a beautiful place, quite quaint in design with plenty of older buildings and gorgeous architecture through the centre.
The population is over 100,000 and the city sits just south of The Hague. Student life is pretty dynamic here, as the Delft University of Technology is extremely popular, despite being at odds with the old-fashioned and iconic city centre. It’s a fun city, though if you’re looking for the wild nightlife of Berlin or Milan or a "big city" experience, it’s not the place for you.
In the Netherlands, the official spoken language is Dutch. However, Dutch people have a great grasp of English and are usually more than happy to use their second language. This is great for practical tasks like opening a new bank account, but not so good when trying to learn Dutch! Unlike the French, most locals appreciate the effort that internationals make to learn and practice their language.
While the weather in Delft can be a little unpredictable, it’s mostly a bit on the cold side, overcast and generally just grey. The temperature varies from freezing in the middle of winter to over 25oC on a particularly hot summer day. This variability in weather means you get proper seasons - seeing a city in so many different lights is really rewarding, and Delft is beautiful through all of them.
On public holidays in the Netherlands, virtually all shops will be closed so make sure to get your shopping down in advance.
King's Day, April 27th: This is the top Dutch holiday of the year. Though the celebrations aren’t as huge and ridiculous as those in Amsterdam, on King's Day everyone dresses in orange and parties like crazy through the streets!
Sinterklaas (Sint Niklas), December 5th: This is actually the Dutch Christmas/Santa Claus. On the 5th of December, kids all over the Netherlands celebrate Sinterklaas. He is a bishop who comes to the Netherlands every year from mid-November until the 6th of December, giving treats and presents to Dutch kids. This may sound weird, but it's actually the same as Santa Claus - the main difference is that Sinterklaas comes from Spain rather than the North Pole!