Luggage and bags:
Pack ligth, we do most of our travel by public transport.
Traffic is dense in the West side of the country, so think twice before having a rental car (Lack of parking space is the next thing).
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A weather jacket and walking shoes.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: If you bring "funny" looking pills, better bring your family doctor's presciption with you.
Photo Equipment: Do not come without a camera!
Miscellaneous: 1) At least bring your passport; some of you need a Visa too.
2) Transportation: Public transportation is great. Trains, buses, trams, metro, ferries
3) Money and/or credit card. You need some money on hand; ATMs are everywhere.
4) Phonenumbers: Calling home from here: 00-country code-etc.
5) Electrical adapter: 230 Volts at 50Hz with European plug outline.
Miscellaneous: The photograph on the right is an excellent souvenir photograph on the canal cruise in Amsterdam for you to take home to your country. You can purchase the photograph for just several euros per copy. Your photographs will be taken before boarding your canal boat by the cruise operator.
Some aspects which would help you make a choice for a Dutch language course.
- determine how much Dutch you want to learn in a given period of time. Ask if they can deliver
- speak to (ex) students to see how satisfied they are
- which method do they use (any Dutch course is called 'NT2', meaning Nederlandse Tweede Taal or Dutch 2nd language)
- official recognition (do they teach for the state exam?)
The best recognised method at the moment is Code. This is the method that I have used to teach, and it leads straight to the State Exam. The method is developed by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).
CODE 1, 2 and 3
Authors: Titia Boers, Nicky Heijne, Marten Hidma, Hinke van Kampen, Vita Olijhoek, Carola van der Voort
Project manager: Carola van der Voort (part 1) and Marijke Huizinga (part 2 / 3)
Course material: Textbook with CD-ROM, exercise book (teacher’s manual with CD-ROM, audio CDs, video)
CODE can be seen as the successor of Code Nederlands. CODE is a complete NT2 learning method in three parts, and forms a preparation for the State Examination of Dutch as a Second Language, programme II. CODE is task-oriented. It consists of an exercise book with corresponding CD-ROM, which students can largely study independently (at home). In class, students can then focus on activities which require the presence of a teacher and fellow students, such as the training of oral skills. CODE pays considerable attention to the exchange of cultural experiences and offers much information about Dutch society. It has been named best learning method by the Dutch marketing research institution TNS NIPO, in a satisfaction survey about NT2 course material.[unquote]
For an idea of prices:
www.thiememeulenhoff.nl/VirtueelAdviseur/pages/themas/methode.aspx?sector=17&id=88&markt=71 or click here
(you don't need the network licenses and it's either DVD's OR cassettes, not both). Code consists of 3 parts. Part 1 and 2 each take 180 hrs. Part 3 takes between 350-450 hours. The number of hours is 50% selfstudy/50% lessons.
There is also a famous fast method called Delftse Methode.
See here: www.delftsemethode.nl/uk/home/index.shtml or click here
Courses: www.delftsemethode.nl/uk/cursisten/cursussen.shtml or click here
Another possibility is this one at the Volksuniversiteit. Click here
I have no experience with it, so I can't really recommend. The price is quite low though.
Luggage and bags:
Carry a small ruck sack if u plan to cycle, not all cycles have carriers
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Keep an umbrella handy.....the sun shines one day and the rain pours the next, umbrella comes handy in both. If you plan to bike around carry rain sheets. Here u can get a rain sheet for 5E in the flea markets and an umbrella for 7E. Shoes and socks are cheaper in India. Most hotels provide shoe shine and free washing facilities so don't carry too many clothes
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: A sunscreen and a powder to ward off prickly heat rashes is a must!
Photo Equipment: Esp for Indians, carry batteries from India, it is a lot cheaper there!
Find an ATM that accepts Mastercard here:
or click here.
(just put in the name of the town, if you don't know anything else).
Pack a pair of walking shoes, the Netherlands are a good place for hikes and walks.
Because the Netherlands are so flat, it´s easy to walk for everybody!
See my page about the Netherlands for more information about hiking...
It's not really a packing tip, but if you're staying in NL longer, you might need a bank account. This is what I wrote in reply to a forum question.
Weighing Postbank against Rabobank, is that Postbank seems easier to open an account but for personal advice I would prefer Rabobank. More so since being a foreigner your situation might be a bit more special. Both banks have plenty of offices around so there will always be one close to you.
Both have excellent internet-banking facilities and you can use all ATM's of all banks with any bank card that has the PIN facility.
ABN-AMRO is currently involved in a takeover by a foreign bank. I would choose one of the below.
Check government website for visitors to The Netherlands (English) for all info concerning staying in The Netherlands (proof of stay).
There's a special students account (studentenrekening).
You can open a normal or students account with your ID and proof of income. Being a foreigner, you do not need a socalled Burgerservicenummer (that's an individual number for all citizens, used for taxes and social security).
Other conditions are that you have to be between 16-30 yrs old and full time student.
To open a normal or students account you need a valid passport and proof of stay in The Netherlands. You need to go to a local Rabobank with your papers (ID, proof of stay/visa and proof of income ie your student loan papers). The local bank will determine the correctness of all this to open a normal account or, if applicable, a students account.
Luggage and bags:
On the Schiphol airport website you can find the New Rules for Hand Luggage
If you want, you can download the brochure.
In case you want to bring any electrical appliances with you, here is the system The Netherlands uses : 230 volts and 50 Hz. It is a round pin attachment plug (see picture)
An adapter will allow you to plug an appliance designed for one type of outlet into another type of outlet. Despite the fact that more than a dozen different types of plugs are in use, a typical travel adapter kit usually contains about five adapters which are capable of dealing with most of the outlets shown here. Adapters often manage this versatility by bypassing the ground/earth wire.
Beware : an adapter by itself will not change the electrical voltage. You must be sure that your appliance can handle different voltages (either automatically or through a voltage switch). If it can't, you will need a voltage converter.
The climate in the Netherlands can change suddenly. And always be prepared for the rain! It rains quite often here, and I never leave the house without an umbrella or a raincoat.
Don't forget your photo equipment, and lots of film rolls. There are so many picturesque villages and cities, that you will keep that camera clicking!
I am taking a picture here with my digital camera. A great solution for my VT pages, hahaha, instant result, and quickly to upload to my pages because I don't have to scan anymore.
But I like the photos taken with my SLR better, so I take that one always with me as well.
You have not to forget that Amsterdam is a city full of activities, so you have to be ready with your camera equipments and so, if you don't have a digi camera, you'll need loads of films, so get ready for that!
also make sure you have enough money, there are lots of museums, and wonderful restaurants plus great souvenires to buy, so pack it with you!
Luggage and bags:
Enough to bring the souvenirs back home: one pair of wooden shoes, ten kilo's of tulip bulbs and a windmill. Also take care of some hidden compartment for some ... uh, ... let's say ... "stuff".
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Slippers as well as high boots. You never know when these dikes break. Never forget your umbrella, though a raincoat is even better.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Extra towel for drying your hair after rain. Extra soap for when you fell into the A'dam canals (if anything gets you clean after that).
Photo Equipment: Sensitive films for cloudy days, others for sunny days (you might actually hit one out of three this year).
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: A water tight tent. On beaches a swimmmingtrousers and/or bikini (but keep the "Zuidwester" - a traditional shippers raincoat - within reach).
Miscellaneous: Seriously, in The Netherlands the weather is quite unpredictable. Most summers are fine, but ... there's (almost) always wind (not for nothing we have so many windmills)! Winters are mostly wet and windy, but ... sometimes we can endlessly scate on the canals.
Although summers can be hot and winters can be cold, the climate in The Netherlands is both temperate and extremely changeable. Therefor, it is important that you bring a little of everything. For summer trips that includes a sweater and jacket, along with shorts and T-shirts. For late autumn and early spring, include both light shirts and heavy sweaters. And always, always, bring some sort of rain gear!
Miscellaneous: When you visit The Netherlands from a non-European country, be advised to bring along a converter plug, or your electrical equipment might not work. We use the 220-230 volt system, with a double-stemmed plug.
Weather can change pretty much from sunny to stormy.
It was exceptionally nice weather, during my visit. Had some heavy rains and lots of clouds, but also clear weather and sunshine.
Weather can change pretty quickly from sunshine to (nearly) storm. Take something for rain, wind and sunshine and you'll be fine.
Miscellaneous: The Netherlands is a fairly rich country, with highly developed logistics. That means you can buy just about anything here, and items are rarely sold out. Only bring the obvious necessities. Depending on your time of arrival you can even buy things like toothpaste, soap etc. on your first day. Bring one film for your camera, buy more later. An umbrella? Buy one when it rains, don't bring one 'just in case'. Need cheap clothes? Find a market or a shop like Zeeman or Wibra. You're on holiday, not in some fashion contest. A travel-guide is nice to have in advance, but in most (especially larger) cities you can buy one in English at the first book-store. And so on, and so on.
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