Here & Now in Groningen

The “Here & Now in Groningen” platform is an online personal recommendation agenda in English that allows you to access diverse cultural, networking and sport events in Groningen. Here & Now lets you choose events based on your own preferences, genres or even international-friendliness. Join us and choose between almost every activity in Groningen, from a cozy hobby meet up (that you can also submit yourself) to the mass concerts organized by the city’s biggest venues. The project is also part of International Groningen program which was recently awarded a Good Practice City Label by URBACT; the European fund for integrated urban development. Made possible thanks to RUG, Hanze UAS, UMCG, Provincie Groningen, Gemeente Groningen, cultural organizations and all the internationals in the city!

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Starting a business and obtaining a residence permit via the Start-up Permit

Could you make it in the Netherlands as an entrepreneur? In 2015 the Dutch government brought in new regulations to help ambitious businesspeople from non-EU countries. A one-year ‘start-up’ residency permit has been specially designed to help people like you in the Netherlands. As part of the scheme, all entrepreneurs are required to have a mentor, or ‘facilitator’ on-board and for their start-up to offer something innovative in the Dutch market.

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What is a ‘Zoekjaar’?

The new ‘Orientation Year Highly-Educated Persons’ (zoekjaar) residence permit replaces, combines and extends the former Orientation year for graduates and the Orientation year for highly-educated persons permits. The new permit allows talented, highly-educated foreigners to apply for this residence permit within 3 years of completing a study or research project (specific conditions apply).

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Do I need to register for a BSN?

If you live abroad and come to the Netherlands to work or study, you will need a citizen service number (burgerservicenummer (BSN)) for your dealings with the Dutch authorities.

Government authorities use the BSN to correspond with citizens and exchange personal information with other (governmental) agencies, when legally permitted; for example, between the municipality and the Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst). The BSN is an important tool for improving government services, and is also used to combat identity fraud and solve issues with misspelled names.

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IWCN service partners

The IWCN has a wide range of reliable service partners for internationals living in the Northern Netherlands. The partners offer expert commercial services in various areas, including Housing & Relocation; Legal Services, Insurance & Finance; Tax Consulting; Health & Child Care; Payroll & HR; Travel & Leisure; Education; and Career Support. All of the partners of the IWCN offer services in English. So if you are looking for assistance in any of these areas, why not contact one of them to find out how they can help you?

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Rights of Tenants

All newcomers to the Netherlands are confronted with the necessity of having to find housing. This can be a very stressful period as it involves a fast-track course in learning housing-market conditions and regulations, as well as possibly having to adapt your lifestyle to the space available, the neighborhood and the surroundings.

In the Netherlands one important distinction to make is that between social-sector housing and private-sector housing. Although most of the rights and obligations for tenants are the same regardless of the sector, the main differences revolve around the price of the rent, its eventual increase and the authority to contact in case of dispute.

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Culture Shock

The American Heritage Dictionary defines culture as “the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought characteristic of a community or population.” It can also be viewed as “a system for creating, sending, storing, and processing information. It is how we talk, behave, understand and act.” (Edward Hall, Anthropologist).

It is perhaps no wonder, then, that we experience culture shock when we are transplanted from one culture to another! Culture shock, the sense of disorientation and the resulting anxiety and stress, is a normal reaction to adjusting to a culture other than the one in which we were raised. Familiar cues, including general behavior, customs and norms, word usage, facial expressions and body language, are gone and we feel insecure as a result. In essence, we feel like a child again, having to relearn almost everything we took for granted in our home culture.

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