29 March 2024, by Emily Proctor

Expats living in Amsterdam could soon be asked to take part in integration courses funded by their employers, according to new plans being proposed by the PvdA (Labour Party), the city’s largest political party. 

Under the plans, businesses would be responsible for the courses

The plans state that unlike in many countries, the Dutch government would not be responsible for the courses, with businesses taking on the bulk of the responsibilities instead. “You can earn from the city, but you also have to do your part. [I think] it is only logical that companies feel responsible to facilitate expats as much as possible to become part of the Amsterdam society,” PvdA party leader in Amsterdam, Lian Heinhuis said. 

The courses could include activities such as language classes, neighbourhood initiatives and meetings with locals, among other events. The party hopes that the initiative will help bring expats and Amsterdammers closer together in the integration process. 

Expats in Amsterdam often live in the international bubble

As those of us having lived in the Netherlands for a while will know, it’s easy to end up in an international “bubble” as an expat, since it can be difficult to break into friend groups without speaking Dutch well, or it is often easier to make friends with other internationals when working at an international company

While this isn’t true across the board, the party hopes that by following integration courses, expats will find it easier to make connections within the city and make friends with local residents, as well as being part of the city’s international community.

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