Expats and new international staff: information about moving to the Netherlands

Expats & new international staff

Moving to a new country is always a challenge. Here, we offer expats and new international staff helpful information for a smooth transition to the Netherlands. You can learn more about coming to Wageningen and practical information about housing, money matters, medical care and more.



One of the most important factors that make moving to a new country a success, is being able to find a house that you can call your home. Expats and new international staff members can contact their Chair Group or Research Institute to get assistance with finding housing. We would like to advise you to let us know as soon as possible what your housing requirements are.

Childcare and school

For your children you will find an international school for primary and secondary education in nearby Arnhem.

Education in Wageningen, however, is also a possibility: most primary and secondary school teachers speak English and several schools in Wageningen have a ‘transition class’ or offer coaching and support for children of international staff.


The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, but the Dutch are taught English from a very young age. A recent study even found that the Netherlands are home to the best non-native English speakers in the world. Therefore, it is fairly easy for expats and new staff from foreign countries, to move to the Netherlands and still be able to communicate with the Dutch.

Want to learn Dutch or improve your English?

Wageningen in’to Languages offers a variety of language courses at levels from absolute beginner to academic writing.


Salary, tax and pension

Wageningen University & Research (WUR) offers its employees attractive terms and conditions of employment. You can specify your own employment benefits via a specific model with several exchange options. For example, it is possible to choose for more vacation days, a bicycle or electric scooter to commute or exchange your vacation days for more money in December. Furthermore, we offer flexible working hours and there is plenty of room for personal development, opportunities for collective insurance and a good pension for a later phase in life.

Banking and insurance


When you are employed in the Netherlands, or when you receive a scholarship and will stay for a longer period, you might consider opening a bank account in the Netherlands. In Wageningen, you will find several banks that will gladly assist you in opening an account. When you want to open a bank account, you must bring with you:

  • Your passport with visa sticker.
  • Your invitation letter of your host organisation, or your employment contract.
  • Your rental or sub-rental contract.
  • Your BSN number.


If you are in paid employment with a Dutch employer, you must have basic health insurance. On the website EurAxess the Netherlands you will find more information for expats and new international staff, about the Dutch healthcare system.

If you do not qualify for the Dutch social security system and thus cannot apply for Dutch basic health insurance, you will need to find another solution to make sure you have adequate insurance whilst staying in the Netherlands. The immigration experts of Welcome Center Food Valley can arrange insurances for you (and your family members) with one of these companies.

Insurance checker

Each country has it’s own way of dealing with unexpected or unpleasant costs. The Netherlands has a highly developed insurance culture, in which everyone is expected to be appropriately insured. Nuffic has developed the insurance checklist to provide students and researchers an insight into the possible costs you might want to be insured for.

At destination

Health care

The Dutch healthcare system is likely to be different from the healthcare system in your home country. Here you can find more about the Dutch healthcare system, for instance how to contact a general practitioner or how to arrange a health insurance:

Buddy system and partner programme

Knowing where to go and what to do is essential for settling in a new country. At your request a buddy can help you find your way around in Wageningen in a quick and sympathetic way. For partners of international staff and students and their children a Partner Programme is being organised with a variety of interesting activities.