The ultimate expat survival experience

13th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

Around 4000 expats made the most of Expatica’s “i am not a tourist” Lifestyle Fair for Internationals on Sunday, 10 October, to improve their lifestyle and prospects in the Netherlands.

Expatica’s annual “i am not a tourist” connects internationals living in the Netherlands with companies and organizations that cater to the international community.

Services to the expat community

This year, the historic Beurs van Berlage building hosted around 100 organisations who reported a steady flow of international visitors.  “I had the feeling it was much busier than last year and that the flow of people was much more constant,” said Juleke Bottelier, International Herald Tribune. "The organisatiion is wonderful and keeps getting better every year!"

Paul Brown of WorldWideBroker reports the event as the best Expatica Fair he has attended to date, “We smashed last year’s record at the Expatica Fair, we are up 79 percent in terms of the number of inquiry forms completed—a total of 524 forms!  We had a lot of enquiries about pensions and investments and also from people looking for job opportunities. I am extremely pleased with the results.”

The expat experience


Judging from visitors comments, the Fair delivered what it promised. “I came to find out about freelancing in the Netherlands and the presentation on freelancing answered my questions,” said one British expat. “I know what a VAR form is for now!”

Whether expats were searching for a job, house hunting, seeking a school for their children or financial or tax advice, help and information was at hand and expats received a copy of the just published Expat Survival Guide 2010.

But it wasn’t all serious stuff.  As one American expat remarked, “I was pleased to find creative and fun things like writing, acting and making chocolates and I signed up for a couple of clubs.”

Expats also learned how to swing their hips to a salsa beat with hot dancers from dance school eXtremoS and had a giggle over the funny side of expat life in the Netherlands when solo comedian and Boom Chicago funny man Greg Shapiro took to the stage to give visitors a taste of his new live show, How to be Orange.

Expatica Twitter followers turn out

“It was great to see our Twitter followers out in force at the fair!” says Expatica’s marketing manager Matt Shaw.  The winners of Expatica’s Twitter competition who won two return flights to London courtesy of British Airways turned up to meet Editor-in-chief Natasha Gunn.  “This young, smiling, couple came up to our stand to thank me. It turns out that they originally came from London!” she says.  

Expatica’s most prolific Twitter follower americancloggie (AKA Tiffany Jarman Jansen)was also in the Beurs.

“It was our pleasure to supply an Expatica T-shirt to one our most loyal readers and popular bloggers,” adds Shaw. Expatica readers voted Tiffany’s blog ‘Everything you never wanted to know about Dutch toilets‘ as favourite blog for Expatica Netherlands.

Not only for newcomers to the Netherlands

The Fair wasn’t only for newcomers; for instance expats looking to rent out their apartments, dive into higher education, attend a style workshop, or simply network with the international community turned out. 

“I think it actually re-energises a lot of us stay-put expats when we meet others in similar situations even if we've been around the Netherlands for a long time,” said expat Nicola McCall, “…for me it was a ‘look how far I've moved on from when I first came moment.’”

For Expatica, thrilled at the large turn out and the satisfied visitors all round, the moment felt rather the same.

Thanks to all the participants in the Fair and see you next year! 

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