I am a UK citizen but have been living in Asia for awhile. Recently I wanted to relocate back to EU for an mechanical engineering career, and Netherlands is one of the place that I am considering. I have started applied couple dozens of engineering positions online, but most of the HR/agency that I spoke with wanted me move to Netherlands first, as the application process would be more convenient for interviews and such. But since I don't really have a place to stay in UK/EU anymore, I am a little confused about what to do.

Should I find a temporary apartment and moved there first while I try to seek a job there? How difficult is it to find a cheap temporary housing in Netherlands? The concerned that after I moved there and I am still not be able to find a job in a relatively short time. So I wondered if I could intern/volunteer in a smaller/local company while I am staying there for job hunt, thus my CV won't be empty in case of the initial unsuccessful job hunt.

Although I can't speak Dutch at all yet, I don't mind learning another language. I have studied some basic German before, which might helps to learn Dutch a little bit.

Are there national career service or something similar in Netherlands that I could speak to for advice? If you have any tips for applying jobs aboard please share as well. Thank you for your help in advanced.

  • 2
    Familiarity with German will certainly help your Dutch, though it will also be confusing at times.
    – phoog
    Sep 9, 2016 at 17:19

1 Answer 1


Temporary = hotel or hostel. Cheap = hostel. Many people stay in hostel while they look for job, many continue to live there afterwards because finding permanent appartment is difficult, and sometimes it's cheaper to stay in hostel.

Netherlands are a small country, and smaller countries tend to be more 'internationalized', so not speaking Dutch will be not a big issue by many companies (while it's hardly possible to find a job in UK without speaking English, for example).

Brexit could be more an issue, but as long as UK stays in EU, you won't need job permit.

It's to be expected HR agency would want you to move to The Netherlands first, but if you contact your future employer directly, it should be possible to take interview per skype first, and then invite you to their HQ for final interview, which, unless you mess something up, should be just a formality.

  • Thank you for your answer! I actually applied all over Europe (mostly UK, Germany, Netherlands), but I actually got more feedback from Netherlands than others. However, majority of the feedback are telling me that I need to speak Dutch. But it would seems they are more open than UK and Germany indeed. My friend offer me to stay at his place first in Germany, a city closed to Netherlands boarder. I think I could do day trips to Netherlands from there to visit different employment agencies for interviews and inquiry, and perhaps Dutch lesson. Aug 12, 2016 at 1:05
  • As a small addition - you could find short stay place here (couchsurfing.com) for free or small effort back from you Nov 8, 2016 at 16:59

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