Language & integration

Language and integration are connected. In order to integrate in the Netherlands, feel at home and get by in daily life in the Netherlands, it is useful to (learn to) speak Dutch or English. About 90% of the Dutch population speaks (reasonable) English as well as Dutch. So you can also get by in the Netherlands with the English language. Speaking one of these two languages is not only useful in the workplace, but also outside of it: asking for directions, asking where to find something in the supermarket or reading the menu and ordering food in a restaurant. This all becomes a lot easier when you speak the language.

Flexible Human Services likes to help you learn Dutch or English. That's why we have our own Talent Academy! Here you can take a Dutch or English language course, often taught by a native speaker. Regular language courses are organized at different levels and locations. This is all paid for by Flexible Human Services*, because we like to invest in your personal development. This way we hope to become stronger together!

*We do expect you to complete the course if you register for a course. Otherwise, the cost will be your own. By this we want to encourage you to complete the entire course you started.

Besides our own "Talent Academy," there are other ways to learn Dutch or English language. Below you can find some tips:

For example, through an application on your smartphone: a must is the app Duolingo. With this (free) you can quickly learn the basics of the language from your mother tongue in a fun and playful way. You can learn the basics by practicing for ten minutes every day.

Also, the municipality in which you live can sometimes help you learn the Dutch language. Think of a volunteer language coach. We call this person a ' language buddy'. Many municipalities have a project with language buddies. This requires that you already have a basic knowledge of Dutch, the websites are only available in Dutch: and 

There are also several foundations in the Netherlands that work to help migrants better integrate into the Netherlands. These foundations also work to help people connect with the community of other migrants in their hometown. They can also give you advice on learning the Dutch language. They also offer help and advice on living in the Netherlands, integration and participation, dealing with government rules and systems and all kinds of other things that are important for your integration in the Netherlands.

Below you will find some website of foundations that are committed to this:

For the Polish community: Kreda Foundation
For the Romanian community: ROMPRO Foundation
For the Bulgarian community: BOC Foundation

Faith (church)

In case you care deeply about exercising your religious beliefs, there are several churches in the Netherlands where you can attend services in other languages. Chances are your language is among them. On the website of you can search for different languages, places and movements.

Feeling at home

To feel at home in the Netherlands, it can help to engage in other activities and build social contacts in addition to your work. After all, moving to another country can be quite exciting. Having contact with people who are also affected by this and/or have already integrated can help. Does this not work and are you suffering from dejection? On this page you can read what psychological help is available in the Netherlands.

Here are some tips for activities in your free time. Most things are present in almost all municipalities in the Netherlands, or in a place close by.

Visiting a city
The Netherlands is lined with many beautiful cities, such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht. There are also smaller cities such as Alkmaar, Leiden, Breda, Middelburg and Haarlem that are fun to visit. A walk through the city is always fun, but in addition there are also many historical highlights to visit and get to know the Netherlands. Wondering what you can do in a particular city? You can find that on the website of the ANWB.

If you can already speak a little Dutch or English and love to read, the library comes in handy. Almost every town has a library. Here you can become a member and borrow books. On this website you can find more information.

Swimming pool
Actually, in the Netherlands there is always a swimming pool nearby. Here you can swim freely with for example friends or with your children or for example sporty 'lanes' swimming. On this website you can find all the locations of swimming pools in the Netherlands.

For cardio or strength training you can go to the gym. Many gyms also offer various group classes. From yoga to kickboxing. Search Google for "gym" or "gym" and you will find gyms in your area.

The Netherlands has many (types of) museums. In every municipality you can find a regional museum, where you can learn a little more about where you live. In larger cities there are often many museums to visit. There is also a Museum Card, which allows you to visit almost all museums in the Netherlands for a fixed amount for one year. More information on this can be found here.

Just relaxing with a walk is quite possible in the Netherlands. There are many official hiking routes. The routes also have signposts to follow. There are several websites where you can search for routes in your area. Recommendations are: ANWB and

The Netherlands is also known as cycling country; there are more bicycles than inhabitants! Because of this, the infrastructure is also well designed for cyclists; in the Netherlands there are no less than 37,000 kilometers of bicycle paths! So there are many recreational cycling routes available. These routes are well marked. On this website you will find a lot of cycling routes throughout the Netherlands, for example along the blooming tulip fields in spring.

Mountain biking
Want a little more excitement when biking? Then there are also many mountain bike routes/paths in the Netherlands. You can also rent a mountain bike in several places. Please note that it is required that you are pretty good at cycling before you do this. Here are the mountain bike routes in the Netherlands.

There is a cinema in almost every town. But also in some villages films are regularly shown, for example in the local theater. On this website you will find a page with all cinemas and film houses in the Netherlands. In cinemas, films are subtitled, but not spoken over. So you can also go to the cinema if you don't speak Dutch, but do speak English, for example. Or maybe there is a movie in the theater or cinema in the language of your home country!

Shopping nights and Sundays
In cities, stores are often open 7 days a week, but even in villages there are sometimes shopping Sundays and usually a shopping night once a week.

Did you know.

Here are some fun facts about the Netherlands:

The Dutch are known for their directness; they often say right away what they think and feel. They call it open and honest. They also like to complain, especially about the weather. In any case, the weather is a subject that many Dutch people often talk about. The Dutch are good at finding creative and innovative solutions to everything.

Some 17.5 million people live in an area of 41.5 thousand square kilometers in the Netherlands. Is that a lot? Yes, the Netherlands is not only the most densely populated country in the EU, but even one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Over 40% live in the "Randstad," the area between Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht.

The FHS head office is located in Noordwijkerhout, which besides being in the Randstad is also in the middle of the Bollenstreek (bulb region), from mid-April to mid-May there are fields full of beautiful colorful flowers in this region. Many of our employees work and live in the Bollenstreek.

The Keukenhof flower park is also located in the bollenstreek. The Keukenhof is only open for three months every year. During these three months, more than one million people visit the park. Do you want to visit the park? Purchasing entrance tickets in advance is recommended and keep in mind that certain days can be very busy. More information can be found at:

Tip: During the months when the flowers are in bloom, it is wonderful to take a bike ride in the region.

Kings Day
The Netherlands is a monarchy, which means we have a royal family. The King's birthday is celebrated on April 27. Koningsdag is always a big party in the Netherlands, everyone dresses in orange and there is a variety of parties and festivities. Most businesses are closed on this day.

Typical Dutch food & snacks
Holland has many foods and snacks that are typically Dutch. Below is a list of things you really should try once when you are in the Netherlands:

  • Cheese
    Dutch cheese is probably different from what you are used to. The Netherlands has many types of cheeses. With the most famous names being Gouda cheese and Edammer. Many types of cheese can be found in supermarkets. But the Netherlands also owns numerous real cheese stores.
  • Pancakes & Poffertjes
    You may be familiar with "Pancakes. Dutch people love these. This is often eaten as an evening meal, with (powdered) sugar, syrup, apple or of course cheese. Poffertjes are a kind of mini pancakes, often eaten with powdered sugar and butter.
  • French fries with mayonnaise
    The Dutch are real sauce eaters, so also with fries, like to have mayonnaise. This should not be missing when you are in the Netherlands. The Dutch also call this a "Patatje met."
  • Peanut sauce
    Peanut sauce is also widely eaten in the Netherlands. It has its origin in the former colony of the Netherlands in Indonesia. It is a kind of paste of ground peanuts. Very tasty with satay, therefore also called satay sauce.
  • Dutch deep-fried snacks
    The kroket, bitterbal and frikandel are real Dutch snacks, which you can order in a snack bar. The kroket is a ragout ball of beef rolled in breadcrumbs. The bitterbal is a small round ball that is eaten in one or two bites. Both snacks are delicious with mustard. The frikandel, on the other hand, is a bar of different kinds of meat. The frikandel special is a version with mayonnaise, curry and onions.
  • Hagelslag
    Hagelslag is a spread made up of all the tiny chocolate granules. The name was coined because it looks like sprinkles.
  • Beschuit met muisjes
    Both beschuit and muisjes are typically Dutch. Beschuit is a kind of very dry form of bread, it is similar to toasted bread,. Muisjes are a sandwich filling in the form of small balls, made of anise seeds and coated with pink, blue or a white sugar layer. This is often served in honor of the birth of a baby. Pink for a girl, blue for a boy.
  • Oliebollen
    During the winter months, oliebollen are sold in the Netherlands. Many places have "oliebollenkramen" then. It is a spherical fried dough ball, very tasty with powdered sugar. Traditionally, these are eaten on New Year's Eve.
  • Stroopwafels
    They are also originally called syrup waffle. It consists of two round dough wafers with a diamond pattern. Between them is a sweet syrup.

Some more facts:

  • Dutch are the tallest people in the world
  • Dutch eat an average of 14.3 kilograms of cheese per year
  • Nearly 1/3 of the Netherlands is below sea level

Learn more about living or working in the Netherlands. And what Flexible Human Services can do for you.