A helpful guide for Kiwis and Aussies moving to Amsterdam


If you’re planning on studying in Amsterdam or desire a working holiday, I have good news.

All New Zealand and Australian citizens under the age of 30 are entitled to a 12 month working holiday visa! Yes. You can enjoy the right to live in this incredibly liberal and fun city.

I wrote this article as a guide for my Oceanic brothers and sisters, to try and clarify the whole process. From getting off the plane, to finally celebrating with your new Dutch friends over achieving what may have been one of the most difficult immigrations you’ll have gone through. The struggle is real.

I should make it clear that Amsterdam is not an easy city to legally immigrate to if you aren’t a European citizen. At times it can all get overwhelming and frustrating. Patience is the key. I’ll briefly run through why, and have provided below a link to a detailed step by step guide on how to legally live in this amazing city.

Firstly I should note that the bureaucratic system will have you jumping through hoops, and seemingly running in circles-to receive your necessary visa and BSN number.

After achieving what feels like at the time an impossible task, you then have to worry about finding a home in the ultra-competitive Amsterdam housing scene. Only after finding your new home will you be able to enrol as a resident, but before you can enrol as a resident, by law you must first invest in health insurance. You’re starting to get the picture right?
If you haven’t already found a job before making the great leap, this will be another arduous task waiting for you, especially because 90% of employers in the Hospo industry want fluent Dutch speakers. Thank fully, there is an exception in central Amsterdam, where English is mostly spoken.

This website should help you on the matter as it has certainly helped me.


I’d recommend investing in a bike, after all, you are in the Country of bikes! I really enjoy this aspect of the Dutch lifestyle, as Amsterdam’s cycling lanes are world class, and easily the quickest way to get around. Not to mention the cardio gains you’ll be making along the way. Facebook provides a few communities where you can buy used bikes at a great price.

Here are some pages you can check out:

Bike Market place – Amsterdam

ISN Amsterdam Online Market

Bicycle for sale (fiets te coop)

Amsterdam is an incredible city with so much to offer. The Architecture is enchanting. As you walk along the canals, the charming buildings will seemingly lean over you, well, 500 years after being built on a swamp, some of them literally are!

There are no other cities that are quite like Amsterdam, but if you want a busy and bustling city like London, but without the stressful fast paced atmosphere and the grumpy residents, then you’re in luck!

The nightlife, Coffeeshops and Red light district are all iconic to the city, and needless to say, can be a lot of fun!

You will be in awe as you see the country’s history live through today.
The art scene is mind broadening. Live music can be found every night and there is no shortage of art galleries.

The Dutch people are not only easy on the eyes, but share a sophisticated humour. It helps that they all speak fluent English too, which cannot be said for a lot of European countries. It’s almost as if the whole country of the Netherlands all subscribed to the Effortless English program created by AJ Hoge, as I am literally yet to come across a Dutch person that does not speak English just as well as me.

You can pretend to be sophisticated too while enjoying the exquisite wine, beer, cheese and bread that The Netherlands are renowned for. I like to pretend next to a canal on a beautiful sunny day.

So if you’re under 30, what’s stopping you from packing your bags for the Northern hemisphere and enjoying the Dutch culture for a year?