job in the Netherlands?
May 15, 2006 1:25 PM   Subscribe

One-year position in the Netherlands: Should I take it and how do I prep for it?

I've been offered a one-year archival position in the Netherlands (Nijmegen). I'm in the US. It pays less than what I get now and even less than a job I was just offered today. However, it's doing something that is directly in line with my schooling/training. Plus, it's perhaps the only chance for my wife and I to cut away for a year abroad. From my perspective, the only major negative is that it would require my wife to give up her job, which she enjoys. Those of you who have done one- or two-year foreign fellowships, etc., how did you think/work through these issues? How did you prepare to be gone for only one year? What special considerations did you take into account for your spouse/partner? Also, how did you transition back after the fellowship? Finally, anyone with experience getting a place in Nijmegen -- what are the going rates, and could two fairly frugal individuals live comfortably on 1.575 EUR/mo? (General encouragement is also welcome.)
posted by cog_nate to Travel & Transportation around The Netherlands (9 answers total)
If your wife really loves her job, maybe they love her, too. See if they will offer a leave of absence (she might have to give up some built up vacation and sick leave as incentive). Because, that sounds really cool and I'd take it if you can. Congratulations and good luck.
posted by jmgorman at 2:34 PM on May 15, 2006

can your wife work remotely for a year? Since they know she's coming back, they might not balk as much.
posted by j at 2:42 PM on May 15, 2006

Never take a job for the money, do something you love and do it well and the money will come after.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:09 PM on May 15, 2006

I'm going to have to disagree slightly with blue_beetle. You have to consider the financial side of it. Yes, it would be nice to do a job you love forever... but, that won't buy dinner or rent an apartment/pay a mortgage.

Speaking as someone who has done things he loves and did them well, the money doesn't necessarily come. It just takes a few instances of finding out that an under-qualified and under-skilled co-worker is making $10,000 more a year than you to crush that wonderfully naive concept.

I wish you the best of luck.
posted by jeversol at 3:37 PM on May 15, 2006

I lived in the Netherlands for a few years and would wholeheartedly recommend it - the Dutch are a wonderful people and you'll find it very easy to get on with them.

A year away from friends and family in the States is nothing - nowhere near enough time for them to forget you and you should be able to drop back in easily. You'll probably be inundated with visitors and guests.

If your wife has any teaching training, she may be able to work as an English teacher/tutor: Whilst English is very widely-spoken, many companies run regular "Business English" courses and school kids are examined regularly so there's a lot of demand for teachers.

Check out Expatica.

My Dutch is pretty rusty - and I think there are a few native speakers on here - but if you need any help translating property websites, give me a shout.
posted by blag at 4:31 PM on May 15, 2006

A year abroad will whip by quickly, and broaden your perspective of the world! Definitly do it before the world ties you down with even more obligations. It's also a beautiful country, and fun to visit (except for the rain thing!)

Do not be too concerned about losing touch with friends & family. A year sounds like a long time, but you will be surprised how quickly it goes. I still maintain good relationships with friends I haven't seen in a few years!

Good luck!

(native speaker if you need any help)
posted by defcom1 at 5:01 PM on May 15, 2006

Not much to add, except that I'm a native speaker as well. If you need any translations or help, email in profile.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:49 PM on May 15, 2006

1,575 EUR per month is a modest but sufficient salary in the Netherlands. Enough to cover rent and groceries, go out a few times a week, and do some travelling around Europe once a month or so if you stay in hostels and eat a lot of shoarma. You might be able to save a few thousand during the year, but not much more.
posted by randomstriker at 6:49 PM on May 15, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, all, for the responses thus far. Especially, thank you swordfishtrombones (who responded via e-mail).
posted by cog_nate at 8:08 PM on May 15, 2006

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