Alekh’s story on moving from Malaysia to The Netherlands
Originally I’m from India, but I was living in Malaysia for two years when I decided to accept Backbase’s offer to relocate to The Netherlands with my family. Here I am, living in Amsterdam and working as Principal Security Engineer since December 2019.
I love traveling and playing with my 4-year old daughter. Of the places I visited, I like the beautiful beaches of Bali and Malaysia. And I have started exploring the Museums of Amsterdam with my family.
Why did you decide to relocate?
From a long-term perspective, I was considering moving to a place with better education and a good growth environment for my child. I felt the country I was working in was not fully supportive of this, so when the opportunity came along I decided to go for it.
Why The Netherlands?
#1 Multicultural environment. The Netherlands has a rich, multicultural environment where people from all over the world live happily together. Knowing this, we assumed it would be easy to adapt and live here. And it is!
#2 English language. Everyone speaks English, so you don’t feel lost. Although it’s a good idea to learn Dutch if you’re planning to stay, but it’s not something that you’re forced to do.
#3 Good education. Education is free and focuses on the overall growth of a child offering a really good infrastructure for schools.
#4 Public transportation. This is really good throughout the country. The Netherlands also promotes environmental-friendliness, so overall it’s a good place to live a healthy life.
What were the most challenging you had to overcome during relocation?
Finding a house to live in was definitely one of the biggest challenges. When you relocate with your family it’s something that keeps you up at night, for sure. Luckily, it worked out nicely for us and we managed to find a house within 2 weeks from moving here. During this time we lived in the Backbase-sponsored apartment.
How did Backbase help you with the relocation process?
Backbase sponsored me with the initial accommodation and the flight here. The HR team has been very helpful to support and answer any queries with respect to relocation. Also, the team members were very supportive to help and guide me with the question that I had. Overall, it was a good experience.
How much time did it take you to finalize the immigration process?
In our case, the immigration process took between 1-2 months.
What do you like the most about The Netherlands?
The beautiful canals all over The Netherlands.
What do you miss the most?
I miss the tasty vegetarian food from India 🙂 But luckily, I can find many nice options in The Netherlands as well. So, I have visited the Krishna Vilas restaurant which is in Utrecht and it is my preferred option. But besides that, I like that I have all the grocery options available close to my house.
Can you share some useful resources?
The iamsterdam website has a bunch of useful, hands-on information that I recommend reading. Also, you need to join as many Facebook groups as possible. These groups helped me a lot with advice about housing and education for my kid. I recommend you to join the following: Expats in Amsterdam, Indians in Amsterdam, Amsterdam mamas, marketplace etc.
What advice would you give to someone looking to relocate to The Netherlands?
I would say don't give a second thought, just relocate! Everything falls into place within a few days.
You can start doing some research about the possible areas close to the office (30 mins. to 1-hour travel), schools in that area and accordingly gain some idea before you actually move.