SparkLing One: your expat buddy in Rotterdam

What is an expat without a buddy? Lost.

Every expat needs a buddy. And I’ve got your back!

Moving to another country can be daunting and overwhelming. With me as your expat buddy, your transition will be smooth and seamless.

I’ve been in your shoes – I’ve lived in different countries, worked with expats in multinational and multicultural companies for more than 20 years. I’ve guided expats through the maze of Dutch systems and helped them settle into Dutch life. Having firsthand experience, I know how hard it’s to cope with the challenges, especially on your own. Therefore, I’m here to help you steer clear of any pitfalls and create an effortless and hassle-free relocation.

Rest assured that with me in your corner, you’ll find your feet and feel at home quickly in the bustling city on the Maas.

Moving to Rotterdam? SparkLing One is your buddy and guide

Settling into Dutch life

Are you relocating to Rotterdam on your own? You’ve already got one friend in your new hometown! I’ll be your personal guide and buddy.

Moving overseas can be challenging. In particular the actual move and all the underlying practical issues, which have to be arranged in quick succession after entering the country. On top of filling in a bunch of required documents, you’ve to find a place to live, get accustomed to your new job and acclimatise to a different culture. Simple, easy or familiar would not describe most international relocations, but this is precisely how it’ll be for you when working with me.

I tackle the initial issues you face as an expat. What a relief! And that saves you time and energy. I help you arrange the most essential relocation elements:

  • a furnished rental home
  • utilities (gas, electricity, water)
  • internet, TV, Dutch mobile provider
  • residence permit and social security number (BSN)
  • insurances
  • public transport travel card
  • housing preparation
  • just about anything else to help you start your life in Rotterdam or when you leave the Netherlands

 

From experience, I know that having an expat buddy by your side from the beginning can give you a head start in your new environment. Together, we can get you to the point where you’re hitting the ground running.

Culture clashes, language barriers and other challenges

Finding your way around

As a newly-arrived expat, you’ll face problems and challenges. Especially if you’re here on your own and you don’t know many people thus far. You experience culture clashes and language barriers that turn simple errands into a scavenger hunt and may cost you extra energy, time and money. Not to mention that you’ve to adapt to a hectic business life that doesn’t give you time to take a breather.

Your employer may have already taken care of some essentials, but you need additional support. Navigating your way through a housing market in an unfamiliar city can be difficult. What documents do you require to open a Dutch bank account? Or how about which health insurance package is best for you? You feel overwhelmed and lost in figuring out the details all by yourself. This can cause a lot of stress and confusion.

With me by your side, you’ll feel confident, relaxed and supported. You just need to focus on your new job while I take care of the necessary arrangements.

I’ll show you the ropes and help you settle into your new life. I ensure your relocation is smooth, quick and hassle-free. You’ll feel at home in no time.

Proud Rotterdammert

As a proud Rotterdammert (how we refer to ourselves), I love showing people around the real Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a city you need to get to know first before you fall in love with it.

This city offers you a unique combination of old and new architecture, broad cultural offering, hip and varied restaurants, colourful street art, renowned museums, awesome festivals, constant urge for rejuvenation and no-nonsense mentality. These make Rotterdam an attractive place to live. It’s a mishmash of cultures; a place that has something for everyone and where countless expats feel at home quickly. There is always something to do and experience here.

While exploring the different neighbourhoods together, I’ll share my favourite locations and Rotterdam’s best-kept secrets with you; the most exciting places, convenient stores and the best local hangouts where you get to make new friends.

Personal attention and support for expats

The personal touch

I know how it feels to leave your safe and well-known environment and move to a whole new country. My parents were expats in China and Japan, which is how I came to experience expat life firsthand. Often dependent on themselves to find their own way around, it took my parents a long time to get used to living in a new city.

With an expat buddy, you won’t have these struggles, I’ll show you around the city, take all the arrangements off your hands and create opportunities for you to meet like-minded people.

When I moved in with my mother, who had already migrated to the Netherlands, I regularly went out with her and her Korean expat colleagues. I still remember how much her colleagues appreciated our hospitality and loved being invited to celebrate the Queen’s Day (now the King’s Day) or to come over for homemade pea soup or Dutch pancakes. These are the kinds of moments I strive to create for you!

        I can’t promise to solve all your problems,
but I can promise you won’t have to face them alone.

How SparkLing One - your expat buddy in Rotterdam – helps you

There’s no place like home

SparkLing One gives you the support you need for a good start and successful relocation to Rotterdam. As your expat buddy and guide, I help you sidestep any pitfalls, minimise stress and maximise your relocation experience. You’ll integrate faster into the Dutch life, meet new people and make great memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.

I have years of experience being an expat buddy to engineers from the oil and gas industry and other highly skilled migrants, most of whom have come on their own to live and work in Rotterdam.

Here’s how I improve your relocation experience

You’ll never walk alone

In recent years, I’ve created a home away from home for many solo expats. Expat life can be like an emotional roller coaster. Leaving your friends and building a new network from scratch in Rotterdam is a challenge. It’s easy to feel isolated and lonely. Not only making friends can be hard, but also living far away from your family can contribute to loneliness and feeling homesick. I understand how it feels to be a newcomer, and what you need to feel at home in Rotterdam

Arrival

You start at the airport, where a chauffeur waits to pick you up at the Arrivals hall and brings you to your new home. I’ve already helped you find a furnished rental apartment in a good neighbourhood. I make sure that your new place is ready for you. And for an extra warm welcome, I stock your kitchen cupboard with a few traditional local goodies.

Your first outings

We explore your new neighbourhood together. After all, the faster you feel at home in your new environment, the quicker you’ll feel at home in Rotterdam. I tell you more about the Dutch language, local customs and cultural differences, so you’re ready to integrate into Dutch society. In the beginning, things can take an unexpected turn. This is why we meet regularly to discuss your new experience and how I can support you further on.

Creating your social circle

Meeting new people can be tricky, no matter where you live. For expats, making friends plays a crucial part in successful integration and overall positive experience. Mostly, because when you’re lonely, acclimatisation becomes hard. With this in mind, I regularly organise different activities for you and my other expat clients. Think about architecture tours, street food tour or street art exploration. This way you get to know Rotterdam better and you meet other like-minded expats and locals. Such activities will help you settle faster into your new city.

Feel free to ask

I’m used to being asked a wide variety of questions: from how to find a good barber/stylist to where the main switch is in the fuse box. All questions are welcome. Don’t wrack your brain looking for answers to every single question when you can simply ask me. As we say in the Netherlands, “lekker relaxed!”

SparkLing One packages

After your free consultation, I create a personalised relocation plan for you. It’s important to me that you and I have a good connection, so I can be the best buddy and guide to you as an expat. After all, we’re going to be working together closely to make your relocation to Rotterdam a success or to arrange a smooth departure. An exciting next step in your life!

  • find a furnished rental unit in Rotterdam area
  • accompany you to 2 viewings and 1 move-in inspection                                          I can arrange a pre-recorded video tour or live remote tour of the rental unit when you’re not in Rotterdam for the viewing.
  • get your rental unit ready to move in
  • assistance with checking your rental agreement
  • assistance with application for Dutch residence permit and registration BSN
  • assistance with settling in services – bank, insurances, utilities, GP, dentist
  • how to use public transport
  • buddy support by phone and email during the support period

 

Euro 1975 inclusive 21% VAT

Everything that is included in the Essential Package +

  • cultural briefing and information to explore Rotterdam on your own
  • introduction to your neighbourhood, with special focus on amenities you might require such as shopping facilities, leisure activities etc.
  • buddy support by phone and email during the support period and one week after completion

 

Euro 2200 inclusive 21% VAT

  • assistance with lease and utilities cancellation
  • accompany to or represent you at 2 move-out-inspection appointments (pre-inspection and final inspection)
  • assistance with de-registering from the Personal Records Database (BRP) and Dutch Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND)
  • assistance with de-registering with service providers e.g. insurance companies,  bank, GP, dentist
  • assistance with post office’s moving service, professional cleaning and moving company
  • buddy support by phone and email during the support period 

 

Euro 1350 inclusive 21% VAT

It’s my aim to give you a headstart and make your life easy before, during and after your relocation to Rotterdam. Therefore, I offer various services besides the three packages.

For example:

  • I can help you to select the best Dutch health insurance plan and recommend GP, dentist and other healthcare professionals e.g. physiotherapist (Euro 195 inclusive 21% VAT)           
  • Street art and street food guided walking tours to explore Rotterdam and make new friends (Euro 85 inclusive 21 % VAT )

Are you preparing to relocate to Rotterdam or have you just arrived?

Got burning questions about how to find an affordable place to stay in Rotterdam, how to select the best Dutch health insurance plan, GP, dentist or other healthcare professionals e.g. physiotherapist, how to best integrate into Dutch society?

Does Google Search make you head spin?

Sometimes you just need a buddy to tell it to you straight and to show you the shortcuts to a pleasant life in Rotterdam.

What you get:
– 1.5 hour one-on-one session via Zoom, recorded so you can refer to it later
– answers to your three main questions

Please send me your questions beforehand; so we can make a selection of three main areas you need my support with. It ensures we get the maximum of our time to solve whatever issues you require assistance with.

Euro 295 inclusive 21% VAT

When you’ve had a few lessons and you can speak basic Dutch, it’s time to practise speaking Dutch with someone who will not automatically reply in English.

As a near-native Dutch speaker, I’ve been in your shoes and know many of the pitfalls. Let me help you increase your confidence while you learn to talk about about subjects that are relevant to your personal and business life. I’m happy to throw in some Rotterdam expressions and phrases to help you become a Rotterdammert.

What you get:
– 4 x 1 hour one-on-one session via Zoom, recorded so you can refer to it later

Euro 150 inclusive 21% VAT

Frustrated, lonely and far away from your social support network?

It’s advisable to become acquainted with expat communities in the Netherlands to build a social life in your new living environment. However, when you’re an introvert or when you don’t immediately come across people who you feel comfortable to open up to, you can count on me to support you through a transition.

Especially the first few months after arrival, a go-to local buddy comes in handy. You’ve got my support on speed dial. You don’t need to go through difficult situations all by yourself.

What you get:
– 1 month support via email and phone
– 2 x 1 hour one-on-one session via Zoom

Euro 195 inclusive 21% VAT

Are you a travel buff or an international looking for an hour of fun with others like yourself?

In the Netherlands, we love a good excuse for having a borrel (a drink). On a Friday afternoon, we call it a VrijMiBo (Vrijdagmiddagborrel)!

No strings attached, just a safe place to meet (new) people and put your world knowledge to the test.

Interested in joining? Just send me an email to reserve your spot (max. 10 persons) for one of these dates at 5 pm (CEST): 

  • 5, 12, 19, 26 June 2020

 

Let’s swap (travel) stories and kick start the weekend by having a few laughs together.

See you soon! 

  • Basic travel time and travel expenses are included in the above package prices. However, extra expenses and time spend above the amount of your chosen package will be calculated and charged at an additional hourly rate. Read my General Terms & Conditions for more details or ask me for more details.
  • My hourly rate Euro 95 inclusive 21% VAT is applied to any additional time spend on work outside the scope of any given package.