The Netherlands, with a population of over 16 million, is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. This small nation boasts a wealth of cultural heritage and is famous for its painters, windmills, tulips, clogs and notoriously flat lands.
Today, international trade is still the main driver of economic growth. Holland is the sixteenth largest economy in the world and one of the ten leading exporting nations. As a modern European country, it preserves its highly international character and is known for its liberal mentality. As a founding member of EU and NATO, and host to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, the Netherlands is at the heart of international cooperation. Its small size, welcoming attitude to travellers and many sights make it a unique and fairly easy to discover destination.
Dutch society is multicultural and focused on international relations. The country is the birth place of Nobel Prize winners, daring philosophers, as well as ground-breaking artists and scientists. The United Nation has ranked the Netherlands as the fourth happiest nation on earth, with the happiest children (as ranked by UNICEF). Benefits of living and working in the Netherlands include a satisfying work-life balance, high standards of living, an excellent education and health system, and a strong sense of community.
The University of Twente is the only university in the Netherlands with a true campus. On campus, students can find housing, do their groceries, participate in sports, have a meal, or go out for the evening. Approximately 2,000 students live on campus, and the campus grounds are frequented by some 8,500 students every day.
The nearest city to the University is Enschede which comprises 160,000 residents and is the urban heart of the Eastern Netherlands and an epicentre for music, culture and knowledge. The city has a broad range of shops and boutiques all centred around the most convivial public square in the Netherlands; de Oude Market (Old Market Square) that is surrounded by several cafés, restaurants, bars and clubs.
Certain categories of international staff can receive tax exemption on approximately thirty per cent of their gross salary. This is to compensate for the extra costs they incur in living abroad, such as having to rent temporary accommodation, etc. In principle, the 30% rule applies to staff who have been expressly recruited from another country and who have a formal contract of employment in the Netherlands.
For more information on moving to Twente including housing, healthcare, family, visa’s, and leisure please see the website of our Office for Foreign Employees.