•P-NUT brought the item of a language course up at the meeting with the executive board and a Dutch course is now free for all PhDs.
•The Dutch language course is now free but another problem is time, some PhDs have to take holiday time for this.
•The residence permit has to be filled in shortly after arrival in the Netherlands, when you don’t know Dutch yet. Also, you have to fill in tax forms, so you have to bother your Dutch colleagues for help.
oPA&O: the permit is now for 4 years, so you only have to fill it in once. But all correspondence of the migration office is in Dutch.
•Can there be a translation of the forms on the website (University should do this, as it concerns al international students and employees).
oNUFFIC: this is a national problem, IND is making some big changes to become more service orientated. The forms will become available on the internet and a translation of the most used forms will be provided.
•The general knowledge (housing, cultural etc.) is missing with international PhDs. The NUFFIC has a forum where PhDs can share experiences.
•Remark: the 1 week intensive course is too short, it should be about 1 month.
2Immigration procedures (for partner/family)
•The partner is not allowed to follow an ROC course (inburgeringscursus) as the permit is temporary.
•The college fee is very high for partners that are coming along.
oInternational Office: There is a scholarship for international students (UTSP). It has an independent selection commission and candidates are brought forward by the faculty. Perhaps partners can try this.
•Partners cannot attend the intensive Dutch course for free.
•When the contract of the PhD ends but the research is not finished, the PhD is not allowed to stay in the Netherlands.
•P-NUT together with the Faculty Club organizes a get together every last Tuesday of the month from 17:00, in the Blomzaal (drinks are free).
•The internal communication (in the buildings) is mostly in Dutch.
•The meetings of the participation councils (faculty council etc.) are mostly in Dutch. Are international PhDs interested in participating in these councils?
4Questions and remarks
•There are PhDs at the UT that are paid by their home governments, so they are not official employees at the UT nor are they registered as students. This issue is now addressed at the national level. (In the Netherlands PhDs are employees.)
•In Delft there is a 1 month Dutch course.
•Socrates/Erasmus: the Erasmus programme wants to promote integration of cultures through language exchange in every part of the educational programme (bachelor/master/PhD). And you can get funding for this (both EU and non-EU).
•ERAMORE: has a database where you can find information on all kind of topics (funding, jobs, practical information like housing etc.).