Arno Kotze and his family (wife Monia and children Jacques en Tia) lives in the Netherlands since May 2022. Arno wrote about his experiences.
Arno, why did you emigrate to the Netherlands?
The main reason we emigrated was to ensure a better future for our kids. Because of the problems in South Africa, we believe that raising and educating our children here in the Netherlands would be better for them. Over and above that, the quality of life here is better. It is very liberating to know that your young kids can go play outside and they will be safe. It’s also nice to live in a place where your government is competent and your tax money gets used for your own and society’s benefit. The bonus for my wife and I is that living in the Netherlands will allow us to do some travelling, which we love.
Can you tell us something how you do like the Netherlands?
The country is beautiful, it is safe, the people are helpful, and everything works. And I do mean everything. There are a lot of differences though. Like the way you go about getting a doctor, the way the schools work, the fact that not all shops accept MasterCard – small things like that. I think the lifestyle here is more relaxed than in SA. And people cycle everywhere… you don’t see that in SA. The houses are a lot smaller, which will take some getting used to, and the language is not nearly as easy to learn as you might think. But once we can communicate in Dutch, we will feel right at home.
Please tell us something about the projects you are currently working on.
I am working as a .NET engineer in the Underground Mining division of my client. They develop software applications for the identification, registration, and monitoring of waste collection containers and vehicles. Their products are used by almost everyone in the Netherlands. The work consists of developing solutions for the client itself as well as customizations for their customers. Our focus for the next couple of months will be to migrate all their systems and applications from on-premise to the Azure cloud. Tools, standards and products that they use include C#.NET, SQL, Dynamics 365, Power BI, Angular, Azure DevOps & Service Bus, and Xamarin for iOS & Android development.
Did the process of emigration go smoothly?
From the South African side, things took longer than expected. No surprises there. The Dutch side was mostly smooth, thanks to a combination of the government being competent and the fact that summit developers handled most of it on our behalf.
Can you explain to the South Africans who are considering to go overseas how you did experience the support from us?
Like I mentioned earlier, I am not even sure what was involved in the emigration process from a Dutch perspective, because summit developers took care of all of that. The personal insights that Paulien, Ton, and Matthijs shared were invaluable to us. It ends up being the difference between picking the right/wrong school, or making the right choice when it comes to health insurance, or knowing where to park (for free). It is a million small things like that, but they make a huge difference. Things Google can’t tell you. And if you want to know something – just ask. They will always assist.