Christoff Boshoff and his wife Esmeralda and their sons Chris and Stephen came to the Netherlands in February 2021. Read more about the experiences of Christoff.
Christoff, why did you emigrate to the Netherlands?
We decided to come to the Netherlands for a better future and education for our two sons and to live in a country with more stability (as a bonus, it is easier and more affordable to travel!). Schools and medical care are free for children and my wife can be a stay-at-home mom and spend a lot of time with them.
Can you tell us something how you do like the Netherlands?
The Netherlands is a beautiful country and after a while one feels a lot more “chilled”, as if you left the rat race. We love it here and places to see or things to do seems almost endless. As far as differences go, I’ll name the most obvious ones:
Afrikaans is not Dutch, there are big differences, but knowing Afrikaans also puts you miles ahead with the number of words shared between them.
The weather is a lot different but also great in its own way, as with most things the weather is what you make of it.
Houses are a lot smaller here than what we are used to but there is so much to do and see that you spend a lot of time outside.
Kids have a lot more freedom here because as parents you are not worried about their safety in the same way you would be in South Africa.
Get ready to use a bicycle… it’s not just part of the culture, it’s less stressful traveling with a bicycle and it feels like everything is geared towards cyclists (“Zonder een fiets, ben je niets!” 😉)
Please tell us something about the projects you are currently working on.
I am currently working at a communication solution provider. It is amazing to work at a company like this and see how it and its solutions adapted to the way we work in the pandemic. It is a steep learning curve to learn about communication protocols, down to the networking level, and integrating with all kinds of communication channels like MS Teams, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc. They are truly focused on the Microsoft stack and investing on Mobile development and Cloud solutions (Azure). The people I work with are extremely friendly and I’ve been treated extremely well from day one. They are always willing to help and answer questions and have a culture of learning by doing… and then learning from your mistakes. Work life balance is important here, which means that you focus on work during office hours and focus on living during your hours.
Did the process of emigration go smoothly?
Emigration is a huge step, and a lot needs to happen. The most difficult administrative part is making sure all your documents from Home Affairs are ready and in order in South Africa but once that is done, things can go smoothly (and sometimes very fast). Because of the pandemic we were asked if we could change our plans very quickly and come to the Netherlands sooner, which added a lot of stress but staying calm and with assistance from summit developers, everything turned out fine and we arrived at Schiphol airport three days later.
Can you explain to the South Africans who are considering to go overseas how you did experience the support from us?
summit developers stood by us every step of the way! They go the extra mile in everything they do and do their utmost to put you at ease with the process. From starting with the documents and processes, arranging a place to rent, getting our sons registered at a school, picking us up at the airport and taking us to our new home (and taking us to the shops for a quick crash course), right through to taking us to get registered in the country, they were there answering all our questions, giving guidance every step of the way, and arranging all legislative processes in the Netherlands. They were always a whatsapp message or call away. Personally, I don’t think I will ever attempt a big move like this without the kind of reassuring, friendly and competent support we got from summit developers!