Sheldon Chapman arrived in the Netherlands in April 2023. Sheldon wrote wbout his experiences.
Sheldon, why did you emigrate to the Netherlands?
I was set on leaving South Africa and I’ve had my eyes on Europe since high school. I have always wanted to travel the world and become more internationally minded. Travel is much more accessible from central Europe and many Dutch cities are home to people from all over the world. The Netherlands has world class infrastructure, low crime rates, a culture that values a good work-life balance, a strong economy, and great work opportunities. I put a lot of value on these factors and the Netherlands ticks the most boxes of all the countries I was considering.
Can you tell us something how you do like the Netherlands?
I love it here! The Dutch are extremely welcoming and friendly. The technician who installed my internet invited me for drinks and offered to help me with anything I needed to know about the town I am staying in. I’ve had chats with students on the train leaving the city on Kings Day (A big holiday here). As for differences, safety is a big one. I see children walking/cycling the streets alone at night, something I could no longer do in the safer parts of Cape Town without getting mugged. People here leave their blinds/curtains open day and night and even when they are out at work. There is a real sense of safety. The lack of loadshedding is an obvious but huge difference. Not having to worry about when you might have power does wonders for your mental health. The weather is colder but there are plenty of warm sunny days so don’t think you have to sit with gloomy weather all year round.
Please tell us something about the projects you are currently working on.
I am involved in a project that allows businesses to manage and plan their workforce across many different stores across the country and even across multiple countries. I work in an agile team with many knowledgeable and friendly colleagues (some of them are also South African). The team manages multiple releases per week and even sometime per day. I can work with many new technologies which gives me plenty of opportunities to grow my career.
Did the process of emigration go smoothly?
Yes. Emigration sounds like an administration nightmare but everything on the Netherlands side has been easy and efficient. Your biggest challenges will be getting the South African Home Affairs to do their job, but once you are in the Netherlands it is smooth sailing. Things just work here, you just need to learn the subtle differences and you’re good to go. The process of emigration went extremely smoothly, once you have your passport visa, and airplane tickets you are pretty much ready to go thanks to the great support from summit developers.
Can you explain to the South Africans who are considering to go overseas how you did experience the support from us?
I cannot emphasize enough how convenient it was to go through summit developers. From first contact with them, they explained every step of the process and facilitated everything. They provided contacts for agents to handle any required documents, organized accommodation (this is a big deal in the Netherlands as accommodation can be a challenge), they even paid for some documentation and contributed towards my plane ticket. They fetched me at the airport, gave me a sim card with data, and even a crate of groceries 😊. I highly recommend their services to anyone in South Africa thinking of moving to the Netherlands.