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Charl Stander

Charl Stander emigrated to the Netherlands in May 2024, together with his wife Lieschen. Read more about the experiences of Charl.

Charl, why did you emigrate to the Netherlands?
My wife and I have always wanted to travel and experience opportunities in the rest of the world and the Netherlands was one of the first places we looked at. The language and pre-existing South African communities made it an appealing place to start. We felt this was the best time as my wife just finished her studies.

Can you tell us something how you do like the Netherlands?
We find the nature and the people amazing here as well as the work-life balance the Netherlands provides. At first it was different than expected, nothing prepares you to live in a new country as actually doing it, I suppose. The public transport works great where you can use a mobile app and plan your next journey with ease. Another thing I like is the accessibility to other European countries. The weather is not always the best, and I do miss a Saturday braai, but on the bright side you could always pop over to a sunnier place. There is definitely a lot of differences between SA and NL. As mentioned before, the work-life balance is great. The mail system is a lot more important in the NL, where all your important information such as bank card pin, social security number, digital ID number etc. is only received via the actual mail (not online via email). The food is a major difference, you won’t find lamb or sheep as easy as in SA.

Please tell us something about the projects you are currently working on.
I am currently working on a project where we analyse and improve organisations’ IT landscapes. We are specifically focusing on “woningcorporaties” for now. This is to help “woningcorporaties” to ensure the success and longevity of their organisation by improving their relationship and integration with technology.

Did the process of emigration go smoothly?
There were definitely some ups and downs, but in the end, it was not too bad. summit developers did an amazing job in helping us with the necessary appointments and requirements. However, one thing I would change, is making sure we had all our documents and that they were all certified and apostillised before initiating the process. The documentation is what takes the longest and provides the most stress. Although it was sad to say goodbye to our family and friends, the physical aspect of the emigration was great. When we arrived in the Netherlands we were welcomed by Ton from summit developers and escorted to our residence. They provided us with a Dutch “starter-kit” which meant so much to us!

Can you explain to the South Africans who are considering to go overseas how you did experience the support from us?
If it was not for summit developers, I am not sure that the process would be this comfortable. My wife and I was treated as part of the summit developers and Aatop ICT family immediately and we really appreciated the help and advice we received. summit developers had done multiple actions from setting up our meetings with the embassy, helping us with finding a home, making sure I have a travel card in the Netherlands, providing me with a NL phone number and as mention before, providing us with the Dutch “starter-kit”. If it was not for them, I am sure the process would have been a lot more tedious and stressful. They really give you a warm welcome into the Netherlands and they are great people in general.