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Farrel Hardenberg

Farrel Hardenberg emigrated to the Netherlands in August 2023, together with his wife en two children. Read more about the experiences of Farrel.

Farrel, why did you emigrate to the Netherlands?
I’ve always thought that as a parent, you should be able to offer your children more opportunities than the ones you had with your parents. Emigration offers my family and me a way out of a desolate and dying South Africa and so much more growth, career, new cultural experiences, and life opportunities for our children. It wasn’t an easy choice, but it was the best choice for our family! We know it won’t be easy, but we’re optimistic and will give it our best shot! “The grass grows where you water it”.

Can you tell us something how you do like the Netherlands?
I have been in the Netherlands for a while now. It is a lovely country, and I have only experienced warm welcomes from people around us. From the passport control officers to my brand new neighbors to my colleagues! Even the people who cycle past us have greeted us – “Hoi!”. Coming from the beautiful Durbanville area in Cape Town, I can appreciate the cleanliness of the neighborhood where we live now – Uden. The roads are excellent, and everything seems well looked after! And this is the Netherlands, not only a tiny isolated suburb like Durbanville or Franschhoek in Cape Town. Oh, I don’t have to “look over my shoulder”. South Africans may know what this means.

Please tell us something about the projects you are currently working on.
I am a lead dev for the RRM (Resource Registration & Management) team at InforIT. InforIT designs, builds and maintains Transport Management Systems for their clients. Like many other companies, their system continues to manage a legacy system. My squad and others are working on a newer version of this system. The system uses event-driven architecture patterns and Microservices! My squad is finishing a project called DTP (Driver Truck Planning) in September 2023. We will start with exciting new projects that handle and manage location calculations for other domains within the Transport Management System.

Did the process of emigration go smoothly?
I thought the process went well! There were a few hiccups here and there. The South African Home Affairs had a massive backlog, so some paperwork took ages to get to us. Hint: Always use an agent if you can! And then there was the infamous mistake on my son’s visa: the Valid From date had a typo on the month. My wife and son had to stay behind for a few weeks. I think this was an honest mistake. It gave my daughter and me time to adjust to some things in the Netherlands before the rest of the family arrived! And we were able to get some things as well! So it turned out positively! Like my wife says, “Everything happens for a reason!”.

Can you explain to the South Africans who are considering to go overseas how you did experience the support from us?
Matthijs, Paulien, and Ton have been beneficial on our journey! It is fantastic to find people from another country who don’t know you, who can talk to you, meet up with you, and assist you when you need help with almost anything! We have felt nothing but welcomed into their country, support, and kindness! And the language lessons help as well! Thank you, team!