Everyone who settles in the Netherlands must integrate into Dutch society. Newcomers need to learn Dutch and familiarise themselves with Dutch society. This will help them integrate more rapidly and have a better chance of finding a job. It will also make it easier to function in daily life, when you go shopping, when you interact with neighbours and when you want to communicate with colleagues or doctors for example.
Under certain circumstances you are exempt from taking the compulsory integration exam. For example when you are temporarily staying in Enschede to study, when you are from the European Union or certain other countries outside the EU or as an expat.
Migrants are responsible for arranging their own integration. The government, in turn, ensures that there are appropriate facilities, such as civic integration courses.
For new settlers in the Netherlands, the integration process begins in their country of origin since they need an authorisation for temporary stay to travel to this country. To obtain this document, they must pass the civic integration exam abroad. Once migrants have settled in the Netherlands, they are legally required to integrate into Dutch society. In practice, this means taking a civic integration exam.
For an extensive explanation about the integration procedure and to register visit the website of the Ministry of Education.
For more information on integration in Enschede visit the website (only available in Dutch).
For more information about integration in general visit the website of the Dutch Government.
If you’re an expat and you need help with certain formalities and/or services, the Expat Center of the WTC can help you. For more information visit their website.
Dutch can be a tricky language to learn (even though it is said to be closely related to English and German), not to mention all the different dialects that inhabit such a small country like the Netherlands (the dialect spoken in Enschede and its surrounding cities, towns and villages is called ‘Twents’). If you want to learn Dutch there are a number of facilities at your disposal:
Talen Twente provide language lessons for the state examination
ROC Twente (only available in Dutch)
ROC van Twente offer intergration courses and Dutch language courses where you learn to speak, read and write in Dutch.
Public Library Enschede (only available in Dutch)
The public library in the city centre of Enschede offers a range of books about integration and the Dutch language. There is also a special information point about integration located inside the library.