Step 1: Call your gemeente and ask about your options. Set up an appointment to get a better understanding of the whole process.
I haven’t updated this blog for a while and I can give a long list as to why. But I’d rather not dwell on it. Suffice it to say, I am working like the English and living like the Dutch, working hard and spending less.
Moving back to this blog, I am starting a new series regarding inburgering cursis. Like other buitenlanders who wants to stay in this country, it is my duty to immerse myself in the society, starting with the language.
My situation is different from those who came here as a partner. I stayed in the country for a less than a year first before applying for partnership visa. During that duration, I studied for Dutch for 3months, two days a week to start with the language. But since I am not on partner visa, I paid the lessons from my own pocket. It is not exactly cheap. So we waited after I got my new residence permit and take advantage of the free inburgering cursis given by the gemeente.
I started my lessons on the second week of May, 1.5 months after the meeting with the gemeente. Unlike the horror stories I’ve heard from other expats, the start of my inburgering cursis has been smooth.
The first thing we did was call the gemeente and set an appointment with whoever is in charge of the inburgering. Few days after the telephone conversation, I received an email indicating the date and time of my appointment with my contact person.
The friendly woman who was assigned to me was very accommodating. She told me to speak Dutch with her and her two other colleague. I apologized immediately for my bad Dutch, on which she replied, “If you would not practise, you will not learn.”
I presented my verblijfsgunning (residence permit), passport, my college diploma and the two letters from my school as proof that I have already started learning Dutch.
After writing down all the information, she gave me an evaluation paper which states what I must do, from the inburgering cursis to converting my diploma to Dutch standards. She asked my availability for school and told me that I will receive a letter from a diagnostic company to determine my level of Dutch.
The meeting went very well and lasted for only an hour. All the time, I was speaking Dutch despite having a hard time. She congratulated me for the effort and wished me well.
I left the gemeente with admiration for the city where I am staying.