For foreign students, access to local news may seem limited since local papers and TV broadcasts are in Dutch. Thankfully, there are a number of English language news outlets available. Here are five you can choose from to provide you a daily source of local news.
In the past year, The Underground has become a common sight at coffee shops across The Hague. The free, monthly English paper was started by graphic designer Simone Branson Harper as a way to “to connect the international yet local community of The Hague to the Hagenaren.” Besides articles on events, restaurants and hot spots, they have segments on historic landmarks, columns by prominent locals and quirky stories about local residents. Branson Harper, who was born to a Dutch mother and English father, says the idea was “to create a paper for people like me, people with a multicultural background… a paper which appeal to both communities, connecting them through culture, history and joint interests.”
The Hague Online
Based out of The Hague, this website is a composite source of all kinds of information. You can find articles on upcoming events, news stories, sports activities, cultural shows, festivals and nightlife – not just in The Hague but also nearby places such as Delft. “The goal of the website is to help expats and internationals feel at home in The Hague,” says Billy Allwood, a British expat and the founder of the website. Check out their Weekly Calendar if you’re looking for a quick way to plan your weekend fun.
Feel lost each time your Dutch classmates talk politics? Then Dutch News is the website to visit. National news is reported in English and the site also has a section called the Dictionary of Dutchness which explains some key terminology (such as ATV, ANN), a section on housing, a What’s On section for the culturally inclined and a lot more. “We want to keep people who don’t speak Dutch in touch with a broad spectrum of Dutch news,” says Robin Pascoe, the editor. “We also try to remember that our readers may be new here and so we put stories in perspective. We don’t assume they know what an ATV day is or what the AOW is, for example,” she adds. The website also carries columns by Dutch and foreign writers.
This Amsterdam-based website was started in November 2010, by expats looking to create a platform to help ‘expats of all colours, shapes and sizes’ interact with each other and engage with the local community. While there is a certain amount of weekly news on the website, the focus is more on expat living issues. It has sections on education, careers and events, and in-depth articles on topics such as housing rules and the Dutch tax system. “It is an online media platform covering the dayto- day needs of all English-speaking internationals in the Netherlands. They can access up-to-date information, news, housing and career services, lifestyle tips and community events,” says Sergios Charalampos, Editor in Chief of the website.
Sometime in early 2000, Canadian expat Bram Lebo found himself waiting endlessly for a tram one morning. The only people at the station were other foreigners. None of them knew that the transport workers of the Netherlands were on strike that day because all news about that was limited to Dutch channels. That gap, between Dutch news and local foreigners, is what Lebo set out to fill with Expatica- an online forum. Today, the site has pages on other European countries, South Africa, and Moscow. Besides current affairs and daily news, the site is a trove of information for expats. There are sections on housing, education, student life, finding a job, finance and business and a lot more.