I first had the idea of working in the Netherland in 2015, after a nice visit to my sister-in-law, who back then lived in Hilversum. I also followed a free online Dutch course wishing to get to know the language a little bit. Because of Romanian bureaucracy, I couldn’t apply back then for a Conformity European Certificate, so I abandoned the idea.
With the start of Covid in 2020, dentistry took a turn for the worse, becoming more unsecure, uncertain. That’s when I started reconsidering the idea. My sister-in-law found BGB so I decided to give it a try. I started talking to recruiters and finding out about all the details. I also considered learning Dutch in Romania but the courses were so few and it would have lasted more than a year to get to a B level . I also heard stories or failed tries leaving with the help of a recruitment company. Also I didn’t know how the dental style would be in the Netherlands or whether I would like the city, the people or the lifestyle.
Such a big decision seemed risky so I decided to give my country another try and concentrate on my further development , starting a Dental Management Master’s degree, developing my own dental coaching program and started studying the causes and treatment of dental anxiety.
I didn’t want to fit in the social 40 year old social concept, but somehow it happened. I turned 40 and decided to make the biggest decision of my life so far. Back than I had 15 years experience as a dentist, a 5 year old boy, I had never lived by renting and never before moved to another country. All my friends and colleagues of my age and with children thought I was rather crazy or superly brave. All or some of my specializations wouldn’t be put to use in the Netherlands. My husband would not have a job secured in the Netherlands so I would be responsible for my whole family. That is what scared me the most.
Also that’s what motivated me the most. In 2022, the war in Ukraine had started. That was also a catalyst for my decision. I wished for a more secure future for my son, in a more stable society, a better chance to a better education. I also wished for a stable income, a balanced work-life situation and a less polluted city to live in.
“Are you too old to learn a new language”?, “do you think you can do it”?, “you’ll have to do your job in Dutch”, “you son will go directly to a Dutch school, will he like the language?”, “your son wouldn’t have any friends in the beginning” …These are just some of the questions people asked me back then.
I chose to give it a try. Not trying is not knowing and I didn’t want to live the rest of my life with the regret of not trying.
Now that I look back, after 7 months of working and living here, I made the right decision. The language program is excellent! I still have tons of words and expressions to learn, but my beautiful colleagues help me every day with that. Dutch was my 5th language to learn and I don’t think it is so hard to learn. My way through liking it was music.
The Seefeld experience was one of a kind. The strongest point of the language program are the native speaker teachers. There is no way I could have gotten to this level with other courses available in my country.
Grammar and pronunciation are really important and that makes a great difference when I interact with natives, colleagues, patients, neighbors or parents from school. “I speak Dutch for less than a year” I tell some of my patients as an excuse for taking a break to mentally search a specific word. “ I would have never guessed that”, they say, “I know people who live here for years and they don’t speak Dutch like you do!” These are the most beautiful compliments to this Dutch language course that BGB organizes!
And Seefeld was a unique and perfect idea for the course. It seemed weird having two and a half months there, and not in the Netherlands. But the inbetween place and period is well needed. It’s a perfect place to find yourself, your weaknesses and strengths, to analyze your decisions. Nature helps clear you mind, get you strong, sleep better and learn more efficiently. I decided to stay there alone, without my family and that was hard but also better on so many levels, that I don’t regret it.
I am so happy about my decision and the city also! Breda is so beautiful, green and friendly. Child-friendly and people-friendly. My colleagues helped hugely and I am so grateful for that. We live in a nice green area in a large rented apartment. We intend to buy a house in the future, with a garden ideally, as gardening is also one of my hobbies.
My kid got directly to a Dutch school and even though he didn’t understand all, he was warmly welcomed by everyone. After 2-3 months started to understand and speak more and now, after 6 months of school he speaks Dutch pretty well, in a way I wouldn’t have expected in such a short time! And his speed I only got after almost 1 year of learning and practicing Dutch.
Dental work is almost the same, people are people and teeth are still…teeth. Maybe some concepts and protocols are different from your own country. The good part is that you don’t have to actually do treatments you are not comfortable with. There are lots of patients and I was amazed to see how many check-ups are normally planned here. A dentist can find his way here whether he is experienced or a beginner.
We miss friends and family, that is true, but otherwise we made new friends among parents from my son’s school, we visited lots of nice places, attended nice activities and I am happy to say people here are so friendly that we rarely feel like foreigners.
For anyone who wishes to change their life completely, or just give it a try, I recommend BGB and everything they have to offer. Besides the well-organized language course, they provide help with a lot of things, before and after getting to the Netherlands, things that would take so much more time and effort to do on your own.
And the most important part: BGB people. They are exactly how they look on the website and social media, there is no scam or mask. They are smiley friendly and actually happy people. They enjoy their lives and what they do.