Working four days a week and spending as much free time as possible visiting the most beautiful spots in the Netherlands. This is what the life of Spanish dentist Eduardo currently looks like. In this article, we take a look back at why he moved here, which obstacles he’s had to face, and why he recommends other dentists to also consider a career in the Netherlands.
An international dentist from Spain
In the first video interview with Eduardo, it was hard to tell if I was talking to a Spanish or an American dentist. With his baseball sweater and American-English accent, he seemed to have more in common with Tom Brady than a Spanish dentist from Oviedo.
The reason for that became apparent quickly, because after obtaining his dentistry degree in Oviedo, Eduardo went on to get a Postgraduate degree in Pediatric Dentistry in Los Angeles. This allowed him to immerse himself in American culture while also improving his English language skills.
After finishing his post-graduate degree, he worked in the UK for six months, accruing more work experience and improving his English even more.
And this is where a pattern emerges, because Eduardo always tries to learn about the language and culture of the country he’s in as quickly as possible. This also applies to his new life and career in the Netherlands, about which I will share more with you later.
When I first spoke with Eduardo on Skype, he’d had settled back in Spain after his adventures in LA and the UK. However, he soon found out that, in his home country, he could not reach his full potential as a dentist, and he also got the travel bug again. It was around this time that he saw our vacancy on Facebook and Eduardo decided to ask for information with a good friend who was already living in the Netherlands at the time. Due in part to said friend’s good experiences in Dutch dentistry, Eduardo responded to our vacancy and it would not be long until I sent him an invitation for our introductory Skype call.
Too good to be true?
Back when Eduardo applied to join our program, there was no obligation to pass a B2+ Dutch language exam like there is now.
Still, we offered a B1 Dutch language course lasting for three months, to make sure that our dentist would have the language skills required to work comfortably in a Dutch dental clinic.
In addition to this course, we also used our network to find each of our dentists an appropriate Dutch dental clinic.
After hearing our offer, Eduardo initially thought it sounded too good to be true. A comfortable integration into a country with an excellent balance between work and private life? This was a huge contrast with his job in Spain, where he tend to work long hours against less favourable working conditions.
Thanks to his years of experience and excellent command of English, the selection procedure went swimmingly, and he did not have to wait long until he received an invitation to visit our office for the final interviews. Eduardo reckoned: “I have nothing to lose, so I’ll go and give it a try!”
This turned out to be the right decision for him, because his good feeling and motivation were further boosted when he had visited our office and was able to spend some time experiencing the country for himself.
Eduardo appreciated our open way of communicating, and he was able to just take the contract home and consider our offer carefully. His father fully supported him in his endeavour and helped convince him that this was an opportunity he had to seize. And so Eduardo embarked on this new adventure.
Learning the Dutch language in Seefeld
The first stop was Hotel Wetterstein in Seefeld, Austria. This is the location of our academy, where Eduardo spent the summer of 2016 learning the Dutch language in a class composed of dentists from countries all over Europe.
Eduardo cherishes the memories from Seefeld to this very day, particularly the people who help run the hotel, such as Josie and Leony.
He also discovered that learning a completely new language in a few months is no small task. Eduardo wanted to master Dutch at all costs. As mentioned previously, Eduardo is someone who always does everything within his possibility to adjust to a new culture. This motivation is what helped him achieve a very respectable level of Dutch.
Integrating personally and professionally in the Netherlands
Even still, Eduardo’s first months in the Netherlands were not without some bumps in the road. His first clinic eventually turned out to not be the perfect match, but it didn’t last long before he started working in a suitable clinic in the city of The Hague.
From that moment onwards, Eduardo was able to integrate himself into Dutch society more and more. With his love for pediatric dentistry, Eduardo treats many Dutch children every day and has, by now, obtained a permanent contract with his clinic. He is also satisfied with his working conditions, working four days a week for a good salary.
As a result of this favourable work-life balance, Eduardo has enough time to practice his hobby along with his partner: travelling through the Netherlands, with Amsterdam being his favourite destination,
Because, in spite of being very happy with the more than four years he has worked in The Hague, Eduardo hopes to one day work in his beloved Amsterdam. He is in no hurry though, especially after purchasing a home in The Hague. Talk about a successful integration!
Why you should start a career in the Netherlands
At this point, Eduardo is where he wants to be in his life, and he’s very thankful for that. When asked what grade he’d give his life in the Netherlands, he answered with a 9.5.
However, he also had a word of caution for any dentist thinking about coming to the Netherlands: it takes quite a bit of work. You have to be and remain motivated to learn the language, adapt to the culture and demonstrate the value you provide for a dental clinic. Some aspects of the Dutch life can also be difficult, such as living far away from your family. Despite his great life in the Netherlands, that is still something Eduardo struggles with at times.
In the end, though, Eduardo thinks the pros of living here heavily outweigh the cons, and he can wholeheartedly recommend you starting a career as a dentist in the Netherlands. Here, you will encounter plenty of opportunities to develop yourself and enjoy a comfortable balance between work and free time. The choice is yours, and with the right amount of effort and motivation, a good career is waiting for you in the Netherlands.