11 November, 2010

Ik ben KLAAR met Portfolio!

Excited much?!

As I've finally finished the portfolio and am going to hand it in at school tonight to be sent off for assessment, I thought it was time to share with you exactly what I did and which portions I found easiest and most difficult.  I have described the basics of what is expected in the portfolio here, so if you want a refresher, go and have a look.

Are you ready?  Let's go.

So, my portfolio was based on the Werk (work) traject, which unless you already have a job is quite difficult (as some of my friends have experienced first hand).  I'm not sure how the Gemeente comes up with the idea that a stay at home mum would find it easier to deal with the work traject than one of the others available, but hey.  Only the Gemeente understands its own logic...  I must also clarify, I opted to complete the 20 part portfolio.  You can also opt for half portfolio, half assessment, but the 20 part portfolio has less stress attached than the exam-type situation of the assessments.  Plus, I think you should have a strong level of Dutch to be confident in the assessments.

So, I needed to complete three sections:  Burgerschap (citizenship), Werk Zoeken (looking for work) and Werk Hebben (at work).  One by one I'll go through each situation.  Try to stay awake, it will be helpful.  I promise.

Situatie:  Ik meld bij de Gemeente dat ik ga trouwen (I inform the City Council that I am married)
Basically Maarten and I had to register our recent marriage at the Gemeente and I'd been putting off the Gemeente tasks for oh, eight months or so, so I bit the bullet and also asked the lady about completing my portfolio form which she was happy to do.  It wasn't that difficult to be honest.  As is also true in the experience of others, they just want to rubber stamp you and get on with the next task.  It was also easier because Maarten was there for a bit of support.  My advice:  Take a friend.  Get yourself an 'inburgering buddy' and do it together.  Half the work with twice the result.

Situatie:  Ik maak kennis met de buren (get to know the neighbour)
I won't lie to you.  For me this was the most difficult task.  Not because it was actually difficult, but I'm chronically afraid of approaching random people (i.e. neighbours) and talking to them.  You know those survey takers you always try to avoid in in the city centre, well that job is what hell would be for me.  So, it's no surprise that it was the absolute last task on the list that I did.  This shouldn't be a chore, but for me it was.  And there's nothing wrong with my neighbours, by the way!

Situatie:  Ik pin geld bij de bank (I withdraw money from an ATM)
I kid you not, this is an actual task.  And the proof?  An ATM receipt.  This doesn't need any further discussion.  Aside from the fact that it was the first task I completed!

Situatie:  Ik doe een cursus of opleiding (I undertake a study course or training)
This is the second easiest task.  You're already doing a course (Welkom in Nederland), and an extract from the course book is sufficient proof.  Get yourself to a photocopier NOW!

Situatie  Ik vul een verhuisbericht in (I complete a change of address form)
Again, very easy.  Go to the Gemeente and ask for a new address form and take it with you.  Fill it in at home and you're done.

Situatie:  Ik reageer op familieberichten (responding to family news)
This isn't really obvious from the title, but basically it is a greeting card.  Write a card to your neighbour for their birthday/christmas/graduation and that's your proof.  My sainted teacher's advice was that this shouldn't be a family member, even though the situation specifically mentions that it is...

Situatie:   Ik begrijp de jaarafrekening (I understand the yearly energy bill)
This is one of those situations where you don't actually have to do anything except dig through your old bills.  Find your energy bill (remember it doesn't have to be from 2010, it can be any yearly bill after 2006) and make sure you understand it and you're done.

Situatie:  Ik begrijp het ophaalrooster for afval (I understand the rubbish collection roster)
I confused myself with this one.  I at first understood that this could include the old paper roster that we have, but found out that it is not good proof.  So, as the Gemeente hasn't delivered any sort of roster to us for the rubbish collection (at least not this year and not to our address), I went to the Almere Gemeente website and printed the page.  Try it here for Almere.  I should point out that even though Maarten helped me find the page 6 months ago, I could understand enough to navigate through the 'texty' site that is almere.nl.  You really have to be able to understand Dutch to find what you're looking for.  Good luck!

Now, that's eight Burgerschap situations.  As a failsafe, I have two extras (for each section) in case one is not acceptable or one reason or another.  They were:

Situatie:  Ik betaal een rekening (I pay a bill)
This is another situation similar to the energy bill situation.  Find an old bill with an acceptgiro attached, fill it out and it's good proof.  Just remember, must be newer than 2006.  If you don't know what an acceptgiro looks like, see below:

Situatie:  Ik nodig de buren uit (I invite the neighbour out/over)
When you get to know the neighbour as per the above situation, also take the time to extend an invitation to them, for coffee or an imaginary birthday party etc.  Then they can complete both forms at once.  I just love killing two birds with one stone (but not real birds, obviously!).

Werk Zoeken
Situatie:  Ik vraag informatie over vacatures (I ask for information about a job vacancy)
For this task I went to visit an Uitzendbureau (job agency).  I chose Tempo Team.  Mostly because Maarten used to work there and I knew the staff so I was quite comfortable going there.  I imagine if I had to walk into a random uitzendbureau I would have really struggled to find the courage.  We chatted about a call centre job for about 15 minutes.  Not difficult.

Situatie:  Ik zoek vacatures op internet (I search the internet for vacancies)
Go to Monsterboard and search for a job you think you can do (in Dutch).  Print it out.  Done.

Situatie:  Ik vul een solicitatieformulier in (I fill out a job application form)
Basically, you need to go into a shop/MacDonalds/supermarket and ask for an application form.  Fill it out and there's your proof.

Situatie:  Ik heb een telefonisch solicitatie gesprek (I have a telephone interview)
So, in this situation you should be having a telephone interview about a job.  This can also be simulated by asking your actual boss to have a 'pretend' interview if you didn't have a telephone interview for your job.  However if you did actually have a phone interview, use that as your example!  Think back to the actual date (provided it wasn't too long ago) and think about what was discussed.  As it is a telephone interview, the person you 'spoke' with doesn't have to complete the form...

And now for the extras two:

Situatie:  Ik zoek werk.  Ik schrijf mijzelf in als werkzoekende.  (I'm looking for work.  I register as a jobseeker)
Now, this is the one situation I have some concerns about.  What I did was register myself on monsterboard and took a screenshot of my profile and printed it out.  I'm not sure if this is acceptable or not, and my teacher isn't sure either.  We'll have to wait and see what the assessors have to say.  I am using it as an extra though, so it shouldn't matter too much!

Situatie:  Ik bereid het sollicitatie gesprek voor (I prepare for an interview)
Write a quick few sentences that are key points to be discussed in an interview; your motivation and experience.  Basically why you want the job (offers a challenge, has a good salary and opportunity for growth etc) and what your experience is.  Simple.

Werk Hebben
Situatie:  Ik schrijf op een formulier wat ik allemaal gedaan heb en hoe ik dat gedaan heb (I fill in a form with what I have done and how I did it.)
Some jobs require that you fill in this sort of form each day, especially if another employee shares your job, or you need to account for what you have done for the day (like a timesheet or logbook).  In my office, the cleaning staff have to complete this sort of form, so if you don't have to do one yourself, perhaps ask your cleaner if they have such a form and photocopy it.  Fill out a couple of points and you're done.

Situatie:  Ik lees teksten over gezond, hygienisch end veilig werken (read a sheet with good work and hygiene practice at your place of work)
Every work place should have such information on display (perhaps in the bathrooms for hand washing etc).  Photocopy this sheet and that's your proof.

Situatie:  Ik praat met collega's over persoonlijke dingen (chat with colleagues about personal things, i.e. what you did at the weekend)
This was one of those situations that I discussed with my colleagues for months about doing.  At my office we talk mostly in English.  The company is international and the official communication language is in English.  So I don't really need Dutch to work here.  I finally had the motivation to do this when my teacher gave me a deadline.  Very easy, quick chat over something that you did in your own time.  Your colleague fills out the form, and that is that.

Situatie:  Mijn wek is klaar.  Ik schrijf kort op wat er nu nog moet gebeuren (I'm finished.  Now write a short note for colleagues as to what needs to be done)
Very simple, write a quick note to your colleague saying "Mijn werk is klaar," and ask them to complete one or two extra tasks (eg. call a customer or send an email or order more paper).  The more you write, the more opportunities for error.  Use the KISS (keep it simple stupid) principle on this one.

Situatie:  Ik vertel over het wek dat if heb gedaan (I tell a colleague what work I have done)
Again, you can do this at the same time you have the other chat with your colleague (bird and stones).  Tell them what you have done that morning/yesterday, i.e. called a customer, cleaned the toilets, whatever.  Very quick.

Situatie:  Ik bel mijn baas om te zeggen dat ik beter ben (I call my boss and tell them that I am feeling better)
This can be simulated.  Make a 'phonecall' to your boss to tell them that you are now feeling better and will be able to come back to work tomorrow/next week.

Situatie:  Ik praat met collega's over de wek verdeling (I discuss the distribution of work with my colleagues)
Very quick, chat with your colleague about who will answer the phone/clean the toilet etc for that day.  Get them to complete the form.

Situatie:  Ik schrijf een verslag tijdens en werkoverleg (take notes at a department meeting)
Write some notes from a meeting that you have had.  I would say that this can also be simulated.  Note who from your office/team was at a meeting and who was not there, then a few points that were discussed; i.e. upcoming holidays, any changes within the office etc.  Again apply the KISS principle to this one and write only a few points.

And the extras...

Situatie:  Ik bereid een functioneringsgesprek voor (I prepare for a performance review meeting)
Make a few notes (KISS principle) about what you would say in a performance review meeting.  Items like:  How you find the job, if your boss is happy with you, if you want more training etc.

Situatie:  Ik bereid een gesprek voor over arbeidsvoorwaarden (I prepare questions to ask about a new job)
Write a few short notes re questions you would typically ask a new employer, i.e. how many holiday days, what your work times will be, will there be over time etc.

And, you're done!  Lengthy, but not difficult.  It all depends on your personality as to how hard the portfolio will be.  Like I noted earlier, get yourself an inburgering buddy.  A problem shared is a problem halved and all that.

I must say, I was very lucky.  My teacher has been nothing but helpful in this process.  I know that other students have quite the opposite experience with their teachers, so I'm most grateful for the help and occasional kick in the butt to get this done!

Now we will send the portfolio to the assessors and wait for news as to whether or not I am through to the interview stage of the process, and if I pass both, I'm free of the portfolio forever!  It really has been like a black cloud hanging over me and I can't wait to feel the satisfaction of completion.  I'll keep you posted.


Andre Meij said...

Wow, I had NO idea the inburgerings process is this complex.

Congrats on completing all the tasks, looking through them I'd think you did a thorough job, pff.

I wish you an expedient and positive answer!

Orangesplaash said...

This is truly a lot of information. Great work!

Danitsja Koster said...

Hey Neriss,

If you want to be sure about registering as a job seeker you might want to go to werk.nl which is the site from UWV (uitkeringen) and get an account there. That should be more then enough because that's about what they offer you. Or you could call the UWV and ask how you can register. That's the official way I guess so it might help if your screenshot from Monsterboard isn't enough.
Besides that: great! So we're only gonna speak in Dutch from now on? ;)


Martha M. M said...

congrats girl! I opted out of portfolio..I know I have to do extra assessments..have to take 4 but I am up for the challenge.Well done

Unknown said...

congrats !
would you also be elaborate on what else i need to complete my portfolio. I was a student in 2008 and just yesterday went to get my bewijsen checked. I realised, besides the increase in number form 15 -20, there are also these extra checklist/ documents i need. Now coz of shortage of time and that the docents ll beavaiable only in jan, i decided to send my request for a panel gesprek nevertheless. would you be able to help me out here and be my inburgering buddy? all of my bewijs are checked, expect for 4 werk heb, but i am sure they are also correct coz they are the gesprek bewijs.

Unknown said...

Hi Natasha, I'm not sure what you mean by extra checklists/documents? Do you have the full 20 bewijzen? Do they all match the situations correctly?

One very important point to remember - you must make sure that you dot all your 'I's and cross all your 'T's so to speak. You need to make sure the details are filled in correctly. The examiner may be having a bad day and decide to reject your portfolio based on a few stupid mistakes. Have someone close to you go through the portfolio with a fine tooth comb. Also remember that 'old' documents can't be any older than 2006 (jaarafrekening etc).

As long as all 4 unchecked gesprekbewijzen match what they should, you'll be fine. Just remember to take a photocopy of the entire thing before submitting it - you'll need it to practice what the interview will be like!

Unknown said...

HI Neriss

yes, i completed all the 20 bewijsen for the portfolio and have got the praktijk deel within this fortnight. I know there will be no assesment, so what shold i expect in this deel? what are they going to ask?

Unknown said...

Hi Natasha, I posted about this here: http://inburgeringadventure.blogspot.com/2010/11/portfolio-interview-preparation.html and here http://inburgeringadventure.blogspot.com/2010/12/exams-are-done-done-done.html

Take a look, those posts should answer most of your questions I'd say.

Good luck with the gesprek - I was really nervous, but the two examiners were really friendly and made me relax.

Unknown said...

thanks Nerissa! Now I am studying like a mad woman

khoash said...

Your blogs were very useful for me. I just appeared today for my portfolio exam. However they didnt let me know the outcome. Is it a bad sign. You got any idea?

Unknown said...

Hi Khoash, Way to go on your exam! I wasn't expecting them to tell me right away that I had passed - I don't think that it is the norm to be honest. They did send my official results within about 10 days, so you won't have to wait long! Keep me posted.

khoash said...

sure I will keep u posted....keeping my fingers crossed....actually one of my friend also recently passed and he was also informed about the outcome on the same day so that's why I am bit worried. Lets see....hoping for the best though!

aneesh venkatraman said...


I am Aneesh and I am now currently preparing for my Inburgering exam. I have started making my portfolio of 20 Bewijzen. I had a question regarding the same. I guess I need to collect 8 bewijzen corresponding to "Werk Hebben". Now, I spoke to my colleagues at work and my boss and collected few Bewijzen. Now, my question is whether is it ok to just get those forms filled and signed by my colleages or do I also need some official stamp of the Company to authenticate those forms ? I am speaking about the "Bewijsformulier Gesprekken".

I ask this because my Company being a private one does not seem to have a seal or a stamp! Let me know on this. Thanks a lot!


Unknown said...

Dear Nerissa,
Thank you a lot for sharing your experience which I found very useful.
I have passed the 3 exams and only the portfolios are left (I am doing the old version of the inburgering test).Since your note is from 2010, I was wondering if the situations you explained are still accepted.
I am really confused from where and how I should start (and my Dutch is not good). I should say that I live in Rotterdam and did Not follow any courses to get helps from my teacher.So I will really appreciate any further tips.Best,Pasha

Unknown said...

Hi Mehdipasha, I've sent you a g+ message ok? There are a couple of links you can use. The document is essentially the same.


Unknown said...

Hi Nerissa,
Thanks for the quick reply.I wonder if you have already sent me a g+ message because I couldn't see it (I should say that I am not using g+ very often and it might be that I am missing sth).Anyway,thanks again for the reply.

Unknown said...

Hi Nerissa,
I apologize for posting many comments.Unfortunately I have not received any message from you.I just wonder if you sent those links.Many thanks in advance.Best,Pasha

Unknown said...

Strange you couldn't see it, it was via a hangout on G+. But here it is for you:

I have a couple of links for you to access the portfolio itself, it's posted on the duo site.

You can grab the overview here:


And the atual werk portfolio can be downloaded and printed here:


You'll need lots of copies of the "bewijs" pages to take to people when you ask the questions etc.

Good luck and keep me posted!

You can also always message me via FB here: https://www.facebook.com/AdventuresinIntegration?ref=hl

Good luck!

Unknown said...

Hi Nerissa,

Thanks a lot.
I will keep you posted.


What we are talking about

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...