06 December, 2010


I can't believe it, but I just had a message from my teacher that I passed all components of my exams!  That means that I'm finished with the course and my obligation to the Dutch government is fulfilled and I will be allowed to apply for naturalisation (with a dual passport, of course) when I become eligible in May next year.

I must take a few moments to offer thanks to a some very special people:

Maarten.  What a tower of strength (to pillage a clich√©).  He's held my hand, wiped my tears, endured my frustrated rants and laughed heartily at my lame attempts at humour in Dutch.

My sainted teacher Iva, without whom this would have been such a fun journey.  Such a gifted teacher who makes learning fun - an absolute inspiration.

My new schoon-familie.  A wonderful team of people who have never criticised, only offered their support and have kindly ignored my stumbles and tantrums.

My colleagues, especially Miki and Haris.  Two people who have taught me more about Dutch culture (and its idiosyncrasies) than anyone else.  Not bad for a pair of ex-Yugoslavians!

The Ttif Company.  What a fantastic group of people and support network.  I can't sing the company's praises enough.  If you're just starting out and looking for a school that is a good fit, this is it.  Believe me.  And they're not even paying me to say that!

And lastly, to you.  It's because of you that I've written about my experience, hoping that it will be easier and a less daunting process.  It doesn't have to be hard, it's just a shame that the government doesn't like to share that with us.

This will probably be my last post for a while.  I'm thinking carefully about taking the next step to study Staatsexamen niveau I and II, but am not sure if I have the energy for such a huge commitment.  Until I take that step,  I think it will be all quiet on this front...

Keep me posted on how it goes for you.  If I can help, I will!!




Invader_Stu said...


Sonya said...

YAY..Congratulations!!!! enjoy the holidays :)

Unknown said...

Gefeliciteerd!! :D Good to see a fellow expat succeed where others have miserably failed: learn Dutch!

Unknown said...

Van harte gefeliciteed, Nerissa! Ik ga anstande woensdag NT2 programma II proberen te slagen. Ik ben harstikke zenuwachtig!!

Miss Footloose | Life in the Expat Lane said...

Fantastisch! Gefeliciteerd! This is the first post of yours I've read since I just found you on my "followers list," but it was fun to read.

Learning Dutch must be really hard for an English speaker. I was lucky when I first came to the US (from Holland) because I had already studied English in school for 5 years and had no real problem. Wasn't fluent of course, but I could get myself understood.

And onward with the Staatsexamen for you now. Wishing you success!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and every success in the future!

Al said...

Goed gedaan en Gefeliceerd!!

So, when will you apply for the Dutch nationality?

Unknown said...

Bedankt Allemaal! Leti, how did the staatsexamen go (sorry, I haven't been over to visit your blog for a while!)? Have you heard?

Miss Footloose, learning Dutch has been a struggle I won't lie. It has become much easier after learning the grammar rules and how to build a sentence though! I just have to work on my vocab!

I've put my staatsexamen on hold for a while (maybe the entire year) because I've not long started a new job and I just can't fit anything else in!

@Al, I'm planning to apply for nationality at the end of May. Bring on that passport and endless EU possibilities..!

Dung Chu said...

Hi Nerissa. I came across your blog and finds it extremely useful. First, congrats with your success.
By this Sep, I will have 5 years of living here and be qualified for the long-term resident permit. I have to take the inburgeringexamen, which I hadnot had any idea about 1 month ago:) The test that you passed is for naturalization purpose, right? Is it the same as the one for the long-term resident permit?

Unknown said...

Hi Dung Chu, the exams are the same. As you've been here for 5 years, you should attempt the korte vrijstelling toets. The info is all on the inburgren.nl site. It will save you a lot of time! There's a link on the side bar of my blog. Good luck, keep me posted!

Dung Chu said...

Hi Nerissa. What is difference between the kort vrijstelling toets and the inburgeringexamen? I took 2 Dutch courses last year, and finished the book Code I. Do you think it is good enough for the kort vrijstelling?

Unknown said...

Dung Chu, I probably should have asked one vital point: The courses you undertook last year, were they sponsored by the Gemeente? Have you signed any contracts with the Gemeente to say that you will have passed the exams within a certain time frame, or are you being proactive as you are planning to apply for permanent residency? If you HAVE entered an agreement with the Gemeente you are not able to take the korte vrijsetlling, but if you have NOT signed a contract, I definitely think that you can at least attempt to take the exemption test (korte vrijstelling). If you fail, there's nothing lost. You can also just enrol to take the three normal exams and complete the portfolio/assessments. The studies you have undertaken already should put you in good stead to be able to pass the A2 exams. If you're not confident, try taking the practice exams on the inburgeren website and see how you go. Remember, 74% is a pass!

Keep me posted!

Dung Chu said...

Fortunately I have not signed any contract with the gemeente:) This is a good thing now. I am going to visit Ibgroep soon to ask about other possible solutions. The inburgeringexamen seem doable, but takes too much effort, especially with the portfolio. I heard that you can take other exams, which are equivalent to the inburgeringexam too. Do you know any forum that expats chit and chat about this sort of exam. I'd love to have someone in the same situation to practice together. It's especially useful for the speaking part. btw, I live in Amsterdam.

Unknown said...

If you haven't signed anything with the Gemeente, you should go directly for the korte vrijstelling toets. The wife of my husband's colleague passed it without taking any lessons.

I know of no other exams you can take at the A2 level. I only know of inburgering, staatsexamen (B2) and the Korte vrijstelling toets (B1 or B2, I'm not sure). I'm certain that there are no others.

There is a forum called buitenlandsepartner.nl that you can talk to others about inburgering, along with Expatica (although there are a lot of posters there whose knowledge is waaay out of date).

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