Even though nearly all Dutch speak good English, learning some Dutch is recommended. It will help you in everyday life and Dutch people will appreciate that you have made the effort.
If you want official recognition of your Dutch language skills (in order to work for instance) you will need to follow a course that offers exams within the NT2 structure. This is administered by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Check the website on www.rijksoverheid.nl. (Only available in Dutch)
Personal Habituation Budget
To help newcomers in The Netherlands integrating in the (Dutch) community, the government financially supports them with a so-called Personal Habituation Budget (Persoonlijk Inburgeringsbudget).
When a foreigner registers at the municipality, the civil servant checks if he or she is obliged to naturalize. For those who are, two different tracks can be followed. The most extensive one includes an official State examinationand an integration examination. If you meet certain criteria it is possible to follow a shorter course, which has the possibility of not taking the integration exam, but where the State examination is still obligatory.
Aside from those obligatory tracks, municipalities have the financial means to support newcomers who voluntarily want to get familiar with the Dutch language and their customs. After all, the Dutch goverment values the integration of those who reside in the Netherlands. Check for more information the website www.vrom.nl (only in Dutch).
Websites about learning Dutch and about the Dutch culture:
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