2017 World in Your Classroom The Hague

In 2014, I took part in a fabulous project in The Hague called “The World in Your Classroom”.  You can real all about my experiences here: https://dutchaustralian.com/the-world-in-your-classroom-project-the-hague/

Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to personally take part since due to a lot of other commitments (such as completing my Masters Degree!) but I’m really glad to see it’s still running.  Lucie Cunningham (who I’ve known since she founded Delft Mama 10 years ago!) is the project co-ordinator, and she does a great job of gathering guest lecturers from multicultural backgrounds to talk to schools in The Hague.

For full information and to register: http://www.theworldinyourclassroom.nl

Australian circus cabaret show LIMBO in Amsterdam

On Saturday 29th July 2017, I had the pleasure of experiencing LIMBO, an original Australian circus-caberet that has spent the summer performing at Amsterdam’s Boom Chicago Rozengracht theater.

Created by an Australian production company, but with a multicultural cast, I spoke to the two Aussies that were in the Amsterdam show.  Musician, Mick Stuart, has been involved with LIMBO since the very beginning.  He told me that the show that evening was his 777th!   Eamon McNelis is also a talented and experienced musician, who said he was really enjoying his time in Amsterdam.  There are a total of FIFTY instruments played during the show. I’m sadly not musical enough to identify many of them or even to fully appreciate the talent it takes to play them – but I can say that they contribute to an amazing experience!

Taking photos and videos was not allowed during the show, so instead here’s just a photo afterwards of the stage…you’d be amazed at how much goes on in that fairly small circle, and the surreal, superb sounds created by all those instruments you can see in the background.

You can get an impression from their promotional video:

You can also read more about the show in my initial post promoting LIMBO.  They have their own website, but as I write, this doesn’t seem to have been updated since their 2015 appearances in Edinburgh and Melbourne.  Not all the performers were the same in Amsterdam, but the photos there do give another impression of the show though:


I live in The Hague and to get to the theater in Amsterdam, I needed to travel around 2 hours each way on public transport.  It was well worth it.  The performance is around an hour and a quarter, and the entire time is packed with non stop high energy and surprises.  It’s described as a combination of circus and cabaret and it’s perfect for international audiences as its purely visual.  Several other reviews describe it as “sexy” and I’d have to agree – not only are the acrobatic and athletic bodies just perfection, but the whole package of the way the performers exude their confidence and capability is really impressive.  I am sure they have worked increadibly hard to get to this point, and each show is no doubt physically demanding.  However the atmosphere that they manage to create is one of effortless ease, while the audience is left gasping in admiration and awe.  Made me want to up my yoga classes, learn how to strut and swallow fire!  However I’ll never match the amazing flexibility, strength and sexiness of this crew.  I think there were 8-9 performers – all displayed unique talents, whether musical, acrobatic, dance – and all together, it was just WOW.

Seeing LIMBO in a relatively small venue was a treat too, meaning I was up close to the action. My friend and I had VIP seats, worth booking if you see a show at Boom Chicago as it adds to the experience with a good view (on a raised platform) and table service – we had drinks and dessert.

There are only a few more days left to grab tickets in Amsterdam, Sunday 6 August 2017 is the last show:


It was great to have the chance to chat to the artists after the show in the Boom Chicago bar.

Good news for Australia – another version of this show, Limbo Unhinged, can be seen in Brisbane from 9-30 September:

If you are in Brisbane, get tickets here before it sells out!


They will hopefully continue to travel the world, so go see them if they are ever near you!


Australian circus-cabaret LIMBO in Amsterdam this summer

The Australian circus-cabaret LIMBO plays hard and fast in Amsterdam this summer. Having sold out London, Sydney, Melbourne and Munich seasons LIMBO now brings it’s thrilling live band with over 50 instruments to accompany jaw dropping contortion, gut-churning aerial acrobatics, nail-biting stunts and staggering illusions. For 7 weeks the theater on the Rozengracht is transformed into a circus and cabaret space with the stage in the center of the venue so the audience can be close to the action. With only 350 seats, this intimate venue is the best place to see this big show.

LIMBO’s stellar international cast includes Coney Island’s fire-breathing, sword-swallowing vintage beauty Heather Holliday, Europe’s gravity-defying Chinese pole master and beat boxer Mikael Bres,  the aerial grace of Canadian acrobat Evelyne Allard, alongside Australia’s tap dancing sensation Hilton Denis.

Music is one of the driving forces in LIMBO, created by New York’s Sxip Shirey. Sxip has created a musical genre called JANK; constantly surprising, always funky and very sexy Shirey describes the music as “a New York brass band marching through New Orleans on its way to an all-night party in Berlin. It’s brass, electronics, surprising sounds, hip-hop and club beats.”

LIMBOS Melbourne based Creator and Director Scott Maidment (Tom Tom Crew, Cantina, Blanc de Blanc)  of Strut & Fret Production House can’t wait.  “We are over the moon that the award winning sensation LIMBO is finally coming to delight Dutch audiences,” said Mr Maidment.  “Since the start in Adelaide in 2013, the show has since traveled non-stop around the world and I’m really excited to finally get the opportunity to present LIMBO in Amsterdam for the first time.”

Buy your tickets here:


The show lasts 1 hours and 35 minutes, including intermission

Health insurance in The Netherlands: how does it work?

If you are planning to study, work or live in The Netherlands it is important to consider your health coverage as you are possibly required to apply for health insurance.

When is Dutch health insurance necessary?

A health insurance (in Dutch: zorgverzekering) in The Netherlands is mandatory as soon as you start working in Holland or when you emigrate to The Netherlands. Failing to apply for a health insurance within four months will likely result in a substantial fine, issued by the government.

However, applying for a Dutch health insurance is not allowed if you are only in The Netherlands temporally, for example, if you are in Holland for your studies and you don’t get a job on the side. In this case your home country insurance will suffice if you are from within the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or another country (like Australia) that has a social treaty with the Netherlands. If you are from outside the EU/EEA you may need to check whether your home country or travel insurance covers the necessary healthcare when abroad.

In any case, it is wise to check and verify this sort of information with your current insurance company prior to entering the Netherlands.

If you are unsure whether or not you are obliged to apply for Dutch health insurance, you can contact zorgverzekeringslijn.nl on +31 88 900 6960 for free and unbiased advice.

How to apply?

If you do need Dutch health insurance you can easily apply for one online. An insurance broker, like ZorgWijzer.nl (English site), can help you find a suitable and affordable insurance.

Although the application process is quite straightforward, it is mostly in Dutch. So using Google translate or a Dutch speaking friend/co-worker to help you, might be a good idea.

What does it cover?

The minimum cover that a Dutch insurance company has to offer already covers a substantial amount of medical expenses, such as:

  • Visiting a GP and treatments conducted by him/her
  • Emergency medical care in The Netherlands and abroad
  • Healthcare provided by (non-) physician specialists
  • Physiotherapy for certain chronic diseases
  • Treatments in a hospital or clinic
  • Medication
  • Midwifery
  • Psychological healthcare
  • Dental care (only up to 18 years of age)

How much does it cost?

Health insurance in The Netherlands is primarily funded by income tax. All other costs involve premiums (around 100 euros per month).

Furthermore, do note that using healthcare usually requires you to pay an excess which goes up to 385 euro a year. Once you have paid this amount, all further costs made by you will be reimbursed by the insurance company.

Residents with a limited income may apply for financial compensation (up to 88 euro per month) by the government. This can be done through the website of the Dutch tax authorities.

Need more information?

Do you need more information about a specific topic? Then it might be beneficial to visit or call ZorgWijzer for more information about health insurance in The Netherlands.

New to the Netherlands / Net in Nederland

In April of 2016 the New to the Netherlands website was launched. This is a website from the Dutch Public Broadcaster NPO where you can watch popular Dutch television programs and the daily Dutch NOS news all with Dutch, English and Arabic subtitles. By using a selection of on-demand media, New to the Netherlands wants to offer refugees and immigrants a guide to Dutch society and a unique way of learning Dutch.

New to the Netherlands is a so-called ‘experimental channel’ from the NPO and is financed with the own funding from the participating public broadcasters. An independent editorial staff selects videos from the existing programming from the participating public broadcasters. There are programs for all ages. One of our most popular programs is the NOS News which is posted on our website every weekday. The website is updated on a daily basis and we also offer a great Facebook page with lots of useful information including short original in-house clips and numerous interesting links in Dutch, English and Arabic.

In November of 2016 there were 5 internship positions created at New to the Netherlands for refugees with a media background. Since that time these five colleagues, who come from Syria, Iraq, Iran and Somalia, have been gaining practical work experience in the Netherlands which will help them secure other work later on. This group is very motivated and have proven themselves to be hard working and inquisitive. They often make short videos about their experiences here and other subjects of interest which are posted on the New to the Netherlands Facebook page.

New to the Netherlands is an initiative of the public broadcasters AVROTROS, BNN-VARA, KRO-NCRV, VPRO, EO, MAX and HUMAN and is supported by the NPO, NTR and the Dutch Institute for Image and Sound.
This platform has proven to be most successful and I wanted to share this information about our website with you are your readers. Being able to watch more than 25 shows for all ages with Dutch and English subtitles offers a rare opportunity to get a taste of home for the Dutch living abroad. The concept of our website has also had great success with Dutch people who want to learn English.




European Summer Time starts Sunday 26th March 2017

This Sunday, at 2am, clocks in the Netherlands will “spring” forward one hour to 3am.  So if you are in the Netherlands, your digital clocks will probably automatically adjust, but you’ll need to change wall clocks.  If you’re in Australia and keep in contact with family or friends in the Netherlands, you may like to keep this change in mind.

Growing up in Queensland, Australia, I still remember the referendum for Daylight Savings Time in 1992, after a three year trial.  The proposal to continue with daylight savings was defeated with 54.5% where observations were made such as “the cows will get confused” and “the curtains will fade” though I sometimes wonder if the media made that up!

Here in the Netherlands, I like the change to summer time – firstly, it makes me feel like I have officially survived the winter!  It also heralds the start of the longer summer evenings, which I love.  The warmth is also on its way.

Clocks are moved an hour back again in the last weekend in October.

More information in Dutch: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zomertijd  and in English: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_Time_in_Europe