The Netherlands #
The English proficiency rate is very high, and it has a relatively high income and lower taxes. At the same time, there is a high degree of social equality, and society is more friendly towards transgender individuals.
Transgender Resources and Policies #
Medical Resources #
In the Netherlands, transgender individuals cannot decide autonomously whether to use hormones. They need to apply through the medical system. Even if they are on the waiting list, it usually takes one to two years from application to actually receiving Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) / Gender Affirming Hormone Treatment. If they were already using medication before, the probability of obtaining it can be increased, but it won’t reduce the waiting time.
For transgender individuals, if they are lucky enough to be assigned to a GP, the waiting time often depends on luck, and in the best-case scenario, it can be completed within a few weeks. However, if assigned to a medical center, it might take up to two years.
Related Resources #
Regarding the change of gender markers on documents, the Netherlands has not implemented the self-id policy, meaning the process to change gender markers on documents is relatively complicated, both in terms of procedures and the time required (which might exceed one year).
Top universities in the Netherlands are roughly ranked between 55-200 (2022).
There are mainly two types: research universities (universiteit) and universities of applied sciences (hogeschool).
The application process in the Netherlands is very friendly for DIY candidates, with a transparent application mechanism. Information for applications to the University of Amsterdam, VU University Amsterdam, and the University of Groningen can all be found on their official websites.
Generally, the admission threshold is low, except for highly selective subjects like medicine. The University of Amsterdam has one of the best communication (journalism) faculties in the world, while Leiden University has one of the most renowned law faculties in Europe. For instance, one of the most famous jurists in human history, Hugo Grotius, is an alumnus of Leiden University.
Typical university tuition fees range from approximately 11-15k euros per year. The cost of living varies by region but is generally higher, with rents for single rooms in cities like Leiden, The Hague, and Amsterdam ranging from 950 to 1,400 euros.
High School Diploma #
One of the most notable features of Dutch education is the colloquium doctum system, as introduced by the University of Groningen. Hence, even if you haven’t completed your previous studies, once you turn 21, you can participate in the colloquium doctum examination. If passed, you are considered a high school graduate.
The colloquium doctum covers different topics, is hosted by the schools themselves, and is primarily in Dutch. Specifically, the subjects vary depending on the intended major. For example, a bachelor’s degree in law requires advanced history, French or German, Dutch, and English. For the French exam, for instance, the level is equivalent to translating a mainstream traditional newspaper article (like French’s Le Monde, C1 reading, English equivalent to The Times).
The Netherlands offers numerous employment opportunities. Many international companies establish branches there. In addition, there are many local companies, such as Booking.com which originates from the Netherlands.
Standardized professions like doctors and lawyers require Dutch proficiency.
Housing policies in the Netherlands are relatively strict. Only residents with a clear housing contract can obtain a Social Security number. In smaller towns, people can often access housing provided by schools. However, in major cities like Amsterdam, housing can be scarce. Notably, even though the Netherlands offers a one-year work visa for graduates, they cannot use school housing during this period.
You need a valid residency for a minimum of five years, followed by a naturalization test and a Dutch proficiency test.
In urgent or special circumstances, if you wish to obtain residency in the Netherlands, you can truthfully state your transgender identity. They can provide transgender-friendly services, and there’s a six-day preparation time for rest.
Please note that the above description is based on individual experiences and may not be universally applicable.
The main part of the “Education” section was provided and corrected by “Xu Yitong”.
The “Transgender Resources and Policies” section was provided by “μ”.
Application-related information provided by “ K”.
Comments & Feedback #
Dutch schools typically offer a diverse and interdisciplinary selection of courses. The number of courses students can choose is not limited, and the drop-out policy is relatively flexible. Moreover, foreign students in the Netherlands can receive assistance from social workers to adapt to local life, such as answering many questions and providing medical information. At the same time, the school system can also be changed to the name you like without using the registered name given. Naturally, sometimes the system is older, so some strange problems do occur.
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What kinds of problems that transgender people might face in their careers in this country?
Social stigma, harassment, gossip…
But that’s the same in every country really…. Though, we have laws that make such things illegal.
How to receive services from the health system?
For gender clinic “De Vaart” is a 36 week waiting list just to get assigned a psychologist/endocrynologist. Then it’s another 40 weeks before you are allowed to be on HRT.