Entries by Julia Smile

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Dortmund Christmas Markets

A day trip to Dortmund Christmas Markets! When we think of the best Christmas markets in Europe Germany is certainly up there! Having done some quick research, we found that there were only a few of them open on December 26th, most close by December 23rd. So Last year we visited Dortmund,  a city closeby […]

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Best Age to Travel with Kids

The smaller the better It doesn’t seem so when you have a tiny baby and are overwhelmed with the big change in your life. But, having a toddler and having travelled with her a lot, we can assure you that the easiest age to travel with kids is till they turn 2. Before that they […]

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How to Learn Dutch for (almost) Free

When moving to the Netherlands, we didn’t know any Dutch. In less than 3 years, we reached the level enough to pass the Inburgering exam, understand the incoming post without referring to a dictionary and have basic conversations (which is especially useful when talking to kids at playgrounds or communicating with schools and the authorities). […]

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Planning a Multilingual Family

Living away from the home country, I didn’t need to take a decision on whether my children are going to be raised multilingual, it is just meant to be so. At home, we speak Russian, Ukrainian with some friends, English with non-Russian/ Ukrainian speakers. Apart from Russian, Ukrainian and English, I also speak German and […]

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Passing your Inburgering

Inburgering (integration) diploma is needed for some nationals to have the right to live and work in the Netherlands, to obtain a permanent residence permit, to apply for a Dutch passport. There are exceptions and exemptions, in order to check whether you are inburgeringsplichtig, consult Mijn Inburgering. The Inburgering exam consists of several parts: Reading, Writing, Speaking, […]

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Our 6 weeks in Canada with a baby.

Canada, a country of big cars, big buildings, big distances. We came here for a big vacation of 6 weeks with our little one-year-old daughter. For us, it’s a country of our first intercontinental travel, first travel experience outside Europe. There were certain concerns regarding such a long and distant journey with a baby but […]