Inburgering - Is this normal??

If you have any plans to move to Holland or if you have already settled there, this is the place to discuss the Inburgeringsexamen ('integration' exam for immigrants), NT2 (Dutch as a second language), and studying at Flemish or Dutch schools and universities.
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Inburgering - Is this normal??

Post by Visje » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:01 pm

So I received my residence permit last January, and expected to be starting Inburgering shortly after. I went to the office which runs Inburgering here in Rotterdam with my Dutch partner that week to arrange my start, they took my information, and said they would sent me an invitation in the mail for an appointment. 1 month later, I got an invitation, for 1 March. So we went in together on that date, it was with my contact person, all he did was asked a few questions and then explained that I would receive an invitation in the mail in 3 weeks, it would be for my orientation where for 6 weeks I would come in once per week, they would test my learning aptitude and my current level of Dutch, and then after that I would be able to start the course. He did not say if the course has continuous starts, or only a few per year. I arrived in Holland last August, and at the rate things are going it looks like I could easily be in Holland for over a year before starting any language classes.

It has now been 6 weeks since my meeting with the contact person, and still no sign. My partner called him 2 weeks ago to find out what is happening, he said that I'm "in the system" and we would hear back by the end of last week, we haven't heard back. My partner is calling again today, but we're both very irritated, as I need to know things such as how long they think it will take for me to get to Staatsexam level and what hours I will be in class, so that I can do some career planning so that my partner isn't stuck supporting me for longer than he has to. Ideally I'd like to be able to at least work a part-time retail job in the near future, so that we're not a one-income family. And it hit my partner the other day too that there may be no language classes in July/August because of summer holidays, and I really hope this isn't the case!

If we weren't so tight on money right now, it would be tempting to say stuff it and enroll at Volksuniversiteit or similar. I have been spending the last 6 months doing self-study while my partner is at work, as well as practicing wherever I can, so I think I might actually have myself up to an A2 or B1 level now, but still, it's not enough for me to work. But then again, if I can test into at least Volksuniversiteit level 3, then it's very tempting to pay extra and just go for that, especially as once I've finished level 3 then that's Staatsexam Level 1, which is enough for a menial job, with level 5 being enough for Staatsexam Level 2, which is enough for a job that uses my degree. I really don't know.

I don't know anyone else who has had to do Inburgering, so just very curious about how normal or abnormal my experience so far is. I don't want this to be a negative thread at all, as besides this my experience with Holland has been the best experience of my life, but then again, nothing is perfect and this is the biggest imperfection that I've found.

Just needed to vent, and I'm curious what others have experienced, especially those who dealt with Rotterdam Gemeente. Dank je wel, en succes met leren iedereen! :-)

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Re: Inburgering - Is this normal??

Post by adappel » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:17 pm

Hi Visje

Ik begrijp niet waarom je zo lang moet wachten op je verblijfsvergunning.
Je bent in de zomer van 2011 gekomen.

Als je Naar Nederland komt, moet je zelf snel naar de gemeente gaan en desnoods elke week weer gaan en bellen, want je hebt het eerst half jaar alle tijd verloren.
Het is mij onduidelijk of de gemeente Rotterdam je cursus gaat betalen.
Je moet de gemeente echt meer vragen stellen, zelf pro-actief handelen.
Jij mag nu ook werken, en als je het geld kunt gebruiken, moet je het ook meteen gaan doen.
Bijna alle cursussen, ook intensieve cursussen vragen van jou bijna nooit meer dan dat je twee keer in de week naar de les gaat.
En je moet natuurlijk huiswerk maken.

Je moet haast maken, echt.
Het kan zijn dat de gemeente te langzaam is, en dat je dan in 2013 je eigen cursus moet betalen, alle subsidies zijn per 1-1-2013 afgeschaft.
Als de gemeente jou niet heel snel naar een goede cursus stuurt, kun je beslissen dat je zelf een cursus koopt, misschien niet bij de volksuniversiteit, maar wel bij een instituut dat het Keurmerk Inburgering heeft. Dan krijg je een vergoeding van 70%.
Dus: ga lekker vaak bellen en mailen naar je contactpersoon, zodat je snel de goede cursus vindt.

Ad Appel

Specialist NT2 examens
Docent NT2
Specialist inburgeringsexamens

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Re: Inburgering - Is this normal??

Post by Mirriam » Thu May 24, 2012 5:07 pm

Hi Visje
I`m also living in Rotterdam and that`s what i can share as my experience.
It have been few years already since my 1st attempt to enroll inburgering or staatexam programma. Let me clarify that i`m not obligated by law to follow it but i wanted to learn the language as fast as possible and this were the only courses i knew about. (absolutely my mistake!) So, i went to the office, registered and had an appointment with my klantmanager few weeks later. According to the results i had different levels of reading, speaking and writing the language, together with the statement that i`m fast learner so i`ll need 3 months course.
The process was going fast enough (in my opinion). It took about 1.5 months. I chose Albeda college. The only thing what put a stick in my wheel was that i was 3th month pregnant with my 2nd child and the lady who was dealing with my file directly refused to enroll me in a group because of this reason. She said that many women are coming in such situation and when the baby is born they quit. Very offending attitude. I swallowed the stone and decided i`ll apply again when the baby is born. Asked my klantmanager for the results of my tests and since few years i`m still waiting for them. ;)
One year later i`ve received letter asking if i still want to start a course. I was contacted from a new klantmanager. With her i had similar to your experience. She would forget about details what had to be arranged, about my existence at all and passed half a year before i was contacted again. I simply gave up to hit the wall.
In the absolutely same moment and place (but with different klantmanager) a friend of mine started staatexam programma II, graduated and got her diploma.
My conclusion is that very much depends on the person you will meet there. Kind of luck i would say. Try to change your contact person if that`s possible.
After all this i ended up studying on my own. The problem was that i started to understand most of the conversations, TV, radio but I was unable to speak dutch. That`s why in the end of the last year i decided to follow a class at Volksuniversiteit. Currently i finished level 3. Only in 3 months i made great progress. I`m not using English anymore. Indeed, i make short sentences because I find it easier not to make mistakes in this way but it is a fact that can have conversations about everything. There is still much to be done on their side to improve the courses and lot more on my side to learn but in general i`m satisfied. Would recommend to you if are not obligated to inburgering simply pay some extra cash and go ahead.
Veel succes!

P.S. Currently i`m looking for some spreekvaardigheid course in Rotterdam and would be very thankful if someone knows more about and share the info. Sorry, maybe is not the right place to ask my question.

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