Named European Capital of Culture alongside Porto in 2001, Rotterdam is home to a vast array of museums, galleries, works of public art, and interesting architecture.
Many of the museums display the city's interesting economic and industrial history, most notably the Maritime Museum Rotterdam. As much of Rotterdam was destroyed during the Second World War, it has a different architectural makeup to many other Dutch cities, and is more modern than nearby Amsterdam and The Hague.
Rotterdam also hosts a number of music, art and film festivals throughout the year, including the International Film Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, and Poetry International Festival.
Art enthusiasts will be pleased to learn that the Willem de Kooning Academy and the Piet Zwart Institute are both located in the city center, alongside many works of public art. Rotterdam is a vibrant, beautiful, multicultural city, with much to offer to expatriates from around the world.
For expatriates living in Rotterdam it is good news that the Dutch healthcare system is considered the best in Europe, and one of the best in the world, topping the list of 34 nations in the 2012 Euro Health Consumer Index.
The Netherlands has an excellent state healthcare system, but as an expatriate living in Rotterdam you will need to take out health insurance in order to access it. These insurance plans are charged at a standard rate and applicants cannot be refused regardless of health, age or any other factors. Once you have obtained your residence permit, you will be able to apply for an insurance plan.
Many of the doctors working in Rotterdam will speak fluent English, so communication should not be an issue.
The Dutch public school system is considered one of the best in Europe, and the public schools in Rotterdam are no different. However, as an expatriate living in Rotterdam you may want to send your children to an international school so that they can study in English and receive an international degree, or that of your country of origin.
Rotterdam has a large expatriate community, and so has a number of excellent international schools including Rotterdam International Secondary School, the American International School of Rotterdam, and De Blijberg.
Rotterdam is home to one institute of higher education, Erasmus University, which is ranked amongst the best in the world for economics, science, medicine, and governance. Erasmus has many international students and is focused on working for the local economy and providing well-trained and highly-skilled graduates to work in the city. It is ranked as the best university in the Netherlands and is considered one of the top hundred institutions in the world.