The Netherlands has long had an open culture. Our international focus, tax advantages and business climate makes it easy for foreign companies to integrate. The Dutch are entrepreneurial, tolerant team players. Our open culture is very much in evidence in the northern North Holland region. The history of the Dutch East India Company still lives on among the residents of towns like Hoorn and Enkhuizen. With our keen entrepreneurial spirit and openness to the rest of the world, newcomers are warmly welcomed.
In a 2007 Quality of Life Index conducted by Internet magazine International Living, the Netherlands was ranked the third most pleasant country to live in, out of 193 nations. Yet in the Netherlands, the costs of living, housing, education and cultural activities are lower than in other European countries.
The Region North of Amsterdam in particular offers an excellent quality of life. Not only is Amsterdam close by, but it also has the distinctive features of the Dutch landscape, like windmills, water and open space. The historic city of Alkmaar is one of the top shopping destinations in the Netherlands and is renowned for sporting and cultural activities. There are also plenty of leisure facilities nearby (sea & beaches, Bergen art village, the Isle of Texel, and more).