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May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

by KisJutka Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 12:26 PM

Hello all!

My husband and I may be moving to Brunssum next year from Canada. I've been trying to find info on Brunssum on the web and the best information I've gotten has been from here! :)

But I'm still curious about a few things. Moving to Europe sounds wonderful, but my concerns are more about the day to day things:

1) Can I purchase English books and magazines easily?
2) Is digital cable TV/satellite TV/high speed internet available in Brunssum? Can I watch TV in English?
3) Is there a good transport system? (I know there's no train station, but is it far away?)
4) How can we look for a houses to rent?
5) Are there lots of things to do entertainment wise?
6) How far is Amsterdam by bus or driving?

Any other information would be appreciated as well.

Thank you in advance for your help. :)

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17 Answers
  • Igraine's Profile Photo

    RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by Igraine Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 12:57 PM

    Have a look at Imaniac's pages. He lives there.

    Brunssum is in Limburg which in the south of NL. Very close to the German borders. the cities of Aachen and Cologne are closer by then Amsterdam. Which will be a 2,5-3 hr ride i think.
    The biggest city in the area is Maastricht which is a very nice city to visit.

    Internet and tv should be no problem at all.

    For houses to buy and close by entertainment, i have no clue

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  • RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by KisJutka Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 1:06 PM

    Igraine - thank you for your reply. I will check out imaniac's site.
    I appreciate your help. :)

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  • Igraine's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by Igraine Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 1:09 PM

    Imaniac (Roy) is a good friend of mine althought we dont see each other too often. Currently he is in London, so he wont be able to answer yr questions very short term.

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  • Igraine's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by Igraine Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 1:13 PM

    Look at www.funda.nl

    that is a website for buying and renting houses. It might not have the house you are looking for but it will give you names of real estate agents in the neighbourhood.

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by pieter_jan_v Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 1:17 PM

    Are you sure the both of you have made up your minds.
    It seems you are bouncing between NATO sites.

    Nevertheless, here's the same info for Brunssum:

    1) Brunssum is smaller than Mons, so you might encounter an English magazine or newspaper. Better is to shop in the weekend in neighbouring towns (Maastricht?).
    2) Digital TV: http://www.canaldigitaal.nl/
    Sat Tv: http://www.dutchsat.com/
    Most Dutch TV providers have BBC (3 channels), CNN, Discovery and National Geographic
    High speed Internet: breedband-internet.pagina.nl...
    3) There's a public bus to Brussum. With the Hermes stadsbus 8 it's a 10 minutes ride to the Heerlen Train Station.
    4) Try a makelaar (house broker); Yellow Pages at:

    goudengids.nl/list.asp?gonew...

    5) Not at Brunssum. I recommend Maastricht, Aken or Eindhoven
    6) 2 hrs driving (at least 2.5 hrs from the Heerlen with the train)

    Brunssum is at the border with Germany and Belgium; that gives you lots of opportunities.

    Brunssum is not too far from Maastricht, where we have great VT-meetings at times; see the last one at: "VT-meeting August 21, 2005: Dial VT for Murder!" - Maastricht Travelogue by pieter_jan_v

    PJ

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  • RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by KisJutka Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 2:16 PM

    pieter_jan_v...you said: "Are you sure the both of you have made up your minds. It seems you are bouncing between NATO sites."

    The reason for this is that my husband is due to be transfered next year and it's up to his job where we go. We have requested either Mons, Belgium or Brunssum, Netherlands (two of the choices they've offered us in Europe). But ultimately, they'll decide where we wind up. So... I'm just trying to get myself educated about both these places.

    Thank you for your post. :)

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  • ATLC's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by ATLC Online Now Oct 14, 2005 at 3:34 PM

    You might like to inform yourself through an expat organisation.
    http://www.expatica.com/
    http://www.xpat.nl/index1.html

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  • pieter_jan_v's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by pieter_jan_v Online Now Oct 15, 2005 at 12:52 AM

    KisJutka

    You educate me too, special on Mons and the French language.
    I hope our Belgium VT-friends kick in too and I might have to wake up Imaniac.

    There's a BRUNA bookshop at Kerkstraat 24 at BRUNSSUM. This is a chain of 400 bookshop all over the Netherlands. Normally they can supply you with a lot of English (not North American!) magazines.

    TV and Internet should be no problem; selecting a provider might be the most difficult in the process.

    For Dutch public transport there a 3 important websites:
    http://www.9292ov.nl/ (sorry in Dutch only, but it gets you from any Dutch address to another; try the uitgebreid (advanced) option).
    http://www.ns.nl (Dutch train info, also some in English and with a limited International section).
    vbn-bv.nl/ovinfo/algemeen_en... (everything on the Strippenkaart, the National public transportation ticket. They are working on a credit-card-type of follow-up).

    Renting a house can be done via house brookers, but will be pricy. Their are renting cooperations, but with restrictions.

    Open to more questions, I have been through this kind of preparations a few times, so I can imagine what you would like to know on forehand.

    PJ

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  • PeteNL's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by PeteNL Online Now Oct 17, 2005 at 1:28 AM

    Hi,

    maybe a brief addition for the area - if you use public transport they also have something called the "Euregio-ticket" that allows travelling on all public transport, also in Germany and/or Belgium, within quite a large area. See for information (only in Dutch, German or French):
    euregio-mr.org/emr_site/site...
    Under "service" on the same page is also information about regional events.

    If you find it difficult finding (fair priced) housing in the Netherlands you could also consider Germany or Belgium, where prices are (up to 40 %!) lower. www.immopool.de is an interesting link, it's also in English language.
    But living in another country than the workplace would possibly add other (taxation, language, culture) problems to the moving...

    Good luck!

    P.

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  • RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by KisJutka Online Now Oct 17, 2005 at 3:20 AM

    Thank you so much for all of the wonderful information. We'll be finding out in a couple of months (the latest) whether we'll be going to Europe and where we'll be going. I am quite excited about the prospect of moving to either Brunssum or Mons (they both sound wonderful) and having learned so much from you, I'm starting to feel prepared.

    Thank you again for your help. :)

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  • RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by Lizzieq Online Now Feb 14, 2006 at 3:38 AM

    Hi, We moved here from Canada last summer and I too was filled with an infinite number of questions. When you come over for your house hunting trip you will be taken by the housing individual to look at a number of available houses that meet your criteria for number of family members and cost ceiling. When you work for Nato you are restricted to living within the boundaries of the country in which your husband serves. So it will either be in Mons or in the Netherlands. The housing choices are variable- we thought we had three to choose from but when my husband arrived it was really limited to one. Your sponsor will usually send photos to you in advance to give you a sneak preview. Our home is very large but we are approximately 24 minutes outside of Brunssum. The area is lovely and I can attest that Maastricht is one of my fav.s but there are numerous lovely towns close by. Trains are plenty and you can use the link that is closest to your home. English pulp fiction can be purchased at Schinnen which is U.S. exchange and commisary very close by and for specifics people often order from Chapters or Indigo. Brunssum is a tad sleepy in entertainment arena but there tend to be loads of International events -- I now refer to them as rent a crowd evenings. There is also International Womens Group here in Brunssum operates in day time so I don't belong as I work full time. There is another group on German side that operates in evening - I keep meaning to go but it has been extremely busy since we got here. Life is good here - we love it and I would love to stay longer but ours is limited to three years. You will meet loads of people. If interested in working either bring your resume with you or send it with your hubbie when on house hunting to turn into BPSO office. Lots of turn over this summer over at German side ( you can work there) and it is close. As far as MOns goes I am there once a month I don't know the work situation as well but close friends of ours are there and they enjoy it. I will try to check back with you later either way good luck. Oh make sure you purchase clothing ahead of time - sales here only really two times a year and by and large fairly costly but I am now used to it and I don't bother to convert anymore. Also think carefully about size of car that you bring as gas guzzlers are expensive ( we sold our van quickly) and big vehicles are hard for small back streets Paris etc and hard to park. Then again I am challenged in that area.

    Good Luck

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  • RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by KisJutka Online Now Mar 5, 2006 at 8:32 PM

    Lizzieg -- thank you SO much for the information. We have yet to receive our posting message, but it is looking good for us for Brunssum.

    I have also heard that there is limited housing available, but it's good to know that you have a decent sized one.

    Thank you for your reply and your tips. They're much appreciated.

    Key

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  • Imaniac's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by Imaniac Online Now Mar 13, 2006 at 6:33 PM

    Hi there,

    It's me Imaniac :P And normally I do live in Brunssum, but up until May I'm living in the States. But that doesn't mean I can't answer any of your questions.

    Like for instance TV. Yes we have cable (about 34 channels, and also DSL Internet). Yes you can watch English TV. Most TV programs are imported from USA or England, and we do not dub them, but use subtitles. That way you can learn Dutch too. We also have 2 fully English channels, BBC 1 & 2.

    You can most certainly buy English books and magazines here. I know I have done so many times in the past. You may not find every mag you want (I have never seen People, Entertainment Weekly or O. But I have seen Newsweek, Wired and Q).

    The transport system in Holland in general is very good. But Brunssum does not have any trains or trams. So you might have to take the bus to a nearby trainstation first. But busses do run on a regular basis. Nearest train station are Sittard or Heerlen, both about 20 minutes by bus).

    Entertainment? Forget it. There are a few bars, and even a kind of club. But that's about it. But you can always go to nearby Heerlen for movies, theatre, clubs, pubs etc.

    Amsterdam is a place you can go to within 3 hours. I'd say 2 by car, maybe 2,5 by public transport. Busses don't run there, but the train is much easier anyway.


    Well if you have any questions do let me know.

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  • RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by KisJutka Online Now Mar 20, 2006 at 8:06 AM

    Imaniac -- thank you very much for all the information, I really appreciate it!!

    One question I do have, is what is the best way to get from Maastricht to Brunssum? And how long does it take?

    Thanks again!!!
    :)

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  • PeteNL's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by PeteNL Online Now Mar 21, 2006 at 1:10 AM

    Hi,

    just checked the Dutch site for that, www.9292ov.nl (site is only in Dutch!). Best option is bus (#8 or 37) to Heerlen, and then train to Maastricht. Takes a bit more than an hour from the centre of Brunssum.

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  • RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by KisJutka Online Now Mar 22, 2006 at 9:14 AM

    Thank you PeteNL.

    I didn't realize that it would be about an hour. It's good to have this information as I know what to expect now.

    And thank you for the bus and train information as well. What I'll probably do is come by train directly to Heerlen and then go on to Brunssum.

    The exciting thing is that we're due to find out within the next couple of days whether we're moving or not. I have my fingers crossed. :)

    Thanks again for your help.
    :)

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  • Igraine's Profile Photo

    RE: RE: May be moving to Brunsum... would like some info please

    by Igraine Online Now Mar 22, 2006 at 11:04 PM

    Good luck!

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