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Living in The Netherlands

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Alice van der Laan

Expat stories
In expat stories you’ll read about the different experiences expats have had while moving to the Netherlands.

Living in The Netherlands 

katrinaMy name is Katrina, I'm a 20 year old IMEM student who moved from Latvia two years ago. I’m going to share my story with you from deciding to take the chance on Holland to officially living in  The Netherlands. Last week I told you about my  move to The Netherlands. In this last column I'll share my story with you about finding a home, making new friends and surviving the first week of school. 

 

 

My lovely first week 
I finished last week telling that I found a place in a shared student apartment. Yaay! I was finally, fully, living in The Netherlands. My studentapartment was like you would expect from the typical student apartment. My room had a hole in the wall where mice came out, but it had a nice garden, and my roommates where nice. There was just one more thing I needed to fully function while living in The Netherlands. That was, guess what – a bike. So I went on Marktplaats (Dutch EBAY) and found a beautiful bike..

Stealing Dutchies 
The owner of my new bike lived in Delft (cute town nearby The Hague) so I took the train and picked up my first Dutch bike. I was so happy! It is common to decorate your bike in The Netherlands and as a real Dutchie, that was what I was about to do. The next day I was about to buy stuff for my bike in a store called HEMA (affordable, and really nice store). I went in for like 5 minutes and found really nice stuff for my bike. Wow, this living in The Netherlands thing is going good! I left the store with all my bike stuff and my bike was gone. I didn’t lock it, but hey, I didn’t see the other bikes being properly locked! When I arrived home, sad and all, my roommates told me that this is a common thing in The Netherlands. I wasn’t to worry because this happens to everyone and they would fix another bike for me. They did, but I’m still doubtful if that bike is legal or not.


Making friends is super fun
The introduction days at the university. They organized this BBQ thing and there were lots of people. I felt so awkward walking up to people and saying hi.. After a while I saw a few nice girls so I went up to them and just stood there, being super socially awkward. They immediately noticed me and asked me if I wanted to sit with them. We have been friends ever since.

First week at university
Living in The Netherlands was going good and I was ready for my first week of school. It was like I expected, the teachers were nice, the classes were full of humourand they focused on teambuilding. You could see that everybody really enjoyed themselves. That atmosphere is true for almost everything in The Netherlands. The quality of life is good, people can afford traveling and going out to dinner and they seem truly happy. That is probably the best thing about living in The Netherlands. People are happy and I am too.

Thank you for reading about my journey to The Netherlands. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding my story. Are you in the middle of moving to The Netherlands and do you have any questions? Please let me know, I’ll be happy to help!

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