Expat life in Nijmegen: Agnes, Lithuania

In the series "Expat Life in Nijmegen", expats talk about their lives in the Netherlands' oldest city. How did they end up here? What do they do in daily life here and what do they think of the city and its surroundings? 

Here's the story of Agnes Rakstelyte from Lithuania...

"I moved to Nijmegen four years ago. Before moving here, I had already lived in another Dutch city in the West of the Netherlands, which was completely different. So, when I first visited Nijmegen before moving here to live with my boyfriend, I wasn’t convinced. But over time, I saw that there are a lot of nice, cozy spots in the city and things to do. 

I’m originally from Lithuania and initially came to the Netherlands for six months. I didn’t plan to move here permanently, but I fell in love with the country and the people, so I decided to stay. Currently, I’m working as a recruiter.

My favorite spot in Nijmegen is the Ooij. I like to go for walks near the water and there is a very nice café called Roosje. Besides that, I really like that Nijmegen has so many second-hand shops. I think it’s good to give clothing and furniture a second chance. That’s good for the environment – and I feel like you get to know the history of a country through these objects.

For example, I found a wooden foot warmer at one of those stores once and it was such a strange object to me. So, I googled it and learned something about Dutch culture that I didn’t know before. I’m new here, so for me, this is part of figuring out the story of the country and understanding how people became who they are now.

Lithuania is very different from the Netherlands. My country was part of the Soviet Union for many, many years. Because of that, we, for example, never had hippies, so I’m always very interested to hear stories about them. In Lithuania, you also have a lot of places where you can be alone, which is something that you don’t have in the Netherlands because there are a lot of people living here. If I go for a run, I already know that I’m going to meet someone. 

Right now, I’m learning Dutch with In’to Languages at Radboud and I really appreciate these courses. Dutch is very different from Lithuanian, so it doesn’t come easy to me. Also, a lot of my friends are expats as well, so we mostly speak English. I started studying the language when I moved to the Netherlands and I’m currently taking a B2-level course. It’s really hard, but I’m trying my best."

Studying & working in Nijmegen

Nijmegen has a lot to offer in terms of studying, working and business. The oldest city in The Netherlands is also one of the largest student cities in the country. The city presents itself as a leading global player in solving social issues and problems. With its significant position in the Health & High Tech sector, Nijmegen belongs to the international top when it comes to improving the quality of life, healthcare and the development of high-quality technology for various social applications.

Discover more

Do you also want to tell your expat story?

You can apply via this form if you work in Nijmegen, or via this form if you study in Nijmegen.