Expat life in Nijmegen: Emilia, Poland

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 Emilia Mazik from Poland...

"My reason for moving to Nijmegen is probably not very original. I’m here because of love. I was in a long-distance relationship with my Dutch partner for two years, which was quite tough during the pandemic. So, we both decided that I would be moving to Nijmegen, where he is from.

I am a freelance film programmer and industry expert. Before moving here, I actually visited Nijmegen in 2017 and 2019 already to attend Go Short. But moving here obviously meant starting my career from scratch again, which was exciting but also a bit scary. Luckily, the Netherlands is very open and inviting, so I found my path here pretty quickly.

My first experience working in the Netherlands is also still one of my favorite ones; I was invited by the Huiskamer film festival, which is programmed by a group of teenagers who I was privileged to coach last summer. At the moment, I work as the Head of Industry at Kaboom Animation Festival, which is based in Amsterdam.

I don’t mind commuting to Amsterdam once or twice a week. Nijmegen is my port, this is where I live, and it’s a marvelous place to live for me. I love the size of Nijmegen, its atmosphere, and the fact that the city is so progressive and has a lot of open-minded people. 

What I also find attractive is that Nijmegen has access to nature. One of my biggest surprises moving here was that you can swim in one of the side rivers of the Waal. Last summer, a group of friends and I started our days swimming in the river for thirty minutes and then starting the day for real. 

My second biggest surprise was the cultural offer of the city. I didn’t know that there would be such a large independent cultural scene. The one thing I would recommend to any cultural organization in Nijmegen, however, is to not underestimate its international audience. 

Me and the other expats, we’re all learning Dutch, but it can take years before we can dive into the Dutch cultural landscape. I would never say that I feel excluded because there are already some events that are accessible to an international audience, but, if you can, it would be great to create more cultural offers in English or add English event descriptions. I think there is a lot of potential in Nijmegen’s international audience."

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.

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