Expat life in Nijmegen: Giacomo, Italy

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 Giacomo Figà Talamanca from Italy...

"I am originally from Rome, Italy. The first time I came to Nijmegen was six years ago as an Erasmus student. I chose Nijmegen because I wanted to experience a different environment and live away from my hometown for the first time.

In the beginning, I struggled a bit living in a new city, but my flatmates were very friendly, and, over time, I met more people and became more comfortable at uni. But most importantly, I met my girlfriend, who also studied at Radboud University.

After I moved back to Rome, where I needed to finish my bachelor’s degree in philosophy, I really wanted to return to the Netherlands – not only because of the great philosophy master’s programs but also because I had found love here. And lo and behold, I applied and got taken for a master’s in Philosophy of Mind at Radboud.

That was four years ago. I have since graduated with my master’s and specialize in philosophy of technology. After graduating, I worked as a teacher at both Radboud and the TU Eindhoven and as a junior researcher at iHub, which is an interdisciplinary research team at Radboud that focuses on digitalization and society.

What I like about Nijmegen is that it’s a quaint city – which is definitely not something you can say about Rome – with a distinct style compared to other cities in the Netherlands. It almost feels more continental, if that makes sense. A definitive plus for me is that the city is close to other cities in Germany and the Netherlands, which is a huge asset if you work in academia like me.

I do, however, miss my family and the Italian food. So far, the best Italian food I found here is from Betty & Mora, the canteen at the Donder’s Institute, but I have yet to make peace with the Dutch tomatoes. Being away from your family is obviously more challenging than that, but it has helped that my girlfriend and I are still in a happy relationship after almost six years."

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.