Expat life in Nijmegen: Hannah, United Kingdom

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 Hannah from the United Kingdom...

"I originally moved to the Netherlands for a degree in international human rights law in Maastricht. When I completed my law degree in the UK, I was unsure about what to do. I knew that I didn’t want to become a lawyer within the UK system – and a professor of mine suggested going abroad for a master’s and he recommended the Netherlands.

After finishing my degree, I first worked for an NGO called BankTrack which looks at the impact bank finance has on climate, nature, and human rights. That job is also the reason I moved to Nijmegen. I really like Nijmegen. I never thought that I would live in a city but Nijmegen is such a friendly place.

One place I really like is the Oojjpolder and especially Oortjeshekken. It has a really nice distance to walk, run, or cycle there. I usually get myself out there and then stop for a drink, maybe a bite to eat. It feels like you’re far out from the city, it’s so peaceful.

But despite Nijmegen being quite a small city, there is loads of stuff going on. I couldn’t believe that I saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Goffertpark, for example. That was crazy. You almost feel like you’re living in a capital city but you don’t have the craziness of a capital city.

Right after I moved here, Covid happened – so nothing was happening for a while. People had been telling me about the busier side of the city too – like the 4Daagse and all these music festivals and events – but I didn’t see that for a while. I just now realized how much there is to do here and I think I only scratched the surface so far.

The first year the 4Daagse was taking place when I was living here, I had some friends coming over from the UK and we just partied and experienced it. A friend of mine also walked it and she really opened my eyes to that part of the event. This year, I tried to walk it myself, but I only managed to finish two days, because I wasn’t in very good health.

I’m thinking about walking it again next year, but I haven’t made a decision yet whether I should do it next year or wait another year. It’s tough, but the atmosphere is really incredible."

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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