Expat life in Nijmegen: Isabella, Brazil

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 Isabella from Brazil...

"I was born and raised in Brazil, but I’m half-Italian from my mom’s side. I was living in Italy right before moving to the Netherlands, so it wasn’t as long of a trip. But the Netherlands is very different from my reality growing up in Brazil.

I moved to Nijmegen to study at Radboud University, but also because I wanted to start somewhere fresh, in a place where I wouldn’t know anyone. And so I landed here. Right now, I’m doing a bachelor’s in International Business Communication and I also work as a podcast and community manager for International Students Work.

I love Nijmegen. For me, it’s just a calm place, but, at the same time, it’s not missing anything. And I feel very safe here. I can go to a party and bike back alone to my place at two in the morning and I will feel safe. Or if I get lost, I know that I can easily talk to someone on the street and ask for directions.

Something that also positively surprised me was the Dutch healthcare system. I had some very complicated health problems during my first year and during this year as well, and I was intrigued by how good healthcare is and how well-prepared the doctors are to explain everything in Dutch and English.

I was at the Radboudumc and everyone always made sure that I understood what was going on. Even if they had to do something very fast in Dutch, they were always explaining what was happening, so I stayed relaxed. And I know that if something would happen again, I would be in good hands.

But there are also things that I miss. I miss Brazilian food, for example. It’s difficult to find regional Brazilian products in Nijmegen. If you go to bigger cities, you can find Brazilian restaurants, but it’s more complicated when you try to find the Brazilian food you’d be cooking and eating at home.

And, of course, I miss my family and friends. It’s very hard being in a place that you love and you don't want to leave, but still being so far away from the people you want to be close to."

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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