Expat life in Nijmegen: Lilla, Hungary

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 Lilla Zsarnoczay from Hungary...

"I moved to Nijmegen about a year ago, in August 2022. I’m 19 now and just finished my first year of studying Psychology at Radboud University. So far, I would say that it’s been a pleasant experience.

I couldn't visit the city before I moved because of Covid, and I wasn't sure what to expect. But Nijmegen was a pleasant surprise. In Hungary, I live in the capital, but the district that I live in is a small town, just like Nijmegen.

I moved a few days before the start of the study year to attend the intro week. And if you are a student, I recommend attending the intro week as much as possible. It’s a great way to find friends. You get introduced to a smaller group and find people to hang out with outside of university.

What I really appreciate about Nijmegen, especially in comparison to larger cities in the Netherlands, is how calm it is. I’m extroverted, but I like coming home to a quiet place where you can just chill out, listen to some music, and study. One of my friends lives in Eindhoven, and I feel like that place never shuts up.

My favorite part of the city is the city center. It’s always bustling. My friend and I love to go to this Japanese restaurant, Shibui Ramen. We try to go once a week, because we both love ramen – although that can be a bit difficult to budget. Other than that, I also like Goffertpark, which is a great place to go to for a nice picnic.

One thing I definitely had to adapt to is the stores closing so early. In Hungary, the stores are open until seven or even nine p.m. Here, everything, except the supermarkets, closes at five or six. So, if you forgot something, you’re done for the day. There is nothing you can do.

Also, I think many international students don't realize this when moving here, but the housing situation is very difficult. I managed to get a room through the lottery system of SSH&, but because it’s a lottery system, it’s really a question of luck. I had luck, but you cannot rely on finding a room through SSH&, so I recommend always having a plan B, just in case."

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.