Expat life in Nijmegen: Maria, Pakistan

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 Maria Amjad from Pakistan...

"I am originally from Lahore in Pakistan, but currently, I am a Ph.D. researcher in the Security, Risk, and Vulnerability program at the University of Genoa in Italy. My Ph.D. dissertation focuses on rebel groups' participation in peace negotiation processes. Since January 2023, I am a visiting research fellow at the Center for International Conflict – Analysis and Management (CICAM) at Radboud University.

Nijmegen has contributed positively to the progression of my research so far. Radboud University's campus is an amazing place to work. Outside of the campus, what I like most about the city is the abundance of nature. Nijmegen is a clean city with numerous parks and lakes, and the citizens prioritize quality of life and sustainability. Because of that, there is minimal noise and air pollution, which, I think, is crucial for your mental and physical health.

So far, my favorite spot in Nijmegen is this corner in Valkhofpark from where the view of the Waalbrug is breathtaking. If you are into photography and want to capture the panoramic view of the city, this spot is for you. Since I like visiting bookstores, the Dekker van de Vegt Boekverkopers has been another spot in the city where I feel at home. But overall, the whole city is quite charming and cute.

My advice for newcomers in Nijmegen would be to find a small corner of the city you like and hang out there as often as possible to turn it into your comfort zone. Over time, increase the number of corners you hang out at. Soon you will realize that the whole city is your comfort zone. Nijmegen is a vibrant and social place and the people here want to make you feel at home. All you have to do is stay open-minded, fluid, and teachable, and in no time, this city will turn into a beautiful home.

'Gezellig' is the first word I learned in Dutch when I came to the Netherlands. People have been telling me that it has been difficult to translate the exact meaning of the word into English; however, I do believe that living in Nijmegen has made me experience the feeling of Gezellig. I don’t need to know the translation of it anymore."

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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