Expat life in Nijmegen: Marta, Croatia

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 Marta Pisk from Croatia...

"When I was deciding where to study, I was looking for a country that was the complete opposite of Croatia. I heard a lot of good things about the Netherlands and I particularly liked the course Philosophy, Politics and Society at Radboud because it was a good mix of political science – which, on its own can be a bit dry – and philosophy – which, on its own can be a bit abstract.

I’m in my third year now and both the study and the city topped all my expectations. When I decided where to study, I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to the city I was choosing, so Nijmegen was a pleasant surprise. When I first arrived, some friends asked me if I wanted to go to the beach. So, I asked them: ‘What beach?’ and they explained that there is a beach in the city center – that was a huge shock for me. In a positive sense.

My favorite experience in the city so far has definitely been the Vierdaagse. I had no idea what that was when I first moved here. So, one day, I was walking back home from university and suddenly people were standing at the side of the street that I had walked into, giving me high-fives. Of course, they weren’t cheering for me, but for the people walking behind me, but I felt like a superstar.

Something that I do miss in the Netherlands is the tradition of coffee drinking we have in Croatia. In Croatia, drinking coffee means something else than it does here. It's a moment you share with people. You don’t just drink coffee – it holds a certain value. We have coffee on the side and then talk, sometimes for three hours. Here, you don’t have those kinds of moments. My friends drink coffee because they are tired or because they crave it. In Croatia, it’s essential. You don’t do anything else while drinking coffee – you don’t drink coffee and walk, for example – you just talk.

But I don’t want to complain too much. The Netherlands is an amazing country, and Nijmegen is a beautiful city. It's sad to hear that some students have negative experiences in Nijmegen because of the accommodation system. That is such a shame. I never had issues with finding a place, but I think that just came down to luck."

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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