Expat life in Nijmegen: Michèle, Germany

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 Michèle Maurer from Germany...

"I am originally from Germany, but I have been living in Nijmegen since 2016. I am currently studying drama therapy at the HAN. Since last year, I am also self-employed in the entertainment industry, where I mainly work in amusement parks and give theater lessons.

Moving to Nijmegen was a very spontaneous decision. I originally wanted to study psychology, which is very difficult to get into in Germany. So, I applied to Radboud, a bit last-minute, paid the tuition fees as a birthday present to myself, and told my family: ‘I’m going to the Netherlands.’ 

If I’m being honest, I originally planned to move to Kranenburg and commute to university, but once I visited Nijmegen for the first time, I knew this was the place for me. And, as you can see, I am still here after seven years – so I have definitely not regretted it.

My favorite spot in Nijmegen is definitely the Waal beach. It’s close to nature and close to the city and especially around the 4Daagse, there are always some special programs. The 4Daagse alone is probably a selling point for living in the city: there is something for everyone, whether you are an introverted or extraverted person.

Nijmegen has this great motto – ‘Old city, young vibe’ – that is something I definitely agree with. I stayed because there is some niche for every personality and because, even though I am quite spontaneous by nature, there is always something to do. It never gets boring. That’s something I, admittedly, did not expect from such a small city.

Many people, especially Germans, say that learning Dutch is easy. I had a different experience. For me, it was definitely more of a process. I have been learning Dutch for a long time – I took a Dutch course right when I moved to Nijmegen – but only now do I feel confident speaking it. 

I took a Dutch course right when I moved here, and that gave me some basic knowledge, but it’s a whole different level getting out into the real world and speaking Dutch. I think that the only thing that has really helped me was constant exposure. You have to speak Dutch, read books in Dutch, and watch movies in Dutch – until you eventually dream in Dutch."

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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