Expat life in Nijmegen: Nanette, 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 Nanette Ashby from Germany...

"I moved to Nijmegen in 2018, but I have been here a lot since 2017. My partner is Dutch and studies in Nijmegen, so I was visiting frequently. After moving, I studied Arts and Culture Studies at Radboud University. For the last year, I studied in Leiden, but I’m returning to Radboud for a research master in September.

One of my favorite things is probably returning to the city by train. You are riding over the bridge, and Nijmegen’s skyline appears. It always feels like you’re returning home. And it’s how I see the city in general: it’s my home away from home. I’m originally from Germany, but since moving here, I would like to stay in the Netherlands. I fell in love with the city, with the area, and with the people.

Nijmegen is cozy, not as hectic as Amsterdam, but you still have many cultural options. You’re not lacking in anything. We have the LUX, the Lindenberg – and amazing events like the Kunstnacht. And Nijmegen is a student city, which means that there is always something interesting happening.

The Hotel Credible used to be my go-to place for a long time and I love the close-by area. You have a great view over the Waal from the Valkhofpark, for example. But I live in Nijmegen Oost, and I absolutely love Nijmegen Oost. It’s a very beautiful and relaxed part of the city.

I was surprised by how easy it was to feel at home here, find friends and build a life. I think it helped that Nijmegen is a very liberal and open city. Of course, I have learned Dutch since moving here, but especially right after moving to a new place, let alone a new country, for the first time, it helped a lot that you could get quite far with German or English.

The only thing that I’m really missing – and that’s very specifically German – is driving a car. The Netherlands has a great public transportation system – and, of course, you can reach everything by bike. Where I’m from in Germany, you do everything by car, and driving in the car while listening to the radio can be quite meditative. Now, I barely drive anymore, so when I’m in a car, it’s something special."

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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