Expat life in Nijmegen: Rahmi, Indonesia

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 Rahmi from Indonesia...

"The first thing I noticed stepping off the train in Nijmegen was the air quality. I’m originally from Indonesia, where the air pollution is quite high, and I really noticed how clean and fresh the air is here. I don’t know if this is a weird observation, but to me, the air just smells like detergent.

So, just considering that, I feel like my life expectancy has improved – despite the weather. So far, the weather has been the number one thing I still have to adjust to. I’ve gotten sick quite a few times since I moved here in August.

I’m currently in the research master Historical, Literary and Cultural Studies at Radboud University, where I take the literary studies track. I’ve been wanting to study in the Netherlands for years and Radboud allowed me to study a program that falls into my field of interest.

Before I came to Nijmegen, I was really worried about whether I would like my study here and what people would be like. I thought people would be more individualistic or competitive, but my classmates aren’t. I still need help to navigate myself around this new environment and having friends that I can talk to about that, that’s really helpful.

The Indonesian diaspora is quite big in some cities in the Netherlands, because of our countries’ historical relations. That means you can also find a lot of Indonesian food here. Food is definitely important to me because it’s a way of connecting with my identity. When I first arrived here, I brought a lot of food from home, but I’ve eaten all of that by now.

I discovered some Dutch food as well. Poffertjes, for example. They are just great. They also remind me of a similar type of food we have in Indonesia – just that we have them with different flavors, like matcha or strawberry. And frikandelbroodje, those I really like too. It’s a good mix between pastry and some meat.

But if I miss home, I will run to the Asian supermarket, grab some spices and some stuff, and cook things that I really miss. Sometimes, they don’t have all the ingredients, so I have to substitute and it tastes a little different. But so far, the food that I really like from home, I’ve been able to cook."

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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