Expat life in Nijmegen: Romane, France/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 Romane from France/Indonesia...

"I was born in France, but I moved to Indonesia when I was three. Of course, I visited family in France when I was younger, but I have lived outside of Europe for most of my life. And I’m not entirely sure how I ended up moving to Nijmegen if I’m being completely honest.

It was between Nijmegen and three other university cities when I had to decide where to study. And I picked this one. I didn’t research what the university looked like or what the city looked like – but I am really happy with my choice now.

One of the main reasons why I love Nijmegen so much is probably the university. Radboud is amazing. It’s not one of those universities where you are dreading to go back on campus to study – there is so much going on all the time, a lot of activities and speakers, and it’s very easy to meet people.

But I did have a huge culture shock when I first moved here. The Netherlands is extremely organized. That really stuck out to me when I first arrived here. I got out at the Heyendaal station, on the street where the HAN is located. It’s a very normal street. Just a big road and some greenery on the side. But I remember getting off there, looking around, and thinking: ‘This feels like I’m in a fake world.’ It all looked so perfect and it was very clean. I thought that was impressive.

Indonesia is incredibly rich in culture. I’m not saying that the Netherlands doesn’t have culture, of course. But in Indonesia, you see offerings on the ground, you have ceremonies going on everywhere simultaneously. Here, on the other hand, the culture is more quiet. I think that’s a good way to put it. It’s a lot more quiet.

My favorite spot in the city is down by the Kaaij and then across the bridge. There are some small beaches and when the sun is setting there and the horses are around, that’s my favorite. It’s the closest I can get to Indonesia and I’m more than happy with it.

But overall, Nijmegen is a city that is very easy to become home to a lot of people – and a lot of people I have talked to have the same feeling."

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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