Expat Student: Lucie Spileers in the Netherlands
French expat Lucie Spileers feels that the Netherlands was a good place to test her independence.
Name: Lucie Spileers
Country of residence: Netherlands
How long have you lived here? 3.5 years
City/town of residence: Alphen a/d Rijn, Den Haag and Doorn
Date of birth: 1987
Civil status: Single
Reason for moving to your new country of residence
I had a lover to follow.
What was your first impression of your new country of residence?
Well, I was very surprised that all the houses looked more or less the same, but I found the streets very well organised and the bikes very scary. I thought the landscape looked very green, and I fell in love with the canals all through the cities. I also felt safe in this country. Although I know there is violence, I did not feel it directly.
What do you think of the education system?
From my point of view, I thought the system was more complicated than in France. I also thought it was easier to start to study here. The teachers are much closer and accessible than they are in France, and I enjoyed that closeness even if I did not always felt comfortable.
What do you think of the night life?
What I like the most about night life in the Netherlands is to be living in a big town and going by bike to the disco, as if you were living in the countryside or in another time dimension.
What do you like best about studying in your new country of residence?
I like the way of learning, which suits me better than the one in France. I studied in the Haagse Hogeschool and I really appreciated this school with all the computers available for the students, the student activities, etc.
What do you find most frustrating about living and studying in your new country of residence?
That all the restaurants close way to early in Netherlands!
What puzzles you the most and what do you miss the most since you've moved here?
I miss my friends and family of course. I also miss good french bread, and the crazy life. I think in the Netherlands everything is way too wise, too organised. Everything looks the same, and at the end it gets a bit boring.
What advice would you give to a student who has just moved here?
Take your time to make some good friends, join a student organisation, live near the city center and get yourself a student job, which is very easy to find in the Netherlands.
What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you since you arrived?
I haven't been crashed by a bike.
As a student or graduate how do you think you have benefited from living here?
I have been able to do many different student jobs, which are quite hard to find in France. Life was much less complicated and very organised ( I am talking about administration, banks, taxes, public transport, languages, etc.) and it was a good country for me to make my first independent steps in life.
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