Expat Student: Lucie Spileers in the Netherlands

Expat Student: Lucie Spileers in the Netherlands

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French expat Lucie Spileers feels that the Netherlands was a good place to test her independence.

Name:  Lucie Spileers

Nationality: 
French

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

Occupation: 
Student

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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3 Comments To This Article

  • Lucie posted:

    on 19th October 2011, 13:07:57 - Reply

    Well, i dunno if it was because i was lucky or simply because i really put myself into it when i'm looking for a job, but when searching for a job I send e-mail to all the bars and restaurant in town, to all shops and everywhere i could. Out of hundreds only 10% responds, but out of the 10% i had 5% of positive answers. You have to keep on searching, I did not speak dutch very well either but hm.. i work as post delivery girl, barmaid, i worked at subway, i work at GDCC in rotterdam, that's good job for expats, i did many babysitting as well.. I do think there are possibilities.. at least I never had any problem with it in the 4 years being there.. You must be strong and keep the faith. That's what i did, and be very very active.
  • maria posted:

    on 13th October 2011, 22:49:40 - Reply

    Hallo! I totally agree with Zoltan in the above mentioned! However, I admit that I don't speak Dutch and that is a real barrier when it comes to finding a job in Holland-no matter someones' qualifications! And this makes leaving difficult, indeed! So I was wondering whether Lucie could share some more details regarding her job hunting? This kind of information would be really helpful for the rest of the interational students and would be greatly appreciated! Thaks!
  • Zoltan posted:

    on 13th October 2011, 20:01:41 - Reply

    Easy to find student jobs?? Did it have anything to do with your French language skills? I had a very different experience - the range of jobs I could apply has been very limited and never had any stability. Most jobs that I had came with a 0-hour contract which would often result in working less than 32 hours a month and not qualifying for the student financing scheme the locals enjoy. Coupled with the need to take out health insurance it often means that you pay for your job more than you earn! The jobs where I could get at least a short term contract were in conflict with my school schedule. Financing your stay here alone is next to impossible, I feel that every step of life is being financially complicated. In the end I had to quit my study (the same school, HHS) and move out of the country. For international students without rich parents, this country is a dealbreaker.