Expat Voices: Jessalyn on living in Rotterdam

Expat Voices: Jessalyn on living in Rotterdam

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Australian expat Jessalyn appreciates the opportunity to meet a whirlwind of different people from all over the world.

Name:  Jessalyn
Country of residence: 
The Netherlands
How long have you lived here?
  One year
City of residence: 
Date of birth:
31 May 1988
Cocktail Waitress
Reason for moving to your new country of residence: 
Adventure. Also, I previously did an exchange program for half a year.

What was your first impression of the Netherlands?

At first I found it really difficult to fit in. It was so cold and grey all the time, however, there was clearly something that drew me back to the place! Maybe the ease of travel between cities and the ability to find beach, forest and city all in one place!

What do you think of the food?

There is a lot of international cuisine here in the Netherlands, so finding something to suit your taste is easy. I do love stroopwaffels, poffertjes and bitterballen though.

What do you think of the shopping?
It depends on what city you go to for shopping. I love shopping in Amsterdam! There is so much choice from all the biggest stores, as well as a number of smaller boutiques. It is easy to find something basic, as well as something a little different if I want to.

What do you appreciate about living in
the Netherlands?
The ability to meet a whirlwind of different people from all over the world -- especially in Rotterdam! I've managed to find a variety of people with different backgrounds, lifestyles and reasons for being here in Holland.

What do you find most frustrating about living in
the Netherlands?
Not being able to speak the language. Although I am learning, it still takes time. The Dutch are very polite and are mostly happy to speak English with you, but on the other hand, you want to practice your Dutch too!

What puzzles you the most and what do you miss the most since you've moved here?

How a country that seems so free can also be so divided both culturally and socially. I find that people tend to stick to their 'groups' quite closely. And I miss the weather back home since moving here!

How does the quality of life here compare to the quality of life in other countries that you've lived in?

I've only ever lived here in NL and in Australia, and I find the quality of life about the same. Although some things differ, both countries provide support for their citizens.

If you could change anything about
the Netherlands, what would it be?
The weather!

What advice would you give to a newcomer?

To anyone moving anywhere new, I would advise them to join a group, a sport or some hobby so you can meet people. I believe your experience is really based upon socialising with others -- it doesn't matter if you are in the most beautiful and exciting city in the world or in the drabbest hole, if you have good people around you, you'll have a good time!

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3 Comments To This Article

  • Alia posted:

    on 20th December 2011, 10:58:17 - Reply

    I think its great you're being adventurous. I just moved to the Netherlands with my boyfriend a few months ago and it was nice to read an expats experience who is my age. I love it here but I'm still waiting for my visa so my life is in limbo. Thanks for sharing!
  • Jessalyn posted:

    on 8th December 2011, 13:39:07 - Reply

    I was actually going to move to Melbourne after graduation! But opted for overseas instead. It's a great experience and you can only utilise working holiday visas until you're 30 - I have my whole life to go back to Australia! And maybe you wouldn't realise how good it is at home unless you'd lived somewhere else first? :) I must say Rotterdam is not my favourite city but I have a great life here since I am surrounded by amazing people every day!
  • Kelly Teo posted:

    on 30th November 2011, 18:20:09 - Reply

    Jessalyn, you voluntarily choose to .live in Rotterdam instead of Sydney or Melbourne? I'm an ex-Sydneysider but live here for work reasons. I've been here nearly 17 years already! [Edited by moderator] Give me Oz anytime.