In this blog series we hope to find out more by interviewing expats who found a new home in our little country.
Hello, who are you?
Hi! I´m Layane, 24yo Brazilian, a curious and adventurists girl, with an uncontrollable feeling of exploring the world.
How long ago did you come to The Netherlands and why?
I have lived in Brazil for 22 years. In that time, I studied and graduated in Food Technology. However, I got a feeling that life could give me more than just a chair behind a desk in an office. I have been always passionate about to learn new languages, visiting countries, and had the dream of going abroad someday.
After my graduation and few times of work experience, I got the feeling that the time has finally arrived. I decided to try the aupair exchange program (it is a work program where you live with the family, watch their kids helping with their daily needs, get a monthly pocket money and can follow a language course). I recommend the website aupairworld.com which you can find all the information about the aupair program in all the countries.
Therefore, in August of 2016 I arrived in Belgium to work as an aupair for one year, and after finishing my one year experience there, I decided to go as an aupair again, but now to the country of the bike, The Netherlands. So, in 26th August of this year I arrived in the city of Arnhem, ready to live an unexpected and new experience again.
Layane in Amsterdam
Well, since I lived in Belgium one year before to come here, I was already used to the European way of life in general, moreover Belgium has some similar points (like language…) with the Netherlands. I can say that I had mostly positive surprises. Dutch people are much more friendly than I expected, most of them also speak a very good English, even if they don’t speak very well, they try to be helpful.
I can say that my only negative surprise was the weather, I expected a bad weather and a lot of rain but I did not know it ment 90% of the year! To ride the bike in the rain still is a challenge for me!
Any strange habits that stand out?
I would not consider strange, but different. The three kisses on the cheek sounded quite fulsome for me in the beginning, now I’m already used to it.
Moreover, the celebration of Sinterklaas was something different to see here. In Brazil we just have the Christmas celebration, which one is very meaningful and special. It was very nice to see how the spirit of the country changed with the oncoming of Sinterklaas. Not even the kids, but everyone had a different and nice energy around. It was amazing to see that!
Who does like biking in the rain?
I have been in Maastricht and so far is my favorite city of the Netherlands! It is one of the oldest cities in Holland. It has a particular medieval energy, which you can feel and see through the churches, city walls, monumental merchant houses and big squares with a plenty of shops. It’s full of surprises, from a great old church-turned-bookshop to a labyrinth of ancient tunnels.
Did you hear about Arnhem before looking into it?
I have not heard about Arnhem before. After I decided to come I looked for some information and websites, but there are not many online tips available yet (besides ArnhemLife).
Any advice for someone new to the country?
Netherlands is an amazing and small country, with plenty of things to see here. Each city has a particular beauty and attractions. Make a list of cities that you would like to visit, check the information available in the websites and explore it as much as you can.
The last tip, it is to get the museum card, which you pay 60 euros per year and you can visit a lot the museums in The Netherlands. You’ll be surprise with how much amazing museums you can visit and how nice they are!
Thank you Layane, we hope you have a great time in The Netherlands and will get used to biking through the rain soon. 😀
Are you an expat in The Netherlands too and would you like us to feature you, or work together? Please contact us at ArnhemLife@gmail.com and we’ll get in touch soon!
Lots of expats come to live in The Netherlands, but why? We are curious to find out!