Joey about his relocation
How did you come to hear about us?
You contacted me. At the time I had a job but I was already looking for a new one. I wanted a change. At the time there were a few companies that had contacted me and you contacted me as well. I don’t think I was looking for an international company until you contacted me. It was interesting, hearing about working in the Netherlands because I had never imagined myself working in the Netherlands. In the past I had worked in Cambridge for four years and I was quite settled in Spain. I was looking for a new company but I had never thought of traveling again. I had my two dogs and a girlfriend and everything was settled. But yeah, it sounded interesting so I thought well I’ll give it a shot. Why not. See what comes up.
You previously lived in England for four years. Did this make you more open to go to the Netherlands as well?
Yeah, I think so. When I was living there I was exposed to so many different cultures and a whole new language as well. New ways of thinking and everything is new so it opens your mind to everything else. So I guess I have always wanted to work abroad at least once but at that stage in my life I was not thinking of traveling again. But contacting me and talking to me about it got me excited again.
What does your family in Spain think about it all?
Oh, they encourage me. They’ve always been very open with that. My mom for instance lived many years in England, France and she always told me about those experiences. They had been the best things in her life. So when I told her I had this opportunity she encouraged me. She said “Go for it” and she said “well, I’ve never visited the Netherlands so now I’ll have a place to stay.”. And she came over last month for a week. She loved it. She wants to come again in spring though, she wants to see flowers.
How did your girlfriend respond to it at first?
Well at first, we were working at the same company. The first reaction was shock. “How are we going to do this?” Well obviously, she had a job there and the first time I talked to her about it I didn’t even have a job offer yet. She knew I was looking for a new job and she was always super supportive with that. But yeah, working internationally was a shock at the beginning.
How is she doing now?
Now she’s doing great! When we actually got the offer we thought about all the options and how we would manage with everything. It’s an adventure where you have to take many things into account. But yeah, I think we manage quite well. At the moment she is still working for the Spanish company so she manages to work remotely. That was one of the conditions, otherwise for her leaving the job was not an option at that time. We were thinking, well let’s try it out. Let’s see if they let her work remotely. And they did. So we thought “Let’s just go for it! See what happens.
How was it to settle? The whole process of moving and then the first period of living here?
Well, I moved here one month earlier than my girlfriend because I had to start work and she had to wait for a bit before leaving. So settling was difficult. Especially the first month. But that was just our case because the conditions just had to be like that. But once we moved here with the dogs and everything it was easy. The dogs actually adapted quicker than us! They were loving it, so it was good. We’re young so we adapt fast, so no problem.
At the time we helped you find housing. How was that for you?
Housing was difficult in our case because obviously we had the dogs. So everything we found was either too expensive or they didn’t allow dogs or it was very far away. It was difficult. Luckily we found a place which is in a nice neighborhood. It has a lot of parks around and everything. It’s a flat but it has a bit of outside space so the dogs can go outside and it’s a nice area. The whole experience was a bit stressful. But in the end it worked out. You helped a lot by contacting all the different housing and everything. And in the end we found one that was good.
How did you feel about the Netherlands in general and Eindhoven in particular?
Yeah, I loved it. In fact it has many similarities with England and especially Cambridge. I loved living there so. The problem though is the rain, haha! Sometimes. But no I love it here. I love obviously the green and you don’t have green without rain. And the weather in the summer actually was better than I thought. It was really good. Now the winter is coming days are getting shorter, so we’ll see.
Was there something that really surprised you about the Netherlands when you came here?
Hm, something that surprised me. It surprised me how everyone spoke English. I knew people in the Netherlands speak better English than the Spanish do. But yeah it was impressive. You can speak with anyone. Well, except one person. There’s a guy, he looks after the building we live in, who doesn’t speak English. But yeah, we just communicate in signs and a few words of Dutch that I know. That’s one thing that surprised me in a good way. Because I can communicate with everyone. I knew that at my job we would speak English, they told me. That was necessary because you can’t interact with colleagues. But yeah, everything is in English.
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How do you like working here in general? For example concerning the atmosphere at the company. Is there a big difference compared to Spain?
It’s very different to Spain. In Spain at work we shout. We shout to people, to say something we shout. We’re very loud so as a developer normally you have to put your headphones on if you want to concentrate. Here it’s very, very quiet. Like, extremely quiet. So when you say something, everybody in the room can hear you. But I think that goes with personality or culture as well. It’s not a problem it’s just an anecdote. But yeah, in terms of colleagues, they are very nice, very warm. Although they say people in the North are colder than in Spain I found everyone was really helpful here, very open. They help me with lots of stuff and recommend me to go to places as well. Next week me and my girlfriend are invited to have dinner at a colleague’s place. So very, very nice people in general here.
Do you have any tips for anybody who’s in the first steps of the process?
Yeah, bring your raincoat. Haha, no. Well my tip for the indecisive is, give it a shot. You never lose, you always win. Even if it doesn’t work out you win from the experience. For me it’s super positive. For instance my girlfriend had never lived abroad. She had traveled and maybe lived somewhere for a few weeks or a month but not actually lived there. And for her it has been mind-blowing. I had done it before but every time you do it you experience so much. You gain so much input because sometimes staying at the same place for a long period of time sets you in a cruise-mode. Just living life even though there is so much to see and to live everywhere. Living abroad gives you so much experience you know. I love it.
So if you have the chance, I would say, give it a shot!