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Asking Internationals!

Hello, Hello, Hello!

Welcome back to all of you who survived King’s Day! Are you already recovered or still feeling the consequences of Willem’s “small” party? And did you manage to get rid of all the glitter and colour on your face? If yes, please let me know how; I’m desperate. Like, really desperate. I must say, King’s Day shows me every year again why I love living in the Netherlands so much. Of course, I still wish it would be any other colour than orange, but still, I wear my orange shirt, orange make-up, orange socks, orange jewellery and orange EVERYTHING with all my pride. Celebrating the Dutch culture to the fullest, we wondered what you love most about living in our beloved Groningen. However, since leaving one’s home country, no matter how unique the Netherlands are, is never easy, we also wanted to know what you miss the most back home. Your answers were definitely relatable.

P.S. Sorry to all the Germans, I understand how much you’re craving your bread, but after the 7th German telling me what they miss the most is bread, I had to cut you off; it got a little repetitive. 

  • Matilde (Italy)

What I love most about Groningen is its safety. Wherever you are at whatever time of the day, you normally feel safe. Besides that, biking gives you so much independence; it usually doesn’t take more than 15 minutes to get anywhere in the city. And the international community! I’m always amazed by how easy it is to meet people from all over the world and get to know more about their home countries. But there are also some things I really miss. As an Italian, that’s, of course, the sun and food. I’m sorry to say, but Bitterballen can’t beat a good Pizza. And as much as I like the Dutch, I’m kind of missing the Italian spontaneity; that’s something where our cultures are very different from each other. 

  • Leonie (Germany)

What I really like in the Netherlands is the straightforwardness of the Dutch. First, you have to get used to it, but eventually, it is something we could all learn from. What do I miss? Bread. 

  • Dunye (South Africa)

What I like most: the safety! I love that I can walk and cycle at night on my own. This safety gives me a whole new level of freedom and is not normal in other places. Also, I like the cycling, it’s cheap, and you’re entirely non-reliant on things like bus timings or the cost of petrol. What I miss the most is the weather at home and all the fun outdoor activities we could do because of the weather but also just because the country has so much to offer. 

  • Alessandra (Italy)

I love how people here are open-minded. They don’t care about how you dress, what you like or dislike, how you behave etc., but hell, I miss good food and good weather.

  • Julia (Germany) 

What I like most here are all the lovely coffee places, the Dutch “party culture” and especially all the fantastic people I can call my friends. And miss the most, hmm, I think cheap food, but really anything is more affordable in Germany. And, of course, I miss being around my family from time to time, just this being able to go into my brother’s room whenever I feel like it. Well, now my roommate has this honour. 

  • Kenza (France) 

What I like the most is the weather, obviously. Yes, that was a joke. But for real, what I like the most is meeting a lot of people from all around the world and what I miss the most are my family and proper baguette. 

  • Linda (Germany)

What I love most about the Netherlands is its people. I love the quiet humbleness that the Dutch seem to inherit, how they find their happy moments in everyday situations, putting their chairs outside when the first rays of sunshine tickle their nose and enjoying their first cold beer for the day with neighbours, family, roomies and friends. What I miss the most, apart from the usual things like my family, friends, dog and German bread, is, weirdly, understanding the language fully at every moment of every day. As much as I appreciate living a multilingual life here, I sometimes miss being able to fully understand everyone in every layer in which they want to express themselves without making anyone uncomfortable having to switch a language. Not knowing Dutch to the extent I’d like to makes it frustrating for me sometimes, as I feel like it creates a barrier which keeps me from making the Netherlands my home in its entirety.

  • Gonzalo (Chile)

What I like the most is for sure the beautiful and clean city itself. But what I really miss from back home are the people, the lifestyle and the openness of Chileans. 

  • Philip (Germany)

Maybe kind of a weird thing, but I probably like the possibility to pay contactless everywhere. Not normal for all the international students. But what I really do miss are mountains. 

  • Tobi (Germany)

I love the modern lifestyle of the Dutch, for instance, the technology or all the possibilities for vegetarians. Miss the most? I think the social community we have back home. 

  • András (Hungary)

I love that literally everyone speaks English; so impressive and convenient. However, I do miss mountains and the Hungarian cuisine. 

And what about you? What do you love most about Groningen or the general Dutch culture? And what do you miss the most? Personally, I must agree with the bread dilemma; it really seems like a major issue. But considering all the things I love so much about this country and its people, I’m willing to miss my German bread a little longer. 


Written by Elli Winetsdorfer.