Challenges of Expats – Interview of the month February

This month I introduce you to Nadia, from South-Africa to Weesp and soon to Hoofddorp.

In my mission to help expats integrate, I take interviews regularly, and reveal great stories and advise for you. Arriving in a new country is such a change, and a challenge.  How can you feel ‘’at Home’’ and integrate easily?

Interview with Nadia Vieira

Original country  

South Africa

Expat countries

UK (7 years )

Current country  


Nadia’s story in a nutshell

I moved to the Netherlands only 5 months ago and yet it feels like I have lived  here for years! My move to this country was not a planned one as such, having lived in the UK, prior to South Africa, I had experienced the European lifestyle and weather, and thought South Africa was the place I would see myself and family settling down.

Due to a series of unfortunate events and the South African government’s new visa regulations, we were forced to seek greener pastures abroad. So, I landed in Weesp with my husband, Martijn en son Zachary.

We both have jobs here and soon will move to Hoofddorp. I found a job fairly easily and work for a large international company in their Marketing department for three months now.

Biggest challenges

Not having the same support network as I did back home is a daunting one but we are slowly getting more involved in the Dutch community.

Working practices and benefits in your adopted country

Coming from a third world country it’s great to experience first world country ‘perks’ where things work and government departments (despite the endless paperwork) – are proactive in giving feedback.

Inspired by…

Positive people who make the best out of life. And my little pint-sized two-year-old son of course!

Stay motivated by…:

The lack of sunshine is hard to keep one motivated during the winter months, but, meeting new people daily and booking short trips abroad gives me plenty to look forward to!

Recommendation for expats

I recommend all Expats should read “Ready, Steady, Go Dutch” by the & ACCESS.

Words of Wisdom

Life is what you make of it.

Plans for the future

Getting more involved in the Expat Network.

First impression of The Netherlands

I am well acquainted with the Dutch, my husband being from here and speaking Afrikaans is very helpful!

TIPS for others arriving in The Netherlands.
Number 1: Learn the language and the culture.

Number 2: If you have little ones, the local libraries are a great place to start meeting people especially if they have a Mamas Café once a week!

Number 3: Don’t be afraid to mingle with the locals and even at work. People are very friendly and also willing to assist where they can!

Thank you very much!


The picture was taken in the town center of Weesp before Christmas. Nadia, Martijn and Zac.