Amanda Laguna

Amanda Laguna

Amanda: Utrecht has so many options for singles, couples and families

Five years ago I came from Brazil to Utrecht as a kennismigrant, a special skills worker. I got an offer from a Brazilian company to work in The Netherlands or the UK. I deliberately chose the Netherlands because I knew the Dutch as nice and open-minded people. My plan was to stay for two years but now it’s been five and I am married to a Dutch guy and we have two Dutch/Brazilian sons.

Charming Utrecht has a good quality of life
I started living in Den Bosch but together with my (at that time future) husband I wanted to move to a more central part of the country to work and go anywhere in The Netherlands. Utrecht was not only centrally positioned in the country but also is a much more internationally oriented city than Den Bosch. Apart from that, Utrecht is just a very friendly and charming city. I fell in love with this city instantly. There are nice restaurants, a vibrant nightlife and life just feels good in Utrecht.

Utrecht has a particularly good quality of life. There are several things that make living in Utrecht so good. For example, the very good education, with also a growing amount of international schools. Even in smaller towns in the Utrecht region, the education is excellent. Also, healthcare is good and there are some highly skilled professionals. Job opportunities are also abundant here. And the good thing is: on your bike or by public transport you can get everywhere in just a short while. Schiphol Airport, for example, is just 20 minutes by train.

Bunnik: green and close to Utrecht  
When we wanted to buy a house three years ago, the city of Utrecht was too expensive for us. That’s why we moved to Bunnik. The move to this small city in the Utrecht region was a great step. We have a lovely spacious house and the forest is close by. We love to walk and bike on the weekends. To the pancake house in Rhijnauwen for example, which is between Utrecht and Bunnik.

Of course, the tulips and windmills of Holland are wonderful but actually, I love the forests, fields, parks, and canals much more. They are so beautiful. And between all that green and nature of Bunnik we are still only two train stops from Utrecht Central Station. A year and a half I started working at Douwe Egberts and that is really close to our home too.

A young city
What was a surprise to me was that Utrecht is so full of young people -students mainly- with so many opportunities. That makes it a very lively city. A city also with a lot of cultural options, such as expositions and events. I especially love the many street events with live music. During a night walk, I once saw a live jazz band in the streets of Utrecht. So nice being able to enjoy such special moments. And we are still exploring all the restaurant options Utrecht has to offer.

There were some things I had to get used to of course. The Dutch language for one is very difficult. Now that we have two sons I have to learn, but it’s still hard. Harder than expected.  Another thing that still puzzles me is that people make so many appointments. You don’t just stop by. And you mostly only make appointments with one friend at a time. Where I come from we like to gather with a lot of friends, unplanned. We see however that our neighbors get a little bit more spontaneous. So we influence each other in a way.

Biking and small portions
At first, I was a bit scared of biking in Utrecht because of the busy traffic. But you get used to it quite fast and then it’s a great way to move around. I never thought I would bike around with my son in a bike seat on my bike, but it’s great! We use our bikes for everything. To go to the train station and get groceries. A big surprise also are the many questions about money: how much do you earn? how much did the reconstruction of your house cost? etc. People here are just very direct. Now I still don’t always like it, but I can also laugh about it.

Becoming Dutch
Living in Utrecht is wonderful. You should be able to become Dutch, embrace and be proud. So be prepared for Sinterklaas, bread for lunch, the rain, biking, making appointments, questions about money and train delays.

I know from experience Utrecht has a lot to offer to singles, couples, and families. It is a beautiful city. So just open your mind, go outside – even if it’s rainy - and explore!

Aenean ut eros et nisl sagittis vestibulum. Curabitur turpis. Sed libero. Etiam ut purus mattis mauris sodales aliquam. Etiam vitae tortor.Nullam tincidunt adipiscing enim. Fusce commodo aliquam arcu. Vivamus quis mi. Maecenas egestas arcu quis ligula mattis placerat. Ut non enim eleifend felis pretium feugiat.

Pellentesque dapibus hendrerit tortor. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; In ac dui quis mi consectetuer lacinia. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; Fusce id purus. Aenean imperdiet. Nunc nulla.

Quisque ut nisi. Quisque ut nisi. Fusce a quam. Phasellus accumsan cursus velit. In consectetuer turpis ut velit.

In dui magna, posuere eget, vestibulum et, tempor auctor, justo. Suspendisse nisl elit, rhoncus eget, elementum ac, condimentum eget, diam. Phasellus a est. Pellentesque dapibus hendrerit tortor. Fusce vulputate eleifend sapien.

Duis vel nibh at velit scelerisque suscipit. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; In ac dui quis mi consectetuer lacinia. Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; In ac dui quis mi consectetuer lacinia. In consectetuer turpis ut velit. Praesent ut ligula non mi varius sagittis.