Bright O. Richards

Bright O. Richards

Bright in Utrecht

I, Bright Richards, originally come from Liberia and lived in London before settling in Utrecht. In Liberia I was an actor, for example in a tv series. In The Netherlands I started at the Toneelschool (drama school) which I finished in London.

Utrecht is centrally located
After London I chose Utrecht because of the central position in the country. I was determined to start New Dutch Connections and I wanted to be able to work from a central location so that we could provide our services nationally and also in the Benelux. Utrecht is a good place for that. With New Dutch Connections we offer young refugees training, coaching and rebranding in order to connect with Dutch business life and create job opportunities. Also, we use theatre to connect people.

Safe and Students 
Crime rates are low in Utrecht and you can clearly see it’s a city full of students. So it’s a young city and it stays young and fresh. I love that! I also like the cultural sector of Utrecht with Tivoli and the Schouwburg, the city theatre which has a wonderful program. Utrecht is just a nice city to live in and because it’s so centrally located you are everywhere within a heartbeat. And the people are generally very hospitable.

Districts Wittevrouwen en Oog in Al
Utrecht is a big city but not too big. It’s is bigger than Nijmegen, where I lived before. But it’s smaller than Amsterdam. Often you have the feeling that you are in a village. I like how the city is spread out over different districts with a lot of green in between. The first years in Utrecht I lived in the beautiful district Wittevrouwen. Later on I moved to Oog in Al. Also a wonderful neighborhood with a green park and a lot to do for our children. The headquarters of New Dutch Connections are also in the middle of the park, although the office space doesn’t suffice anymore for our 20 employees. Close to Oog in Al there is another area that is worth visiting: Lombok.

Making connections
At first it was a bit difficult to make connections. I didn’t know anyone, but I came with a mission. Now I know Dutch people, but also expats. There are a lot of expats in Utrecht, because there are some big international companies located here. With some of them we also work together. In every district, even the somewhat posh Wittevouwen, you’ll find social housing. That’s good for connections between people from different backgrounds.

The city and the countryside
In my spare time I like to go out for dinner and theatre. And the kids can do a lot of different things, such as sports (skating, which I won’t do), playing music, theatre. What I also like is that in Utrecht there is no such thing as bad schools, so children get a lot of opportunities here.
Not only the city but also the province of Utrecht is great. It’s the best countryside to be. And from the city it only takes a short while to get there. I love to visit, but it would be too quiet for me to live in such a place. I just love the city with everything going on. And I love to bike everywhere so I want to keep living within the city limits.

Enjoy Utrecht as a safe and young city with lots of opportunities to make new connections.