‘Like many other people, the reason I came to the Netherlands was love,’ begins Alejandra. Alejandra and her Dutch boyfriend wanted to take the next step in their relationship by moving closer to one another. With not enough potential job opportunities in Spain for her boyfriend, Alejandra decided to leave her job as a photography teacher to move to the Netherlands.
‘Before deciding [to move], I spent some time saving up as much as possible and decided to go to the EURES office in Zaragoza to get some more information and assess my options,’ she recalls. ‘There, they provided me with information and helped me to improve my CV. I received very useful and specific information, with personalised support that also helped me to feel more confident in this new phase.’
Language skills hold the key
When she visited the EURES office, Alejandra was surprised to find out that as well as receiving personalised advice from EURES Advisers, there was a chance she would be able to receive additional support throughReactivate, the EU’s job mobility scheme dedicated to jobseekers over the age of 35.
‘It is thanks to this good advice that I received support to take a Dutch language course, which in my opinion was key to adapting to my new environment,’ she says.
‘The Dutch course that I did thanks to Reactivate allowed me to integrate much better, feel more confident in my daily life,’ she says. ‘Of course you can survive here only with English but in my opinion, it's much better for integration if you can understand and speak the basics.’
‘Following the advice I received – and with some luck – I managed to find a job in an international laboratories company,’ says Alejandra. Although she thinks it’s also luck, it’s clear that her foreign language skills played a big role in securing her the job.
‘My everyday routine is working in an international atmosphere with international and Dutch colleagues, providing customer support from here to customers in Spain,’ she explains.
‘I have to say that speaking other languages, such as English and Portuguese as well as [her native] Spanish, were a key factor that enabled me to start working shortly after my arrival in the Netherlands.’
‘Fascinating and challenging’
‘Moving to another country is not always easy,’ admits Alejandra. ‘Of course I miss my city a lot, and whenever I can, I go back to spend a few days, see family and friends.’
However, Alejandra is pleased to have taken the step to move abroad to work, and she seems to be enjoying the challenge.
‘I am very happy in the Netherlands, and grateful,’ she says. ‘It’s also true that it takes effort to adapt to a new environment, speak and learn other languages – it’s both fascinating and challenging.’
‘I would like to encourage those who value going outside of Spain to visit their EURES office – they will find a human, professional team who are willing to help and give their best.’
To find out how EURES could support you too, visit the EURES portal today.
You can also read Alejandra’s original story (in Spanish) on the EURES Spain Facebook page (see post dated 5 December 2018).
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- Publication date
- 21 February 2019
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
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