We were initially drawn to Giorgio’s story when his Italian EURES Adviser, Stefania Garofalo, shared with us a video interview (in Italian) that they filmed together when Stefania visited the Netherlands in 2018. In the video, Giorgio reflects on the swift process that led him to move a few years previously.
“My flight was in the evening and the next morning I was in the office!”
Giorgio was busy harvesting on his uncle’s vineyard when he received the phone call offering him a job in the Netherlands. From there, it all happened very quickly – within 20 days, Giorgio was boarding a flight. “My flight was in the evening and the next day, at 9 in the morning, I was in the office!” he recalls in the video.
With Stefania’s support, Giorgio had found a job with Aqua Vision BV, a hydrographic consultancy based in Utrecht, having applied for a vacancy posted by one of Stefania’s Dutch colleagues.
“Giorgio found the offer on the EURES portal,” Stefania explains in the video. From there, the process was very easy: “What he read convinced him, so he decided to apply. The company selected him as their chosen candidate and called him.”
As they discuss life and work, Giorgio says he feels good in the Netherlands, although he admits that, coming from Italy, the Dutch weather is not one of the benefits. Stefania also jokes that he has clearly been practising his language skills at work – so much so that he keeps slipping from Italian into English during their conversation!
“It makes you grow”
After Stefania shared the video, we contacted Giorgio to find out more about his background and catch up on the past two years, since the video was filmed.
Now aged 31, Giorgio still lives in the Netherlands, although he recently started a new job as an electronic engineer at the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University. Reflecting on his move, now over five years ago, Giorgio says “the decision to go away was the best choice I could have made”.
Although Giorgio already knew the Netherlands well – he had undertaken a cultural exchange at the age of 19 and returned to visit many times – moving away was a big step.
He grew up in a rural village in the Treviso province of northern Italy, where his family have a small farm and vineyard. Despite studying electronic engineering at the University of Udine, his only work experience before moving to the Netherlands was on the family farm. “I grew up knowing the meaning of hard work on the land,” he says.
“Being away from your family and comfort zone, alone in a different country, helps to bring out sides of you that you maybe wouldn’t expect to have,” Giorgio reflects. “It makes you grow, because it gives you a new perspective. If I compare myself now with the person I was, I see I’ve changed a lot.”
While he is keen to move home to the Italian countryside one day, Giorgio says he is happy for now and focusing on gaining valuable experience. “For now, my plans are to stay here in the Netherlands to grow, learn and build up a good set of knowledge in different sectors as much I can.”
Video interview (in Italian)
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