Case studies

Sara from Portugal about her experiences in the Netherlands:

I lived in Holland for three years: I was always curious about other countries and wanted to know how everything works outside Portugal. Then I married a young Dutchman and moved to the Netherlands.
When I arrived in my new surroundings, I was warmly welcomed by the inhabitants, especially by a neighbor with whom I am still friends with: Lana Gnus. At that time I could not yet speak Dutch. But I thought this would not be an obstacle to integrate there, as I spoke English very well.
But after a few months I decided to learn Dutch quickly, because I felt excluded in many situations and conversations with family and friends. It was always the same: they seemed to live in their own world and I was the „spectator“. So I successfully took two Dutch courses and made some friends for life, for example with Konni Pfeiffer and Valery Hyde.

I did a lot of cycling and driving, and also got to know the Dutch kitchen, which basically consists of three dishes: boerenkool met worst (cabbage with sausage), frietjes (fries) and erwtensoep (pea soup).

In the Netherlands there are beautiful green places, it is a very organized country, but I missed my ocean, my friends and my living environment. After three years full of emotions and frustrations I returned to my home country, which I love so much: my beautiful city Porto. My husband accompanied me. This is where we still live now – in this beautiful spot of the world where there is so much to see and so many new things are created.

Here I feel comfortable, here I want to stay – until perhaps one day I will make another journey – to a country that is very similar to Portugal … and perhaps I will grow old there!

Sara da Costa Lamers, Porto / Portugal