Kalliopi made her journey to The Netherlands from Greece for her education, to complete her Masters Degree and explore the Dutch culture. She comes from a small city in the north of Greece which has around 40.000 inhabitants. Although she never particularly liked her hometown (as it is too industrial), she was lucky enough to spend all of her summers at a beautiful town near the sea. Eventually, when she turned 18 she moved to Thessaloniki (second biggest city in Greece) for her studies, where she spent five amazing years.
She has lived in Leiden for the past two years. She came to the Netherlands a few months before the lockdown. Her initial plan was to stay only one year till she finishes her masters, but then she fell in love with the country and decided to start her career here. “I basically got to know the Netherlands only under a lockdown and wouldn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to live the whole experience. Plus, I had been in the Netherlands a few years before that and since then I’ve always dreamed that I could live here for a bit”
“Apart from the beautiful beaches and summer destinations, Greece also has amazing winter attractions which are not so well known outside of the country. There is the possibility to go skiing, hiking in the mountains or to visit some awesome lakes and unique resorts. Plus, the food in those areas is incredibly tasty and different from the summer destinations”
Kalli on a hiking trip in Greece
When she was asked what she misses the most from Greece she said“The sea! I grew up near the sea and it is very weird for me to be in a place where I cannot swim, see the sunset or wear a swimsuit until October” She also misses the food, the hot summer breezes, the terraces and the parties near the beach.
Her favorite beach in Greece
HER RELOCATION STORY
Kalli moved to the Netherlands to study, as she really wanted to have the experience of living abroad. She always had a passion for exploring new places, which was probably because of her father, as they often had to relocate to different places around Greece while growing up because of his job.
“Initially, I planned to stay only for a year and then move to a different country, but I fell in love with the culture even more and made some great friends, which made it very hard for me to leave”
However, her relocation story was a bit strange, as she only knew for sure that she would surely move to the Netherlands one week before her arrival.
The reason being was that she was expecting some exam results to finalize her admission to the university, which came out only a week before her Masters’s starts! On top of that, during that week, she had to attend a training in Dublin, so she booked a flight from Greece to Dublin and from there to Amsterdam carrying all of her belongings, without knowing for sure that she would relocate.
“The exam results came out half an hour before my flight took off and I started to cry out of happiness at the check in. However, in Dublin I got exhausted by carrying everything around”, says Kalli with a smile.
Although she was really excited she would eventually move to the Netherlands and start her dream, the relocation process for her was very difficult, as everything happened literally at the last minute. Due to her delayed admission to the university, she had missed the introduction week, which normally provides a few relocation tips to the international students and she had to discover everything herself. The most difficult part was to find a house, as most of the houses had already been rented to other students.
“Back then, having a service as Settly would have been a lifesaver for me, as it would have helped me adjust more easily and take some stress out of my shoulders, allowing me to focus on the university workload, which was piling up rapidly”.
First thing she did when she had a day off from was to visit Van Gogh’s museum. She was really passionate about his paintings and was looking forward to seeing the collection. “I consider it one of the top attractions of the city”