Moving to Eindhoven is one of the best choices in my life so far.
In this interview Mundialz has asked Saeesh, Measurement Electronics Integrator at ASML, about his experience of relocating to the Netherlands. After working for almost 9 years as an electronics engineer in India, Saeesh made the choice to develop himself and his career in another country.
Why did you choose Eindhoven to develop your international career?
I found the job online through one of the partners of Mundialz. I had already heard about ASML, because it is a big company with a well-known name. When I was given the job and company info, I was very interested in working there. Mundialz’ partner introduced me to ASML, gave me information about them and provided me with presentations and videos that included a visual impression of ASML. Further on in the application process, the partner of Mundialz took care of everything like travelling to Eindhoven, having a tour at ASML and they also made sure I had a hotel to stay it during the process. After two days in Eindhoven I went back to India, waiting for the decision of ASML. After a while Mundialz’ partner told me that ASML wanted to hire me and sent me the contract. A few weeks later I was settled in Eindhoven and started my work at ASML.
What do you like about Eindhoven?
I come from Goa, a small state in India. The biggest similarity between Goa and Eindhoven is that everything is relatively close. Everything is within walking or cycling distance. I really like the culture in Eindhoven, everyone is very nice and open. This culture was also adapted by ASML and I felt very welcome there as well. When I came to Eindhoven, I was all alone. I left my wife and daughter in India for the first two years. Luckily, ASML gave me enough time to visit them a few times per year and I was also Skyping a lot with them. Living alone in Eindhoven was no big deal. Through ASML I met a lot of new friends and ASML organised many social activities for their employees. There is a big Indian community within ASML and we still hang out a lot and grab a drink together every now and then.
What do you dislike about Eindhoven?
I like most of the things in Eindhoven. The only thing I dislike sometimes is the weather, sometimes it is very “wisselvallig” (changeable). A lot of expats complain about the weather. In the summer however, the weather is very nice. Besides that, there are no things I dislike about Eindhoven. I am fortunate to have found a good circle with nice people, this all with the help of ASML and Mundialz. Sometimes I felt a bit homesick, missing my wife and daughter, but the people in Eindhoven helped me through those times.
What is your favourite thing to do in Eindhoven?
Drinking beer, haha! I like to go to bars with my friends in Eindhoven, going out for dinner at Sopranos. I also really like to roam around the city, either walking or cycling. The cycling in the Netherlands is so lovely, it really keeps me active. I also like to visit the Glow festival every year, it is a great showcase of magnificent creations by different designers!
What is the expat community like in Eindhoven?
The expat community in Eindhoven is really growing. When I came here in 2012 there were quite a few Indians and other nationalities at ASML, but it is has continued to grow even bigger. A lot of international restaurants are also settling in Eindhoven, which introduces all kinds of different cuisines and cultures in to Eindhoven. Another expat hotspot in Eindhoven is the HUB. It is a nice place for events that I like to visit. For example, watching football matches with other expats, having a drink and socializing. There are a lot of different things to do for expats.
How do locals treat you as an expat?
The locals treat me very well. In honesty, I had my doubts in the beginning about how I would be welcomed, because I only visited Eindhoven once before moving here permanently. It turned out to be a very kind environment, with everyone speaking English. Because of this, there is no language barrier which makes it very easy to make new friends and settle in Eindhoven.
Do you have any tips for moving to and living in the Netherlands?
The best tip I have is to start learning Dutch. I have been trying for many years and it makes it even more easy to integrate in the society. The Dutch people are very helpful about everything. Their open culture makes you feel very welcomed. The Dutch work in an informal working environment with a very horizontal hierarchy. Talking with the boss about a problem is so much easier here than it is in India. Being open is something that I had to get used to, because in India people are a bit more introvert, less direct. In the Netherlands everyone is more confident to share their opinion, which made it easier for me to also be more open and direct.
What help did you get from Mundialz and ASML?
Mundialz’ partner helped me a lot, with a lot of personal guidance. They helped me with the 30% regulation for expats, which helped me a lot financially. This regulation made it even more attractive to work here in Eindhoven. ASML helped me to meet new people at their events, which helped me to settle and feel at home even quicker.
Were there any things that you missed during the relocation process?
The only thing I missed was my family, the first two years were sometimes very difficult. Luckily, ASML gave me opportunities to go back to India a couple of times a year, which made the situation easier.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
I think that moving to Eindhoven is one of the best choices in my life so far. The services provided were great and I still appreciate the work that has been done for me every day. There is no language barrier, a lot of different nationalities, which makes it so easy to settle and meet new people in Eindhoven. I can highly advise expats to use these services to make their international career work!