Mauricio was based in Brazil when we contacted him with the opportunity to relocate to Amsterdam. Even though it was a big step he moved from Brazil with his family and started working as an UX Designer for one of the biggest e-commerce companies in Europe. This was two years ago and we always look forward to grab a coffee with him every time we go to Amsterdam. 

How was the process of moving from Brazil to Amsterdam?

Smooth. If your birth certificates are spread over 3 cities and 2 states, there will be some extra waiting to obtain the visa, but once we were here, we were able to connect with other Brazilians at Booking that gave us tips on cultural differences that made the transition much easier. The most surprising effect was the feeling of security all around.

As an expat how much do you feel at home in Amsterdam?

I feel completely at home. Because english is so widespread here, but at the same time it’s also a second language, it is super easy to communicate with Dutch people, and they’re helpful, polite and friendly. Amsterdam is really a global village where everybody is welcome.

Are you able to make the most of your spare time? What activities do you like doing in Amsterdam?

Cycling is now my second nature, and I remember to have read that Dutch people are the most active europeans. Walking on beautiful parks, on or city center if you like, cycling, running, rowing, table tennis, so many things to do…

What still surprises you about Amsterdam?

Relaxed efficiency. People here are extremely efficient, but with a laid back culture that you don’t see anywhere else. Things just work, and make sense. And everybody seems to be unique but in a very low profile way.

What tips and advice would you give someone who's moving to Amsterdam?

  1. Learn how things work (taxes, healthcare, public transportation)
  2. Be open, transparent and clear on what you want
  3. Don’t compare different cultures. There’s no such thing as “better culture”
  4. Be eager to learn how people think and feel, like an eternal apprentice
  5. Be yourself. Whatever you’d like to do for fun, you can find here