Michael Lee, Atlanta, USA
Profession: Information Technology Project Manager
Eindhoven is... quaint.
This month, Atlanta, Georgia native, Michael Lee has lived in the Southeast Netherlands for one year.
Why did you move to the Southeast Netherlands?
I have wanted to work internationally for years, but I needed the right opportunity to do so. After several attempts with a few companies, the opportunity finally materialized with ASML, which is headquartered in Veldhoven.
How long will you be living and working in the Southeast Netherlands?
I will continue to live and work here as long as I view it as a growth experience for me, both professionally and personally.
What is your motto and what is its significance?
For years my motto has been "Today is the last day of my life." It serves as a reminder for me to try not to sweat the small stuff and live each day to the fullest.
What have you learned since moving here, that you wish someone would have told you when you first arrived? That due to differences in the culture combined with my work schedule and my stage of life, it is much more difficult to establish a social circle than I anticipated. I really have to put forth an effort to meet people and make friends here, much more than I had to back in the States.
Are you a member of any international organizations or clubs?
I am member of two professional organizations (Project Management Institute and the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc., (ISC)²), one academic and service organization (Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.), and one athletic/cultural organization (Grupo Maculelê Capoeira).
What is your best piece of advice for other expats?
The best advice I can offer expats, especially if they are coming from the U.S or Latin America, is to not underestimate the cultural differences, both at work and at play, and how they impact you on a personal level.
What was your first impression of Eindhoven? Eindhoven was smaller than I expected it to be considering its industrial significance here in the Netherlands.
Did you experience culture shock?
I am still experiencing culture shock.
What do you miss most from home?
I miss seeing my family and friends on a regular basis, as well as boutique hamburgers joints, Southern BBQ, hip-hop music at parties and clubs, and warm springs and summers.
If you had to leave the Southeast Netherlands tomorrow, what would you miss?
I would miss the few friends that I have made here.
Is Eindhoven international?
Intellectually, I know that Eindhoven is international, but I don't feel like it is like I do when I am in London, Paris, Antwerp, or Amsterdam.
What is Eindhoven missing?
I don't believe that I know this city well enough to provide a meaningful answer to what Eindhoven is missing, but maybe it needs more pockets of culture/entertainment/shopping to make it more compelling.
What is your favorite part about living in the Southeast Netherlands?
My favorite part about living here is the ease and speed in which I can get to London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Paris, and other European destinations.
If you could go back in time, to before you moved here; would you still move?
Yes I would, but I would approach how I established my presence here differently.
What is your favorite thing to do the Southeast Netherlands over the weekend?
My favorite thing to do here over the weekends is to visit other nearby cities, preferably on my motorcycle if weather permits.
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