Karen Choo-Haeberle, Singapore

Profession: Internal Communications Manager at Philips Group Innovation

Eindhoven is... is relatively small compared to the bigger-city options in Singapore. However, I'm totally enjoying being a part of a vibrant and international community here in Eindhoven, and a city with an interesting events calendar. Importantly, it is also part of a country that is different from where I grew up! There is much to be explored in Eindhoven and around - lovely Dutch towns, museums, nature, agriculture, dairy produce, local architecture, bridges and canals, to only name a few.


Singapore native Karen Choo-Haeberle has lived in Eindhoven for more than two years, and represented Singapore in Eindhoven in Dialoog's project "Culture & Diversity." 


Why did you move to the Southeast Netherlands?
It was in our plan to travel to live and work in another country to experience life outside of Singapore - the world is such a huge place and there is so much to see! So when Moritz, my husband, found a career opportunity in Eindhoven, we said, "Yes, let's go!"


What is your motto?
If it's worth thinking about, it's worth giving a shot.


Are you a member of any international organizations or clubs?
I enjoy travelling and am a member of couchsurfing. Having met many wonderful people on my travels, this is my way to share a part of my world with travelers. I participated in the Open Coffee Eindhoven event once, and am a voluntary News Editor for Eindhovennews.nl.


What is your best piece of advice for other expats?
Dive into it and live it like the locals do!


What was your first impression of the Southeast Netherlands?
Grey, and quiet.


Did you experience culture shock?
No, not really. There have been many interesting differences of course, but nothing that shocked me. I think it's a mindset.


What do you miss most from home?
The food, the sun, and the tropical beaches!


If you had to leave the Southeast Netherlands tomorrow, what would you miss?
Our house and garden, the space, and the close proximity to the many lovely towns around.


Is the Southeast Netherlands international?


What is missing in the Southeast Netherlands?
More options - more differentiated areas with a different character. I'm thinking along the lines of Berlin, with its many different faces and personalities. A wider variety of nightlife, for example, clubs with good deejays, and different music genres.


What is your favorite part about living in this part of the Netherlands?
It is more laid-back, and has a somehow more peaceful atmosphere.


If you could go back in time, to before you moved here, would you still move?
Sure, why not?


What is your favorite thing to do in the Netherlands over the weekend?
Stay home and read or play board games with friends. Or if life gets too quiet, round up some friends to throw a cocktail party.

What would you like to see in the Expat Center Brabant Newsletter, News for Expats?
Perhaps, more spotlight profiles on the different aspects of cultures living in and around Eindhoven? For me, an important part of living in an international environment is to also learn more about the other cultures - be it people, food, language or traditions. Would be nice. J


Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Live it up, and have a good time!


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