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What is it like to be an expat in Startmotor? We talked to Caroline Pacheco (28) from Brazil. She moved from São Paolo to the Netherlands during the coronavirus pandemic and now lives in one of the furnished apartments.

How did you end up in the Netherlands?
“When I lived in Brazil, I always wanted to do a master’s degree abroad. Studying in the Netherlands was on top of my options list. Besides, Tilburg University is well regarded for the course I wanted to do: International Business Tax Law. Directly after I finished my masters, I started applying for jobs. I got a nice job position in Rotterdam, so I quickly needed a place to live nearby.”

And then you found Startmotor…
“Yes, I did! It was quite difficult to find an affordable apartment in Rotterdam. I felt lucky to find Startmotor so soon, since I had only one month to find something before I started my job. This apartment is brand new and already furnished; it is exactly what I was looking for. I have a private bathroom, which is a big improvement compared to my student flat in Tilburg. It is great to finally have my own space.”

What is it like to live in Startmotor?
“I really enjoy living here. When you enter the building you see young people everywhere, playing pool and having a good time. It feels so modern! The people are friendly and the organized events are really nice. It makes me feel like I am never alone in Startmotor. When I feel like talking to people, I just have to go outside and I always find someone who is open to talk about anything. At first, I thought there would be more expats in Startmotor, but there happen to be a lot of Dutch people too. For me, this is a good way of integrating, because otherwise you tend to stick with fellow expats and you will never learn the Dutch language. I try to attend as much events as I can, like the wine tastings. It is a fantastic way to meet new people.”

Do you work from home a lot?
“I often opt to work from home due to the Covid measures. My apartment is on the tenth floor of the building and my table is next to the balcony, so I have a lovely view while I am at work. Whenever I desire to work in a different environment, other than my own room, the building provides several other workplaces. There are a few quiet rooms, but you also have the option to make a reservation for a meeting room. Startmotor not only is a great place to live, it is a very flexible place to work as well. For me, it is perfect during these times of pandemic!”

What is your favorite common area?
“Definitely the terrace. The view is nice and you can bring friends and cook together in the kitchen. I also go there to have a drink and meet new people.”

How do you like Rotterdam as a place of residence?
“I love that there is always something going on in Rotterdam. Being from São Paolo, I am used to the diversity that life has to offer. Rotterdam is a busy city too and I like that it is very modern. I really want to stay and make a career here!”

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