Relocating to the Netherlands with Ramiro

Ramiro, originally from Guadalajara, Mexico, moved to the Netherlands in September ’23 for a life-changing experience together with his wife Paulina. In this article, we explore Ramiro’s experiences, from adapting to a new climate and lifestyle to settling in the city of Eindhoven.

At the time of the interview, Ramiro is sitting behind the desk of his home office. Covered in a warm vest, he starts: “I come from a country where if you get cold, you just cover yourself. I’m not used to using the heating in my apartment, and I think the isolation is pretty good. We only turn on the heating during the night so that we can sleep more comfortably.” Back in Mexico, Ramiro and Paulina were a little scared by the comments about the cold winter in the Netherlands. “So far… it’s not that bad. We’ve had some cold, but today, you can already notice the days are getting longer, and the sun is getting warmer.”

Ramiro’s roots in Guadalajara

Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, holds a special place in Ramiro’s heart. The city with almost 1,5 million inhabitants is known for different things. Like Tortas ahogadas (the ultimate Mexican sandwich), Jericallas (a crème brûlée-like dessert), Tequila (we’ve all been there), and mariachi music (two hours of mariachi music).

Ramiro brings a wealth of experience in the field of IT consultancy, particularly in automation testing. “In Guadalajara, I worked for an IT consultancy company. I’ve been in the testing area for quite a while already. It’s been over 13 years now. I was doing Automation Testing for a client in the US.”

In his free time, Ramiro likes to do sports: tennis, downhill mountain biking, running, and swimming. “I also did a lot of traveling within Mexico together with Paulina. One of the last trips we did was to the town of Tequila. We visited the La Rojeña distillery, which is famous for Jose Cuervo, the best-selling brand of tequila. It actually was the day before I had my first interview with WAES.”

The first two months were a journey through unfamiliar aisles, comparing prices and deciphering labels in Dutch.
– Ramiro Mora

Relocating to the Netherlands

The relocation process with WAES exceeded Ramiro’s expectations. Initially skeptical about the estimated six to eight weeks duration, he was pleasantly surprised when the entire process, from the initial decision to the final approval, unfolded within the specified timeframe.

Ramiro: “I know this process usually takes longer. But, it was really within that time. After the final decision was made, it was literally within six to eight weeks. So, in terms of time, it was fast. The people at WAES helping me with my relocation had a lot of knowledge about every step of the process. Whenever I had a question, they always knew what to do, and they responded very fast.”

WAES also helped Ramiro and Paulina with finding the right housing solution. Because Ramiro is doing a project at ASML, they wanted to live in Eindhoven, which is close to the ASML offices. Another reason to choose Eindhoven was their religion. They found an English community of their religion.

Challenges of relocating to a new country

Moving to a new country brings different kinds of challenges, adjustments, and surprises. Ramiro and Paulina’s relocation to the Netherlands from Mexico was no exception. Beyond the excitement of a new adventure, the couple faced concerns that came with starting a life in a foreign country.

One significant worry revolved around their dietary habits. Paulina’s health conditions ask for a strict avoidance of gluten and dairy. “The first two months were a journey through unfamiliar aisles, comparing prices and deciphering labels in Dutch. ‘What is this?’ echoed in our minds as we sought not just products but a connection to our dietary habits, navigating the challenge of making a new place feel like home.”

Ramiro and Paulina enjoying the Dutch winter

Of course, there’s also the emotional aspect of relocating to a new country on the other side of the world. Ramiro found himself having dreams of family back in Mexico, a phenomenon absent in his home country. The unexpected nostalgia served as a reminder of the emotional challenges of going through such a life-changing phase.

Then… there’s also the Dutch weather. While Ramiro appreciates the milder climate compared to Mexico, the unpredictability of Dutch weather posed a unique challenge. Ramiro: “When we arrived in September, a unique blend of cool days and unexpected warmth greeted us. The struggle unfolded in dressing with layers. It was all about finding the right balance, and even the weather itself played tricks, offering a mix of conditions within a single day.”

Daily life in Eindhoven

Eindhoven turned out to be a welcoming city for the couple. Ramiro: “We have everything here. We know where to buy clothes, where to buy good food, where to work out. I play padel and got back to running on a weekly basis with colleagues from WAES. I really enjoy that!”

Eindhoven is five times smaller than Guadalajara, which makes it perfect for your daily commute by bike. “Depending on where I’m going, I go by bike. The WAES office is a ten-minute bike ride, and the ASML offices in Veldhoven are a 15-minute bike ride. I only take the bus when I don’t feel like going by bike.” Eindhoven’s infrastructure, particularly its cycle paths, resonated well with Ramiro’s preference for a quieter and less crowded lifestyle.

Moving to a new country doesn’t mean you’re alone. Ask questions and engage with the community. It’s totally worth it.
– Ramiro Mora

Being a part of ASML and the WAES community

At ASML, Ramiro is working in a team crafting a new web application from scratch. “I find myself defining test strategies and building test automation frameworks. The team’s dynamics have a rich mix, reflecting ASML’s diversity – from Dutch product owners and scrum masters to developers from India and Ukraine. Working at ASML offers the blend of a high-tech environment with innovation and the challenges inherent in navigating processes and bureaucracy within a large global company.”

Outside of ASML, Ramiro is also an active participant in the WAES community. “WAES organizes all kinds of events for its community, which is really helpful in getting to know your peers.”

Beyond the WAES events, Ramiro and Paulina have actively participated in creating a social life outside the office. “Every now and then, we meet with other WAES colleagues for a dinner, barbecue, or sports activity. I think that in the future, we might even be going on trips to explore Europe together.”

Embrace the unknown

For those thinking about making a move to the Netherlands as a Software Engineer, Ramiro has some advice. “Just go for it. The unique culture, way of living, and opportunities for personal and professional growth in the Netherlands make it an adventure worth exploring.”

Ramiro’s second piece of advice underscores the importance of community and support. “Moving to a new country doesn’t mean you’re alone. Ask questions and engage with the community.” While acknowledging the challenges, Ramiro concludes, “But… it’s totally worth it.”

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Camilo Parra Gonzalez

Camilo Parra Gonzalez

Account Manager