How are you doing

How are you doing, Olivia (Holland Expat Center South)

Every company is dealing with the consequences of the Corona crisis. We asked the opinion of our relations/contacts on the present and the future. Today: Olivia van den Broek-Neri, Project Coordinator Communications & Events, Holland Expat Center South

What impact does Corona have on the work of Holland Expat Center South?

Although our office is open for appointments only, the Expat Center has continued to be a one-stop shop where internationals can have their formalities arranged. Those without an appointment may contact us via telephone and email with any questions they may have about settling into Brabant. We are still here to help!

As with most of our team, I have been working from home since March 2020. During that time, I have been working on the Corona Portal for Brabant and the We Are Not Alone Campaign, as well as organizing online events for internationals. An advantage to organizing events online is that we have seen people joining in from outside of the Netherlands! Of course a disadvantage is not being able to interact with newly internationals one-on-one.


What changes through Corona have you experienced as positive?

I have seen the community come together during a difficult time. It is heartwarming to see how people want to help each other out!

On a personal note, I started to swim again. Having grown up swimming, there is something about swimming laps that helps to calm me and to clear my mind. When the pools were open, I enjoyed starting my day with a nice swim. Now I am waiting for the pools to reopen!


What would you personally like to do first when everything "opens up" again?

I am going to throw a small dinner party for my friends who have been there for me this past year!

I would also like to travel and at the top of my list is a trip to see my family in California. The last time that I was even outside of the Netherlands was for New Year’s 2020.


What is your favorite personal memory of 2020?

Celebrating the start of 2020 with my family in Athens is a wonderful memory that I cherish. We were ready to bring in the new year, but had no idea what 2020 would bring us. I am happy that we were able to start the year on such a high note. It helped get me through this difficult year.


Finally, what message do you personally want to convey?

Everybody is having a difficult time. Everybody is having online meeting fatigue and wants to hang out with their friends. But it is important that we continue to follow the rules: keep the distance, wear a mask, stay home if you are sick, and limit your contact with people. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we will get through this!

Also, recognize that some people are having a more difficult time and take the time to reach out to someone in need. You can make a difference!

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