Interview with Eline Derks - Assistant Hospitality Coach

20 April 2023

Eline Derks, Assistant Hospitality Coach has been helping out at our expat desk for several months now. It is about time to introduce her properly.

Would you tell me about yourself professionally ?
Next to my work as assistant Hospitality Coach at the Expat Centre I am pursuing a bachelor of European Studies at Hogeschool Zuyd. This has also been the connection to the interest and knowledge within the Expat Centre. 

What is your role within Expat Centre Maastricht Region?
I am an assistant Hospitality Coach at the Expat Centre desk in the municipal offices. The work focuses mostly on guiding expats through the Fast Track process and providing information on formalities and cultural activities when moving to Zuid-Limburg. 

What are your goals at ECMR? What do you hope to achieve?
The most important goal is to provide a warm welcome when arriving in Zuid-Limburg, but overall being a first point of contact that expats can rely on. 

What is your biggest challenge?
When responding to a more complicated question, it’s best not to give a person an overload of information. It can be hard to understand the administrative system in the Netherlands, when information is given that is not applicable to one’s personal situation this can cause confusion. 

What are your views on learning Dutch?
Dutch is a tough language to learn, since a lot of Dutch native speakers have a good level of English.

I would say that a language can be learned the best when one practises it a lot. This can be done through joining clubs or doing voluntary work. In addition to this, one has to be persistent with practising Dutch in shops, supermarkets or in your workplace, even when the Dutch speaker immediately switches to English. A tip can be to simply mention to them that you want to learn the language and practice speaking Dutch! 

What do you love most about the Maastricht Region? 
The feeling of being in a whole different landscape to the rest of the Netherlands. Maastricht itself is a beautiful city with a lot of nice places to eat and relax. But just outside of the city lies a beautiful landscape. 

Do you have some tips for new and prospective residents of the Maastricht Region?
The biggest tip is to explore! Explore the walking routes, the restaurants and celebrate Carnaval. There are also a lot of social events, even though it can be scary to meet new people, Maastricht is very international and a lot of people are open to making new connections.

00705 ECMR Interview-medewerker-ElineDerks-foto.png
00705 ECMR Interview-medewerker-ElineDerks-BestThing-A.png