Where Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands meet, the amount of cross-border opportunities makes pre-arrival research especially worthwhile:
- Find your multilingual and multi-country travel preparation kit in the EU´s youth app;
- Before planning your flight, check which airport is most suitable for you. Amsterdam, Brussels, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Eindhoven, Frankfurt and even Paris are valid options next to Aachen-Maastricht and Liège airports. Currently, please keep in mind the Corona regulations. The right for transfer is, however, a general given within the EU;
- Check the distances, for example living in Aachen, you might more easily visit friends in London than in Munich.
Check about language courses and language learning – you might be able to use your language – even if it is not spoken in your country of residence.
Depending on your status: there is quite a pile of administration that need to be sorted for every arrival. You find support at our websites, and there is a community of people that understand what you are going through.
If you are a third-state national: check if there is anything stopping you from crossing borders in youRegion. If not: grab a new friend (on the weekend for free), buy your first Euregio-ticket and explore as much as you can of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine for just €19. See our section on transport for more information.
Take a picture at Drielandenpunt – your friends at home will be astonished how you can be in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands all at once.
Wake up in Aachen on a Sunday morning and then learn, that even supermarkets are closed on a Sonntag. Then sigh with relief that you can still find open supermarkets open across the border in nearby Vaals (NL) – and the world’s largest flea market la Batte – on the Meuse riverside in Liège.
Get yourself a bicycle – buying, monthly rent or city-services are an option. Stealing should not be an option – so also make sure to get a good chain for your new bike. While in the Netherlands cycling is a must, in Germany and Belgium it is an important part of lifestyle and leisure. With the Euregioticket, you are able to bring you bicycle on selected trains for only €5 extra a day.
Learn that people in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine are craving for good food and share a common love for gastronomy. After some original gaufres in Liège or seafood in Hasselt, you migth explore that some streets of Aachen smell like chocolate because of the nearby factory.
Things might (still) be confusing. If bureaucracy is not enough of a labyrinth, find a real labyrinth site (made from corn in Bubenheim (DE), Coal in C-mine Genk (BE), hedges in Barvaux sur Ourthe (BE) or on the top of Drielandenpunt (BE/DE/NL)).
Relax – compared to their fellow countrymates, Limburgers, Rhinelanders and other residents in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine find themselves open-hearted, outgoing and “southern”. If they still seem cold and stiff to you, give it a try at Carnaval/Karneval – Rio de Janeiro is nothing compared to the parades and festivities in Aachen, Eschweiler, Binge, and Maastricht. Note that people tend to throw a lot of sweets to total strangers – mind your head, but enjoy the generosity.
Relax – just as emperor Charlemagne did in the Aachen natural baths, tourists do in Valkenburg or in – well, ehm, the city of Spa. You might find that being in a foreign country, you struggle with expectations you did not even know you had (compare our section on intercultural learning). This is normal, and your stay will be a white-knuckle ride at times. For any support, come to our welcome team and join the youRegion communities.
As the EU-hosted website „youreurope“ puts it: “If you are an EU national living in another EU country, you have the right to participate in municipal and European elections held in that country. The conditions are the same for you as for nationals.”
There is multiple other ways to get yourselve involved. You can become a buddy yourself or find other ways for volunteering. Also, Euregio Meuse-Rhine (a.o.) provides funding for small projects.
When you are at the point when you invite relatives to see your new city, you will understand of how much your new region has already become a (second) home. We hope to add the testimonials of some people that came a similar way – you are welcome to make this the spot for your story!