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Assignee Interview: Meet Zytse de Zwaan...


What is your nationality?


What were your reasons for moving to the U.S.?

I moved here due to my Assignment to Houston through the main office of my company. It was work driven.

Is this your first international relocation?

I have had a few short term assignments.

What other parts of the world have you relocated to?

I have lived in Tanzania, Australia and been to Houston several times as a visitor.

Did you move directly from your home country to the U.S.?


Did you move alone or with a family?

I moved with my family, but I was here alone for the first 3 weeks.

How long have you been in Houston?

January 3rd is when I arrived. My wife and child arrived 1 1/2 weeks ago.

How long is your current assignment?

For 2 years, but after 1 1/2 years they (my company) will evaluate and see if we can stay longer. It could possibly be 3 years total.

What has been your favorite place to live?


In what state do you reside?


What did you find to be the most challenging thing about getting acclimated to your new environment?

It was not my first time here, because I had visited Houston frequently, but it was difficult getting my credit history and understanding how the system works. At the beginning it took a little while for me to understand.

What do you enjoy most about your new surroundings?

In comparison to my apartment in Holland, which is small, I now have a house with a lot of luxury and space. I live in The Woodlands here, which is really nice.

What do you like the least?

I haven’t been here too long, but as soon as I hear of things that are happening in my home country, I will probably start to miss it. After the first 6 months to a year, I will probably miss it. It’s a little hard to say now since I haven’t been here very long.

What do you miss the most?

I think that the thing I miss most would be the food. For instance, the breakfast in Holland is much better, especially the bread.

What surprised you most about your host location?

I think it was the space that we now have. We have lots of room, which is really nice since we were in a small apartment in Holland.

How does the cost of living compare with that of your home country?

I think that when I compare prices, like in the Supermarket, that it is not that cheap. It also varies a little in different locations in Houston. For instance there is a difference between the cost of things in The Woodlands vs. the Greenspoint area near my office. The cost of housing is much cheaper here than in Holland. The prices in Holland couldn’t compare to my rental house here. The price to buy that in Holland would be much more expensive.

Are there any tips or final thoughts that you might offer to someone anticipating a future move to the U.S.?

Well, even when you have enough time in advance to take care of everything; you shouldn’t think you have everything taken care of, because there is still a lot to be done. You need help to get things done, and it is nice to not have to do it alone. That would be very difficult.

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