First published in AMS business magazine. Author: Lauren Comiteau

How internationals live in Amsterdam: Weronika Siwiec 

Young, European and creative, Warsaw-native Weronika Siwiec (28) finds Amsterdam the perfect place to satisfy her wanderlust. Siwiec moved to the city a year ago and found a position as a graphic designer at WeTransfer, a cloud-based file transfer service based in Amsterdam.

She works eight-hour days, five days a week, fully enjoying the Dutch work-life balance. ‘There’s respect,’ she says.

‘At the end of the day, it’s: ‘Let’s go home and think about something else.’ I like that.’

Siwiec appreciates her Amsterdam workplace, which she says is quite typical for a tech start-up. ‘We have stand-ups, meetings; it’s community-like and cool,’ she says. With table tennis, Dutch classes, healthy communal lunches (except for Fat Fridays, where the Dutch stamppot and burgers replace salads and mostly vegetarian fare), ‘creative breakfasts’ and topical presentations for its approximately 80 employees, it’s the perfect place to bond and be inspired.

‘The mission of  WeTransfer has always been to support the creative communities,’ Siwiec says of the file-sharing service, whether it’s the artists they feature online or the employees in their IJ riverside office. An architect and designer by trade, Siwiec also illustrates scenes from her Amsterdam life and posts them on Instagram (@ weronikamarianna).

When not in the office, Siwiec can most likely be found exploring the city – from its museums and parks to its summer festivals and vintage stores – on her bike, the only way she travels. ‘I love how it’s so easy and safe,’ she says. Although she does advise newcomers to purchase ‘an ugly bike and a good lock – I’m on my fourth already!’

Siwiec’s current priority is finding a new room to rent in a competitive real estate market. She plans to live in Amsterdam for at least two years – ‘to feel like a local,’ she says, ‘and then we will see. There are other temptations around the world. But I like it here.’