My name is Anna Gilhespy, I am 29 and I run my own business (www.thehouseofmouse.co.uk) making handmade ornaments which I sell mostly online.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
I moved to Hoofddorp (just outside Amsterdam) with my husband in 2003 when he was offered a good job over here. There was little work where we were living in the UK and opportunity was too good for us to pass up.
What challenges did you face during the move?
Our move to Holland was extremely smooth, mostly thanks to my husbands company arranging a relocation agent for us. She helped us find a house to rent and took us through all the paperwork we needed to fill out. The hardest part for me was that I still had one year left to complete before receiving my Fine Art Degree; it was a struggle to find a university that would accept me at such short notice. Fortunately I managed to get my UK university headmaster to pull some strings with a Dutch university that they had links to and secured a place. I did not enjoy the transition between universities; the differences in education approach were more extreme than I had anticipated. They were also not explained to me well, which led to several stressful misunderstandings. My husband slid into Dutch culture with much more ease than I did...