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Regional Resources: The Value of Variety

This article was original published at Maastricht Region: to Live.

There are many types of online resources for expats today, but none are so valuable as the ones written specifically for your niche; that special twist that enables you to find and connect with the resource in the first place. When I first moved to Maastricht, quality regional resources were slim. Fortunately shortly afterwards the city began a bit of a revival, and we saw a handful of quality regional resources spring up. Hopefully we’ll see good resources and services continue to flourish as the region explores its relationship with the international community and puts its best foot forward for 2018.

One of the oldest and best was Crossroads Magazine, owned and operated by the European Journalism Centre. Sadly they had to shutter the project approximately a month ago due to a lack of funding, despite their 10 years of service. Crossroads Magazine provided an excellent look into the events, culture, and history of Maastricht itself through the eyes of representatives of the city and the words of fellow expatriates, in addition to creating the first bank of resource links to language learning resources, international businesses, schools, and more. For writers, the magazine offered many of us our first chance to work with an editor and be read on a wider basis. While the website is not currently updating, you can still visit to read the various articles and see the resource links. If you want to help us restore Crossroads, please show your support and Sign Our Petition.

Another older resource, The Observant, is a niche resource for our local university students. Published weekly in print and on the web, it provides a variety of articles in Dutch and English as well as event listings. It is created by students of Maastricht University.

City-sponsored regional resources are some what newer, but have the benefit of providing a wide base of information about the basics of setting up life in Maastricht and the surrounding area. As one of the highlighted resources fromMaastricht’s International Help DeskMaastricht Region provides help and resources on work, housing, and other practical matters. Plus you get to hear from Sueli and I every week. The Expat Guide Holland, owned and operated by Brainport in Eindhoven, is also an excellent source of general information and a partial business listing for a variety of services.

Finally we’ve been able to get a bit of a personal perspective from a handful of local expat bloggers. While I enjoy reading expat bloggers from all over the Netherlands, it’s extra special to see what other’s are thinking in your area. If you’re curious try these:

Random Walks in the Low Countries

In Our Life: The Williems 3 Go Dutch

Maastricht Minutiae (That’s me)

- If you have more for this list, please let me know.

As wonderful as this flourishing of resources is for us internet-going expats in Maastricht, the loss of Crossroads leaves a cultural perspective-sized hole in what was shaping up to be a well-rounded variety of references and perspective. Hopefully the city of Maastricht and other local funding bodies will see this too and find a way to fund the project. If you’d like to encourage them, please sign the Support Municipal Funding for Crossroad’s Magazine petition. (This petition was created by myself and other interested individuals. My opinion should not be construed as that of Maastricht Region Branding Foundation.)

 

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