Nijmegen, Netherlands—Autumn falls in the leafy eastern neighborhoods of the Dutch city of Nijmegen. The vines winding up the sides of the late 19th century brick homes are turning yellow and brown. Inside, large book shelves line the walls. Stickers saying “No” to advertising mail adorn letter boxes, but quality newspapers are welcome. People go to their work at the university or in nonprofit organizations. Children with names like Fleur and Sanne are brought to school in cargo bikes. When they grow older, they will study a semester in a foreign country. Freelance hipsters are working on their notebooks in coffee bars. Nearby is a refugee center. A raft of volunteers, many jobless but with college degrees, are willing to help visitors find their way around town.

“Foreigners can enrich a society” is often heard. Locals even go as far as...

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