Expats get to know the city again: “They have to feel at home here”

Photo credit: Katinka van de Brug/Studio040

For the first time since the outbreak of corona a year and a half ago, there is a life tour of Eindhoven for expats again. It is being organised by the Holland Expat Center South.

The tour is meant  for helping new expats get to know the city, but is also  a network meeting place for social contacts. One of the guests is the Indian, Shrabashe. She has only lived in Eindhoven for a few months, where both she and her husband work. She says: “The contacts I have now are mainly colleagues from Tilburg University. I do enjoy meeting other expats who are also new here”.

The group of guests who join the tour is diverse. They come from the United States, Turkey, England or India, for example. Most of them have not lived here for long and are eager to get to know the city and our culture. Shrabashe: “I don’t find the difference in culture so difficult. I have lived in many different places and I have got used to having to adapt all the time. Here in the Netherlands, people are generally friendly and what is unique about the Netherlands is that we can talk to everyone in English. That’s more difficult in most other countries”.

Getting used to the new city

City guide Anneke Leenders takes great pleasure in showing these people around. She loves telling them about her city and is happy to help the newcomers with the challenges they face. Leenders: “One of the tricky things we encountered just now during the tour is our traffic regulations. The cycle path is really only for cyclists and the pavement for walking. Many expats don’t know that. During the tour, I can tell them how it works here”.

During the tour, guests learn many facts about the city, such as about Philips, the Sint Catharinakerk and where the entertainment areas are. “This helps the expats. They not only learn about the city, but they can also talk about it with friends and family. That way they feel more at home here,” Anneke Leenders says.

Expats or internationals

Josine Frankhuizen, from the Holland Expat Centre South, organises various activities for the expats. According to Frankhuizen, when the expats stay here longer, they are no longer called expats, but internationals: “Eindhoven wants to keep the knowledge we bring in as long as possible. That is why we try, as much as possible, to make the people who come to work here and their families feel at home here”.

The guided tour is a first step towards this. “You often see that the person who already works here has enough contacts through their work. The partner, often the woman, quickly becomes isolated. At the start tonight, they start talking to each other and make their first contacts. In addition, they now know who we are and we can help them further with, for example, finding work”, Frankhuizen says.

From now on, the tour is every first Friday of the month.

For more information : Holland Expat Center – Holland Expat Center

Source: www.studio040.nl

Translated by: Bob


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