It is often a challenge for expats to make connections with people in a new place. The good news is that there are ways to slowly and steadily meet new people and build fulfilling friendships and business relationships. One of these ways is to join any of many expat clubs and associations, which are present in most countries. These clubs organize social networking events where new and old expats can come together. The Netherlands too has some excellent expat clubs and here are five of them you may consider joining.American Women’s Club of Amsterdam (AWCA)
Founded in 1927 by a couple of young American women in Amsterdam, AWCA is a non-profit, volunteer organization that aims to be a source of friendship and support for both American women and non-American women having close ties with the United States, in the Netherlands. The club strives to create a place where Dutch culture can be experienced, while still honoring American traditions. Members are involved in many philanthropic and community involvement activities, and often participate in educational, family and sports events organized by the club. AWCA hopes to encourage networking between professionals as well as lifelong friendships. Newcomers are welcome to attend the events of the club.
British Society of Amsterdam (Britsoc)
The British Society opens its doors to people of all nationalities and all ages that are looking to make new social connections. This multi-cultural organization is run by its members and is always on the lookout for new members that wish to become involved in the Dutch lifestyle and contribute to their community. Members can also contribute their own ideas for new events to add to the society’s calendar. Some of the regular activities include badminton, Scottish dancing, film nights, bridge, yoga and sailing, held on a weekly or monthly basis. There are also annual events such as the Summer Ball, Guy Fawkes Night, the Christmas Ball, excursions to the WWI battlefields and bonfire night. You don’t have to be a member to enjoy club events, but there are discounts available on membership.
Irish Club Netherlands (ICN)
The Irish Club Netherlands was started in 1984 to serve as a focal point for Irish people living in the country. The Netherlands has a considerable population of Irish expats and the club helps them to stay in touch with their roots. The club’s activities include traditional Irish dancing, music and Gaelic sports among other things. ICN has both a national organization and local activity groups. It also publishes a quarterly magazine called ‘Le Chéile’. Yearly events include St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and a Hurling Championship. Through the years, the international community in Netherlands has shown increasing interest in the club’s activities and as a result membership was extended to all nationalities interested in Irish culture. Being a non-profit group, the club conducts its activities with contributions from its sponsors.
International Almere consists of expats from across the world that live in and around the city of Almere. It is an English-speaking organization aimed at building social networks for expats, migrants and internationally minded locals. Run as a volunteer non-profit organization, International Almere does not charge for membership and attempts to keep prices low for all its events. Those members who attend more than a certain amount of activities in the course of the year are automatically invited to general meetings where they pay certain dues to vote. Every year this list of people is updated. Regular club activities include quiz nights, game nights, wine tastings and golf.
I.D.E.A Drama Group
The International Drama Group for English Speaking Associates was founded in 1991 as a medium for English-speaking people in Dordrecht to produce and perform amateur theatricals. The group produces pantomimes or ‘pantos’, a typically British form of entertainment, every year. New members interested in different aspects of production and performance such as writing, costumes, set building, stage management and PR are always welcome. The productions from rehearsal to performance are carried out in English and hence members are expected to be willing and able to speak in English. The annual Christmas panto is the biggest production of the group and they have also produced many revues, musicals, one-act plays and have participated in musicals.