Welcome Friend and Welcome Walks should help newcomers make friends and discover the city!
By Thomas Ansell
City Central, a place where Internationals can meet Groningen and vice-versa, has just launched two new programmes to help stave off feelings of isolation for new Internationals in the city. Welcome Friend pairs newcomers with a local, English-speaking volunteer, to introduce them to Groningen for six months.
With the new Coronavirus regulations, City Central has wisely made the programme both remote and in-person, with Welcome Friends able to meet via video chat, or in person at a safe distance. Welcome Friend is part of My Local Friend, a language-learning project that pairs International people with local Dutch Groningers to practice their Dutch language. You can now choose either a Welcome Friend or a Taal Friend, too!
The second initiative is Welcome Walks, a series of free guides that provide local knowledge about Groningen’s individual neighbourhoods. The guides include both practical information, and details of hidden gems in Groningens localities. Guides for the Selwerd and Paddepoel districts in the North of the city, Helpman in the South, and the Oosterpoort (East/Central) are available now.
Image: ©City Central Groningen / Hanneke Laaning