There are many ways to connect with local residents or to meet up with fellow internationals. There are (international) groups that you can join, or conversation groups where newcomers practice the local language. The International House community is also here to help you connect with locals or internationals alike, via the Welcome Ambassador Program.
When moving to a new city, meeting people can present its challenges. And while it may feel a bit daunting at first, getting yourself out there is about the only thing that is required (and the only thing that works). Joining a local sport, cultural or other recreational club will help you blend in with your local community. Why not do some volunteer work? You get to make a difference while at the same time getting to know your new city, local organisations and people. If you work, don’t forget to check what your employer offers for its international employees. Your company might have a page on Facebook or intranet where colleagues exchange tips and tricks about the local culture and activities or even organise activities.
Last but certainly not least, you can join the International House's Welcome Ambassador Program. International newcomers are paired up with a host (local or international) to help you ease into life in Leuven. That way you potentially already have a 'plus one' to go to a coffee morning!
- Get more information about the network possibilities that your company or organisation offers.(Ask your colleagues or HR.)
- Join a local sport or cultural organisation. Contact the sport or culture services of the city (website in Dutch only, but you can call/email in English); they will guide you through the different possibilities in and around Leuven.
- Check the ‘Uit kalender’ (only in Dutch) for all of the cultural activities in Leuven.
- Inquire about volunteering opportunities.
- Make an appointment at the Agentschap Integratie & Inburgering or Integration Agency. Useful info on what they can help you with is available in this article.
- Join the International House's Welcome Ambassador Program
- There are different network possibilities for international workers. Investigate their offers and network opportunities.
- Have you already checked out the different communities, groups, and events happening in Leuven and still haven't found something that interests you? Get your own group going! And we can help you getting the ball rolling. Part of what we do at the International House is supporting internationals in finding community. If you would like to lead a walking group, coffee morning, running club, book club, etc. let us know!
Suppliers, channels and tools
- International House Leuven (activities for internationals and expats in Leuven)
- Internationals and Expats in Leuven (Meetup group hosted by the International House Leuven)
- Expats in Leuven (facebook community)
- International and expat parents in Leuven (facebook group)
- Pangaea (community for international students)
- Toastmasters Fonske Leuven (international group to practice public speaking and debate)
In the area of Leuven/Belgium:
- Internations (expat community)
- People to People Brussels chapter (expat community)
- Expatica (info about all aspects of life in Belgium)
- Expat info desk (expat services)
- Just landed (info for expats)
- The Bulletin (Belgian news source in English)
Last updated on 16/11/2022
Internationals living/working in the Leuven region, wanting to connect with fellow expats or locals.