After months of hard work, The Hub reopens this Friday, June 1, with a big party to celebrate its new style and interior. Known as a central spot for internationals, The Hub is eager to unveil its new look. Other changes include a new website, better programming, and a more creative atmosphere to keep helping internationals in Eindhoven quickly build their social networks.
The Hub first began as an idea back in 2007 when Lin Pender noticed how difficult it was to meet other internationals. She initiated meet and greet events and pub quizzes for expats and other internationals to help them build connections. In 2011, Pender, who’s English, met with Joost van Dijck, who’s Dutch, to begin a foundation called The Hub Eindhoven for Expats. The Hub received a permanent location in 2012 when the municipality of Eindhoven allocated a building at Vestdijk 25 for them to host and organize events. The occasional pub quiz expanded to 8 to 12 events per week that include language courses, comedy nights, games, music, meet up mornings for spouses, and even salsa dancing.
The Hub’s mission, according to the website, is “to create a living room space in Eindhoven for expats to enjoy a range of activities, relax, and meet new people in a safe, comfortable environment.” Jan Michielsen, The Hub’s chairman of the board, puts it even more succinctly: “We want to create a nice environment for people to be happy and connect with each other.”
It began as a social opportunity for expats, individuals, and families who moved to Eindhoven for a limited time for work, always intending to return to their home countries. However, the international scene in Eindhoven is changing. In fact, Michielsen sees its name, The Hub Eindhoven for Expats, as no longer relevant because “more people are staying longer. There are more students and more internationals receiving local contracts. They come from many different backgrounds from countries all over the world. It’s up to us to create events that make them feel at home.”
One particularly popular event is the Friday evening tour of Eindhoven. “The first Friday of the month we host a tour of Eindhoven together with the Holland Expat Center,” says Michielsen. “Then everyone comes back to The Hub, and we explain some activity currently occurring so internationals can understand what is going on in Eindhoven. For instance, this month we explained about King’s Day so internationals will know why everyone is dressed in orange.”
Though some events may require a small fee, most are free and open to the public. The Hub receives funding through local government and partnerships with local businesses and relies a great deal on volunteers. More than 120 people volunteer at The Hub, most on a regular basis while others help out at events.
These volunteers, along with staff and partners, will begin Friday’s festivities with a formal event. The doors open to the public at 20:00 at Vestdijk 25 in Eindhoven.
For more information call The Hub at +31 40 845 1475, visit their website at www.thehubeindhoven.nl, or send them an email via [email protected]