If you feel that your social life or career need a boost, that you need to take more exercise or that you would simply like to give something back to the community – why not pick up some inspiration at the Feel at Home Fair in The Hague this February?
The Feel at Home International Community Fair is a celebration of the uniquely connected and cosmopolitan community of The Hague, providing a warm welcome to newcomers and a friendly meeting place for internationals already living here.
The 13th edition of this annual event takes place on Sunday, February 2 and will showcase all that is bright for internationals who work and live in and around the city.
‘We may have been running the fair for 13 years, but each event is different and every edition has its own special atmosphere,’ says Fair founder Billy Allwood who has lived in The Hague for over 25 years.
The 2020 Fair will make a special feature of the many exciting opportunities there are to work, learn and train in The Hague region. Major international employers such as OPCW and Eurojust will exhibit alongside innovative start-ups to show what they do, and demonstrate the diverse range of careers, internships and innovative new businesses on offer in the city.
Students, job seekers and curious locals are invited to attend a series of key-note presentations in the elegant council chamber of City Hall (the Raadzaal) on topics such as the future of education, criminal justice across borders and careers within UN organisations. Additionally, World Class The Hague will host an interactive workshop on solving real-life challenges in the workplace.
Of course, companies providing specialised services to internationals will be also be on hand to answer your questions and help you settle in or feel even more at home in the Netherlands. But what is unique about the Feel at Home Fair is that it also includes sports, social and community groups to showcase the fantastic variety of culture, entertainment and activities which are open to internationals living here.
‘I am very proud that we are able to create such an inclusive event, which allows non-profit clubs and associations to exhibit at the fair free of charge,’ says Billy. ‘It means that we really do offer something for everyone. It is an event for the community, by the community.’
Among the long list of 130 exhibitors you’ll find names such as Wool for Warmth, an association that collects old wool and organises knitting groups to knit clothes for the homeless. If singing or dancing is your thing, you have a choice of many different choirs and groups to join or to listen to. Or if you are into theatre, several English-language theatre groups are promoting their shows and looking for new supporters.
And, if your New Year resolution was to get fitter, floorball, badminton, swimming and tennis clubs will all be on hand to tell you more. Ever heard of pickleball, for example? So why not let their talent and enthusiasm inspire you to join a local club, take a challenge or volunteer for a worthy cause.
‘It really is extraordinary how much is going on in The Hague,’ says Billy. ‘Every year there are new clubs, new sports and new events. It just goes to show what a vibrant and enthusiastic community we have.’
If you’re looking to give back to your local community, organisations such as Volunteer The Hague and NL Cares will be at the Fair to connect English-speaking internationals with volunteering opportunities in their neighbourhood. They will also host a free workshop about learning and developing new skills through volunteering. You don’t have to be a Dutch speaker to get involved!
In addition to the exhibitor stands, free workshop and seminar programmes, along with an international food court and a full agenda of activities and performances will keep you, your friends and your family entertained the whole day.
Entry to the Feel at Home International Community Fair 2020 is free for visitors who reserve their tickets in advance. You can register for up to four free tickets per order. Visitor registration is now open – click here!
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