Welcome Abroad

We aim to make everyone feel welcome and at home, even when studying abroad.

Leonie Hirtreiter
Tilburg University
Human Resource Management

Over het initiatief / About the initiative

Welcome Abroad

In welke fase zit jouw initiatief? / In what stage is your initiative?

Uitgewerkt conceptfase

Heb je jouw initiatief al gevalideerd? / Did you validate your initiative?

We sent out a survey through the different group chats of our university courses and asked international students to fill it out. The questions we asked included: "When you first arrived, how supported did you feel by organizations in the Netherlands? (University, the Government etc)" "What aspects of arriving in the Netherlands would you have wanted assistance with in the first month?" "Which of the following activities or information would you be interested in?" (in the settling stage) "Which of the following would you be interested in?" (regarding events in the integration stage) "Would you have been interested in a physical welcome package? (Including typical Dutch things such as stroopwaffels, a labeled city map of your new city, explanation of city colors and corresponding accessories for carnival, temporary OV chipkaart, chocolate, tulips etc.)" "Having read all the suggested services, how much would you be willing to pay for the full year of this program?" The results of these questions are attached in the images section. Overall, we were saddened but not surprised that over 80% of respondents stated they felt not at all, only slightly or somewhat supported when they arrived. We also noted which activities and information were most valued as things that we will prioritize.

Meer informatie over jouw initiatief / More info about your initiative

As international students, when we first arrived, we felt completely lost. Like why is there a blaring alarm every first Monday at 12, what even is an iDeal or how do you sign up for a huisarzt? We conducted a survey with internationals and found that 80% did not feel very supported when they arrived. We want to make sure no one has to feel the way we felt when we first arrived. Therefore, we developed a 3 step program to ensure people feel welcome… abroad. Our service, Welcome Abroad, is essentially an onboarding program for students to help them arrive, settle and integrate. We offer this service to students and universities. We will support the internationals cover the basics of arrival, help them get to know their new city, and finally enable them to form lasting relationships and memories. In the future, we aim to offer this to companies to onboard their expats. Join us in making everyone feel at home wherever they are.

Wat zijn jouw volgende stappen om het verder te ontwikkelen? / What are your next steps to develop the initiative?

We have now reached the stage where we have conducted our first market research and are very positive about the feedback we have received. We are finalizing the services we want to offer. Therefore, our next step is to create a “prototype” website so we can reach more people and show them exactly what we are offering.

Wat heb je nodig om (nog meer) impact te maken met dit initiatief? / What do you need to make (more) impact with this initiative?

The most important necessity for us to have the greatest impact possible is connections. Working together with universities, banks, and municipalities among others can not only help us reach as many people as possible, but also help them as efficiently as we can. Every year new students are coming to the Netherlands, so partnerships directly with the universities are the easiest way to reach the new arrivals.