Photographer:Fotograaf: Jean-Pierre Geusens
MAASTRICHT. About 150 people came to the first Let’s Catch Up event last Thursday in Centre Céramique. This meet-up in English is for foreign employees of Maastricht University and other expats in South Limburg and replaces the monthly Meet&Greet.
“The Meet&Greet was really a network drinks event, where people could get to know one another better,” says Karin Quanten, co-ordinator of the Knowledge Centre for International Staff that organises the meeting together with the Holland Expat Center South and various cultural institutes. “We held them for six years every last Thursday of the month, but we noticed that the number of visitors was dropping. It needed a change.”
In the new formula – based on a survey held among expats – the drinks will be preceded by an hour of ‘infotainment’. “Here, we will give a preview of cultural activities that are on the agenda in the upcoming month. Last Thursday, for example, the project leader of the Dutch Dance Days was present, together with a dancer from Project Sally. David Deprez, creative director of Lumière, told us about the films that will be shown in honour of Lumière's first anniversary in its new building. The idea is that people who would like to attend such an activity, but prefer not to go alone, can find each other.”
One of the things that came up in the survey, was that expats don't just want to meet each other but would also like to mingle with citizens of Maastricht. “We hope that this new approach is inviting enough for Dutch colleagues as well. Depending on the location – somewhere different each time – it is also possible for people passing by to drop in.”
The next Let’s Catch UP is on Thursday, 26 October from 18:00hrs in the Conservatorium Maastricht.