City Central is an organization, but an organization is really the people behind it. We’re a mix of foreigners ourselves who have come to call Groningen home, and Stadjers who want to support newcomers and help them become locals, too.
Over the course of 2022, City Central will be making some very big changes.
As previously announced, City Central will no longer be based at the Akerk starting next year. Most of our services and projects will continue in a new location, and we will do our best to make sure it’s still an informal meeting place, as well as a comfortable space to host our small-scale in-person events. We’ll keep you posted once we know more about where our new home will be.
My Local Friend site becoming part of citycentral.nl
Up until now, sign ups for My Local Friend - Welcome Friend and Taal Friend - have been through a separate website for the project. Later this month, we'll be officially merging the two websites, which means that interested volunteers and participants can contact us directly through the City Central website.
Merging with Connect International and International Welcome Center North
These changes are happening at the same time as we are working toward a merger with Connect International and International Welcome Center North (IWCN), two wonderful organizations in the north focused on helping internationals feel at home.
Connect International has been providing for the social and community needs of internationals in the north for decades, and IWCN, which handles the legalities of moving and getting settled in the region, just celebrated their 7th anniversary.
City Central working together with Connect International and IWCN makes sense for all of us, because our shared goal is to help newcomers in the north to feel at home and really tap into all that this special region has to offer, and to give back to it in meaningful ways.
Although our location, our partnerships and even our name may eventually change, we promise that we will still be here to provide international residents with all of the guidance, social connections, and support they want and deserve.
Another big change at City Central this past year is the departure of Marian Counihan, City Central's founding director. Her energy and vision are behind so much of what we have been able to achieve over the past four years, and we want to thank her for all of her hard work and dedication to making Groningen an even better place to live.
The past few years have impacted all of us: the massive and difficult changes caused by the coronavirus have also fundamentally altered our societies, social practices, institutions and jobs.
That’s why City Central’s goal of making sure all the foreign residents who call the north home truly feel at home is more important now than ever, and that’s why we are combining our strengths with Connect and IWCN: in order to reach even more people, and to do what we do well now, even better.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or just want to share your thoughts about City Central, or the merger, feel free to contact us.