• S. Loesser

Start with a Friend: online information evening on for “newcomers” in Aachen

The Aachen Newcomer Service collaborates with “Start with a Friend”: a tandem partner for every newcomer.

Those who are new to another country often find it difficult to make friends with locals and get acquainted with the local culture. The more foreign the new culture and language are, the greater the hurdles for newcomers. And without social contacts, it is difficult to take roots in the new home.

The Stadt Aachen Newcomer Service and the project "Start with a Friend" – SwaF – are both dedicated to helping Neuankömmlinge (newcomers) arrive and settle in Aachen. Together they invite to a digital information evening on Monday, 19 April, starting at 19:00.

Stephan Schäfer from the Newcomer Service and Petra Gramer from the association SwaF will be available for a chat.

Those who would like to participate can register via the following e-mail address: newcomerservice@mail.aachen.de

The access data for the Zoom event will be sent as soon as possible to those interested.

Image: © Start with a Friend 2021

The project SwaF began in 2017 as a contribution to the integration of refugees by forming friendship tandems of immigrants and locals. With close to 400 successfully formed tandems in Aachen alone, it has become a showcase project for a living welcoming culture.

The Stadt Aachen Newcomer Service offers immigrant professionals a programme of events designed to help them get to know their new place of residence and make social contacts at the same time. However, due to the pandemic, no more events could take place since October 2020. And it is not foreseeable yet when events will be possible again. As a consequence, immigrants currently lack the opportunity to meet each other and interact.

Establishing contact via a digital format should offer the chance to alleviate the social isolation of international professionals triggered by the Corona pandemic. That is also because the city has a great interest in retaining these professionals in Aachen in the long term.

The Newcomer Service and the association SwaF want to continue providing all newcomers with local tandem partners, especially also in times of ongoing contact restrictions. For this purpose, also yesterday's newcomers get into action.

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