This article was originally published at Maastricht Region: to Live.
One of the most isolating parts of living abroad can be not having a job in a new country where your partner is working. While this issue is hardly exclusive to women, we are often the member of a relationship who “trails”. It’s from this experience that groups like the International Women’s Club of South Limburg was born. Such groups provide a wide variety of activities and connections that can make a new place your home. Today the IWC South Limburg boasts a 188 women membership and supports women from all walks of life; both expat women from aboard and Dutch women who have returned to the region after their own expat experience.
The IWC is, at its core, about making friends and sharing in experiences that allow us to interact with each other and our new community. Members meet once a month at the club meetings in Cadier en Keer and can also host and attend other events throughout each month. Members are also organized into smaller groups based on their location, so women who live nearby each other can plan activities together.
Starting perhaps a year ago, the IWC has had a “Juniors” group, which focuses somewhat more on younger women, many of whom also work and just generally have different interests that you might typically expect. As part of the Junior group, members meet every month for First Friday drinks (partners welcome), to run together, and go for ladies’ movie nights.
Personally I joined the IWC late (2 years after we moved here!), but I have really enjoyed having access to this community of women. Sometimes it’s nice to step into an environment where I don’t have to worry as much about language or culture; because we all are accustom to working outside our own expectations. The Juniors club, in particular, has drawn me into the IWC with the running group and regular meet-ups in the evenings or on weekends. Meeting people from so many places and in such different parts of their lives is also fascinating and fun.
If you’re a woman and curious about the IWC, please check out their website. Or attend one of the monthly newcomers evenings. Sorry guys, I don’t think there is an equivalent club for you.
Please don’t forget to support expat resources in the region. Sign my petition to find funding for and re-open Crossroads Magazine.