Building a social life

Making friends is a big part of settling in. During your time in Utrecht Right, you probably want to meet people, expand your social circle and find support groups. In this section, we offer some suggestions to help you on your way.

How to meet people

Learn the Dutch language

One of the best things about living abroad is that you get an opportunity to learn a new language. Learning Dutch or improving your English is a great way to meet people and make friends. Local people will appreciate the effort you are making to speak their language and it will definitely make you feel more at home. Whether it is enrolling in a language course, using apps or visiting relevant websites, there are plenty of free and paid opportunities to learn Dutch.

Join events or workshops

Events are great for meeting new people. The Utrecht International Center organises bimonthly networking events for newcomers: an informal and great opportunity to meet like-minded people. Joining a sports team or taking workshops are also nice ways to get to know fellow internationals and locals. The Dutch like their sports and have special moments for socialising, called ‘the third half’, in which you share a drink with your teammates.

Visit the buurtcentrum

Every neighbourhood in Utrecht has its own buurtcentrum (community centre). It is the perfect place to meet, share and connect with co-residents, have a cup of coffee, or join existing activities. Visit your local Buurtcentrum to check out the activity schedule. You can also book rooms to organize your own activity, for example cooking classes, language courses or game evenings (most of the times for free, depending on your offering). Find more info.


International groups and communities