• Programmalijn nieuwkomers
Homewards Socialhub Nick Bookelaar 19112023 09575
  • The question

    In what ways can we help to improve the settlement process for newcomers arriving in the Eindhoven area?

  • Our solution

    Working closely with our city partners, we're building a social onboarding program for new arrivals, Dutch and international alike, to enable a smoother integration experience.


Strategische lijn

Deze case past binnen onze strategische lijn: “Integratie van nieuwkomers”.

Bekijk strategie

Eindhoven aims to be the most human innovative city. What implications does this hold for the expanding community of newcomers in our city? Furthermore, how will the arrival of new residents impact the landscape of Eindhoven? These fundamental inquiries are central to our strategic vision for 2030.

In our role as a city marketing organization, our primary focus has long revolved around promoting Eindhoven to outsiders—welcoming visitors and encouraging individuals to consider Eindhoven as a place for extended stays, be it for work, education, or business endeavors. Yet, our understanding of how new residents integrate and thrive within the city has been somewhat limited. Our strategic outlook for 2022-2030 explicitly emphasizes a shift in focus towards the people of Eindhoven themselves, irrespective of whether they're newcomers or multi-generational residents.

A new target group (or maybe not so new?)

As part of our city marketing strategy for the next few years, we're honing in on five distinct target groups. For Eindhoven365, newcomers emerge as a fresh target group. However, within the city's history, they are anything but new. Since the days of Philips, Eindhoven has been a magnet for individuals hailing from various corners of the Netherlands and beyond. Who among us isn't familiar with a family that relocated to this region in pursuit of opportunities at the light bulb factory? Today, companies like ASML boast a workforce representing over 120 nationalities."

The essence of Eindhoven has historically been shaped by its influx of newcomers. Yet, notably in the past ten years, the city has undergone a pronounced shift toward internationalization. This transition presents novel hurdles: newcomers seeking their place and established residents witnessing the evolution of their city. While research suggests a generally favorable perception of this change, it's not uniformly embraced, nor does it happen without effort. What specific role does Eindhoven365 play in assisting newcomers with integration? And precisely which groups are we aiming to engage?

To tackle this question, we initiated a collaboration in 2022 with Holland Expat Center South, Brainport Development, and the Expat Spouses Initiative. This alliance allowed us to merge efforts and collectively engage in addressing the matter.

The Creators Hub Jordi Sloots Eindhoven365 01615
Customer journey session with coalition partners and Studio Tast

Exploration and experimentation

In recent years various studies have emerged that bear relevance to the development of our newcomer program—more details will follow later on in this article. Of notable significance for our theoretical framework are reports such as the WRR's 'Samenleven in verscheidenheid' (Living Together in Diversity) and Tilburg University's research on knowledge migrants within the Brainport region. For comprehensive data and statistics, the Municipality of Eindhoven's Internationals dashboard has served as a valuable resource.Similar to our other coalition projects, we've engaged social design agencies to tackle this challenge. Studio Tast, a design firm, has guided us in delving deeper into the needs of newcomers. The core question posed was: What essential elements are required by newcomers to establish a 'fulfilling life' within our region? Naturally, this entails fundamental factors like healthcare, housing, and financial stability. However, the social dimension also holds significant weight in determining the successful assimilation of newcomers. This specific segment of the newcomer's journey is our focal point as a city marketing organization.

Landing socially and finding your way

Migration often brings about a transformation in personal identity. Elements that once defined you—your former job, your place in a social group, and accustomed cultural practices—suddenly undergo alteration. Amid this transition to a new environment, inquiries arise: Who are you in this new setting? How do you leverage your abilities in this different landscape? What steps can you take to make Eindhoven feel like your own? Addressing these queries is a gradual process that allows for the exploration of uncharted aspects of oneself.

Newcomers also face a significant demand for practical information. It's not that this information isn't accessible; on the contrary, the abundance of information has created a situation where it's challenging to discern the crucial details amid the overwhelming volume. There's a necessity for a centralized platform where everything is consolidated.

As previously highlighted, another critical requirement is fostering a social life. This extends beyond mere companionship; it entails feeling supported by a network and experiencing a sense of belonging within a larger community.

21042023 int meeting Area51 Nick Bookelaar 08004
21042023 int meeting Area51 Nick Bookelaar 08055
    Session with Expat Spouses Initiative

Working with Studio Tast, we experimented with gamification to foster
social connections and expedite information filtering. In 2023, we conducted two extensive sessions in collaboration with the Expat Spouses Initiative to explore how internationals engage with the content on Can users easily find what they need? Moreover, what's the primary query that arises for internationals when they start their online search in Eindhoven? (Hint: 'Where can I buy a bike?')

What's on our agenda?

Let's look ahead and address what we are currently working on. Our solution to help newcomers settle better is Homewards, a social onboarding program for newcomers. It's the starting point to find your groove in this region and make a bunch of new friends.Homewards kicks off with in-person events because, let's face it, the best connections happen in real life. That's why we launched Homewards The Quiz—a fun, casual way to meet fresh faces and connect with your inner Eindhoven local. In 2024, we're expanding to an online space—a hub for practical info and social connections. It's where you'll discover tips to navigate social scenes and meet awesome folks in a relaxed vibe. All the cool newcomer events in the city will be in one place!

Our aim? To make Homewards a toolkit for newcomers, giving them the scoop to jump-start their social life in Eindhoven. We're all about building that sense of home and a tight-knit community.

Within Homewards, our attention is on both Dutch and international newcomers. We're banking on the belief that the best integration might just happen when you're all in the same boat—building a life in a place where everyone's pretty much starting from scratch. Plus, we're reaching out to the local Eindhoven folks too. They're keen on helping out, like sifting through info to get you off to a great start here.

Do you want to join Homewards?

Homewards is a joint effort involving Holland Expat Center South, Brainport Development, Expat Spouses Initiative, and Eindhoven365. Homewards' identity is a design by

Do you have suggestions or wish to be a part of Homewards? We're eager to hear from you! Drop us a line at