ECL & ACCESS: Future Partnership Plans

| Leiden International Centre

Since 2016, ACCESS has been working together with Expat Centre Leiden to assist internationals at our Helpdesk by providing practical information about moving to the Leiden region, and the Netherlands as a whole. The Helpdesk is one of the ways in which ECL can ensure that internationals are well-prepared for their new life in the Leiden region, and it offers people the chance to ask any questions that they have - whether these questions are about social events in the region or about housing and job-hunting. 

ACCESS is a not-for-profit organisation that is run by volunteers who have previously acquired expatriate experience (either in the Netherlands or elsewhere). These volunteers work to help others, and serve the international community. This allows internationals to also contribute back towards the international community, providing people with the chance to volunteer and meet others who may be in need of assistance in their relocation process.

From 2023 onwards ECL will transition into operating the Helpdesk within our own team. Below, you can find our joint statement with ACCESS about this new development. 

In 2016 Expat Centre Leiden (ECL) invited ACCESS to be a part of their welcome centre for internationals moving to Leiden. From then on, and even through the covid period, ECL and ACCESS have worked together welcoming, informing and serving internationals. In total, over the years, there have been around 20 ACCESS volunteers from Leiden who worked at the centre, and almost 6,000 inquiries from new residents making a home in Leiden. 

According to Deborah Valentine, Executive Director of ACCESS “It has been all our pleasure, working with ECL. From the teams who served, to the management. Being there in-person is a rewarding experience for all.”

Sadly, in 2023 this partnership will no longer continue. While the Expat Centre Leiden will continue to serve internationals coming to live and/or work in the city, they will do so with their own team. Corine van der Ceelen, Manager of the Expat Centre Leiden, said that though “…we are sad to see ACCESS go, we look forward to taking lessons learnt and experiences shared and sharing these with new internationals coming to live here. Most importantly, both ACCESS and Expat Centre Leiden will continue to make the Netherlands a welcoming place for internationals.