UEN Intern

Did you know that…


Almost 90,000 foreign students are studying in the Netherlands this year, of whom 23,000 come from outside Europe, according to international education body EP-Nuffic.
This means a record 10% of the Dutch student body come from abroad, the organisation said. In particular, the increase in the number of English language degree courses, the open Dutch society and high standards are a draw, EP-Nuffic said.
Please read the entire article here:

Committee News: 

We are very happy to welcome two new committee members: Mara Dinopoulou and Cristina Popescu. Hereafter they will both introduce themselves to you:
My name is Mara Dinopoulou and I am Greek. I came to the Netherlands 2,5 years ago, following my husband Christos, who is working for Unilever the last 20 years. We have two children, Nassia (11) and Vasilis (10). The 3 of them are the love of my life!
My passion though is design. I am an architect engineer. Working on different projects, houses, offices, private yachts, new built or renovations can fill my day with excitement.
As a new member of the committee, I hope I can bring some Mediterranean air to the UEN… Thank you for including me in your team!!!


My name is Cristina and I am delighted to be part of this network. I am a Romanian living in the Netherlands for the last 3 years, proud of my bike and enjoying every sunny moment. I have been working in Unilever already for one year doing some cool analytical projects. Outside work, I’m usually going on bike tours, traveling or cooking.
I hope to see you around at the UEN events such as: the cooking events, biking tours and much more!”

Cristina picture

We like to welcome you both on the team and wish you lots of fun in your function as UEN committee member!
The new UEN COMMITTEE team  consists of:
Sonja Kaal (German) – treasurerkaaltjes3@gmail.com
Susan Zijderveld (New Zealander)susan.zijderveld@mac.com
Anamaria Suciu (Romanian)analiesuciu@yahoo.com
Pallavi Lall (Indian)pallavilall@yahoo.co.in
Mara Dinopoulou (Greek) marakor_2000@yahoo.com
Cristina Popescu (Romanian) Cristina.Popescu@unilever.com
Christmas in the Netherlands
Of course, you will get the below information and more also in the Happy Friday mails I will send out during the following weeks but I thought a December newsletter without Christmas News is like Christmas without candles 😉 so here you go:

Christmas Market Fluweelengrot


November 13 until December 23, Daalhemerweg, Valkenburg
The Velvet Cave in Valkenburg aan de Geul nce again becomes the unique backdrop to the international Velvet Cave Christmas market. True, goodold-fashioned sparkling Christmas spirit is guaranteed at this, the 17th edition of the Netherlands’ most popular indoor Christmas event!
The Christmas market in the Velvet Cave is morethan just a Christmas market. A visit here immerses you in a wonderful Christmas atmosphere you canfind nowhere else: iconic underground ambiance, a fairy-tale decor, and, of course, stall after stall of Christmas and gift items, from rustic to luxurious. In short, a great experience, with something for everyone.
And all the while, the cave’s atmosphere, with its striking wall paintings and sculptures, brings the Christmas spirit and the old, nigh-forgotten Valkenburg legends to life.
For opening hours and entrance fees have a look on: http://www.fluweelengrot.nl/EN/general

 Dordrecht Christmas market

11, 12, and 13 December 2015

dordrecht xmas

In Dordrecht, a small town near Rotterdam, you can find one of the biggest Christmas markets of Holland! Under a sky of bright stars and sky high Christmas trees, you can wander around more than 300 stalls in the many shopping streets and squares in the historical part of Dordrecht.
For more information have a look on www.kerstmarktdordrecht.nl





Kaarsjesavond in Gouda (Gouda by candlelight)

Friday 11 December in the evening, Town Square, Gouda



The gothic town hall on the market square and the surrounding buildings are all illuminated by candles. The Mayor of Gouda will read the nativity story, which is followed by the singing of Christmas carols around the huge Christmas tree. It is advisable to take the train, as thousands of people go to this great event. Have a look on http://eng.goudabijkaarslicht.nl/index.php





 Winter Palace at Het Loo

December 12 until January 3, Paleis Het Loo – National Museum, Apeldoorn


Visitors will be able to skate on a real outdoor ice rink, children can take part in extra activities that are being organised while the palace interiors will be decked out in style with festive table settings, Christmas trees and decorative greenery. Beautifully laid tables and yuletide greenery will transform the palace into a Christmas setting fit for royalty. In a number of rooms the Christmas tables of various members of the Dutch Royal family of the house of Orange Nassau have been reconstructed. Christmas trees inside and outside are decorated with a great variety of ornament. The exhibitions of Christmas tables of the Dutch royal family and the family of Dutch stadholders have meanwhile become a tradition at Paleis Het Loo thanks to the enormous interest shown by the public. For opening hours and admission fees please go to https://www.paleishetloo.nl/en/agenda/winterpalace-het-loo/

Dickens Festival 2015

December 19 and 20, Deventer



The historic center of the city of Deventer will provide the backdrop for the Dickens Festival. Well over 950 characters that feature in the famous books by the 19th-century British writer Charles Dickens come to life. Come and meet Scrooge, Oliver Twist, Mr Pickwick, Christmas carols, orphans, drunks, office clerks, and the upper-class. Enjoy the aromas of English punch and roasted chestnuts, thousands of fairy-lights, and tall Christmas trees.
Free admission
The Dickens Festival takes place on 19 and 20 December, from 11:00 – 17:00. Well over 150,000 visitors come to this festival annually. Admission is free, so be prepared for queues of approx. 1,5 h at the entrance.
For more information have a look on http://www.dickensfestijn.nl./english-information
Review of Former Events

Bike & Bite Tour Rotterdam Manuela6

On Saturday, October 24th a group of 11 UEN member set out on their bikes to discover Rotterdam together with Laura and Paul from Bike&Bite.
As the words Bike&Bite suggest it was all about cycling through Rotterdam and stopping at special places for a bite to eat. UEN committee member Anamaria Suciu was the organizer and host of the tour.
 You can already see from the photos (for more please check out the photo gallery) that the group was having a great day but here are some comments:
 Manuela: “Thank YOU Anamaria, for always findi???????????????????????????????ng new and exciting ways to meet up and share so nice events!!!
And YES, Paul and Laura were incredible, on one hand very professional, on the other hand so very at ease and kind, an unforgettable tour!”
Paul (from Bike&Bite):
“Thanks so much for a great day today, you were a wonderful group to show the city to! The words ‘gezellig’ and ‘gemütlich’ would be a good way to describe it I think :).
Thorsten: “A very special thanks to Anamaria forhaving always those great ideas and organization power, Paul and Laura for showing us an amazing Rotterdam in a very cool and different way.”
Anamaria: “what a day, what a windy day but what a great time we had. I don’t know about you but I have had a very good time being with you all (again may I say with some), enjoying delicious food and great places to see and definitely come back to.
I have seen a different Rotterdam, learned new things, heard some new experiences and had my first Rotterdam beer (which I kinda liked)”
“Finally also from my side a big thanks to Anne for organising this great day out and to Paul & Laura for guiding us through the true heart of Rotterdam.”
Some of the places visited:
The famous barber Schorem on Nieuwe Binnenweg 104
Fenix Food Factory on Veerlaan 19D
And Poffertjes at Seth Poffertjes Hoogstraat Rotterdam (close to Markthal) http://www.sethpoffertjes.nl/index.htmlIMG_20151024_132250

Coffee Morning with Speaker on Emotional Intelligence on 10 November

Annamaria Carneri invited the UEN members to her house for a coffee morning in Wassenaar. A group of 14 ladies accepted her invitation and enjoyed a relaxing but informative morning listening to Sukai Ceesay from Global Village Children who spoke about Emotional Intelligence.
Here is some detailed information on Sukai and on Global Village Children:Sukai-
Sukai Ceesay, GVC’s founder was born in The Gambia, West Africa, is an American, and Dutch resident. Sukai describes herself to everyone she knows as a “citizen of the world”. She gained world views in theory from an international education background and literally by travelling the world. As a young adult, she moved to the United States, where she finished high school and attended Eastern Michigan University (EMU) where she studied Urban Design and Planning for Bachelors.  She did a bridge study for her Master’s degree with EMU and The University of Michigan in Industrial Engineering, and then gained business acumen at Harvard Business School during her Executive MBA. She credits her better awareness of the world, to her childhood fascination with human interactions, a thirst for learning and travelling.
Eventually, this passion leads her to become a certified EQ master trainer. She recently started a training group called EQ Smart Politics for diplomats and politicians and Avim Leadership Solutions for business professions- helping companies to align objectives and employee performance to achieve a thriving business index. Having been invited to do so, she contributes her knowledge and background to help formulate a foundation for practicing medicine using emotional intelligence at Harvard Medical School.
A unique, non-profit organization, Global Village Children (GVC), pioneers for EQ development by helping schools integrate Emotional Intelligence into traditional curriculum for ages 3-18 years. Emotional Intelligence (EI) is the ability to use emotions and our inner compass (instincts) effectively to assist thoughts and understand your feelings and of others; Emotional Quotient (EQ) is how one measures EI. EQ is learnable and teachable, and when properly developed, individuals have increased awareness of their own tendencies and how to use it in the right moments. GVC considers EI to be a natural language as it stems from our brains Limbic System…it is universal irrespective of gender, culture, age, religion and origin. GVC’s uniquely tailored programs enable families, schools and communities to work together to develop: heightened awareness; enhanced cognitive skills (e.g., empathy and tolerance) and behavioral capacities to launch and engage in proactive actions that will improve the world and promote mutual respect.
With the mission of Global Citizen preparedness in mind, GVC combines pivotal findings from science and research thereby infusing an important balance in the educational and emotional development of children. The organization goes beyond just providing an EQ curriculum. GVC plays a key role in personally training staff and carefully overseeing the smooth integration of the program’s deployment at schools around the world, with current programs in the United States, The Netherlands and India.
GVC’s unique educational approach provides a powerful platform of empowerment and leadership for future generations. Through its innovative structured programs and educational curriculum, GVC helps families, schools and communities raise Global Citizens by combining solid intellectual capability with a healthy social and emotional balance. Connecting the gap between IQ and EQ, individuals are able to tap into a greater self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills, thereby creating truly effective leaders for the future.
A balanced education combining intellectual and emotional capabilities is the key to positive change. GVC aims to address the challenges faced by today’s communities by raising Global Citizens through its Global Citizenship Program (GCP).
Drinks at the Axe Bar on Wednesday 28th of October.
Axe Bar5
Always a very enjoyable evening with members joining from Weena, Vlaardingen and Nassaukade and their partners for a couple of drinks and lots of chatting and meeting new friends and old acquaintance.
50 Members were present for the drinks and a group of 10 went out for a meal at Restaurant LittleV where they continued having a great time together!
Axe Bar4
Axe Bar3

Latin American Cooking Event at Creative Kitchen, 18th of NovemberLA 6

 What a fantastic evening did we have! 27 UEN members followed a culinary journey along Argentina, Bolivia, Columbia, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru. 
The team of Lucia, Veronica, Juliana, Francisco, Damian, Matias y Carlos had prepared a number of recipes from their respective home countries for the others to prepare. There was a busy boiling and bubbling atmosphere with Mexican music in the background and during the first two hours an impressive buffet of Empanadas with different fillings, Guacamole, Salsa Pico de Gallo, Frijoles Refritos, Enchilladas de Mole, Arroz con Pollo, Silpancho and Ceviche was created. And it was topped with three desserts of Dulce de Limon, Flan Imposible con caramelo and Arroz con leche. 
Whilst cooking a yummy starter of Patacones (bananas) and delicious cocktails Pisco Sour and Maracuya Sour with Peruvian Pisco were served and the kitchen was even more beaming. After the extensive work we enjoyed the dinner together and all agreed that it was another scrumptious UEN cooking event. 
Are you curious to find what all this is? The recipes can be found on the website and please check out the photos on the gallery.image1


Museum Visit Boijmans van Beuningen, 21 November 2015marskramer

On Saturday morning 13 UEN members and 4 children met at 11 o’clock in front of the Boijmans van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam in order to see the special exhibition “From Bosch to Bruegel – Uncovering Everyday Life of the 16th century” ”. It is the first exhibition devoted to 16th century genre scenes, which were a radical departure from the traditions of religious art and portraiture.
The exhibition consists of about forty paintings and about the same number of prints that have been brought together in Rotterdam coming from various museums and private collections, depicting everyday life. Paintings showing peasants dancing or marry making, skaters in winter landscapes, gatherings in public ins or tax collectors forcing peasants to pay their fees take us into a journey in the Low Lands during the 16th century. Often there is irony and humor, but also moral messages and fascinating details.
Everyone one went on his/her own to have a good look at the paintings and prints in order to be able to take in the variety of scenes painted or drawn. Afterwards we met for coffee in the cafeteria and all agreed that the exhibition had just the right size to be able to take it in. Most of us kept on taking about the “ugliness” of the people portrayed. The museum also created a relax room where the famous painting of the “Marskramer, The Pedlar” was explained in detail.
The exhibition is still on until 17 January. Entrance is 17,50 for adults and if you have a museum card it is only 2,50 Euro. Children until 18 years are free.http://www.boijmans.nl/en/7/calendar-exhibitions/calendaritem/1265/from-bosch-to-bruegel
If you cannot manage until January then you might want to visit Jheronimus Bosch exhibition in s’Hertogenbosch from 13 February to 8 May 2016 in het Noordbrabant Museum. http://www.hetnoordbrabantsmuseum.nl/english/jheronimus-bosch-pers-nl/
Currently a number of Bosch paintings are being restored and all these will be exhibited in Den Bosch.
Members for Members


 In this column we like to share information! Any kind of information…. so please feel free to contribute any kind of tips you can think of!

Here is a tip from our member Azzurra Piattelli. Should you plan a visit to Italy and Rome soon you might want to keep this in mind:


Are you interested in great Italian wine and in archaeological sites?
At some 50 kms south of Rome, in Agro Pontino valley, there is a very special place named Le Ferriere.
In this beautiful sunny area, between mountains and sea, you can visit “Casale del Giglio” Wine Estate, located close to the ancient town of Satricum.
Since the end of the XIX century, notable excavations have taken back meaningful remains regarding the Sacred Way and the temple dedicated to the goddess Mater Matuta also (big results of excavations have been carried out thanks to the best university teams from The Netherlands too!).
So many official awards are to underline the quality of Casale del Giglio Wines, Grappe and Oils.
Flagship wines such as Satrico, Antinoo, Albiola, Mater Matuta and some others really represent an excellence of Italian products and a marvellous link between past and future (experimental projects and scientific approach lead these wines production).
On the website (in English too!) www.casaledelgiglio.it you can read everything about the archaeological area, the wines’ characteristics, the Estate ‘s history …and the original recipes for “La Gricia” pasta and “Spaghetti all’Amatriciana” …lekker!



Christmas Trees

Do you fancy cutting your own Christmas tree? That is possible at the Bleiswijkse Kerstbomen Bos (Christmas tree forest of Bleiswijk)
You can go along with you kids, grandma and granddad and cut your own tree.
Address is: Overbuurtseweg 9, 2665 CA Bleiswijk, Tel 06 411 94 555
If you rather buy one, they also sell readily cut ones.
At the same address you can also order your Turkey.

Are you looking for a Dutch teacher? 

I have been contacted by two ladies recently who are trained Dutch language teachers and are ready to teach you privately or in groups. Please just get in touch with them if you are interested to learn the Dutch Language:


I am Tesha Stomp located in Rotterdam. I am a teacher/coach with more than 15 years of experience. My colleagues and friends describe me as an enthusiastic and strong communicative person who can easily analyze people on several levels and in several situations. I speak Dutch, English, German, French and a little Spanish. I stand for exceptional guidance of new expats in the Netherlands in a quick and efficient way. I am specialized in teaching the Dutch language. You can choose from individual lessons or lessons in groups depending on the subject you want to be teached in and the amount of people. I will teach you the social and cultural aspects of living in your future land like living, working and studying. I have an exceptional programme for children. You can contact me on mail: teshastomp@icloud.com or my mobile phonenumber: 00-31-650414262
Imke Hoefnagels foto
My name is Imke Hoefnagels and I am a Dutch Language trainer for mainly expats, their spouses and children. I live in The Hague together with my husband and three children. After passing my teacher training course in English I have completed a Master’s degree of Education at Utrecht University. During my time in London and in the south of France I have developed a passion for foreign languages and language in general. Furthermore, I have developed an interest in foreign cultures while teaching abroad and teaching at several Dutch schools. I enjoy teaching people with different nationalities in a personal setting. I would describe myself as an enthusiastic, patient individual with empathic communication skills.
E-mail: ihoefnagels@hotmail.com

Bildschirmfoto 2015-03-18 um 21.42.56

Space Expo
Keplerlaan 3, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, Tel: 0900 87654321,
 This is a great educational museum that already celebrates its 25th anniversary this year (1990-2015). It takes you through a journey into space, which covers
  • the tunnel of time, covering the story of space from ancient times
  • the solar system
  • a manned space flight
  • space flight highlights
  • rockets and satellites
  • Mars panorama
  • planets, with spectacular photographs
  • Ariane rocket engine
  • Earth observation
  • space research
  • walking through a model of the space station, Columbus
  • Spacelab
  • the history of the manned space flight
  • an original size model of the Lunar Module: Apollo II
Space Expo is not just the first major permanent European space exhibition; it is also the official visitors’ centre of ESTEC, the largest site of the European Space Agency (ESA). Among other things, this means that visitors to Space Expo are sometimes able to watch the launch of a European Ariane rocket live, or see an astronaut in the flesh. The “debriefing” of many American, Russian and European astronauts also takes place at Space Expo.
It is possible to
  • see what it was like for the first men on the Moon
  • experience the simulated launch of an Ariane rocket
  • discover the world of satellites with the test models of European space missions
  • find out about astronauts and see how they live and work in space.
At weekends and during school holidays, it is also possible to take the space train and visit the test facilities for European satellites. You can become a space ‘expert’ in ESA’s information centre for the International Space Station, where you will hear the latest news about the Space Station. Space train costs 6 Euro per person.
Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday from 10 to 17 h
During school holidays also on Mondays
Adult entry ticket: € 11,00.
Children 4-12 years of age: € 7,00.
It is also possible to organize kids’ parties here. Click on the link for more information http://www.space-expo.nl/en/kids-party
Corpus and Tikibad

Corpus Museum, Oegstgeest

Willem Einthovenstraat 1, 2342 BH Oegstgeest


This museum has the contours of the human body projecting from it, a “sitting giant” so to speak. Within the giant, you can experience a journey through the human body, during which you will see, feel and hear how the human body works and what roles healthy food, a healthy life and plenty of exercise play. The journey through the body will take approx. 55 minutes and you will have an audio guide with you. You will have to book a time slot and you need to be present 20 minutes before it starts. The exhibition is open for everybody above the age of 6 (younger children do not have access) and due to large demand, it’s advised to book tickets through the website http://corpusexperience.nl/booking.html
The entrance fee is € 14,25 Euro for children up to 14 years old and € 16,75 for adults.

Tikibad (Duinrell) in Wassenaar

Duinrell 1, 2242 JP Wassenaar


Tiki pool is a swimming pool complex containing massive water slides, as well as waves and a whirlpool. If you are not up to that much excitement, then there is the Lazy River ride with underwater music. A small pool with slides is available for the 0-5 age range.  There is also the Tiki Sauna (extra costs) with Finnish saunas, Turkish steam baths and an ice-cold immersion bath.
Opening hours during the Christmas holidays: http://www.duinrell.com/tikipool/opening-hours
Prices: http://www.duinrell.com/tikipool/prices