The purpose of BIWC is to help women of all nationalities new to Berlin to quickly integrate into the life of the city on a personal, family and professional basis. The Club facilitates building contacts and learning about Berlin so that newcomers can soon appreciate the wide variety of activities and opportunities this fascinating city offers. Established members and native Berliners share their years of experience with new arrivals.
“How many events do you think our club sponsors every year? I was doing a quick count of calendar entries while preparing our annual activity report and found well over four hundred individual events. Some are relatively routine, repeated events that need only a modest amount of preparation, while others are large-scale special events that can represent weeks of work by multiple individuals. The sum total of volunteer effort that goes into supporting more than four hundred events a year is amazing! The diversity of events is also striking – from museum and embassy visits to mah jong games and creative sewing, and from investigations of Berlin’s best pastries to hard exercise that works off the pastries’ effects.” Joan, former VP and our current Web & IT Coordinator.
The range of BIWC activities include:
Meet & Greet: twice a month, at two different times and two different venues, guests are invited to to find out more about the Club and its activities, and get to know some established members.
New Member Welcome Get-Togethers: these normally take place every two months depending on the number of new members. Our Membership Secretary hosts these activities in her home. New members have the chance to get to know each other, representatives of the Executive Committee or coordinators of the Club’s Special Interest and Neighbourhood Groups.
Social Events: these large events are organised four or five times a year, usually with a cultural, historical or social theme. They include the Annual General Meeting in spring, a picnic or BBQ in the summer and a festive event in December. In 2016, we also visited the South African and the Spanish Embassies, the exhibition El Siglo de Oro @ the Gemäldegalerie, and members celebrated the Chinese Full Moon Festival at a member’s home.
International Visits: the Club’s International Coordinators arrange the visits of other International Women’s Clubs (IWCs) to Berlin or they organise visits abroad for BIWC members.
- In the past, BIWC members were invited to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Dublin, Paris and Hamburg.
- The BIWC has hosted visits of the IWCs of Paris, Hamburg and Malta.
- At the beginning of September 2016, Open Door’s 3rd International Get2Gether was held in Edinburgh, an event hosted by the Edinburgh IWC for its sister clubs.
- The International Newcomer’s Club of Madrid has invited BIWC members to visit Madrid in June 2017.
Neighbourhood Groups: these groups normally meet on a monthly basis and they provide an informal way for members who live in the same part of the city to meet and exchange ideas.
Special Interest Groups: the BIWC has a wide spectrum of Special Interest Groups that cater to our physical health, our intellectual and cultural development and much, much more:
Variety is the spice of life, and in BIWC we certainly have lots of spice!
To keep our members informed of the Club’s regular activities, a monthly Newsletter is published ten times a year and is sent to our members by email.