Welcome to the Berlin International Women’s Club (BIWC). For over 25 years, we have been offering a wide range of friendly cultural, social and informative events to our many members in and around Berlin. We are a member of Open Door and through this organisation have contact with other International Women’s Clubs not only in Germany but with other overseas clubs in Europe.
Our goal is to not only provide an English-speaking social environment for our members, but to provide them with the opportunity to volunteer their time and energy to work with our Club.
We strive to create a welcoming atmosphere not only for members who are new to Berlin. We have two monthly Meet and Greet sessions, one in the evening and the other in the morning. At these meetings you can meet Club members as well as some of the Coordinators of our Special Interest Groups. Our Membership Secretary is nearly always at both of these meetings to answer your questions about how to become a member.
We have many groups organising activities which meet on a weekly basis. Within the BIWC you will be able to make friends, learn a language, play Mah Jong, go walking, and get involved in social activities of all kinds, with like-minded women from over 45 different countries.
Here on our website, you can get a flavour of what we have to offer. We invite all women to Come and Share our World. As long as you can communicate in English, which is our Club language, we will be delighted to see you at one of our Meet & Greet sessions. Registration is not required, just come along and meet our Membership Secretary. Sue Flaherty will only be too glad to greet you. Dates and times as well as the venue addresses can be found on this website.
We are a friendly and welcoming bunch; don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Membership Secretary to find out more about us. Most of our members came to Berlin without knowing anyone, and have made long-standing friendships through our Club, learned new skills and developed new interests.
We hope to see you soon!
Caroline Marquardt – BIWC President
Who Benefits the Most from Volunteering?
If you would like to be selfish, you should do it in a very intelligent way. The stupid way to be selfish is … seeking happiness for ourselves alone. … the intelligent way to be selfish is to work for the welfare of others.
The Dalai Lama
Is volunteering rewarding in itself? People volunteer for all sorts of reasons and the subject is discussed frequently, particularly in non-profit organisations, such as the BIWC, where its very existence depends on it. We do not volunteer, for the most part, because it benefits us. We volunteer because it makes a difference. There are in fact numerous benefits to volunteering. Personal growth, cultivating friendships and community spirit, all which contribute to our well-being and a sense of achievement, in turn can improve self-esteem.
We notice a subtle shift in ourselves when we volunteer. We feel more connected to others and we become less absorbed in the normal stresses of daily life as we share our experiences with others. The benefits of consistent socialising in this way, include better brain function and lower risk for depression and anxiety. One American report says that people who volunteer over 100 hours a year are some of the healthiest people, because invariably it involves being active in some way.
BIWC relies on volunteers to fulfil all its obligations and offer all the wonderful activities that are organised every single month. Every effort is appreciated no matter how big or small. Volunteering doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment or take a huge amount of time out of your busy day. If you are ready to make new friends, improve your mental and physical health and maybe develop new skills or indeed share your skills in the process, please consider supporting your Club by giving something back. The Club needs you.
Robina Lillecrapp – one of BIWC’s International Coordinators
Club Activities in November
- A group of members will attend West Side Story @ Komische Oper Berlin which includes an introduction to the musical
- The festive season approaches. Our Christmas dinner will take place @ Casa Carlotta
- Our annual thank-you party for BIWC’s volunteers takes place @ Wilde Matilde
- Business Lunch revisits an old favourite the Relish Restaurant & Bar @ Westin Grand Hotel
- Meet up with Kool Kiez in Mitte at the Restaurant Via Nova 2
- The Cook In & Dine Out group will enjoy Thanksgiving lunch @ Diana’s home
- The Evening Group will meet up for cocktails to discuss their plans for 2020
- Exploring Berlin went on a guided tour of the new James-Simon Gallery. (Images courtesy of Karen Axelrad).
- The Compass group will visit the traditional Mexican Altar of the Dead @ the Mexican Embassy
- Art & Architecture will visit the exhibition Spagat at the Japanese-German Centre (JDZB) followed by refreshments @ the Wiener Konditorei
- The North East Neighbourhood Group will visit the Noack Art Foundry for a tour in English
- The South West Neighbourhood Group will visit Orte der Moderne, an exhibition of buildings by Bauhaus architects @ the Villa Oppenheim
Our walking groups will be walking around the Schlachtensee and the Tiergarten park.
Members have the opportunity to converse in four different languages, play Mah Jong, attend a Pilates class or play tennis. The book groups will be reading Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison and Irrungen, Wirrungen (On Tangled Paths) by Theodor Fontane. More details can be found in the Club’s latest Newsletter (issued digitally to members).
As a potential member, you’re welcome to attend two of our activities before becoming a member. Please come along to one of our Meet & Greet meetings for more information.