For refugees

Welkom in Utrecht (Welcome to Utrecht) enables citizens and organisations in Utrecht, wishing to organize an activity for asylum migrants, to make this happen. When it comes to these activities, you may think about sports, children's activities, concert visits, eating together or just a meeting.
How could you participate or just learn more about what we are doing? You can meet the team of Welkom in Utrecht every Thursday morning in the AZC, Joseph Haydnlaan. We provide information about the activities. You can also register there for an activity.
You can also check out the agenda of this website. Or drop by at our office at Joseph Haydnlaan 2A (near azc).

You're welcome!


Dutch government and COA websites have information about the asylum procedure, housing and education. The website of Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland is also helpful.
More information is available from non-governmental sources. The Yalla foundation, for example, has a lot of information about IND, housing, language and education in the Netherlands. Though the Yalla Foundation is primarily aimed at refugees living in Nijmegen, it contains useful information in English for anyone new to the Netherlands.

Customs and habits
Each country has its own customs and habits. The website, Net in Nederland, is a good introduction to Dutch culture. For example, most Dutch people ride bikes and often drink coffee after dinner. The webpage is in Dutch, English and Arabic.

Learning Dutch

WelnU Taalcafé

Do you want to practice speaking, writing or reading the Dutch language? Then come and visit WelnU Taalcafé. Everyone is welcome: from the illiterate to those who already speak Dutch fairly well - and everyone in between. You will receive lessons from a volunteer in small groups.

Check the agenda when and where WelnU Taalcafé is.

Other organizations
There are more opportunities for language lessons by volunteers. Do you want to know more about this? Mail to Hellen from Welkom in Utrecht:

Below you will find an overview of all language cafés in Utrecht:


Woon je met je gezin in Utrecht en wil je nieuwe mensen leren kennen? Misschien is Welkom Thuis iets voor jou. Dit is een project waarbij een Utrechts gezin wordt gekoppeld aan een gezin dat nieuw is in Utrecht. Deelnemers gaan bijvoorbeeld samen koffiedrinken of eten, naar de kinderboerderij of spelletjes spelen. Zo leer je elkaar kennen en heb je een leuke tijd. Je kunt ook je Nederlands oefenen en je zult Utrecht en de Nederlandse samenleving beter leren kennen. Misschien maak je nieuwe vrienden met wie je kunt praten over opvoeding, werk, over wat goed gaat en wat minder goed gaat.
Welkom in Utrecht brengt de buddygezinnen met elkaar in contact en we kunnen helpen als er vragen zijn. Wil je meedoen of meer informatie? Neem contact op met Rebecca : of 06 516 914 78.


A buddy is someone - mostly of Dutch origin - that would like to help you with things as a friend. Talking Dutch for example. Or going to the cinema. There are several buddyprojects in Utrecht. Take a look at the following.

Buddy to buddy
Stichting Buddy to Buddy links refugees to the residents of Utrecht. In this project, buddies help refugees to get to know the society. On the other hand, of course Utrechters also learn from the refugees. Besides matching buddies, Buddy to Buddy organizes activities with the participants, with the focus on meeting each other, for example by eating together. A buddy trajectory lasts 4 months.

Click here for more information about Buddy to buddy or check their Facebook page. You can sign up here or y sending an email to

Marhaban project
Are you between 18 and 23 years old and do you speak a bit English or Dutch? Then join the Marhaban project: doing activities together with students from University College Utrecht: playing sports together, visiting a museum, a theater play, a concert, a movie or just drinking a beer or Coke, it’ s all possible with this buddy project.

Once a month, you do an activity with the whole group. This group consists of 10 students and 10 refugees. Then you are going to do activities at least once a week with a student.

Want to join or learn more? Send a whatsapp to Hellen of Welcome to Utrecht: 06 511 923 16
More information about University College Utrecht can be found here.

Visit the facebookpage of the project.

Buddy project for LGBT refugees
Are you LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and do you want to meet other LGBT?
Cocktail is a project for LGBT refugees in the Utrecht region. They organise buddy contacts between LGBT refugees and volunteers. Once a month, they spend a Saturday evening with the whole group – to have dinner together, chat, dance and enjoy gezelligheid. If you are not looking for a buddy, no problem, you can also just join their activities.

This is what members of Cocktail say about the project:
“At Cocktail I found really good friends.”
“Cocktail made me feel safe and in peace!”
“Cocktail is my second family.”

Want to join Cocktail or learn more about the project? Send a WhatsApp to Hellen from Welcome to Utrecht (06 511 923 16) or contact Cocktail directly via


You can undertake activities with the U-pass. For example, you can become a member of a sports club, go to the gym, buy cheap bus tickets or go on a day trip to an amusement park. You can pay with the money that is on your U-pass. Children between 4 and 18 years old receive extra money to buy a bicycle. A U-pass is for all residents of Utrecht who do not earn that much. Because it is difficult for azc residents to show how much they earn, we have made an agreement with the U-pass agency that all azc residents receive a U-pass if they apply for it through us. Mathilde and René help you applying on Tuesday afternoon from 2 pm to 3 pm in the Information desk. On Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Marc can help during the stamping.

Help with moving out

To those refugees who got new houses and are ready to move out in the near future, first of all, congratulations!

Moving out can be a huge job. Do you have problems with language? Do you have problems with choosing the right home appliances? Do you have problems with transportation? Do you need a local citizen to help with these issues? We have an initiative called ‘Verhuisgroep', where local Dutch citizens volunteer to help newcomers with the move-in process.

These local Dutch citizens can help you speak with second hand shopkeepers and choose the right home appliances. Also, some volunteers may have used stuff to donate. If possible, they will give you a ride to the secondhand shops to make sure that you purchase the correct appliances. In addition, volunteers can help with delivering stuff to your house.

Concerned local citizens are willing to donate their time and resources in order to welcome the newcomers in the city. Please kindly inform us at least two weeks before your move-out date, so we can find a volunteer to help you.

If you need help, don't hesitate to let us know by apping Hellen at: 06 511 923 16.

Used clothing and furniture

Looking for cheap or free clothing and furniture? There are stores that specialize in cheap and sometimes free clothes. Note, these stores sell used furniture and clothes.

Free clothing and furniture
Weggeefwinkel Utrecht 
Tweede Daalsedijk 2a
Open every Wednesday and Saturday from 14.00 to 17.00

Weggeefwinkel Overvecht ‘Mooie Zooi’
Camera Obscuradreef 121
Open: every Wednesday from 13.00 to 16.00 uur and Saturday from 10.00 to 13.00

Utrecht Weggeeftafel in Podium Oost
Oudwijkerdwarsstraat 148

There are also residents of Utrecht offering free stuff. Take a look at the many facebook pages, such as Gratis ophalen in Utrecht en Omgeving. Or Gratis af te halen in Utrecht. 

Used clothing and furniture
At various stores you can find used clothing and furniture. Often, the shops deliver the furniture to your home. Delivery is not free, but usually quite cheap.

The ARM, for example, has a lot of furniture and clothing. You can also rent a ‘bakfiets’ to cycle small pieces of furniture home yourself.

The ARM has three shops
Verlengde Hoogravensweg 63-69. More information can be found here.
Oudegracht 247 and 270. More information can be found here.

Emmaus Utrecht. There are 5 stores. Sometimes they sell only clothes, and sometimes furniture. They offer bakfiets rentals as well. Check out the websites below for more information.
Utrecht Centrum
Mgr van de Weteringstraat 1
Eikstraat 14
Makassarstraat 36
Ab Harrewijnstraat 18
Gloriantdreef 403

De Waarde is situated Croeselaan, Jaarbeurs station. Veilingstraat 2. You can buy used furniture there.

Places to meet in Utrecht city

Under construction


In Nederland doen veel mensen vrijwilligerswerk. Dat is hier heel normaal. Het is een goede manier om mensen te ontmoeten, te zien hoe Nederland werkt, actief te blijven en ervaring op te doen. Je doet door vrijwilligerswerk te doen ook iets voor de Nederlandse samenleving.

Je kunt in Utrecht bij veel verschillende organisaties vrijwilligerswerk doen. Vaak gaat om één keer of enkele dagen. Het kan ook gaan om vrijwilligerswerk voor een langere periode.

Wil je meer informatie of wil je vrijwilliger worden? Neem contact op met Marc via