Winter Quarterly Meeting 2012

Mark your calendars!  I'm very excited to again announce that we will be welcoming Rebecca Weber as our guest speaker at our next quarterly meeting!  We enjoyed her discussion on German customs so much at our summer meeting that we thought we would invite her back to do it again!  We're announcing now, before the holiday rush so that you can get it on your calendar for January once the holiday season is over...

Click to Enlarge...

HENhaus Cordially Invites You to A Lecture on German Culture:
"Life in GermanyHow To Get Along with Your Neighbors and Avoid Offending your Waitress." Installment 2
With Rebecca K. Weber
Hosted by HENhaus
At Our Winter 2012 Quarterly Meeting
All are Welcome!
January 25th 10:00 – 12:00
Erlangen Begegnungszentrum – Raum 2 (Untergeschoss)
Fröbelstr. 6
91058 Erlangen
Toys and space for young children available.
Please RSVP to by 1/22

HENhaus Fall Meeting Recap

Hi Ladies -

I am just so super excited to report back after our Fall Quarterly Meeting this week!  It was fabulous for so many reasons...

1. We had a great group of ladies and the largest turn-out we've had at a HH meeting ever!  And this wasn't even a "fun" meeting since we had mostly business items to discuss!

2. We had a really fun ice-breaker where we went outside, got to run, jump and be silly - and learn a few quirky, little known facts about each other.  Like - none of us is really adventurous when it comes to climbing!

3. We have adopted the "Articles of Association" for the group, and are now set to get even more organized on our group governance! (And no one fell asleep while we did that!  Except perhaps one 4 month old...)

4. We have a group of ladies who have volunteered to organize and run our fall volunteer drive!  Woohoo!  A special thanks goes out to those ladies!  (Please make sure to sign up to volunteer if you haven't done so already!!!)

5. We have a plan of action for filling the office of Vice President and a couple of candidates to vote on at our Winter meeting, come January!  Make sure to be there!  (My growing belly and the little girl inside thank you!)

It really was very encouraging to see all of you there, and to really feel the spirit of giving back to our expat community growing with the group.  During the meeting I mentioned that I had received a Thank You note this week, which really touched me... since this is what our group is really all about I thought I would share it with you here...

"I wanted to let you know that our meeting cheered me up quite a bit. Things got off to such a rough start here that I was really feeling blue about everything. So with at least one person, in one hour, you accomplished what you set out to do with HenHaus. I'm sure there are lots more of us that appreciate your efforts!"

A huge thanks goes out to ALL of you who help make this possible by serving and donating your time - it really is worth it!!!

HENhaus President & Founder

HENhaus Fall Meeting

Hi Everybody-

can't believe it's almost time for our next quarterly meeting!  Hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather and lots of fun travel and time with kids in the meantime!  But the fall meeting will be an important one for our group and its future, so please plan on attending!  We will be reviewing our Mission Statement and the Articles of Association, as well as reviewing open positions and accepting nominations for next year.

The Fall 2011 Quarterly Meeting will be held September 28th, at 10:00.
Location: Erlangen Begegnungzentrum

Erlangen Begegnungszentrum – Raum 2 (Untergeschoss)
Fröbelstr. 6
91058 Erlangen

Toys and space for young children available.
Please RSVP to by 9/25

Look forward to seeing you then!

~Kat de Laat

HENhaus Founder and President

Introducing: CHICKhaus

CHICKhaus is an all new social group dedicated to the social needs of 20 & 30 something expat women in the Herzo, Erlangen and Nuremburg community. 

As HENhaus began meeting, more and more newcomers and volunteers started noticing a trend. There are more young expats moving abroad and a void in the social opportunities available for these women to rebuild their social network. Many of the current expat groups for women are geared towards a slightly older demographic and women with families. As businesses continue international growth, more young professionals are receiving the opportunity to move abroad and we don’t see that trend slowing down anytime soon. 

Enter, CHICKhaus.

CHICKhaus is a group in affiliation with HENhaus. Any women who come through the HENhaus newcomer process will be given information about CHICKhaus as a way to ease their social transition here in Germany. This is not the only avenue CHICKhaus is using to recruit new members; you can also find information on Facebook as well as threads found on Toytown.

The women that make up CHICKhaus include 20 & 30 something expat women and wives, looking for women with common interests and experiences. Thus far, CHICKhaus events include a monthly Dinner Club, monthly Happy Hours, bi-monthly book club as well as monthly day trips to explore the area. Because CHICKhaus is just getting started, suggestions and new event ideas are always welcome.

For More information, “Like”CHICKhaus on Facebook  AND join the CHICKhaus Facebook Groupfor specific event information. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, come join us at our next event!

Announcing New Leadership Posts Filled!

Please welcome me in congratulating our two newest HENhaus officers to their new positions!  
Thanks for volunteering ladies, I look forward to working with you!

Nathalie Hibberts Caswell has accepted the position of Secretary, and I can't wait to start working with her on the current HENhaus documentation, and the Articles of Association Draft for our upcoming Fall meeting.  Welcome Nathalie!

Allison Eckhart has joined us as Chairman of our new "20 and 30 somethings" committee, called CHICKhaus.  CHICKhaus will focus on serving the younger expat community, and expat women who aren't quite as "tied down" with kids, as many of us are!  Look out for announcements on CHICKhaus coming soon!  Welcome Allison!


Nathalie’s a British girl, originally from Stoke On Trent; which is famous for Oatcakes, pottery and is coincidentally twinned with Erlangen.

Nathalie studied Law and has worked in that area almost exclusively since she graduated, and she is currently taking a short break from employment to work on her German and do some voluntary work.

Nathalie moved to Germany in April 2011 with her husband who is currently on delegation with one of the large, international companies in the area. They have set up home in Erlangen and will be here for at least the next 12 months.

Nathalie describes herself as a self confessed geek, she says “I love to read and learn new things; the latter comes in very handy when you move to a new country. I bake at least once a week, take pictures of everything and seek out live music wherever I am.”


Allison was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, and attended Purdue University where she received her undergraduate degree in Business Management with a Marketing Concentration. 

Prior to moving to Germany, Allison lived in Atlanta, Georgia where she held a Marketing Communications position at a small technology company. 

After living in Atlanta for about a year and a half, her husband received a 3 year delegation opportunity with Siemens and they decided it was an opportunity they could not pass up! Allison and her husband moved to Nuremberg in January and expect to live here until January 2014. 

In her spare time, Allison loves meeting new people, traveling, staying active, reading, and trying new recipes. 

Summer Meeting Update

We had a GREAT time at our summer quarterly meeting, and I think everybody enjoyed our new meeting space at the Begegnungszentrum Erlangen, as well as our informative lecture and discussion on German culture!  We are hoping to engage Rebecca again for our Winter meeting to get more in depth on some of the topics we discussed!  So any ideas, questions or particular ideas are welcome!  Meetings will continue in the new space for the foreseeable future - look forward to seeing you all there again soon!

Fall Meeting is scheduled for September 28th - 10:00 to 12:00, we will be reviewing the first draft of our charter and articles of association!  Lots of input required, please feel free to send any input ahead of time!

Summer Quarterly Meeting!

I am very pleased to announce our Summer Quarterly Meeting, because I am so excited about our speaker, Rebecca K. Weber, who will be speaking to us about German customs.  I'm guessing that it will be some fun and lively discussion!  We will be also be at a new location, so look out for that in the details, too!

HENhaus Cordially Invites You to A Lecture on German Culture:

"Life in Germany… How To Get Along with Your Neighbors
and Avoid Offending your Waitress."

With Rebecca K. Weber

Hosted by HENhaus
At Our Summer 2011 Quarterly Meeting
All are Welcome!

June 29th 10:00 – 12:00
Erlangen Begegnungszentrum – Raum 2 (Untergeschoss)
Fröbelstr. 6
91058 Erlangen

Toys and space for young children available.
Please RSVP to by 6/22

Read more about us in the new issue of "Fritzi" Magazine!

The newest issue of the bi-monthly magazine "Fritzi" is out, and features an article on expat living in our area. This article includes commentary from an interview with me, a little bit about the inspiration for HENhaus and details on who we are and what we do, not to mention discussion around challenges of the expat life with family and kids!

 The German version...

and the English... (click on an image to make them larger...)

Thanks to Gabi over at "Fritzi" magazine for including us!  Click HERE to visit the Fritzi website.

We Need YOU! Sign Up to Volunteer Today!

SO here's a couple things you should know about volunteering...
  1. It doesn't take much time.  About as much time as it takes to meet someone for a cup of coffee.
  2. If we ask you to meet with a newcomer and you don't have enough time - you can say "No."    We'll just ask you again, when another newcomer comes along who looks like a good match for you.
  3. It doesn't matter that you haven't had newcomer greeting training... we'll do that for you and make sure you know what you're doing before you have to greet someone.
  4. You can meet lots of cool, new people this way...  as well as feel good about how you spend some of your free time!
And if you STILL feel like it's not right for you...  there are other ways you can help.
  1. Know a place that expats frequent where we could hang a flyer?  Please print the attached document, and hang it up the next time you are there.  (Please let me know if you do this so that I don't head there myself! Or tell us where to go, and we'll go hang it up.)
  2. Are you a FIS mom?  Let us know, we're looking for a few of you, you might be able to help...
  3. Like to write, shop or, um... eat?  We are always looking for new items for the expat blog... please let me know if you would like to contribute... it's easy!

Spring Meeting Success!

Thanks to all who were able to attend our Spring meeting last week!  We were able to continue refining the "Newcomer Checklist" to be used when a volunteer greets a newcomer, and our first round of volunteers are officially "trained!"

A few of our newly trained volunteers!

For those our volunteers who were not able to make it, please join us this Thursday night for an evening session!  We will be meeting at 7:30.  Please use the "Contact" form for details.  If you are not able to attend Thursday, and you still have not received training, please contact me so that we can arrange a time!

Spring Meeting Reminder!

This coming Tuesday, the 29th is our Quarterly Spring Meeting.  Please join us at 10 am, at the IJG, Tenenlohestr 47 in Erlangen.  We will be in the meeting room in the basement, which has a great play space for kids, should you need to bring some!  There is extra parking to the left of the building.

We will be covering:

  • Volunteer Training for Greeting Newcomers (We have lots coming in!)
  • Future Outreach Growth
  • Volunteer Membership Drive
Hope to see you there!

Spring Meeting

The Spring volunteers meeting has been scheduled for March 29th.  We will be focusing on volunteer training and newcomer info.  To join us please contact me for details!  (Use the contact form above...)

See you then!

We're on Facebook!

Use the "like" button above, or type "HENhaus" into the 'Facebook' Search field to get connected, and get updates via Facebook!

Next HENhaus meeting...

Stay tuned for details on the Spring Quarterly meeting.  We expect a speaker on German customs...  might help explaining some of that misunderstood German behavior to newcomers!!