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little more about internationals in Paris

Who & What is Internationals in Paris?

Eight years ago 3 friends would meet up weekly with their other international minded fellows at a different bar to have a drink, talk about current events and build relationships. This get-together grew from their friends to friends of friends, to french expats coming back home to internationals not knowing anyone in Paris looking to meet people and make friends.
Today, Internationals in Paris is the most active international online/offline organization in Paris with over 7,000 members (of course not everyone comes out every night, that would be tough to organize!).
For over eight years now, it has organized social events every week and even has a good track record of creating couples (more than 30), helping create businesses between members and especially making a whole lot of friendships.
The objective remains the same…bring people together from around the world in Paris in an effort to build a community and relationships. It’s tough coming to a new city and not knowing anyone or where to go out. Fabiano, Benoit, Carlos, Lina, Alice and a team of volunteers try every week to give you that place where you can go, feel welcome, meet new people, see your friends and most importantly…share and exchange with others. Isn’t that was life is all about anyway? Having a good time with good people? Feeling connected?

Meetup vs Internationals in Paris, is there a difference?

Meetup is an online platform where organizations can find on line tools, post their events and generate new crowds. Meetup in and of itself is not an “event” organization or a group. It is a site providing planning and community services to organizations, helping them to know each other and create better events.
Our organization opened a meetup group in 2005 when meetup was at its early stages in Paris and experiencing organizer departures connected to changing formats. Believing in cooperation and synergy with other large and small expat/language related groups, Internationals in Paris opened its group and took over some closing ones (American, British, Australians, and French language) and ran them for a while or helped new organizers to become independent.
Thanks to these efforts, Internationals soon became the first group in Paris and the local Meetup branch grew to where other similar organizations could join this happy story.
Internationals in Paris has a website (under renovation), a member database of its own and it is especially proud of the word of mouth (our original and only tool for a while before internet sites) generated over the years. Even today around 30% of people coming to events don’t know there is a site. They just know about events by a friends mail!.
Internationals in Paris recently created an Internationals Group and Fan page on Facebook but as Meetup is such a large platform used by organizations all around the world, due to its expat/language related pertinence) the organizers mainly use this site to post its events. Facebook is just another way that we can get our group out there and known by you and other internationals! But we really love Meetup who really helped in releiving the group from many technical issues related to the internet and email.
And so this is why a lot of members new to the group and Meetup think we are the same thing.

If it’s an international organization, why are there French members?

We do live in France after all! While the organization was created to welcome expats to Paris, make them feel at home, we also welcome French members. Often times they were expats as well having lived abroad and recently come back. They too look to build new connections and friendships…and well…let’s face it, being international and diverse is fun and adds interest to conversations. The French at our events also add local flavor and allow expats to learn more about the country in which they’re living. It’s nice to interact with someone from everywhere which is what we offer! We strive to maintain an international to French break-out of 60% to 40%. The organization took the name of Internationals in Paris precisely to emphasize the integration of new and old expats in this wonderful city trying to avoid 100% foreigners’ cocoons or being a group just for “new in town”.
And that’s even why the official group languages are English as well as French. But listen carefully because these two languages, and all the others, are spoken with a lot of different accents.

Why do some events charge an entrance fee?

Our events are especially negotiated and reserved for YOU. The restaurant, bar or boat has agreed to close their doors to everyone else that evening (or specific part of the evening) but you. At the same time, they still have their costs and staff that must be maintained. While there are fees to certain events, these fees guarantee a level of service that you might not have had had you arrived to just any bar at any given time. These fees help pay for the cost of the DJ when there is one, the location’s reservation, one complimentary drink and the finger food that is available. 8-15 euros depending on the location sounds like a great deal for everything offered as well as great people, great smiles, interesting conversation in an open and friendly environment. Does a special evening like that once a weekly really have a monetary value?
The organizers work hard to negotiate and reserve places around Paris that are lively and cater to a group of Internationals. This is why the reservation part is important on your end. It’s just like a party, we need to know how many people are coming to properly plan and prepare. If you say you’re coming and then don’t, that’s less food that could have been prepared. All we ask is that you be mindful of the reservation and when you reserve, you really try to come.
Just like you count on us to organize fun evenings, we count on you to come when you reserve (obviously last minute emergencies in the office come up, that’s understandable). The organization and its members should be mutually respectful of each other’s roles.

Is it a company, a non-profit organization (association 1901 in France), or what? Why?

Born just as a group of friends trying to find recurrent places to meet with new and old friends from all walks of life in Paris, the group grew to a large enough size to open an “association 1901” in 2005 to be able to organize quite big events following French rules. Around two years ago we decided to establish and add a French company to easily follow local rules in terms of paying costs, privatizing venues (issuing invoices etc), to have better operational tools to negotiate better terms and improve our/your events. Most of our events are without entrance fees and when members are asked to pay they can easily compare and recognize the value for the event offered. Some of these events even contribute to charity donations.

These organizational statuses are intended to create sustainability over the long run allowing past and future organizers to develop additional events, ideas, and expat-oriented services for you all.

In case you were wondering, this organization brings very little profit to compensate the pleasant, yet tough, job that is to offer you quality events and introduce you to one another on a weekly basis. The organizers hope that you can see the quality and effort put into every event. We do it because we love it, not because it is our main job and source of income. We all have independent professional lives.

Members often ask why and how hosts can regularly organize and attend events that consumes both time and energy…

It’s simple, you do what you like to do and you make time for it. It’s not work, well it is, but it’s a huge enjoyment. Organizers do it because they really like the atmosphere, the network, the friendships and the international stable couples (over 30 so far plus some internationals babies) these events have generated along with their humble efforts.
Plus the great feeling of being your hosts and the priceless value of your genuine comments like, “thank you for organizing that”. Not to forget than three of the organizers themselves found their wives or “fiancée” there and all make plenty of friends and valuable contacts. Aren’t those good enough reasons to keep going? Maybe you should think about coming and helping us as volunteers.

next expat events in paris

Thank you for reading

Fabiano, Benoit, Carlos & Lina on behalf of current and past organizers plus permanent and time to time volunteer of the
Internationalsinparis group

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
little more about internationals in Paris September 12, 2012 11:42 PM internationalinparis
our venues, partners and friends September 6, 2012 12:45 AM internationalinparis
About INTERNATIONALS in Paris September 6, 2012 1:02 AM internationalinparis

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