Access to the culture of the host country: cases of information provided on intercultural behaviour, tourism, researchers’ evenings, cultural events, sport facilities and social/leisure activities.
Language courses: information provided about the possibilities of attending language courses (location, frequency, price).
Day care, schooling and family issues: information/assistance provided to researchers and their family members on schools (nurseries, kindergartens, primary), child care at home, etc.
Banking: information/assistance provided for opening a bank account.
Medical care: information/assistance provided regarding complementary medical facilities or assistance to researchers and their families.
After arriving to the host country, foreign nationals can very easily suffer from culture shock when they are faced with a different language and different customs and behaviour among the locals. Some of the EURAXESS centres also function also as welcome centres that researchers and their family members can visit as a first step after coming to the host country. These centres offer not only a kind and warm personal welcome but also a welcome package including materials about the host country, such as foreign researchers’ guides and other practical information (see Austria 1, Czech Rep 1, Belgium 1, Estonia 6, Germany 1, Germany 4, Italy 2, Portugal 3).
Other useful materials for incoming researchers such as a checklist can be introduced within the centres (see Estonia 7).
Some of the centres organize cultural events for researchers and/or their family members to help them integrate into the host country’s society. These events prove to be very helpful as well as entertaining (see France 1, Czech Rep 3).
Foreign researchers staying in a host country for a longer period are often interested in taking language courses to improve their communication outside the work environment. Some centres offer language courses free of charge, whereas others offer them as a part of the university courses (see Czech Rep 1, Norway 5, Italy 4).
Medical insurance is one of the crucial parts of the visa application formalities for third-country researchers. It sometimes happens that consulates abroad request documents that seem impossible to obtain from the country of origin, and the EURAXESS staff should always be ready to assist in overcoming these obstacles (see Portugal 2).