Helsinki Region Welcome Weeks is a concept carried out by the City of Helsinki, the City of Espoo, Uusimaa Regional Council and HERA - Helsinki Education and Research Area, which represents all the higher education institutions in the region. Welcome Weeks is a series of events serving as a platform for dialog, information, and networking between all actors sharing the aim of a genuinely international region; the internationals, locals, city officials, service providers, higher education institutions, employers and many others.
Targeting the more than 115.000 internationals in the region, consisting generally of 80.000 international professionals, spouses and families, the 14.000 students and the 3.000 international staff at higher education institutions, as well as other groups, Helsinki Region Welcome Weeks invites all to become active participants in the region's development into a competitive and attractive place to live. Welcome Weeks aims at enforcing this process by:
Welcome Weeks brings possibilities and opportunities to people through interaction.
Helsinki Region Welcome Weeks, was born in 2010 under the name Helsinki Welcomes You, as a brainchild of Jolly Dragon founder Paul Brennan with a focus on bringing out the fun sides to the region and through them getting the internationals involved in their local communities.
In 2011 the name changed to Helsinki Region Welcome Weeks, and the two weeks brought together more than 4.500 international residents in 53 events ranging from purely informational to events exposing the hidden and fun sides of our region. The concept was developed to welcome existing and new internationals of the Helsinki metropolitan area by offering the necessary know-how in a fun and accessible way. The 2011 pilot was designed by the main organizers from the City of Helsinki, the City of Espoo, Uusimaa Regional Council, and HERA – Helsinki Education and Research Area in close co-operation with Jolly Dragon and Mundus.
2012 saw Welcome Weeks tighten up its profile and the quality of the events were raised significantly. More than 3600 internationals joined the 32 events, giving an increase in participation of almost 32% on average per event. In 2012 the coordination of Welcome Weeks was moved in-house with a project coordinator assigned by one of the main organizers. The final report on Welcome Weeks 2012 can be found here.