Guys Night Out – Rebuilding My Life

After my wife and I moved to the US, my wife started working at Stanford and I was in our new house without a job. So I needed to rebuild my life. In the first few weeks I was busy with settling down. I needed to buy a reliable car, get affordable car insurance, get the right health insurance, apply for work permit, get a drivers license, etc. Because everything was new and I was struggling in English, a mistake is easily made and good advice could save me a lot of money and effort. I also wanted to make some friends, so I went to the Friday Morning Coffees (FMCs) at the Bechtel International Center. However, I met very little men there. I knew they were out there, somewhere.

At the FMC I was happy to hear about the Guys Night Out (GNO). There I met other men who were in a similar situation, who could advise me, and with whom I could practice my English. I realized how important it was to meet other men because it helps build confidence and gives you success in rebuilding your life. At every FMC I urged the few men to come to the GNO too. I believe it makes a real difference in someones life and it is fun!

If you are a Stanford spouse or an international man studying or working at Stanford you can join the GNO to meet other men, have a drink and talk about things in life! About every 4 weeks on a Thursday night men meet in a pub in Palo Alto. Ulrich Ritter is the current organizer and we most often meet in the Gordon Biersch, a great place to have a German style beer and garlic fries. We often chat about topics like work, visa, paying tax, sports, cars, technology, and future plans. You can find the contact details for the GNO at the weekly FMC or at the Bechtel International Center webpage. The next Guys Night Out is this Thursday (Dec 11th 2014) 9 pm at the Gordon Biersch, 640 Emerson Street in Palo Alto.

Guys Night Out in November 2014 in the Gordon Biersch in Palo Alto

The Guys Night Out in November 2014 in the Gordon Biersch

If you are not connected to Stanford there are other groups!  You could try the Bay Area Men’s Club, Bay Area Friends of Europe, Stay at Home Dads or check out to find like minded people.   If you know of a helpful group or club for trailing men please let us know so we can spread the word!

History of Guys Night Out

In 2008 at the FMC Jasper van der Bruggen complained to Gwyn Dukes about little activities for men. Then he learned an American lesson: to not complain but do something about it. And so it got started in autumn 2008. Jasper always wore a red polo so he could be easily recognized. Later, men didn’t recognize him without it. In March 2013 he left and Ulrich Ritter took his place. Thanks Jasper and Ulrich!


Four guys from the Guys Night Out went surfing in Santa Cruz, 2009. From left to right are a Dutch, a Norwegian, a Swiss and a Swedish guy.

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