Being culturally competent in the Netherlands

I have been writing about this subject before: the importance for employers of a team that can understand and work with people from different cultural backgrounds. If you are reading this blog you are most likely an expat in the Netherlands and you will know as no other that cultural competencies are a necessity to…

The Netherlands, a hard nut to crack.

Intercultural competence cannot be reduced to a simple personality trait, or some abstract textbook knowledge. It's for a large part related to language, to the capability of managing conflicts, and to social responsibility. According to Edward Hall we can place these in the categories of context, space and time. These categories can help you interpret…

Does your personality influence adaptation?

Looking in the mirror from time to time to evaluate how "things are going" is always a good idea. Taking personality tests online (on a regular basis because when you evolve so does your personality) can give your valuable insights in the way you live your life/want to live your life. Dialogue with the Dutch…

How many levels do you know?

Levels of diversity Did you know that when we talk about diversity we often think about culture? Well cultural diversity definitely is one of the layers of diversity, but there is more to it than culture alone. Culture is actually the outer layer of the diversity paradigm, therefor it's very visible. No wonder this is…

COVID-19 pandemic and cultural differences

In these hard times, where the world gets tortured with the Corona virus, intercultural communication in the professional life is a daily situation. There is a lot to learn from other countries in these difficult times. But there are so many different approaches, so where to start? It's a hot topic, intercultural communication in business.…

Ethnocentrism & cultural relativism

According to Wikipedia ethnocentrism is the act of judging another culture based on preconceptions that are found in the values and standards of one's own culture. In the field of intercultural communication this is a major subject. Why? Well, because most of us can only respond to what we perceive based on our own frame…

Employability & international experience

For the 2018 EAIE Conference Starter Paul Blackmore wrote an article called “Building bridges between employability and international experiences in higher education”. A subject that is very important at the moment, as it is in high demand. Therefore, if we want to provide enhanced employment prospects for our students, international experience is a must. The…

Lingua franca of internationalisation

In my last blog I wrote about mental health among international students. In this blog I will continue on the subject by adding aspects of language and identity. The lingua franca of internationalisation in higher education is English. More and more universities wonder if this is the correct approach, being afraid that the national language…

Rethinking adaptation

In this series of blogs on internationalisation in higher education mental health among international students is an important subject. For example, how do students handle culture shock, the acculturative stress and adaptation challenges? Jessica Price wrote an interesting article about this subject. She says that despite the fact that many universities see these subjects as…