Why Cultural Understanding Is Vital

As cliche as it sounds, adapt but don’t change yourself. Be yourself, and the people of Leiden will respect that.
-James McCourt

First of all, the Dutch are very open-minded people and they will not be easily offended if you do not behave according to the typically Dutch conventions. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, Dutch people will understand you are a foreigner, and they will appreciate your efforts to pick up their language and culture.

Being aware of the do’s and don’ts when interacting with the locals is a great start. Your contact with the Dutch will be even more successful and enjoyable, however, if you come to know why these particular social rules are there, what cultural values underlie them and how this relates to your own culture.

Proper (inter)cultural understanding will benefit you on several levels during your stay in the Netherlands, for example by preventing unnecessary irritation, immediate confusion or misunderstanding down the line, by reducing personal stress, by increasing your productivity at work and by improving your personal and company image.

On our website we aim to provide you with the do’s and don’ts as well as some introductory knowledge on Dutch (inter)cultural understanding. If you wish to learn more about this subject, then we are happy to refer you to one of our specialised partners.