Dutch Culture

From Eindhoven Student Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Besides the biking, cheese, and spring tulips, Dutch culture is quirky and friendly. With the countries love for beer and gabber (Dutch club music), there is always some party to attend.

For interesting facts about the Netherlands, check out this popular Dutch blog.

There are various holidays throughout the year when stores and the TU/e might have different opening hours. The word for holidays in Dutch is "feestdagen", a search for this word will return the dates of the various national holidays. Don't forget to check out the Academic Year Agenda on the website of the TU/e to check when it might be closed.

Student Life

Eindhoven has a rich student life. As a student, you will never have a dull moment outside of your studies. Check out Student Associations for information about activities organized by the various student associations of the TU/e.

Dutch Language

Speaking Dutch is not at all necessary to get along with everyday life in the Netherlands, because most people speak English on a level that is enough to understand, for example, if you ask for directions or help in a shop. Nonetheless, learning Dutch helps you make friends with locals and integrate in the Dutch culture. Dutch people like teaching their language to internationals. They understand that knowing it is not a necessity and therefore they very much appreciate if you show interest in learning it. Additionally, many companies prefer employees who have at least a basic understanding of Dutch or are actively learning it.

Learning Dutch

TU/e offers free Dutch classes for all students and employees, see Dutch Classes for more information.

The English proficiency of Dutch people also means that learning Dutch becomes challenging, as locals are likely to switch to English to make communication easier for both of you. If you want to practice your skills, you often need to insist on talking Dutch in certain situations. The best practice is, however, to show enthusiasm by adapting to local habits and joining events which will help you make Dutch friends. In turn, they will be glad to share their traditions with you and help you learn their language.

If you already speak German, that will help you learn Dutch as there are many similarities.

Cultural Differences

One of the most noticeable traits of the Dutch is their direct nature. This can be a bit of a shock for other cultures, especially if you are coming from Asia. To help adjust to this, it is best to keep in mind that directness does not always equal rudeness. It is also good to be direct with people to avoid any confusion.

Dutch Weather

The Netherlands has a moderate marine climate and, as such, enjoys fairly mild winters and not-too-hot summers, although both have been getting warmer in recent years. A secondary effect of the coastal climate is the fact that rain may fall throughout the year. There is no real rainy season and certainly no long dry periods. As a result, many Dutch residents feel that they live in a rainy country.

The weather is, above all, fairly unpredictable. May can sometimes feel like you are living an early summer and June might feel like it is autumn already. Two forecast services that are very popular among Dutch people are Buienradar and Buienalarm. Both have apps for various platforms as well. They are mostly focused on showing when it is going to rain.