Work in Progress

In the past few weeks, DutchNews.nl has reported on the shortage of qualified teachers, and Amsterdam’s efforts to solve the problem by drafting in civil servants, students and refugees. We’ve written about the crisis in the hospitality sector, with cafés closing because no-one wants to waitress or wash up. The lack of qualified IT staff … Continued


To Your Health!

In most cultures, people have their own way of making a toast. People raise their glass and say things like na zradavi, egészségére, salud, santé, zum Wohl or ganbei. And proost! here in the Netherlands. These are all local expressions for wishing you good health. In some cultures, you look your well-wisher in the eyes, … Continued


All I Really Need to Know About Dutch Education I Saw on De Luizenmoeder

By Greg Shapiro Dutch TV has a real hit with De Luizenmoeder, set in a first-grade classroom at a Dutch grade school. I’m pretty sure it’s based on a true story, possibly my own. Here are some of the most recognizable quotes. “Hallo Allemaal! Wat fijn dat jij er bent!” / “Hello, everyone! So fine … Continued


More than Half the Fun

As I sit behind my desk, I can see the snow falling. Beautiful big, white flakes. And I know the woods nearby will be full of moms and dads, dragging their kids on sleighs down the tree-lined paths to where they can race down the hills… Kids will be squealing with delight as they hurtle … Continued


My Green Gig for the King of Orange

In general, Dutch bosses have a reputation for being non-hierarchical and down-to-earth. Even the Dutch prime minister is known for biking to work and cleaning up his own spilled coffee. Once, I hosted an event for a company with a new CEO who was almost too eager to prove how normal he was. The new … Continued


Making Up Your Mind About the Dutch Healthcare System

The ones who have been to a Dutch GP already know I’m right; two weeks’ rest and a paracetamol are the most-prescribed medicine in the Netherlands. Living in Belgium it’s a different story. Going to your GP in Belgium almost always (I would say 90+% if not more) results in you walking out with a … Continued


Can Anything Prepare You for Expatriation/Global Living?

If education is the key to success – however you define it – then what is there to learn, prepare for, when moving overseas, or crossing borders? As the American tennis player Arthur Ashe once said: “One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” What We Know Our mission … Continued


Lost in Translation

By Robin Pascoe This season’s big television hit is a series about a typical Dutch primary school called De Luizenmoeder – the nit mother – and follows the trials and tribulations of a new parent finding her place in the school and the playground hierarchy. Luizenmoeder is bottom of the list of classroom jobs, which … Continued


Why…?

When a Dutch manager gives an ‘order’ to one of his or her colleagues it is always (no, there is no exception) met with the – one word only – question; “Why?” Could you make those photocopies for me? Why? Can you help me move those boxes? Why? I would like to turn up (or … Continued


A Dead Duck

How many people in uniform does it take to kill a duckling? In the case of the duckling born on top of a five-floor block in Amsterdam west, the answer is 13 – which was certainly unlucky for the bird itself. It all began when a neighbour alerted the animal ambulance people to the presence … Continued


Cultural Differences in the Classroom

By Jan Vincent Meertens Cultural differences have an influence, in multiple ways, on the relationship between teachers and students, teachers and parents and between students. The ultimate learning outcome, short or long-term, may not be what parents, teachers or students expect if cultural differences are not recognized and reconciled. In this article, the author refers … Continued


Plan of Action

By Chris Smit This will be my fourth year contributing to The XPat Journal. This also means that it’s my fourth article on this issue’s topic: Education. Given this fact, it is not always easy to come up with a good subject – and sometimes inspiration fails me. So, this time, I turned to my … Continued