Dutch Education: Burnout Early and Burnout Often

The assignment was simple. Write an essay on the question: “What is a burnout, and how can I avoid it?” And by the way, “You have to write the essay while you’re juggling homework for eight other high school classes, extracurricular activities inside school and extra classes outside school. Not to mention the prospect of … Continued


Lessons in Life

The Dutch political system invariably creates coalitions – and goodness knows how many parties will be needed this time round. The process of coalition building can take forever – well, months and months at least. Manifesto points are ditched, compromises reached, trade-offs agreed and finally the parties that have managed to find enough common ground … Continued


Letter from the Editor Sept 2016 Issue

When I was ten years old, I moved to South America with my Dutch father and American mother. Though my father loved history, he had studied law in order to be ensured of a career. However, he never lost his affinity with the subject, and when I was moved out of reach of the Dutch … Continued


The Four Things You Didn’t Know About Dutch Meetings

In this article, the author takes a look into the details of a typical Dutch meeting. Let’s share his vision on the Agenda: The agenda, if at all present, consists, like most agendas, of the different points that are to be discussed. Makes sense, right? Initially, the Dutch agenda appears to be quite similar. There’s … Continued


Why We Like Different Sports

The Impact of Culture on Sports by Tom Fadrhonc As a student, Tom Fadrhonc played rugby at a university in the Netherlands. Sports was a social thing and the majority of the students played primarily to have fun, and secondly to win. Rugby is played at schools and colleges and universities around the world, yet … Continued


A “B-” Is Good Enough

“Relax man” is an expression you might associate with a stereotypical Caribbean island such as Jamaica. But in Dutch schools, when it comes to being the best, the atmosphere is almost Jamaican; there is no pressure at all. In other words, Dutch students do not have any intrinsic motivation to perform or overachieve. This doesn’t … Continued


The President and the Taxi driver

By Bob Bragar It’s not the great and the good who are going to decide who is the next president of United States. It’s the taxi driver. This summer I spent an inspiring week at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. This was my third convention and the third time I was a delegate for … Continued


Dutch Vacation Days:

“It feels good to be back from vacation. Mostly it’s because I grew up in America, and Dutch vacations seem so long. Back in America, you’re lucky to get two weeks off in a row. In the Netherlands, if your summer break is less than three weeks, people think there’s something wrong with you. And … Continued


It All Began At Home

Chef at was born out of a love for food and wine, and as the name suggests they can cook everywhere (Chef at… you fill in the blanks). Chef at brings the fine-dining experience anywhere you want them to. They transform your living room into a restaurant for the night, with a top chef cooking … Continued


Building Bridges

For their regular columns in The XPat Journal, ACCESS, in 2017, will focus on how it represents, informs and manages the expectations of the local community and its service providers about internationals. In keeping with this advocacy role, ACCESS has recently partnered with three other leading members of the international community and launched a foundation, … Continued


The End of Optimism

I always believed that America’s greatest export product was its optimism. No country in the world could rival our ability to dust ourselves off and start anew. Despotism hadn’t etched itself in to our national psyches yet. We could still afford our short term memories. When I moved to Holland eight years ago, I ran … Continued


Walter Benedict & Franklin

Franklin and Walter Benedict, ever heard of them? Brothers maybe? Or cousins? In fact, it is neither of these, as they are not even related. ‘Birds of a feather’ comes much closer to describing their relation. Bas van der Elst and Jan-Willem van der Zee shared the lecture rooms at the Amsterdam faculty of Economics. … Continued