Dutch people are open, communicative, and social people. However, they also value their privacy and time spent with their close ones.

You can expect that many people at work will be interested in getting to know you and learn more about your culture. Therefore, it is helpful to have an open attitude towards invitations for events, because that way you can make closer friends and have more regular meetings or party invitations. Inviting people to your house or asking them to go out for dinner is also a nice gesture they will appreciate. Just be aware to plan this in advance since Dutch people often have appointments already prearranged, leaving less room for spontaneity than in some other cultures.

In the beginning, you will probably have many friendships with expats. That’s quite common if you arrive here from another country. Maybe you are not immediately comfortable speaking Dutch outside the clinic and prefer to spend your time in a more international environment.  Most people have built friendships and relations in the country they are originally from, and that can be another reason why it might take more time to create new relations in a different country. Don’t let this put you off. It takes some time, but patience is the key to success.

As we have many BGB colleagues who started a new life in the Netherlands, the team has some experience with getting familiar with the Dutch culture.  Their advice is to sign up for games, sports, organizations of different interests or voluntary work, to eventually “become a Dutchie” and get to know more people.  It’s fun and odds are that you will feel more included.


Questions? Contact us!