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    Hilde Bosman
    "Nederlanders zijn taakgerichte en individualistische mensen. Op tijd komen vinden we uiterst belangrijk, we nemen geen tijd voor de lunch en hebben de neiging veel te klagen..."
    Tijdens de cultuurworkshop voor nieuwe expats en hun partners windt de organisatie er geen doekjes om. Logisch, want wij Nederlanders zijn immers direct en eerlijk. Wellicht kunnen we onze nieuwe expat-collega's eens verrassen de komende week en ze uitnodigen voor een uitgebreide lunch, op onze kosten?
    What's happening?

    Introductory day expats and partners

    The introductory day for expats and their partners. Photo | Bart van Overbeeke

    On February 3 a new group of expats and partners were ready for the introductory day at TU/e. During this day they get acquainted with the Netherlands and with the university. One part of the day is the culture workshop.

    "The Dutch are strongly task-oriented. When someone asks 'how are you?', an answer heard frequently is 'busy'", says Willem van Hoorn, internationalization policy officer at DPO. At the same time we always seek consensus. This explains, for example, why meetings are seldom very effective."

    Cletus Brauer from Germany is going to obtain a doctorate at the Department of IE&IS and recognizes what Van Hoorn says. "A friend of mine who also studies here had warned me already: you are invited to dozens of meetings and in most cases nothing is decided at all!'" Van Hoorn: "Although we may be task-oriented and find time of the essence, consensus comes first. When employees feel as if they have no say in matters and the boss is taking decisions without consulting others, the odds are that employees will turn against the boss. No matter how little time we have, we always allow everyone to speak, we really find that the most important thing."

    Furthermore, the Netherlands is an informal country with a low sense of hierarchy. As explained by Van Hoorn this does tend to cause difficulties now and then, especially for Asian students: "A Chinese student once told me that his professor wanted to be called by his first name, which was really difficult for the student. For him this showed little respect. He has had to practice this at home in front of the mirror!"

    During the workshop many experiences are exchanged and it is checked whether the first gossip that people have heard is true: "I have heard Dutch students take their own slices of bread to university, is that true?" Yes it is, welcome to the Netherlands! (HB)

    Dutch International Party

    Three international student associations are joining forces for a mixed party: Dutch and international students will be more than welcome at café 't Lempke. Dress code: orange, Delft blue - as long as it is something to do with the Netherlands. The organization is managed by Interactie, the international student association of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences, and the international associations BEST and AEGEE.
    Tuesday February 8, 't Lempke (Stratumseind 14), 21.00 hours, admission free.

    Film in de Zwarte Doos: The Social Network

    Much-discussed film about the creation of Facebook. What started as a small-scale internal project of a group of friends at Harvard, developed into a global social network which by now counts more than half a billion users. The film presents a personal view of the consequences for the personal social network of the founder, Mark Zuckerberg. His success cost him his friends.
    February 10, 15 and 16, 20.00 hours, Zwarte Doos, admission fee for students 3 euro, others 7 euro.

    A trip to Nippon / Japan Night

    Lecture, discussion and quiz about Japan. The Director of the Center for Contemporary Japanese Studies (University of Groningen) will shed light on the role of Japan in the economic and political spectrum. After this a Dutch and a Japanese student will discuss the differences between their countries and the night will be concluded with a quiz.
    Wednesday February 9, 20.00-23.00 hours, Gaslab.