The adventure of living in the Netherlands and the challenge of cross-cultural communications

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The current research frames the challenges that arise after the entrance in a new country, i.e. on the “Living in” period. Moreover, this research focuses on the transformative nature of the expatriate experience. This Master Thesis is based on 20 interviews with representatives from Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, India, South Korea and China who live and work in the Brainport region of Noord Brabant province in the South of the Netherlands. Data for this research was gathered over six months of fieldwork in Holland Expat Center South in Eindhoven. The purpose of this study is to provide a description of the subjective expatriates experience that reveals the rich diversity of human individuality shaped by homeland culture. Chinese, South Korean and Spanish expatriates face the major internal challenges of cross-cultural communication in the Netherlands due to significant cultural differences. Surprisingly, representatives of Indian culture reached Dutch cultural competence and home feelings fast and easy. Moreover, almost all participants, regardless of their cultural background, face external challenges such as Dutch language, healthcare, food and entertainment in the Netherlands. Nevertheless, the key of successful expatriation is personality and the effort one has to put to acculturate.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen