• Date: Wednesday, 19 November 2014
  • Time: 14:00 - 18:00
  • Location: Fraijlemaborg

The Deutschland Day symposium welcomed its guests with German songs, with artists like Wiseguys and Freundeskreis. The first speaker Willem BAUMFALK, Dean of the HvA, School of Economics and Management, mentioned the huge cultural and historical connection between the Dutch and Germans, by giving personal experiences. Furthermore, he mentioned that nowadays the level of German language given at high schools is lower than is the past.


Willem BAUMFALK was succeeded by Michael Paul MEYER, cultural attaché at the German Embassy, who emphasized the importance of Germany in being the largest trading partner of the Netherlands on import and export.


Sander SCHROEVERS, interculturalist and frequent speaker on congresses in the Netherlands and abroad,   then took over the world accommodating the German mind-set by giving examples of the German culture in comparison with the Dutch culture. For example: the Germans “listen for information and technical details”, whereas the Dutch “listen but prefer dialogue”. Furthermore, also in marketing there is a difference between the Dutch and Germans, because where the Dutch are sensitive for feelings, the Germans like details, and knowledge of products and machines.


In addition to Sander SCHROEVERS’ speech, Annika BEKAVAC and Christina REIN explained the Dutch culture from their perspective as German students, studying in the Netherlands. They mentioned differences in communication between the two cultures. They spoke about where the Germans have to cope with in/ and what they love about the Netherlands.


After a small break the symposium continued with a short German language Quiz hosted by Sander SCHROEVERS, after which a Roundtable discussion on Dutch Higher Education and Germany, was set up, with DR. Jennifer STEETSKAMP, commissioner German Desk (Amsterdam Germany-Institute), Henning RADKE, DAAD-Lektor (German Academic Exchange Service) and Niels KOEKOEK, DNHK ( German Dutch Chamber of Commerce). The main points on this discussions where the chances in Germany, to study and to develop oneself.


The next speaker David KUBOVSKY discussed the books “How to be German in 50 easy steps”, by Adam Fletcher, versus “The undutchables”, by Colin White and Laurie Boucke.


After which Sander SCHROEVERS took the word in order to mention the website:, where students – who have become enthusiast about Germany – can get information about studying in Germany, on this website all information needed is found easily. Additional to this information the student panel, consisting of Stijn KOX (FU Berlin), Sem Klop (FH Brandenbug), Iris Dekker (TH Nürnberg), Thera PIENING (HWR) and Mike SPIER (HWR), shared their experiences on studying in Germany as Dutch students. In their experiences it is quite hard to make contact with the Germans, however being in Germany changed their views on the country itself, and the Germans are good workers who are very organized. They emphasized the importance of gaining experiences abroad, which is helpful for doing business abroad as well.


At 18:00 the Deutschland Day symposium finished with German drinks and bites, which where sponsored by Babylonix, Student Association of the International Business School.


We would like to thank the guest speakers once more for sharing their experiences and also the different students who helped to make this symposium possible. Also, the symposium made it into the Dutch media. Are you curious what they published? Click on the link: FolioaWeb

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