Get used to your new life: culture shock

Posted at: 6 Jun 2019 | Student Affairs

Everybody feels some differences when they go abroad, right? I felt it a lot in Amsterdam. Dutch people have their own culture and this can give you a culture shock. So, what made me feel this way? Did I adapt to the situation or not?

With lovely dutch people (me second person from the left).

First of all, let’s start with the city. When I arrived the Amsterdam, the city structure impressed me a lot. In the city centre, the buildings are not so high and all of them have their own structure and architecture. There are 165 canals in Amsterdam and they are all unique and beautiful. Also, sometimes the bridges are opening because of the boats that want to pass one canal from another and when it happens, everybody (cars, trams, cyclists) must wait for the boat to pass. If you are late for your class or a meeting, just say the bridge was open. There is no better excuse than that!


Most of the Dutch people are so kind and open to helping you. They are always smiling and you can talk to them or ask a question very easily. But some of them are very direct. This can make it seem like they don’t care about your feelings. Don’t worry, everybody gets used to it very quickly.

Beautiful structure of the buildings.


Dutch students are very relaxed when talking with their teachers. There is no hierarchy between students and teachers. They see themselves as equal with each other. I have seen very good friendships between students and instructors. Also, one thing that I struggled to adapt to is eating during the classes. In my home country, Turkey, it’s not allowed to eat anything during class and it’s considered a disrespectful action. But here, everybody is allowed to eat during lectures.


Dutch people love the combination of bread and cheese. There are lots of various mixtures with bread during breakfast hours. Bread is the main food for the Dutch. Also, they have very good desserts. I tried tompouce and I liked it!

One of many canals.


Everything has to come to an end. Including the good things. You’re going to miss Amsterdam a lot when you go back to your country because you’ll start to feel like you belong in this city. After you come back, you'll also struggle to adapt to your own country again for a while. To quote Benjamin Button, “It’s a funny thing about coming home. Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same. You’ll realise what’s changed is you.”

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