Biography

Jacob Vossestein (Utrecht, 1949) studied human geography and anthropology at Amsterdam's Free University. After being a geography teacher for some years, he joined the Educational Staff of the Tropical Museum, part of the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam.

In 1984 he switched to the training department of that institute. As a cross-cultural trainer, he organized training programs for Dutch business people about to start working abroad. As from 1990, Jacob also organized and executed training programs on Dutch culture for overseas expats moving to the Netherlands.

This resulted in Jacob writing what was to be the bestselling book Dealing with the Dutch. Later this was followed by The Dutch and their Delta, a success seller also. He also contributed to other publications on the Netherlands, see page Other Work.

Travelling was and is Jacob's passion. Both privately and for work he visited some seventy countries. The longest trip of all was in 1973/74, a low-budget trekking with three friends through seven countries in Central Africa, an adventure now and even more so in those years. Further travels took him to various countries in Southeast Asia, most countries of Eastern Europe, to the USA and Canada, and to his brother in Australia.

For his training work, Jacob made several research trips, to places such as Central Africa (once more), Pakistan and India to observe Dutch expats at work there. He also gained insight into the cultural factors surrounding their work and private life there. Together with many private travels, these trips inspired him to write his Dutch-language books on cross-cultural communication.

A very special trip occurred when Jacob was involved in the cultural preparations of the Dutch Marines for their UN-mission to safeguard honest elections in Cambodia, 1992. Facilitated by the Dutch forces he visited several Marine camps to observe their contacts with the local authorities and population so as to better prepare later shifts. Apart from this aspect, it also was an unforgettable experience, travelling amidst tropical jungle, Buddhist temples, landmines, amphibious vehicles and the unique subculture of the Marines themselves.

Comparable was Jacob's short but intensive stay in Albania as an OSCE election observer in 1997, protected by Italian military. Albania was on the brink of civil war and elections were tense. The country had been a fascination to Jacob already in his childhood, when a communist dictatorship had turned it to total isolation. All in all, Jacob visited Albania seven times between 1975 and 2007.

Retired from his work as a trainer, Jacob now focuses on writing. A few ‘writing winters' in Thailand resulted in the book Getting Children to School.

Other projects are on his agenda still.

Jacob lives in Amsterdam. You can contact him at info@jacobvossestein.nl

Jacob Vossestein © 2017 | Colofon & Disclaimer