Although culture has been discussed in quite some detail, it remains an elusive concept, whether on content or in terms of consequences. Indeed, culture does not exist in a physical form (although bumping your nose to culture may be a near physical experience) and may be rather considered as a label people use to describe patterns of thinking and acting of a group of people. Many studies of culture start from theory and move to implementation. This paper is based on an opposite approach. Its basis is the experience of 849 MA students with living and working abroad and the effects of culture in reality. In an inductive way this experience results in a mind-map of culture.
The aim of this paper is to present a rather comprehensive perception of culture on the basis of experience; not to give an overview of what culture might be according to the literature. This concept is the initial result of an on-going programme at the R&D Centre of the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. Consecutive steps are briefly mentioned.