Category Archives: Adjustment

Moving back home after living overseas

As expatriate life draws to a close and the final phase in the expat cycle is about to begin, it’s normal to struggle with mixed feelings. Some expats dread the return to a “normal” life, while others are relieved their … Continue reading

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7 tips on surviving home leave

It’s almost that time again: the start of the annual expat migration back home. Some of you will be going home to stay… but we’ll talk about that another day. Today I’d like to focus on home leave instead. Home … Continue reading

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Easter for expats

Do you ever feel like you’re living on a roller coaster? When I was an expat I careened from exhilarating highs to disheartening lows — sometimes in the same day.  And especially around the holidays, when heightened expectations and the ache … Continue reading

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The illusion of the “similar culture”

The weirdest thing about moving to France was the culture shock. Not the fact that it existed — I was prepared for that.  No, what floored me was how intense it was, especially in comparison to my previous move. Who … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Canada, Culture Shock, Language | Tagged , , , , , , | 159 Comments

Bordeaux banking blunders

My first trip to the bank in Bordeaux was a non-event. I walked up to the building, nervously rehearsing the upcoming conversation in my head, and pulled on the door. Nothing happened. A little flustered, I tried pushing it. Nada. … Continue reading

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The 7 habits of highly effective expats (redux)

On Monday I presented my interpretation of Stephen Covey’s seven habits as seen through the lens of expatriation. Today all I’m borrowing from Mr. Covey is that iconic title. (This post actually pre-dated my reading of the book by about … Continue reading

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The 7 habits of highly effective (expat) people

When Stephen R. Covey, whose monster bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was first published in 1989, died last summer, there was such an outpouring of grief that I wondered what all the fuss was about. That’s right — … Continue reading

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Cross-cultural training is essential for expat spouses

During a foreign assignment, the challenges faced by expatriate managers are different from those of their spouses. The manager spends a significant portion of each day within the shelter of an organizational culture that is relatively familiar. In fact, if … Continue reading

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What is cross-cultural training and how does it work?

Cross-cultural training (also known as intercultural training) is a multi-faceted approach to increasing the knowledge and skills required to adjust to new culture. Brookfield Global Relocation Services found that 80% of companies who responded to their “2010 Global Relocation Trends … Continue reading

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Why being a Third Culture Kid sucks (sometimes)

An international lifestyle involves a balancing act between gains and losses. While Third Culture Kids reap the benefits of expat life — including exotic travel, linguistic competence, and cultural adaptability — these global nomads are also confronted with problems that … Continue reading

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