Tag Archives: culture shock

An expat teacher’s story

How was your summer? Mine was spent housetraining my new puppy Max, cleaning up puppy puddles, taking shoes out of Max’s mouth, keeping the two dogs from killing each other, and wondering what the hell I was thinking when I … Continue reading

Posted in Book review | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

What the missionary sector can teach us about handling re-entry

Wouldn’t it be nice if the corporate world took care of its repatriates the way missionary folk do? My family was lucky when we moved abroad: Chef Boyardee’s employer sent us to Singapore for a look-see visit, provided cross-cultural training … Continue reading

Posted in Repatriation | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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

Posted in Adjustment, Repatriation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Bringing home the TCKs

Third Culture Kids are resilient creatures, but like adults, many find the move back to their passport country especially difficult. As parents, it’s our job to help them readjust. It takes preparation, patience and sensitivity, and I know from experience that … Continue reading

Posted in Repatriation, Third Culture Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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

Getting the most from your look-see visit

An international assignment is an exciting proposition, offering the chance for career advancement, travel, and a new way of life. There’s a lot to consider before signing the contract, though, and most prospective expats carefully weigh the pros and cons … Continue reading

Posted in Predeparture | Tagged , , , , , | 13 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

Posted in Adjustment, Culture Shock, France | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Culture and context: the hand-holding conundrum

Here’s another little gem that came my way via Twitter: a thought-provoking video about overcoming knee-jerk reactions (“challenging your inner Stone Age brain”) in unfamiliar cultural settings. “Cultural intelligence is all about interpreting behaviour in the right context and choosing … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Shock, Working Overseas | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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

Posted in Adjustment | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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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