Tag Archives: language

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

Wait! Before signing that expat contract, ask what the spouse needs

When Benjamin Franklin remarked that nothing is certain in life but death and taxes, he clearly wasn’t thinking ahead to 21st century global mobility. I hope I’m not stepping on BFrank’s toes when I point out another certainty he failed … Continue reading

Posted in Predeparture | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 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

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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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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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

Posted in Adjustment, Identity, Third Culture Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

What’s a Third Culture Kid?

Children who’ve spent a considerable portion of their formative years in foreign cultures are known as Third Culture Kids (TCKs). The term “third culture” refers to the lifestyle of global mobility and intercultural living that’s typical of expat children who … Continue reading

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How to manage culture shock

The physical and psychosocial symptoms of culture shock vary from expat to expat, as does the extent to which each person is affected. The good news is that there are several strategies to diminish the severity and manage the symptoms. … Continue reading

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Ear fusion

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe ~ Lao Tzu I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about music today. Specifically, I’ve been wondering whether it’s true that music can transcend cultural boundaries. You can go ahead … Continue reading

Posted in Language | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments