Tag Archives: linkedin

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

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

Posted in Third Culture Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why rituals are important for expat families

When I was little, my brother and I would carefully lay our stockings at the foot of our beds on Christmas Eve. Christmas stockings had a very specific purpose in our house: they kept us occupied for several hours so … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Culture Shock, Identity, Third Culture Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The sharp shock of returning home

Many expatriates, living in far-flung corners of the globe, long for home. Paralyzed by culture shock and reeling from homesickness, they imagine how wonderful it would be to return to the familiar comforts of the life they once had. Even … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Shock, Repatriation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Sometimes it’s the guy who trails

A hundred years ago, expatriate roles were clearly defined: the husband moved to a foreign country to advance his career, and the wife “trailed” behind the husband. Despite a substantial shift in the status of women over the years, this … Continue reading

Posted in Identity | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

(Re)introducing…Forced to Fly

Hurray for second editions! Jo Parfitt has released an updated version of an old favourite, Forced to Fly. This collection of stories about the funny side of expat life was written (as the cover so generously puts it) by expatriates … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Book review, Publications, Third Culture Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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

Dancing in the Fountain

“You wouldn’t do that back where you come from!” So grouses a crusty old sevillano at the unexpected sight of an American couple cooling off on a steamy night by dancing in a public fountain. “The curmudgeon was right about … Continue reading

Posted in Book review | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Love, Singaporean style

Margo was one of the first people I met when I moved to Singapore.  She was an American psychologist who once mentioned that she taught a “How to Flirt” class for the Singaporean government. I thought she was kidding. She … Continue reading

Posted in Singapore | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

U-Curve? Maybe not

The U-curve is a hypothesis proposed by Norwegian sociologist Sverre Lysgaard in 1955 to describe the stages of cross-cultural adjustment. He wrote: “Adjustment as a process over time seems to follow a U-shaped curve: adjustment is felt to be easy … Continue reading

Posted in Adjustment, Culture Shock | Tagged , , , , , | 24 Comments