May 11, 2011

I am a “Lovepat”

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 3:14 pm

At the FIGT conference this year, I was talking to another presenter, Carolyn Vines, about identity, accompanying spouses and expat life, when she mentioned the word “lovepat”. A huge bell started clanging in my ears as I realized the word was perfect to describe one part of me – the one that decided to settle down in my husband’s country. And so I decided to write about it. This is the article that came out of that decision. As personal as it is, it seems to be touching others, seeing the comments that it is engendering. So needless to say, I want to share it with you too.

May 6, 2011

Who Cares About Reverse Culture Shock?! I Do, and So Should You!

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Suite101 has a great series on Work/Study abroad which features several articles on expat life by contributing writer Maria Foley. Since I’ve been focusing on reverse culture shock a lot lately, I wanted to share these two articles by her, with blurbs from various interviews with expats who have gone through the experience, and references to a great piece by Sheila J. Ramsey, PH.D., and Barbara Schaetti called ‘Re-entry: Coming “home” to the Unfamiliar’. Maria’s second article offers solutions on how to manage reverse culture shock, which are practical and important.

April 28, 2011

Top 10 Expat Concerns

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This two-part series on Shelter Offshore website is a solid and thorough look at the Top 10 concerns expats have when taking that assignment abroad. It’s based on the HSBC Expat Explorer series of surveys reflecting the top concerns of expats going abroad, and Shelter Offshore website offers solutions for how to handle those concerns and overcome the challenges.

April 6, 2011

Making Friends the Key to Expat Happiness

Filed under: Blog — Tags: , , — admin @ 3:20 pm

We who work with expats know that far too many assignments end early or end badly, mostly due to cultural differences and unhappy families. And we also know that relationships are probably the single most important factor in feeling content and at home in a place. If you aren’t able to connect with people, you will most likely have a negative impression of your expat home. In the article “How to Make Friends Abroad: Ideas for Lonely Expats”, the author states that “an unhappy expat is far more likely to give it all up and head for home than a happy expat with plenty of friends. So, if you want to succeed abroad, you owe it to yourself to find ways to make friends and meet people.” Not a truer word was spoken. We can’t just wait for the natives to be friendly. We have to be a friend to the natives ourselves, or at the very least to other expats like ourselves. To read the full article, click here.