Blog

Rocking a Rocky Reentry – Repatriating During a Pandemic

Interview with Rebecca Lüppen Rebecca Lüppen is the founder of SheExpat (www.sheexpat.com) and provides expat career and life coaching for female professionals and executives. She helps female expats actively manage the changes that a mobile life brings, balance work and personal life and interact confidently and successfully within different cultures. Rebecca and I have known each other for a little over a year. We both…

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Reentry – Pandemic Edition

Arriving in Limbo The Corona pandemic has turned all our lives upside down and confronted us with unexpected challenges. It also hit many expats hard in 2020/21. It affects those who had just started their adventure abroad and are struggling to familiarize themselves with the new environment. It also affects those who have already been abroad for a longer period of time, but who now…

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Building Bridges with our Stories: Christmas in Germany from a Muslim’s Perspective

How do my fellow citizens of other cultures and religions perceive German and Christian traditions during the Christmas season? I went and asked a Muslim friend who is originally from Afghanistan and she wrote me these lovely lines: “When we bumped into each other in town the other day, you asked me to describe Christmas from my perspective. I have been living in Germany for…

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The 4 Stages of Reentry

Emotional Rollercoaster In the 1960s, Gullahorn & Gullahorn’s empirical research established what many repatriates intuitively felt: Repatriates from a stay abroad suffer similar stress symptoms during the readjustment to their home country as they did when adapting to the host country at the beginning of their foreign assignment. As a result, they developed the W-curve of acculturation, which I have already illustrated in my blog…

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My own re-entry experiences – Part 1

To be honest, I’ve been avoiding to write this article for quite some time. As I look back, things could have been a lot easier. If I had known back then what I know now about transition, culture shock, re-entry shock and Third Culture Kids, and if I had received specialized support, then…! Then I would have been spared some detours and some very rough…

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Re-Entry – Mixed feelings about coming home

Everyone experiences the return after an expat assignment in their own individual way. Whether as the assignee, partner or child, everyone finds their way back home at their own pace. In addition to your own personality, several factors play a role: Will I move back to my old place of residence or will I move to a completely new region? How often have I already…

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Our cultural roles

“Who are you? And if so, how many?” This is the title of a well-known German philosophy book on identity by Richard David Precht and it fits perfectly for this article! As mentioned in my previous article, we should stop thinking in terms of countries and national cultures when we talk about culture. You will most probably not define yourself as “typically Mexican” or “typically…

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How to communicate and collaborate effectively in foreign cultures?

The knowledge about culture and cultural dimensions is certainly an important starting point, but it is not sufficient. To be truly effective in foreign cultures, you need to develop the skills to transfer your knowledge into effective behavior. And practice! Andy Molinsky provides a set of very helpful strategies step by step in his book “Global Dexterity”. By Global Dexterity he refers to “the capacity…

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Why we experience culture shock

Expatriation can be one of the most exciting periods of your life, but also one the most challenging. Have you heard of the expat curve or the stages of acculturation? Did you experience culture shock after moving abroad or re-entry shock when you returned back home?   Take a look at the following graphic that depicts the different stages of acculturation. I also recommend this…

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Sailing the Seas of Expat Life

Our choices “What makes a good sailboat captain?”, I asked my husband while we were sailing last week. “Good assessment of the circumstances and making the right choices.” How strong is the wind? How high are the waves? How fit is the crew? How reliable is the boat? Safety first. He has always had very good judgement and I trust him 100% when it comes…

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