Tag Archives: Expatriate

Love This Quote About “Truths”

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“Truth can be stated in a thousand different ways, yet each one can be true.”

~ Swami Vivekananda

One of my major takeaways after working with thousands of international students, scholars, and visiting faculty, is that truth, although true for the beholder, is different for each person.  Pending his or her cultural background and personal experiences, we speak truths from of own perspective.  Thus, we often misunderstand the intentions of those who operate from alternative truths.

It turns out though, that if we take the time to learn accurate information about others’ cultural frameworks and perspectives, their truths make sense too.  The trick is taking the time to learn and making sure the content aligns with the targeted demographic.

By doing this, we bridge invisible gaps and minimize barriers which keep us separated, ignorant, in fear or in competition with those we don’t understand.  By knowing more about another person’s culture, we empower ourselves to communicate more effectively with them.  We also begin to more easily navigate with people from diverse backgrounds.  Our newly understood truths form mutual respect and lead to new ways to live peacefully together.

We see more bridging between differing cultures occur more and more in businesses that work across multiple countries, at universities with international education programs, with government and non-profit organizations.  That’s why www.CulturallyConfident.com provides classes, workshop training, and camps to teach students, employees, and faculty the skills they need in our ever increasing global economy.

There are so many ways to apply the class content for academic or professional goals.

Here are increases that class participants reported from completing cultural bridge class:

  • Intercultural Adjustment and Integration
  • Self-Awareness and Critical Thinking Skills
  • Intercultural Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
  • International Leadership Skills
  • Academic and Workplace Readiness
  • Cross-cultural Communication Skills
  • Intercultural Team Collaboration
  • Self-Confidence and Overall Relocation Satisfaction

For more information about the classes, workshops, or orientations, contact me at tara@hlslinstitute.com

For more class and camp information, visit www.CulturallyConfident.com

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Filed under Higher Education, Leadership, Study Abroad

Preparing East Asian Undergraduates for the Cultural Challenges of U.S. Study

One of my publications, “Preparing East Asian Undergraduates for the Cultural Challenges of Study in the U.S.”, is a policy white paper discussing how a pre-departure cultural preparation treatment influenced a group of international students’ experiences before, during, and after their first semester at a western U.S. research university.  This topic is key to 21st century international education and I see it becoming the next wave of expected coursework for international students.

In this research study, although all participants wished they had taken a formal course about U.S. culture and academic systems while they lived in their home country, not one participant had received or even heard about organized cultural training or U.S. college preparation classes for study abroad before they arrived in the U.S.!  This is significant since research indicates that cultural knowledge, realistic expectations, and adjustment management skills speed up cross-cultural adaptation, increases student success, and fosters student engagement (increases student retention rates).

Dr. Dent Team DI found that eastern Asian students are eager to learn about the U.S. culture and academic systems prior to leaving home for U.S. study during my 2014 International Education Tour in South Korea and China last fall.  Many parents, schools, businesses, and government organizations have asked me to return this year… so I am!

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In addition to teaching eastern Asian students about U.S. culture and academic systems, this year’s 2015 International Education tour will also share the research findings from my forthcoming publication entitled, “International Student Support Services Index” (ISSSI).

ISSSI organizes internationally related services by school and ranks institutions in relationship to other U.S. campuses. The index is grounded on five key research indicators that make up cross-cultural adjustment best practices to foster international (inbound and outbound) student success from pre-departure to repatriation/re-entry stages. 

Teaching U.S. College Preparation Skills in Seoul, South Korea, 2014

ISSSI’s research findings are made available through a free internationally circulated online publication used by domestic and international students, parents, study abroad organizations/placement services, recruiters, government organizations, secondary schools, and post-secondary international programs to better understand the U.S. international climate and individual campus internationalization efforts.

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For more information, contact:

www.hlslinstitute.org or see www.taramaddendent.com

HLSL Institute provides educational services to international students, expatriates, international programs, and government organizations that bridge cultural gaps and connect the world, one person at a time. 

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Filed under International Education

Dr. Tara Madden-Dent prepares you for life in the U.S.

Transitioning and adjusting in the United States culture may be more difficult and costly than you realize. Partner with cultural relocation and adjustment expert, Dr. Tara Madden-Dent, and learn the most efficient strategies to thrive in the U.S.  culture and to achieve your professional, academic, and personal goals.  She will help you save time, money, and energy when relocating to a new U.S. city, in addition to helping you develop professional skills required to succeed in today’s competitive work environment.

To avoid common negative acculturation hardships that most newcomers usually experience, contact Dr. Madden-Dent to personally guide you as your American Ambassador.  Feel safer, healthier, more connected, and more confident at work, school, home, and in your community.  Contact Dr. Madden-Dent at tara@taramaddendent.com or visit hlslinstitute.org to learn more about how you can strategically adjust and succeed in your new U.S. city and lifestyle.

Welcome & Introduction Video: Dr. Tara Madden-Dent

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Filed under HLSL Institute, International Education, U.S. Culture

What Makes a Successful Expatriate or Student Traveling Abroad?

As I research and develop new strategies to increase USAC student, US expatriate, and transpatriate success rates, I realize that job satisfaction and mission achievement are dependent on two things: the caliber of early training/preparation and the clear expectations of individual performance.  These are the essential elements that students and employees must have in order to accomplish their learning or working objectives abroad.

Regardless of the reason for international travel, certain levels of preparation and study are required for optimal success overseas.  In the last few months, through interviewing transnational companies and researching study abroad programs, I have found that intensive international training models are lacking.  A successful trip overseas should include pre-travel assessments, continuous evaluation while abroad, and post-travel assessment in addition to supplemental cross-cultural sensitivity and customs training.  As digital citizens, communication is made easy and bimonthly updates should be protocol for every student and employee.  Dependable liaisons in both parent-country and host-country should be provided as well. Commitments to host-country relationships should be made far before the student or employee leaves the US and should be sustained while living in the host-country.  Practicing the language and using local resources while participating in internships or volunteer positions can help speed through transition stages.  Also, membership in community clubs, churches, and organizations should be considered to fast-track assimilation, strengthen relationships, maximize opportunities, and take advantage of time spent overseas.  A clear understanding of host-country cultural dimensions should prepare the traveler for the new region’s values and customs.

Did you know that the US is known for having the highest expatriate failure rates?  Research shows that this is largely due to family member cross-cultural inadaptability (not able to transition beyond culture shock stages).  Often, US expatriates travel overseas with their spouse and children but companies underestimate their influence on employee performance.  Companies should recognize the importance to thoroughly prepare family members as well as the employee.  An unhappy family can lead to an unhappy expatriate; thus a lower return rate on company investments.  Personalized training models that provide adaptation shortcuts will significantly help reduce periods of frustration and homesickness.  Mentors and SykpePals (like pen-pals) will also encourage a faster transition even before the student or employee leaves America.

As we continue to notice the impact of world staffing for global operations, we witness the development of global citizens or third country nationals (TCNs).  The amount of international accomplishment and job satisfaction presupposes the amount of time and money invested into overseas preparation.  Increase your success rate while studying or working in a foreign country by being honest with what you are expected to achieve and what you must do in order to achieve it. Visualize yourself in the new living environment and make local mentor connections to guide your transition.  Finally, dedicate sufficient time preparing for the language, cultural, and logistical differences abroad. For tricks, tips, and training, email me at tara@taramaddendent.com.  We can discuss the newest model of cross-cultural adaptation I am currently researching, designing, and testing to increase student, US expatriates, and transpatriate success rates.

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Filed under Higher Education, Leadership