Monday, December 27, 2010

Expat Women: Best of 2010 Newsletter

Hi Everyone! First of all, Happy Holidays to each of you and thank you so much for your support in 2010. We hope that wherever you are and whatever you are doing this festive season that you are safe, healthy and creating some wonderful end-of-year memories with treasured friends and family members.

Second, for those of you who missed our Expat Women Best of 2010 Newsletter earlier this month (or if you are not subscribed to our main Expat Women newsletters), please find below some of our most popular features this year, as voted by you, our readers. Enjoy!

Success Story

Debbie Travis
Television Star, Producer and Entrepreneur Extraordinaire
Once upon a time, Brit Debbie Travis modeled with celebrity supermodel Gail Elliott. Today, long-term expat Debbie Travis is a household name in Canada, famous for producing and hosting three successful lifestyle television series that now show worldwide...

Success Story
VP Africa Strategic Initiatives, Agility (Kuwait)
Deanne De Vries is a career woman, a traveler and an adventurer. Born and raised in San Jose, California to Dutch parents, she has lived in Belgium, the Netherlands, Kenya, South Africa, the United States, the United Kingdom, Iraq and now Kuwait...

Business Idea
Renée Coppinger
Fashion-lover Renée is a shining example of an expat entrepreneur who has reinvented herself, over and over. From electronics, to fashion, to care giving, to study, to art and then back to fashion, she has set up businesses...

Business Idea
Janine Hall
Janine Hall combined her career skills with her passion for coaching, surfing, yoga and well-being to create Surf Haven Bali, a luxury boutique surf and yoga spa retreat. Her guests experience and adventure of a lifetime and leave recharged and refreshed...

Expat Confession
Expat Women Girlfriend
Help! My husband's job has taken us to a small, remote, island community in the middle of nowhere. The population is just over 1,000 people and the locals resent and bully the foreign community. They even chased an expat off the island who blogged about her time here...

Expat Confession
Expat Women Girlfriend
My husband's new role is very demanding and he is frequently travelling away from home. I am embarrassed to confess that my loneliness has led me to start an affair with my neighbor. I feel extremely guilty about what I am doing and know that this is not right. Ironically, I started the affair to ease my loneliness...

Relocation Decisions
Louise Wiles
Currently over 200 million people worldwide are living abroad... But how do you decide if relocating is right for you? Expat coach Louise Wiles takes us through 8 steps to making the decision that is best for you...

Heather Carreiro
After living abroad, moving back to your home country can be even more of a shock than learning to live in a new country and culture. So much of how we define ourselves while living and working overseas is wrapped up in being an expat...

Job Search
Lois Freeke
Job searching can be a frustrating process, especially if you are an expat trying to find your way abroad and unsure who to approach for that dream job offer. However as a job seeker in today’s digital age…

Kim Seeling Smith
As expats we are forced to reinvent almost every aspect of our lives when we choose to pick up, pack up and pluck ourselves down in another country...

Web Tips
Andrea Martins
Relocated families love the Internet. It feeds their need for information about new destinations and keeps them “connected” with friends and family when their companies transfer them thousands of miles from home. To boost your brand in this market, you need to be online media savvy...

Travel Tips
Susanna Zaraysky
If you consider yourself a master at the travel game, but you are still looking for some new ideas to save money and better navigate travel, read on to learn from Susanna Zaraysky who has lived in nine countries and is the author of Travel Happy, Budget Low...

If you are not a member of our main site,, please join today to support us (and receive a link to download our free Expat Women e-book "Winning Stories"). This will also mean that future Expat Women newsletters will be delivered directly to your inbox.

Thanks Everyone and all the very best for 2011!
See you again in mid-January. :-)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Expat Women December Newsletter Highlights

Hi Everyone, For those of you who missed our Expat Women December 2010 members' newsletter last week, or did not get time to read the new features, please find below the highlights and we encourage you to click on a few for a great read!

(If you are a member and did not receive your newsletter, please email us here, thanks)

Success Story: Karen van der Zee, Romance Novelist;

Business Idea: Janet Dorey, emBoxed;

Expat Needs: The Pyramid of Expat Needs, by Elizabeth Abbot;

Student Campus Visits: 10 Most Important Things to Look for in the Campus Visit, by Rebecca Grappo;

Expat Confession: Local Poverty, by our Expat Women Girlfriend;

BlogWorld2010: 12 Insights from the World's Largest Social Media Convention, by Andrea Martins;

Currency Exchange: 4 Key Ways to Protect Yourself When Using A Currency Exchange Service, by Deborah Benn;

Winning Story: Black and White for Thanksgiving - The Mourning After; and

Winning Member: The name of our Explorer Publishing mini-guide pack winner.

If you are not a member of our main site,, please join today to support us (and receive a link to download our free Expat Women e-book "Winning Stories"). This will also mean that next month your newsletter will be delivered directly to your inbox.

Thanks Everyone!  And look out for our "Best of 2010" newsletter later this week...


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December Edition of Mobility Magazine Online

Hi Everyone, If you are in the expat, global mobility and/or relocation industries, you may be interested in the December edition of the Worldwide ERC® Mobility Magazine, which features the following:

Moving Into the Future
By Eric Read, CRP, GMS

Commoditized Services: Balance Between Quality and Cost
By Boris Populoh

Balancing Talent Mobility with Talent Productivity

By Jill Heineck, CRP

By Johannes Laxafoss, Peggy Smith, SCRP, SGMS, and Joseph Morabito, SCRP

By David Barlow, SCRP, SGMS

By Michael F. Tucker, PH.D., CMC

Happy reading!  Andrea

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Escaping Corporate Life To Find A More Relaxed Expat Life Abroad

Hi Everyone, If you have taken a break (or are aspiring to take a break) from corporate life back home to explore a more relaxed lifestyle abroad, you might be interested in our recent interview with Courage and Croissants: Inspiring Joyful Living: A Story and Life Guidebook author, Suzanne Saze-Roux, whose family did just that...

Courage and Croissants

Five years ago, Suzanne Saxe-Roux and her husband, Jean P. Roux, left behind corporate life in the United States for a small, peaceful village in Southern France. The expected year away soon turned into three, at which point the family reintegrated back into American society part-time. Suzanne and Jean’s book, Courage and Croissants: Inspiring Joyful Living, A Story and Life Guidebook, explores the events that led to their life-changing move to France and their adjustments to the local culture. Courage and Croissants also features a section of tips for anyone seeking a significant life change and wondering how they can make it happen.

Suzanne is a consultant, facilitator, coach, author and speaker who has travelled the world to train leaders, professionals and teams.  She is currently based in Tiburon, California with her husband and eleven-year-old daughter, but they still enjoy spending a great deal of time at their home in Montpellier, France.

Expat Women’s Interview with Suzanne

Expat Women: Suzanne, what made small-town France appealing enough for you to give up the security of corporate life in the United States?

Suzanne: We loved France and had gone every summer for 12 years. It felt natural to truly take the time off we so desired and regroup, regenerate, and reprioritize life.

Expat Women: What was it like reentering the busy American lifestyle, three years after you had left the U.S. for France?

Suzanne: We came back for a variety of reasons, one being work and another to get our house ready for sale.   I also wanted to visit with friends and see how I felt after being away.  During the first six months, we all felt great sadness over the transition.  We desperately missed the rhythm of how we had lived in France.  As time went on, we adjusted, but we continue to hold on to some aspects of our French life.

Our lives are much more hectic here in the U.S., but we manage the busyness in the following ways:

1. We make only one plan for the entire weekend.  One social event with a schedule and one activity for our daughter on Saturday mornings.  Sundays are free, spontaneous and a slow day in which we are together doing whatever we feel like doing.  Taking control and saying no to certain activities and invitations is often hard, but it is how we keep our pace of life sane;

2. We continue to cook at home and invite people for dinner about once a month.  This brings us pleasure, reminds us of France, and our friends love it as well;

3. We are out in nature as much as possible (especially on weekends) and amidst the busyness, try to focus on the simpler things in life;

4. Our house is much cleaner and void of “stuff” now.  It is “simpler living” even though the house has not changed; and

5. We continue to read as a family and still do not own a TV – we use the Internet instead.   Not being constantly bombarded by the outside world keeps things simpler as well.

Expat Women: You write candidly about your experiences and struggles learning the French language, discovering French cuisine and finding a new appreciation for your body, to name a few.  How did you allow yourself to adjust to the cultural transitions while keeping a smile on your face, and what tips do you have for others in a similar position?

Suzanne: Be curious and put yourself in the place of being a student.  Continuing to learn French is a lifelong goal because language learning does not come naturally to me.   I find though that with every conversation in which I am understood, I am secretly pleased with myself and feel like I am making progress.  Unfortunately, this is much more difficult to do in America as I am not immersed in the language, but I keep on pushing.  I am also constantly cutting out recipes.   I dream of using them and it makes me happy.  Once a month I try to cook something new, which helps me to be creative.

Expat Women: What vital steps do you believe are necessary for someone to pursue their dreams?


1. Decide on a clear dream or vision.  What does it include or not include?  The more specific you can be about what you want, the easier it will be to focus on achieving it;

2. Know and understand your fears.  Write them down, stare at them and then let them go.  Throw them, burn them, and shift them to the back burner;

3. Develop a strategy to move forward on your vision/dream.  Create three to five bold outcomes to help you.  You might look at all areas of your life that need to be included to make your vision/dream a reality;

4. Once you have written your bold outcomes – develop action plans for each one.  Take one at a time or do them simultaneously, moving them forward;

5. Get support from a friend, partner or coach; and

6. Acknowledge the small shifts as you move towards your dream.

Expat Women: Suzanne, thank you for sharing your thoughts and inspiring experiences with us. We wish all the best to you, your family, and your new book, Courage and Croissants.

Thanks go to Ashley Thompson (Expat Women) for this interview.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Expat Women December 2010 Home Page

Hi Everyone, We have now uploaded the new features for our December Expat Women home page.  We invite you to read them, share them and tweet them.  Thanks so much!

Success Story
Romance Novelist
Long-time Dutch expat Karen van der Zee is without doubt, a writer's success story.  She has had 35 romance novels published by Harlequin Books, as well as many stories from her globetrotting life in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the US...

Business Idea
Janet Dorey
Janet Dorey is a wonderful example of a woman who has reinvented herself abroad. Janet, who double-majored in music and biology, is now running a business in cartonnage – the art of making decorative boxes out of cardboard and paper...

Pyramid of Expat Needs
Elizabeth Abbot
Living and working in different cultural or multicultural environments adds layers of complexity to your life and work – a curious twist that can unsettle your sense of who you are, affect your confidence in how you operate, and empower you to grow...

Campus Visits
Rebecca Grappo
For families that live abroad, unless they have a magic carpet, or unlimited time and funds, it is very difficult to visit all of the boarding schools or colleges/universities that a student might be interested in offshore, or back "home"...

Expat Confession
Expat Women Girlfriend
We are first-time expats living in India for my husband’s job. We have a good expat package, we live in a lovely neighborhood… but the one thing that really disturbs me here is the begging...  

BlogWorld 2010
Andrea Martins
In October, I was privileged to attend BlogWorld 2010 in Las Vegas with more than 3,000 other attendees...  Many big social media names were there, such as Scott Stratten, Darren Rowse, Michael Stelzner, Mari Smith, Brian Solis, Yaro Starak, Jay Bear, Steve Garfield, Chris Garrett, Scott Monty - and even The Apprentice and Survivor creator Mark Burnett...  

* * *

Not A Member Yet?

Just a reminder that our blog is separate from our main site, so if you are reading this blog post online or you are only subscribed to our blog, you will not automatically receive our Expat Women monthly newsletters.

To receive our December newsletter this month (plus our 'Best of 2010' newsletter a week or two after), and to go in the running to win our monthly prize of a complete set of Explorer Publishing's Mini-Guides, please sign up today to our main site, and also receive your link to our free e-book of Winning Stories!

Thank you very much and best wishes for a fantastic December! Andrea

Sunday, November 28, 2010

BlogWorld 2010: 12 Insights from the World's Largest Social Media Convention: by Expat Women's Andrea Martins

Hi Everyone!  As promised, here is my write-up from the recent BlogWorld conference that I attended in Las Vegas.  This article will actually be featured in our upcoming Expat Women December newsletter (but I wanted to share it with you in advance and would really appreciate both your feedback and/or your insights from other conferences as well). Thanks, Andrea

ps. If you do not already subscribe to our main Expat Women monthly newsletter yet, please support us by signing up now.  Thanks so much!

BlogWorld 2010: 12 Insights from the World's Largest Social Media Convention

In October 2010, I was privileged to attend BlogWorld 2010 in Las Vegas with more than 3,000 other attendees, mostly from the United States, but with a sprinkling of us based elsewhere as well.

As the world’s largest social media conference, many big social media names were there, such as Scott Stratten, Darren Rowse, Michael Stelzner, Mari Smith, Brian Solis, Yaro Starak, Jay Bear, Steve Garfield, Chris Garrett, Scott Monty – and even The Apprentice and Survivor creator Mark Burnett.

BlogWorld 2010 was a wonderful experience - so many genuinely educational sessions, so many networking opportunities, and so much to offer to bloggers and new media people alike.

But if I had to condense everything I saw and learned those three days into twelve key insights to share, it would be these...

The Speakers

1. Famous people, are just people

The more I travel and attend conferences with big name speakers, the more I realize that (most of) the big name speakers are just like you and I – normal, friendly people who are easy to approach, happy to answer questions and more than willing to share advice, tips, and many times, some key contacts as well. To me, this is a really important conference takeaway, because it liberates you from the excuse that you cannot ask them advice or that you cannot achieve what they have achieved.

2. You and I can keynote

BlogWorld 2010 had many speakers. With plenary sessions plus around twelve (!) concurrent sessions per time slot over the jam-packed three days, there were plenty of speakers to observe, enjoy, learn from and critique. Some speakers were awesome, many were 7 or 8 out of 10, and unfortunately others really should have prepared better or spoken more clearly - rather than relying on their laurels or latest book title.

But my message to you is that those speakers at this conference that usually charge US$5,000 - $10,000+ a day outside of BlogWorld, were not always better presenters than you or I (and the same is true for other conferences I have attended). Which begs the question, what can you and I do to package and market our own brand better, so that we can also grab a slice of the speaking action?

3. Learn from Barry Moltz

Barry Moltz is a professional speaker who ran a really enjoyable session entitled “Feeding Your Addiction: How to Create and Market Your Content to Drive a Professional Speaking Career”. Some of Barry’s most useful/interesting tips were:

• Tell people that you speak! Put it on your website. Simple, but not done enough;

• As part of the speaking contract/deal, request that the client passes you one or two new speaking event referrals;

• Think about putting some danger tape around the back row chairs, so people come closer to the front and the atmosphere feels more intimate; and

• Plan each segment of your presentation (such as the opening, part one, part two, part three and so on, and the closing) so that it has all of these three things: a takeaway; a story; and an action. This helps you to prepare more thoroughly with your audience in mind, and helps to keep your presentation valuable and focused.

For Bloggers

4. Say something important

Darren Rowse (who reportedly makes a six-figure-plus income from blogging), founder of Problogger (167,000+ subscribers), got lots of nods from the audience with these pearls of wisdom: “say something important” and “build something that matters”.

Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger (137,000+ subscribers), reiterated: “give valuable content that people want to share and say good things about”. This “share-ability” concept was repeated by multiple other speakers at the conference.

Sonia Simone, also a founding partner of Copyblogger media, on the plenary panel with Darren and Brian entitled “The 7 Harsh Realities Of Blogging For Bucks”, echoed their comments and asserted that “It’s not about you - it’s about your customers. What do they want and care about? If you don’t have a big readership, maybe you’re not writing about something people care about.”

5. Improve your site’s call to action

Brian said that “free content is an attraction, but free is not a business model” – you need to sell directly-related products that solve problems, to make money – and you need to be good at asking people to buy your products. Brian used the bikini concept analogy to prove his point: he said that even if a site showed someone in a bikini that revealed nearly all of someone’s body, many people would still pay to see what was under that bikini – if you just asked them.

6. Focus on evergreen

Wendy Piersall is the founder of the new kids’ activity website Woo! Jr, who successfully sold her previous site, Sparkplugging, to a group of private investors in the fall of 2009. Interestingly, Wendy said that her strategy was not to get too caught up in Facebook and Twitter, but rather invest more time on creating evergreen content (aka content that does not really date) for her website that others can tweet, put on Facebook, link to, and which historically does well over time in the search engines.

7. Create your unique angle

Mark Burnett, creator of The Apprentice and Survivor, shared his advice, which was: don’t just copy what others are doing – you need to “take the risks…do things differently… and create things that other people want to talk about”.

Mark went on to give the example of Sarah Palin. He said that many media networks wanted to do a television series or documentary about her, but no one was able to secure a deal. Mark knew that Sarah loved both Alaska and adventure, so he proposed “Sarah Palin’s Alaska” to her – an eight-part television event that “takes viewers into the country’s ‘final frontier’ through the eyes of one of its most famous citizens”. Sarah loved it – and Mark successfully produced the series! (It was scheduled to premiere in the United States on 14 November 2010.)

For Authors

8. Bloggers can be better than Oprah

Ellen Gerstein, Director of Marketing at John Wiley & Sons, who has published many books by bloggers and is a great champion of social media, said that getting prominent bloggers to talk about your book can in fact be a more powerful force than going on morning television shows, or even Oprah!

9. Your books need to be e-books too

Justin Branch from Greenleaf Publishing revealed something authors should find scary: traditional books are now getting bad customer reviews on Amazon if the book is not available as an e-book! This means that regardless of the quality of your book, your book could potentially suffer from bad book ratings just because you did not offer your book in the medium that your potential customer wanted to buy it in.

10. Promote your book on the radio

Justin gave another great piece of advice: “The best way to promote your book is to do radio… you can do eighteen interviews a day from home – which is a very effective promotional strategy.”

11. Think about a manifesto

I am not sure which log I had been hiding under to miss the whole “manifesto” wave, but Jonathan Fields of Tribal Author book filled me in and I found it all truly fascinating.

Jonathan’s manifesto was The Fire Fly Manifesto, which served as a great prelude to his very successful book Career Renegade. He also talked about Chris Guillebeau’s manifestos: The Art of Non-Conformity; and the Unconventional Guide to Discount Airfare: Surviving Stress and Maximizing Fun.

In short, a good manifesto is an attention-grabbing, short book with an exceptionally-designed cover that is used to promote your main book, product or service. They can be a clever and potentially lucrative promotional strategy – think about them.

The Audience

12. Tech-savvy audiences are redefining our conferences.

As I mentioned in a recent blog update Taking Expat Women Around The World, never before have I seen what I saw at BlogWorld 2010 in Las Vegas. At every presentation, at least three-quarters (!) of the audience were always either blogging, typing, foursquaring, tweeting or reading Twitter updates from others in the room (or from other sessions at the conference), instead of looking straight ahead at the presenters. It was a real eye-opener – and I found myself mimicking this multitasking behaviour – tweeting things I was learning and reading the tweets of others around me.


• Think differently;

• Act creatively;

• Produce awesome content/products/services; and

• Believe in yourself – you are just as good as many of the famous people!

Missed Some Great Expat Links On Twitter?

Hi Everyone, Here are some expat-related articles and links that I have tweeted about recently, that might interest you:

Does it pay off for women to work abroad? Washington Post

Recommended: Truly moving story about motherhood

Any State Department bloggers out there? Put yourself on the map – literally

Good school hunting: excellent article from Beijing

Traits of Successful Expats?

Can You Help Bring Domestic Violence Victims Abroad home for the holidays?

New book: Black and Abroad

Expats: Never trust strangers with your mail! Trust only the best - will take care your mail, anywhere...

European expats are the biggest earners in Dubai

WSJ: Shareholders Hit the Roof Over Relocation Subsidies

Bring Talent Home: A 120,000 Euro Project To Bring Expats Home

Thinking of moving abroad? 7 Things To Consider

Expat Partner Support Crucial When Families Are Posted Abroad

Expat or Temporary Resident or...? Great discussion here

Expats: How long does it take to feel at home abroad?

Watch "Successful Living Abroad" lectures for expats and your families to feel less alone during relocation

Sign up for new Global Mobility magazine launching December 2010

Top 10 countries represented by Canadian Expats in this group: US, UK, UAE, Greece, Qatar, France, Saudi Arabia...

Missed the Expat Forum 2010? See a slideshow of highlights and stay tuned for video clips

More than half of British expats do not want to return home

Expats: 10 best things ( and 10 worst things ( about being an expat wife

To follow me in 'real time' and keep up with even more great expat links on Twitter, please click here.

To read our Expat Women November newsletter, please click here.

Thanks for your support and have a great week! Andrea

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Expat Women Living in Shanghai: Interested in Part-Time Work with SIRVA Relocation?

Hi Everyone, If you are living in Shanghai, China, and are interested in part-time work (or know someone who is), please read on...

SIRVA Relocation, one of the world’s premier relocation companies, is currently seeking part-time SIRVA Relocation Field Consultants for their office in Shanghai, China.

SIRVA’s Field Consultants will accompany expatriates and family members on tours such as (but not limited to) orientation, preview trips, home searches (together with a SIRVA designated housing agent), school searches and settling-in services.

SIRVA’s Field Consultants will act as the subject matter experts for the number of days that are being authorized by the client on specific services. An itinerary will be drawn for this program so that the Field Consultants will take that as a generic guideline in providing the required services.

Work days will be flexible, depending on each Field Consultant’s personal schedule and availability. SIRVA will provide a car and driver for the programs that will be carried out for their clients. The Field Consultants will be required to submit a comprehensive report upon completion of the program in providing observations, feedback and concerns of the family so that SIRVA can take this up with the expatriate and the client’s Human Resources team to address any issues.

Anyone interested in gaining fabulous experience with a very friendly, highly-reputable, global company, this could just be the perfect opportunity for you during your time in Shanghai and perhaps a stepping stone to bigger and greater things.

Main Responsibilities:
• Work closely with the in-house team of Global Assignment Consultants
• Accompany SIRVA Clients’ expatriate assignees on their:
- Look-See / Preview Trips
- School Search
- Home Search
- Settling-In Program
• Complete an end-of-program report

Ideal candidates would possess the following attributes:
• Personal experience and/or knowledge of international relocation industry
• Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
• Initiative, independence, well organized and able to work under pressure
• PC literate with good knowledge of MS Office
• Must have and maintain up to date knowledge of the local and expatriate living and life style issues within Shanghai’s international community
• Languages a distinct advantage
• Training and attractive remuneration will be offered to the right candidates.

If you are genuinely interested in this position and would like to know more, please urgently email Claudia de Jong in SIRVA’s Singapore office to introduce yourself and to request the full job description.

All information received will be kept in strict confidence and only for employment-related purposes.  Applicants who are not invited for interviews within four weeks may consider their applications unsuccessful.

Many thanks and good luck to any interested candidates! Andrea

PS. Please share this with anyone else who might also be interested.

Expat Women Welcomes Barclays Wealth International as a Gold Sponsor

Hi Everyone, We are very excited to announce today that Barclays Wealth International is now a Gold Sponsor of Expat Women.  This means, that Barclays believes enough in our community that they have committed to help fund us for the coming 12 months (and hopefully longer)!

To help us say thanks, please visit Barclays' site if you have any international or offshore banking and investment requirements.  Thank you in advance for supporting the companies that support us! 


"Barclays Wealth International manages clients successfully in almost 200 countries. If you have international or offshore banking and investment requirements, Barclays Wealth International has the knowledge and experience to help you acquire wealth, use and enjoy it, protect it and pass it on.

Barclays Wealth is a leading global wealth manager, and the UK's largest, with total client assets of £153.5bn, as at 30 June 2010. With offices in over 20 countries, Barclays Wealth focuses on private and intermediary clients worldwide, providing international and private banking, investment management, fiduciary services and brokerage.

Barclays Wealth is the wealth management division of Barclays. Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate banking, investment banking, wealth management and investment management services, with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 147,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for over 48 million customers and clients worldwide."

Please click here to learn more about Barclays Wealth International.  Thank you.

Want To Know Who's Speaking At The 2011 FIGT Conference?

Hi Everyone, Our friends at FIGT (Families in Global Transition) have now published details of who will be speaking, and about what, at their upcoming conference in Washington (March 17-19) and they have kindly allowed us to republish the information for you here...

Unleashing Your Creative Potential Through the Arts
Alaine Handa
Do you get a “block” trying to write your article/book, choreograph a dance, paint a picture, design an outfit, etc.? In this session, mini-activities using movement, character writing, art therapy, and free-write will be introduced, to help you unlock creative potential that can become material for your work. TCKs are rich with unconscious thoughts that may or may not have been repressed. By unleashing these vulnerable thoughts, we let go of what we have kept “locked” inside and can use it as material to move on with our mobile lives.

Does where you're from make a difference? Comparing American and Japanese TCKs
Ann Baker Cottrell
Nearly all TCK research is based on American or Japanese TCKs. A review of these literatures, including findings from a study of over 600 American ATCKs, reveals themes in common to TCKs. It also makes clear that the TCK experience, especially on re-entry, is shaped by socio-cultural characteristics and history of the passport country. TCKs from other countries will be encouraged to share their experiences and how they are similar to or different from American or Japanese TCKs.

Death from a Distance: Practical and Emotional Guidance
Apple Gidley & Laura Stephens
Death is not something we like to talk about and wherever you live is difficult to handle. Add an ocean between you and your aging loved ones and the issues can be magnified. This session aims to provide a greater awareness and understanding of the challenges of dealing with aging parents and death from a distance. Apple Gidley will share her experiences, both practical and emotional, and Laura Stephens will draw on her therapeutic training to offer clarity around the process of grief and related issues.

Department of State Support to Foreign Service Families
Archana Dheer
Department of State is a leader in the field of preparing its employees and family members for overseas assignments. While many organizations provide the required training to employees, we focus also on the accompanying family member. Transition Center at FSI runs training courses, seminars and workshops to cover many aspects of international life that are a challenge to these families. It can be traveling with pets, recognition of gay couples as family, relevant allowances, adequate education for special needs children, employment opportunities for family members, etc. What all does the department do? How does it do it?

Perspective Coaching: Empowering Expatriates with Choice and Action
Becky Matchullis
Using perspective to one’s advantage is a key factor in moving forward with courage and resiliency in the expatriate life, especially during transition. Going to a new perspective expands the way to look at a situation by creating new possibilities – leading to choice. This workshop is for both expatriate coach as well as expatriate. Interactive and experiential, you will learn when perspective coaching is most strategic, where to find perspectives, and the 4 step process of Perspective Coaching.

The Teen Perspective on Transition
Caitlin Morse & Amy Casteel
International schools, coaches, parents, sponsoring organizations and others will discover how teens perceive transition and what contributes to successful transitions, based on the responses of 100+ teens. This session will use survey results, video interviews, case studies, 15 years of experience working with TCKs, and audience participation to explore what transitions are really like for youth. Participants will be equipped with strategies for making transitions successful for teens.

We’re All in This Together! Navigational Strategies for Intercultural Intersections of School Communities
Candice Hughes
This session focuses on the multiple intercultural intersections that exist in school communities comprised of diverse populations that represent host country and other cultures. The cultural iceberg metaphor and a framework of intercultural knowledge and skills will be used to demonstrate how these intersections can be navigated by students, families and staff members to allow learning to occur in an environment of acceptance and tolerance. Participants will engage in a set of exercises to learn how to analyze school settings to identify potential problematic intercultural intersections and learn how to help community members navigate them successfully in their respective roles.

Traveling beyond the Limitations of Identity
Carolyn Vines
Everyone has an identity that's been foisted upon him/her by family, community, culture, religion and/or nationality. Everyone experiences various crises of identity caused by those prefabricated identities. However, not everyone recognizes these crises as opportunities to search within for a definition of self in one's own terms, on one's own terms. The objective is to help participants recognize that identity can be the fiercest of limitations on one's personal growth potential and to identify some tools for seeing/defining themselves in different terms.

TeamWork ABC
(Availability/Being Prepared/Communicating) = SEE! (success in expatriation experience)
Chantal Duke
Show how understanding of expatriation concepts and potential issues can benefit the employee, family and the company’s relocating staff during different cycles of the adaptation process.

Finding The TCK Voice: A Personal Journey Through Art, Creativity and Intuition
Cheilaugh Garvey
What is art? Art is creation, imagination, recording, investigation, arbitration and culmination. It helps define our existence and makes us less alone and frees our frustration. Anonymous. Don't be afraid of the "art part"! No previous experience required! In this hands-on workshop, you will learn to tap into your own intuitive creativity in order to discover your distinctive TCK voice. Everyone's experience is different! Through a variety of fun and informal creative exercises, you will find ways to visualize and verbalize your experiences as a TCK or ex-pat. This process will evoke memories and emotions and help you to reconnect with your cross-cultural experiences. Through art and journaling, you will express your personal voice and embark on a journey of reflection, reevaluation and growth. The influences and perceptions of living abroad will also be explored. Enjoy the process and conversations during this enlightening workshop.

The Modern Expat
Diane Endo
The notion of acculturation seems to be disappearing from the verbal and mental vocabulary of today’s expats. Shorter assignments, ease of global travel, technology, and busy work and family life are several reasons why expats today are more apt to opt out of total immersion in their host country culture. This session will introduce modern methods for being a resident in a foreign culture.

Choosing the right expat support services for every budget
Doris Fuellgrabe
Are you organizing relocations while juggling a tight budget? Are you wondering which support fits best for individual cases? In this session, participants will explore different areas of expat support services and receive practical resources how to choose which ones are right for them. This is not a sales presentation! We are going to look at the advantages and limitations of language training, readiness assessments, destination services, cross-cultural and repatriation training, and expat coaching. Participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences, thereby creating a synergetic exchange of information among the group.

Developing a Personal Model of Resiliency for Expatriates
Duncan Westwood
An interactive workshop that trains participants to identify, build and strengthen a model of personal resilience with expatriates. Expatriate employees, spouses, TCKs and their service providers will personally and professionally benefit from learning how to foster resiliency in themselves and/or coach others to do so. Relevant findings from the research on expatriate resiliency will be an integral part of our interactive learning.

The Impact of Confucianism on Asians' Crossing Culture
Isabelle DS Min
Our values and languages shape the way we see the world. Just as most western view of the world were shaped by the Greek philosophies, Confucianism dictates Asians’ perspectives (Richard Nisbet “The Geography of Thought”). Confucianism, among other things, is highly hierarchical, relationship based perspective of the world. Among many Asian nations, Confucianism still holds a strong grip in Korea where there still exist 7 levels of honorifics. This session uses real life examples to illustrate how Confucianism still thrives in Korean life and business and offers practical solutions for smooth transition into such Asian mindset.

Increasing importance of expat partner support
Jacqueline Van Haaften
Companies and organisations are offering all kinds of assistance to the partners of the employees whom they are sending abroad. They have good reason to do so. But just how effective is their help? What are the trends? And how do the partners themselves feel about the support they receive? In order to answer these questions, Global Connection conducted a survey among its members around the world, mainly traditional expatriates, although the ‘expat-light’ trend is starting to emerge. The expats surveyed were posted abroad by a total of more than 50 organisations.

Blogs, books and bylines - How getting in print will boost your global business
Jo Parfitt
Do you want to stand out from the crowd and get more clients? Then you need to increase your client base and your profile through writing and getting into print. From writing a blog, to articles, booklets and books, there are many ways to increase your Googlability. This workshop will discuss how writing can help you to achieve expert status, passive income and an impressive Internet presence. Learn how to use the power of blogging, Twitter, booklets and books to grow an impressive business regardless of where you may live.

Action, Identity, Success or Failure: What makes an expat child grow?
Julia Simens
When does a child take failure from an action (I failed) to an identity (I am a failure) and why this follows them around the world as they relocate. Pick up some practical tips on how to make those around you ‘grow’. The view you adapt for yourself or the view your child takes on profoundly affects the way each of you lead your life. Listen to parents and teachers give comments and compare them to what a child really hears. Learn what is the most common mistake we make and how it can hinder motivation and performance.

Cross-Cultural Career Counseling and Job Search Coaching:
Supporting Accompanying Expatriate Spouses or Partners
Katarina Holm-DiDio
This session explores how a career counselor or job search coach can support the expatriate in a job search process in a country different than her/his passport country. We will discuss how to be mindful about cultural differences in career development and in career related values; how to find ways to help the client identify his or her values, strengths and challenges as an expatriate and ways to address them in the global job search context; how to assist the client to understand and address the employers/recruiters concerns about hiring an expatriate, and by exploring cultural differences in networking and job interviewing.

Advocating for Families – Ensuring the Voices of Families Are Heard
Kathleen Moakler
The families represented at this FIGT conference have all experienced global transition. They face the challenges of everyday family life enhanced by the additional stresses of changing environments and locations. Military families face these challenges as well. The National Military Family Association was formed to empower military families to become their own best advocates for addressing these challenges in their Nation or in their neighborhood. They are military family members serving other military families. They have grown to be a credible information resource for those families and for the policy makers that serve them. We will discuss how to form and sustain an advocacy organization, why it is important, and how we serve our constituents. We will trace our growth over 40 years and how we have had to adapt to changes. We will invite all sectors to brainstorm on how they could use this model to advocate for the needs of their families.

Oh the Places We Will Go: A Look at the Cross-cultural Adjustment Process of Expatriate Families in a Multinational Organization
Katie Rosenbusch & Len Cerny
Currently, there is limited research evidence on the cross‐cultural adjustment of expatriate families; therefore, there is a need to develop a better understanding of the impact that family makes on the cross‐cultural transition. This study investigated the impact of the family characteristics ‐ family cohesion and family flexibility‐ on the cross‐cultural adjustment process from the perspective of the expatriate and his/her spouse and child. The findings of this research provide insights to organizations and their HRD professionals as well as to the expatriates and their families on how family flexibility impacts cross-cultural adjustment.

Crossing Sectors for Good Practice: Practical Lessons from International Mission/Aid
Kelly O'Donnell
Go and grow broadly. This presentation looks at the importance of interacting with different sectors on behalf of our international work with staff and their families. How can we take advantage of the wealth of opportunities for connecting and contributing to various international sectors? We’ll share personal stories, key concepts, and practical grids based on the presenter’s 30 years of experience in the humanitarian and mission sectors. Crossing sectors involves three overlapping areas:
• Crossing domains (e.g., health care, human rights)
• Crossing disciplines (e.g., human resource management, organizational management)
• Crossing deserts (e.g., personal challenges in the context of challenging work).

Getting the Most from an International Education: A How To Guide for Parents and HR
Laila Plamondon
Navigating life abroad can be daunting. Faced with tough decisions and life changes, parents often opt for the safest options... However more and more parents want a true global experience for their children; increasingly expensive international schools are just not an option. We’ll explore ways to get the most from every international education, from day-long activities to the ultimate immersion experience of attending a local school. We’ll discuss common dilemmas and long-term pitfalls, and share new strategies and trade secrets to help make the most of every international educational experience.

Through Western Eyes
Lesley Lewis & Betty Eng
Using the Whole Person Development concept along with Personal Experiences, Journal Entries and Narrative Inquiries (storytelling) of forty-five Hong Kong Chinese and ten Mainland Chinese undergraduate students - this presentation will present "cutting edge" findings and solutions to work with TCK's from China. There are many Asian students and adults moving internationally. The session will discuss the approaches to working with Asian Students in a most effective fashion allowing the students to feel they are "being heard" and how as professionals we can be culturally sensitive to their needs using the Whole Person Development approach.

Adjusting to Life in Brookline: A community-based program to help new international families in their adjustment to a new country.
Liliana Busconi, Andrew Miser & Mindy Paulo
People moving to another country are faced with cross-cultural dilemmas, such as lack of understanding of the social norms and rules, challenges to their personal and cultural values, inability to communicate, disruption of family functioning and loss of identity. This session will present a description of a successful free community-based intercultural program developed to support newcomers in the process of adjusting to life in a new community. We will analyze the benefits of a community-based program, present the program curriculum and cross-cultural activities and discuss the possibility of reproducing similar programs in other communities.

The World Bank Family Network, a long success story: a professional volunteer based support network
Maaike Le Grand
Volunteers can play a unique and determining role in welcoming relocating families and easing their transition in their new environment. The World Bank Family Network is a case in point. A group of some seventy spouses of the WBG staff volunteer their time welcoming around 500 families per year and organizing as many as 30 activities per month as well as 9 big events per year. This is done seamlessly and efficiently despite the transient commitment of the volunteers and with the help of only 3 WBG full time staff. What makes this work and what lessons can be drawn for other institutions?

Strengthening Resiliency in Military Children: Insights for Military Parents, Teachers, Counselors, Youth Leaders, Clergy and Other Helping Professionals
Mary Wertsch
All military children face tough challenges: repeated uprootings; caregiver adults who disappear to the combat zone; the delicate daily negotiation of fitting into both military culture and the radically different civilian culture around it. That's just for starters. There can also be the tensions of a blended family; a warrior parent dealing with high stress or trauma; a family member with an addiction. Can anything be done to help military children weather these storms? Yes. This session will teach participants a paradigm for helping military kids find the inner strength to survive and thrive, whatever the emotional weather.

Writing the Story of Your Overseas Experience
Maureen Sullivan Romagnoli
The world is made not of atoms, but of stories. These are the words of the poet Muriel Rukyser. We define our lives and our experiences through the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we tell others. The challenges you have faced and the incredible education you have acquired about living and working overseas is filled with a myriad of stories that need to be set down in some systematic manner. This workshop is the place to start. It will provide you with the questions you need to ask yourself in order to begin to record your story.

Best Practices in International Assignee Cross-cultural Training and Support
Neal Goodman
In this very interactive session we will share and examine the latest best practices that contribute to a successful cross-cultural training program. These include: training methodologies, use of technologies, social networks, and support services which promote the successful integration of international assignees and their families into their new host country and their successful repatriation back home. Attendees will be asked to share their experiences and best practices and a Model of a successful cross-cultural training and support process will be presented and examined. Each participant will be expected to develop a minimum of one action item to implement immediately.

When Friendship Becomes A Weapon, Exploring TCK Relational Aggression in International School Students
Noel Roberts
Relational Aggression is not a new concept but is still understudied in certain settings especially as it relates to TCK’s in the international school environment. Building on David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken’s work, “Third Culture Kids”, this workshop begins to investigate the complex friendships of TCK International students between transitions. We explore how issues of unresolved grief, guardedness, rejection, cultural miscues and unfulfilled expectations in both students and their parents, entangle and fuel TCK relational aggression. The workshop offers solid strategies for caregivers to help them learn how to unravel and disengage from these destructive relationships.

One Woman’s Air Force: Professional Opportunities and Personal Challenges of Women in the Military
Paulette Bethel
Women make up a growing component of the US military, especially in the last decade. Currently, women represent 14% of the US active duty forces and 20% of new military recruits. Current research findings and interviews with military women will be presented through the lens of the presenter's personal experiences to explore and “connect the dots” regarding the benefits and challenges of a military career. Discussion topics will include single parenthood, dual-military marriages; deployment issues; family adjustment issues, including medical and mental health impacts on mothers and their children. Suggestions will be offered for areas where further research is needed.

How Can EAP’s Retool to Address the Global Business Demands and the Familial Need of the Expatriate
Philip Berry & Tom Diamante
As companies and organizations increase their global focus, the value of the expatriate assignment is rising. However, the expatriate, like the domestic employee cannot focus on the job when family concerns are pressing. On the global business stage, the work-life dynamic is complicated by cross-cultural elements and added familial issues. Research indicates that family/cultural adaptation and on-going support is critical to retention of talent overseas. Pre-transition, during assignment and post-transition (repatriation) periods each require focused attention. We will explore the strategic integration of technological, organizational, social and familial elements critical to business success in the context of “transitions” on a global level.

The Resilience Doughnut: A strengths-based model for building resiliency and a route to solutions for the transition issues faced by young people
Stephanie Schwarz
The Resilience Doughnut (created by Lyn Worsley) is a practical, strength-based model for building resilience in young people. It considers how to enhance internal positive beliefs and make use of seven external life factors to develop resilience. This session introduces the model and applies it to a case example. It then explores why, at times of global transition, young people’s resiliency is particularly vulnerable before exploring strategies for parents and schools to help transitioning children remain resilient. Finally, participants will see how the model informs an International School’s “Transition Mentoring Program”, which works with new Elementary students to speed and smooth their transition into school.

ATCK Repatriation Challenges: Counseling Needs and Techniques
Tina Quick & Lois Bushong
Once ATCKs step out of the international, highly mobile third culture, they begin to witness differences between themselves and others who have grown up in more traditional cultures. Counselors, EAP providers and member care directors will benefit from this anecdotal filled session that looks at the issues young adult TCKs struggle with upon repatriation and how they can be helped to navigate the deep waters of adjusting to the new culture of their home country. Stories and video clips will be interspersed with counseling techniques and treatment plans in the therapy office for helping ATCKs cope with grief, identity questions, relationship challenges, belonging, old wounds and other themes.

FIGT is always a great conference: educational sessions plus wonderful networking with a group of people that really do become like 'family'.  I highly recommend the conference (I went in 2007 and 2009) and encourage you to find out more details here.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend!  Andrea


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Women Speakers: We Need You At Conferences!

Hi Everyone, I really liked a recent blog entry from expat marketing coach Stephanie Ward (see our interview with Stephanie on our main Expat Women site here).  Stephanie has kindly given us permission to republish it for you here.  It is a thought-provoking post about the lack of women speakers at conferences and I hope it inspires more of you to nominate yourselves as speakers at conferences.  I am sure many of you would be fabulous!  Andrea

What the Majority of Conferences Have in Common

"I was surprised over a year ago when I counted up the number of female speakers represented by a female owned Dutch speaker’s bureau to find an overwhelming number of men. I just did a recount and discovered that there are five women out of the ninety-one speakers (that’s 5%).

A couple of days ago I checked out the upcoming LeWeb conference 2010 in Paris. There are seventy speakers, eight of whom are women (11 %).

I tweeted about this and got this tweet back from the founder of the conference, Loic Le Meur: “@FireflyCoaching we think those women are worth 5 men each.”

I decided to look at other events to see what I could find. The Sprout Challenger Day that’s coming up in the Netherlands has thirteen speakers, two are women (15%).

Tedx Amsterdam is also coming up. Out of the seventeen presenters, three are women (18%).

Interesting that as I was writing this I saw this quote posted by TedX Amsterdam on Facebook: “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet” – William Gibson.

The 2011 PINC conference to be held in Amsterdam will have two women out of sixteen speakers (13%). Looking back at all of the previous speakers at PINC, out of a total of 169, 29 are women (17%).

At the Mobile Convention Amsterdam, an Event for Mobile Marketing & Business, that was held in April 2010 there were six women speaking out of the total of thirty-six speakers (17%).

At the recent fourth edition of the Picnic event 27 of the 129 speakers were women (21%).

Please don’t shoot the messenger, the numbers are what they are.

These conferences are successful.  Is it possible that could they have a bigger impact, attract more female participants, and provide a more interesting mix of perspectives and experiences if there were more of a balance between men and women speakers?

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely don’t want to see more women speakers for the sake of having more women if they’re not fabulous.  I honestly believe there are bright, talented, thoughtful women whose voices aren’t being heard.

So what’s the problem? Why aren’t there more female speakers at events and conferences?  For one, I’ve heard that there are simply fewer women in tech.  Another reason given is that it’s hard to find great female speakers.

Instead of focusing on why it is that way it is, I’d rather focus on the solution and how we, men and women, can all take action together to change it.

Let’s not fight about, let’s do something about it. Here are some ideas:

1. If you are a fabulous female speaker apply to speak at conferences and sign up at a speaking bureau so you can be found.

2. If you are an organizer of an event think about featuring more women speakers so that there is a balance between the number of male and female speakers.  They are out there, I promise.  And if you get stuck and can’t find anyone, ask me for names. I have a big network, I’m sure I can connect you with many savvy speakers.

3. If you attend events and conferences, tell the organizer that you’d like to see more female speakers.

4. Share this blog post with people you know who would like to help change this situation.

Have you noticed this as well?  Do you have helpful ideas and suggestions?

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