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The Home of Blogs for Culture Vultures

American Graduates Finding Jobs in China

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With unemployment soaring in the USA, students graduating from American universities are more likely than ever to try their hand at gaining employment in Shanghai and Beijing. 

Joshua Arjuna Stephens, a 2007 graduate of Wesleyan University, works in Beijing for XPD Media, which makes online games.

Even those with limited or no knowledge of Chinese are heeding the call. They are lured by China’s surging economy, the challenges of immersing oneself into the Chinese culture, learning a well sought after language and bypassing some of the dues-paying that is common to first jobs in the United States.  Critically, individuals moving to China from the USA, find they have far more spending power due to China's lower living costs. This is a great pull for recent graduates with student debts to repay. 

 

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Cross Culture Kids

I recently attended the 11th annual Families in Global Transition (FIGT) conference – (an idea which was first planned at a kitchen table in Indianapolis). That kitchen table belonged to author and Cross-Culture Kid (CCK) expert, Ruth van Reken. The first conference attracted 80 delegates but this year's boasted over 200.

Almost half were first-timers, drawn from a mix of military, corporate, missionary, education and diplomatic backgrounds. Many were in the business of providing relocation services and support to transitioning families. Many were part of those families.

FIGT is always an uplifting experience and this year, though the conference was in Houston, Texas, it was testament to the global reach of the organisation that each of the plenary sessions included one person living in Europe. The three-day conference also offered more than 40 break-out sessions to choose from.

Child psychologist Doug Ota, who heads up a world-leading transitions programme at the American School of The Hague (ASH), opened the conference with a keynote speech focusing on how grief impacts on the lives of those who roam the globe.

"Grief is a messy, backward and forward process," he explained, as he shared his experience of growing up with a Japanese father and British-origin mother in California. He spoke of his loss of identity; the loss of his colleagues, friends, and even his brother, during the 16 years he has lived in the Netherlands with his Dutch wife.

Read more > Telegraph

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Expats Children Third Culture Kids

Gone are the days when extended families lived within a few miles of each other. Ease of travel and global working have facilited a world in which children are increasingly likely to grow up in countries outside of their parent's passport cultures. These children are known as third culture kids (TCKs).

Not only are the number of third culture kids increasing, but the cultural complexity and relevance of their experience and the adult TCKs (ATCKs) they become, is also growing.

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Expat Life in Malaysia

Christopher Boyd says sitting in your 50th floor office, mobile phone in hand, reading about the problems of tigers eating the local livestock is but one of the many contrasts which makes life in Malaysia a long journey of discovery.



I am a long-term expat in Malaysia, having been here since 1974. My nationality is British, but I have permanent residence in Malaysia. By profession I am a Chartered Surveyor and a partner in Regroup, which is a firm of property valuers and agents. My wife is Malaysian and runs a nursery school.

Malaysia: Malaysia for the expatriate was once regarded as the "poor cousin" ranking well below Hong Kong and Singapore in importance and amenities. Increasingly it is the regional location of choice for foreign companies. Expats seldom have much problem settling in, and many plan to return here in retirement.

It is useful to think of Malaysia as really being three countries - the very cosmopolitan Klang Valley surrounding the capital Kuala Lumpur has every facet of a big city with modern buildings, hotels, parks and traffic jams.

Never very far away is the exotic countryside with its mountain ranges, endless plantations, jungle and coral beaches. Then, across the South China Sea, are the states which make up East Malaysia.

Read more> C. Boyd 

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Movies to help expats settle in Korea

Three Korean films and a cartoon have been translated for immigrant workers and foreigners married to Koreans to help them understand Korean culture.  About 10 immigrants from Southeast Asian countries participated in the translation project to help people settle down in Korea more easily.

Three movies, ``Wolf Daddy,'' ``Stand by Me’’ and ``Walking in the Rainy Day’’ and a cartoon cooking guide were translated into four languages, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Chinese and English. The cartoon contains recipes for various Korean dishes and is already popular among foreign workers.

``My Filipino friends asked me to translate a Korean cartoon and movie into Tagalong and I did the job for almost three months from September last year,’’ said Maria Judids Bublacion, 38. Maria is married to a Korean here. ``It is my pleasure to help them. I hope to get more opportunities to do this kind of job for immigrants here,’’ she added.

Cultural Action (CA), a non-profit civic organization, organized the translation project, which it pursued in cooperation with a cartoon company and the Association of Korea Independent Film & Video funded by the Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs.


Read more > Korea 

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Global Skills for an International Career

As an international careers adviser, I receive questions daily from people of varied backgrounds who hope to try their luck in the global marketplace. Many job seekers mistakenly believe that they can’t begin an international career until their feet are on foreign soil. They overlook their own backyard for resources and training opportunities.


The Most Sought-After Skills

What do international employers really look for in employees and what skills will be needed by professionals to perform successfully in the global marketplace?

A study commissioned by the College Placement Council Foundation surveyed 32 international employers and colleges to determine what international employers seek in prospective employees. They identified the following areas of required knowledge and skills:

Domain knowledge

Colleges in the U.S. are presently preparing their graduates well in domain knowledge, or knowledge in one’s academic discipline, although employers expressed concern that increasingly greater demands and higher standards may soon result in inadequately prepared graduates.

The three most important skills were cognitive skills, social skills, and “personal traits.” Problem-solving ability, decision making, and knowing how to learn are highly prized generic skills. Social skills were described as the ability to work effectively in group settings, particularly with diverse populations. Personal traits mentioned frequently included flexibility, adaptability, and the capacity to be innovative. Employers often mentioned that colleges do not adequately address this type of skill development.

Cross-cultural competence

Students must make a concerted effort to acquire the knowledge, skills, and traits gained through cross-cultural interaction because we are more geographically and linguistically insulated than most other countries. Cross cultural competence training is an essential consideration. 

On-the-job training and prior work experience. Employers seek applicants who have been successful in applying their domain knowledge or academic studies and generic skills in the workplace. They say that colleges do not place sufficient emphasis on work experience.

Read more >> By Debra Peters-Behrens

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Review: Yanks in Blighty

Donna Marsh is a business woman and cultural awareness trainer specialising in many fields. Over her 30 year professional career she has visited more than 140 countries. As a strue globe-trotter this has given her a great insight into the field of intercultural communication, awareness and skills.

Now this experience has translated itself into a new publication entitled "Yanks in Blighty". As the title suggests the book is aimed at Americans moving, working or living in the UK who are looking for a better understanding of their new environment and the natives.

Review:

Having readthe book we are pleased to offer a glowing review and thoroughly recommend it to our readers. The one major factor that sticks out in the book is how much ground is covered in terms of topics. Donna leaves no stones unturned in her examination of what the UK is, where it is and how it is. We are given quick, informative facts on subjects such as the present situation the country is in, the Royal Family, government, the cultural diversity of the population, language, transport, housing, health care and of course the weather. In short this book contains probably everything anyone would ever need when moving to the country.

As well as the fantastic details, the book also offers the reader answers to questions they were probably thinking but most authors never thought to answer. Although it may sound trivial, knowing how a washing machine works, how the rubbish (or should I say trash?) is collected and when the sales start are all little things people really do need to know.

The book wins in a lot of ways due to its focus. As it is targetted at Americans specifically wanting to understand the UK it allows the author the luxury on concentrating on what they want to know and specific areas of concern for Americans (rather than some other nationality).

Excerpt:

"As a rule, the British are likely to overlook or at least keep silent about most social behaviour that they do not approve of. Queue jumping a notable exception."

Where to buy?

You can buy the book by clicking the link below to Amazon or at any decent online bookstore. The ISBN is 978-1-906710-37-8.

If you're American and what to know more about UK culture, then why not couple this book with our great online UK Cultural Awareness eLearning course?  Jam packed with practical advice, tips and strategies, this online course is a must for American professionals working in the UK or with British colleagues. 

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China is top expat destination


The annual Global Relocation Trends report, from  Brookfield Global Relocation Services, reports that China is the top expat destination followed by the U.S., UK, Singapore and Switzerland. 

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Expat Tips - Moving to China

Expat Tips - Moving to China

 

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The Stages of Culture Shock

The Stages of Culture Shock

'Culture shock' is used to describe the emotional rollercoaster that someone experiences when living in a new country. Anyone that has worked and lived in a foreign country will experience culture shock of some sort.

Culture shock affects anyone from business personnel and their families, to EFL teachers to sports stars. Recognising culture shock is an important way of being able to deal with it.

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What's the Date in Saudi Arabia?

What's the Date in Saudi Arabia?

Many expatriates relocating to Saudi Arabia are usually surprised to find that the date in Saudi Arabia is over 500 years behind that of dates in the West.

As we leave 2020 behind it’s only 1442 in Saudi Arabia.

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Being Clueless about UAE Culture Won’t Protect You from Punishment

Being Clueless about UAE Culture Won’t Protect You from Punishment

A survey by the UAE’s security magazine, 999, has shown that most expatriates visiting the UAE are doing so while blind to UAE cultural customs and traditions.

Seven out of ten of the 2,000 expatriates included in the survey claimed to not understand local Emirati culture and traditions.

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Expatriate Guide to Surviving Culture Shock

Expatriate Guide to Surviving Culture Shock

Providing an abundance of new experiences, relationships and opportunities, relocation can be an incredibly exciting opportunity for most relocating expats.

However, relocation is not all fun and excitement.

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British Mum Facing Time in UAE Jail for Social Media Post

British Mum Facing Time in UAE Jail for Social Media Post

Did you know that the UAE has some of the strictest laws governing social media?

Despite its reputation as a global commerce and tourism hotspot, the Arab state has strict laws which on occassion take foreigners by surprise.

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New Expat in the UAE? Everything You Should Know About Ramadan in a Nutshell!

New Expat in the UAE? Everything You Should Know About Ramadan in a Nutshell!

For new expats relocating to the UAE, it’s fair to say that the transformation that takes place during the month of Ramadan can present quite a cultural shock to those who don’t understand it.

Whether you’re in the more conservative area of Sharjah, or, in the more liberal Dubai, Ramadan generally plays out in the same way and the same traditions and practices are observed.

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What Cultural Differences Can You Expect When Moving to Thailand?

What Cultural Differences Can You Expect When Moving to Thailand?

Thailand is a wonderfully hospitable country for those relocating there on expatriate assignments.

If you’re to make the most of your experience in this beautiful country however, it’s essential that you go prepared so that you can build productive relationships with the Thai people and make the best impression possible.

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New eLearning Online Training Course on Doing Business in China

New eLearning Online Training Course on Doing Business in China

We are delighted to announce the release of our latest online cultural awareness training course - on China.

The new addition to our catalogue of online courses offers lots of fantastic insights into Chinese culture, the people and of course, Chinese business practices.

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What Cultural Differences can an American Expat Find When Moving to The Middle East?

What Cultural Differences can an American Expat Find When Moving to The Middle East?

 

The Middle East is as culturally diverse as the USA, which makes it difficult to talk about Middle Eastern culture as something homogenous.

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Culturally Aware Taxi Drivers Ensure Good PR for The UAE

Culturally Aware Taxi Drivers Ensure Good PR for The UAE

If you’ve visited the UAE, then you’ll know that one of the things they do really well (particularly in Dubai), is to create great visitor experiences.

The UAE is known for its beautiful architecture, luxurious hotels, beautiful mosques, cultural landmarks and incredible tourist attractions.

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What are the Most Common Causes of Culture Shock for Expats Moving to the Middle East?

What are the Most Common Causes of Culture Shock for Expats Moving to the Middle East?

Providing relocation training for expats moving to the Middle East means that we get to hear a great deal about people’s experiences in their new home country.

Although moving to the Middle East can be an incredibly positive experience, it goes without saying that adapting to new cultures and ways of doing things can be a challenge.

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