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Blog

Scan of the brain.
8
Oct

Why Can’t You Read My Mind?

Wouldn’t communicating across cultural divides be easier if we were like the character in Star Trek, Dr. Spock, and had the ability to mind meld and read other’s thoughts? The art of communicating goes well beyond the actual words spoken as is seen in the gap between Individualistic and Collectivist cultures. This gap was difficult …

A small clear ball in a person's hand.
17
Sep

Making the Case for Cross-Cultural Training and Coaching

Success in an overseas work assignment or the ability to drive business performance in others who differ culturally is directly correlated to having higher levels of cultural awareness, whether one has “boots on the ground” or is working virtually. Today we have a radically different world than ten years ago. Today’s marketplace can be defined …

View Singapore
6
Aug

Singapore Turns 50

Singapore is 50 years old! In just 50 years, this city-state has gone from swamp land to skyscrapers, and its booming economic structure has created one of the world’s wealthiest populations. In such a short time, and without having natural resources, Singapore has become a worldwide business center that has brought many expats into the …

Afghanistan
25
Jun

Kids & Culture: Empowered Skateboarders in Afghanistan

The joyous activities that many people experience from recreational sports such as rollerblading and biking are often taken for granted. In Afghanistan, however, there has been a recent emergence of skateboarders, typically females. Afghanistan inhibits a very traditional culture where women often stay within the home. In fact, often, Afghan girls are restricted from participating …

17
Jun

Ramadan Kareem

The world rotates around a variety of calendars: most people follow the Gregorian calendar which is used widely throughout the continents; the Chinese follow their own lunisolar calendar, while Jewish people follow a calendar that shares similarities with the Chinese one. Meanwhile, Muslims follow the Islamic calendar. Within this calendar, a variety of events occur, …

Singapore
11
Jun

Singapore: An Expat Utopia

Singapore is considered by many to be an expat metropolis. Companies from all around the world are sending their employees to Singapore, where four main ethnicities (Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Eurasian) co-exist in tropical tolerance. A large community of foreigners lives and raises their children in the country without fear of crime or even impolite …

20
May

Kids & Culture: End of School Celebrations in Eastern Europe and Russia

As schools across the USA prepare for the summer break, schools in several Eastern European nations and Russia are also celebrating end of year festivities. The end of year celebration is known as последний звонок (posledni svonok) or last bell. Traditionally during this ceremony, boys wear suits or formal attire, while girls wear the traditional school …

Three men on a bench with newspapers.
8
May

Tricks for Mastering a Foreign Language

Most people would agree that one of the most visible elements of culture is language.  Language barriers can be a major hurdle for expats taking on new assignments and for companies working with overseas partners and customers.  In either of these situations, mastery of a common language is often the first thing people notice.  For expats, …

Man looking down a canal.
17
Apr

Personality Traits Critical to Expat Success

  The majority of expats face difficulties in their new surroundings. A recent poll shows that the top three personality traits that lead to successful expat assignments are: flexibility, sense of humor, and resiliency. While some of these characteristics may seem obvious, putting them into practice can be challenging. Flexibility is needed when dealing with …

Boxes wrapped in US and UK flags on a shelf.
1
Apr

Language Differences between British and American English

Culture may seem like a very visual concept, with emphasis often put on clothing, food, or historical landmarks, but culture goes much deeper than this. One way culture breaks through the barrier into the intangible is through language. Because the United States of America and England both speak English, many would assume that the cultures …

Cake with birthday candles.
27
Mar

How Do You Celebrate Birthdays?

When US Americans think of birthday celebrations, images of parties, cake, blowing out candles, and the Happy Birthday song comes to mind. For a baby’s first birthday, some parents will even get the birthday child a smash cake, which the baby with play with, and hopefully eat, smashing it to pieces in the process.  However, …

Table of offerings.
20
Mar

Persian New Year

Persian New Year (Nowruz) is upon us.  Today, March 20th, Persians will celebrate the New Year. Nowruz marks the first day of spring, the equinox, and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar. Nowruz is celebrated by many different ethnic communities and religious backgrounds. Though it is a secular holiday, Zoroastrians hold it …

An array of breakfast food.
13
Mar

Breakfast Around the World

Experts say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Your first meal provides the nutrients and energy needed to start your day and function earlier in the morning. When traveling or moving abroad, it is important to realize that common breakfast foods in your host country may be greatly different than what …

Fancy table.
26
Feb

China’s Newest Status Symbol

A recent article from BBC pointed out one of China’s latest social problems: etiquette. China has become one of the most powerful countries in the world. In a 30 year span, the country has moved from an isolated state to a powerhouse requiring more interaction with other cultures. China has also gained an incredible amount …

19
Feb

Cricket World Cup 2015

Cricket is a widely popular sport mostly associated with the UK and countries that were at some point under British rule.  This year, the Cricket World Cup includes some unlikely teams.  Afghanistan for one, a team made up of Afghanis and Pakistanis, made its debut onto the world stage this year.  While their fight is …

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