Intercultural trainer, I need you!

For those who are fans of Columbus Project AND are consulting Facebook on a regular basis, you know by now that I’m going to relocate to Hobart (Australia) in early July.

Distance Belgium Hobart

Belgium – Tasmania :

  • distance 17093 km
  • 8 hours ahead of Europe
  • spring here, autumn there
  • 22-hour flight, 2 stops (one in Abu Dhabi or Dubai and the other in Sydney or Melbourne), in short about 30 hours of travel
  • language: English (great, easy part!)
  • talking in km/h but driving on the wrong side of the road. To name a few of the differences…

My husband and I went there for a week in April to get a feel for the place and to make arrangements for housing, schooling and banking and so forth. The countdown from Belgium has now started and I really feel the need to prepare the transition as a FAMILY (2 boys and 2 girls aged 15, 13 and twins 8).

Guess what? We need Family Intercultural Training! Now. Before leaving.

Why?

  • To prepare ourselves mentally
  • To manage our expectations and fears
  • To MINIMIZE the transition time

Imagine:

The kids will finish school in Belgium on June 30th.  We’ll arrive in Hobart on July 4th in the evening.  A few days later, the kids are supposed to start a new school with new friends, new teachers and in a new language.  In such a short time, they’ll have to deal with jetlag, English, a new home. With such a heavy program, being prepared is key to success.

In an ideal world, we would spend some time NOW with an Australian living in Europe who speaks French or Dutch to :

  1. Learn the basics about Australia (history, geography, customs, economy, religion, politics)
  2. Be aware of the do’s and don’ts
  3. Make an assessment of our ability to adapt to another culture
  4. Have an open discussion about expectations, fears AND tips

Last but not least: as an intercultural trainer myself, there are some parts I could take care of but I doubt it would have the same efficiency.

“No man is a prophet in his own country”.

In the eyes of a teenager, any external party has much more influence than the parents! Does this sound familiar?

Any experience of family intercultural training? Your comments are more than welcome.

P.S. : Many thanks to Catherine for proofreading this post!

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About Columbus Project

Bonjour, I am French. I have lived in Flemish Belgium for 16 years and I am currently relocating to Hobart (Australia). With a solid technical background as a chemical engineer, along with 15 years of commercial experience in various sales functions in a multinational company and with a constant, compelling urge for lifelong learning, I created my own company -- Columbus Project. My focus is on translations and intercultural coaching. My preferred translation fields are marketing and sales brochures, websites, chemistry and water-treatment related topics. Being extremely concerned with climate change and its associated consequences, I am looking to specialize in renewable energy techniques. I am an Internet addict, I love meeting people and I modestly aim at helping to build a better world.
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