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.
- To prepare ourselves mentally
- To manage our expectations and fears
- To MINIMIZE the transition time
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 :
- Learn the basics about Australia (history, geography, customs, economy, religion, politics)
- Be aware of the do’s and don’ts
- Make an assessment of our ability to adapt to another culture
- 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!