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Survival Kit for Overseas Living, 4th ed.: For Americans Planning to Live and Work Abroad Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey America; 4th edition (March 13, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 185788292X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857882926
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #169,188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Survival Kit For Overseas Living: For Americans Planning To Live And Work Abroad is now in a revised and updated third addition. Fast-paced, practical, offering straightforward information and penetrating insights into the process of cross-cultural adaptation combine with hands-on suggestions for coping with the overseas experience. Readers learn how to avoid stereotypes, how to explore the mysteries of culture, and how values and different ways of thinking influence behavior. Readers are provided with basic strategies for getting to know their hosts, managing culture shock, and developing intercultural communication skills. Readers will find guidelines on how to deal with reverse culture shock when returning home! Survival Kit For Overseas Living provides the tools needed to overcome cultural obstacles and prepare the way for a rewarding and successful experience whether traveling as an individual or a family. -- Midwest Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

L. Robert Kohls is also the author of Learning to Think Korean and coauthor of two other titles, Developing Intercultural Awareness, with John Knight, and Training Know How for Cross-Cultural and Diversity Trainers with Herb Brussow.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 15 customer reviews
It ended up being the most valuable resource I had in my overseas experience.
B. Davis
All in all, it is a great book, and I do highly recommend it not just for overseas work and travel but for day-to-day living within your home country.
Mel DePaoli
No real usable information and written at what seemed like a 6th grade level.
Jan Nolan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Rachael Anconetani on July 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have lived overseas for a year now and this book has been a wonderful help. It clearly and practically explains what it is to be an American and how that effects how others see us. I would recommend this book for every American planning to work or study outside the United States.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on August 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book, first published in 1979, is still timely and useful, though it shows a few signs of age. It's hard to believe that any Americans in the CNN age are quite as ignorant of the world abroad as they were in the 1970s. However, diversity training and exposure to Thai and Mexican cuisine only goes so far to inoculate Americans against their own inherent cultural assumptions. Yes, this is written for people from the United States and addressed to them directly, but it would be useful to any sojourner trying to shake off hometown assumptions and adapt to life abroad. This volume treats every reader as a neophyte, a Dorothy in the Land of Oz. Author L. Robert Kohls offers a useful series of self-tests and questionnaires, psychological and anthropological frameworks, and practical guidance on routine matters. The book, which is engagingly written, with a wry and sometimes ironic touch, also contains useful appendices. We believe that it merits a place in the library of anyone, particularly any American, who is taking an overseas assignment, however brief.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By B. Davis on January 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book was a gift given before my overseas service with the US Peace Corps. It ended up being the most valuable resource I had in my overseas experience. Over the years I've referred back to it (even in moving across the US) to deal with cultural changes.
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27 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book was invaluable in my decision making process to take a position in Germany. The Appendices helped to focus my qestions both those for my future employer and for myself. It provided a needed reality check on the implications of cultural differences and culture shock that I am sure I will feel in the next few weeks.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Zoe Cordillian on June 27, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was wonderfully practical and succint. I think the author did a fine job challenging Americans to consider that other cultures are different, not necessarily wrong.

I purchased this book in preparation for a semester abroad, and though it is targeted more towards Americans staying abroad for a longer period of time, I found all of the information relevant and helpful none-the-less

I have only 2 complaints about this book. First, many of the resources the author refers to are out of print or unavailable. That was a point of frustration because many of the books seemed like excellent resources. Also, unfortunately, this book was published just prior to 9/11, an event which significantly affects American travelers.

Despite these shortcomings, I highly recommend this book for anyone spending significant time abroad!
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16 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Jedidiah Palosaari VINE VOICE on June 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
Survival Kit starts out a bit slow- it is helpful for someone who has done no studying of other cultures, and cross-cultural interactions. Indeed, superbably so- what it means to be American, what other cultures are, how to relate to people. But if you have studied anthropology or sociology or other cultures, you will find the first 2/3rds of the book largely old hat. It's the final third that really gets into some profound detail.

This final third is immensely practical, looking at how to recognize culture shock, how to deal with it, how to respond with love to others around you in your new culture. Kohls presents interesting ideas on how we view the world, as individuals, though I must confess I am still experiencing a great deal of trauma at having to spend an hour to see a particular perspective of a picture he presents. He then provides the cues we can expect within a new culture, even to the point of the likely dual-cyclic time periods of culture shock; how to deal with this as a family; and how to respond to reverse culture shock when you return "home". I plan on looking back to this book at the appropriate time in about 3 months, when I am scheduled to enter my first bout of culture shock.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Missions Mom on December 23, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having lived overseas for extended periods over the past dozen years, I didn't learn as many new things as someone who may not have been there, but the information given is accurate, essential and very important if you are planning a major move or retirement in another country and culture. It is imperative you do your homework and don't just pack up spur of the moment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mel DePaoli on April 30, 2011
Format: Paperback
A friend of mine recommended this book after an overseas trip. Since I have moved a lot and work with companies on their cultures I was interested to see what it was about.

Pros: It is a great place to start and very practical in how it approaches the different topics. Kohls is also amazing talented at saying without saying that we all prejudge-whether you are aware of it or not. He also justifies culture-shock and reverse culture shock in a way that tells you its ok when you feel this, it too will pass. It's part of the process.

Cons: It is very basic. Anyone who has culture training or experience may find the book redundant and elementary. Those who do not, will find it extremely eye-opening. Also, Kohls does a very good job of profiling Americans and how they may be different throughout the country, but he seems to ignore or gloss-over that fact when it comes to other countries. Just because you experience one way/thing in this part of a country, you cant expect to experience the exact same thing in another.

All in all, it is a great book, and I do highly recommend it not just for overseas work and travel but for day-to-day living within your home country. We come across so many differences in people that if you recognize them as 'different' instead of 'right or wrong' it will make your own life much easier.
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