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Keep Your Life, Family and Career Intact While Living Abroad: What every expat needs to know Paperback – September 20, 2013
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About the Author
Cathy Tsang-Feign, PhD, is a psychologist and expert in expatriate and cross-cultural psychology, based on decades of experience working with international executives and diplomats and their families around the world. She has practiced in Los Angeles, Atlanta, London and Hong Kong, and is a consultant for multinational companies. She is a former columnist for American in Britain and the South China Morning Post on psychological advice for expatriates.
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Top customer reviews
"There is a lot of romance associated with living abroad. It is often seen as a life of glamour, of white suits and high tea on palm-shaded verandas, chauffeurs and servants and dinners with diplomats, with no problems in store other than a touch of culture shock." (Foreword)
Culture Shock, Dr. Tsang-Feign says is "better defined as acculturation, [...] a process which can last from six months to more than a year." The process is broken up into four easy-to-understand steps:
Elation - "When first in a foreign country, one finds it quite stimulating that most things are so unlike back home."
Resistance - "Frequent comparisons between home and the host country make everything back home seem so much better."
Transformation - "Individuals feel more familiar with the environment and begin to see the good side of the host country."
Integration - "Cultural barriers are bridged."
Having lived abroad for many years, both as a child and as an adult, I found this theory to be completely accurate. In my experience I have found some countries easier to settle into than others, but the overall process is the same, just slower or faster.
This book is extremely insightful; it explains theories, shows real life examples and offers helpful advice and tips. I certainly wish I'd read it twenty years ago! However, I know that I can dip back in it as and when I need to. The book covers and broad range of topics, such as: 'Problems of Moving', 'Third Culture Kids', 'Stress at Work and Home' and 'All Alone and Far From Home'. I cannot recommend this book more for people living, or thinking about, living abroad.
As an expatriate of 28 years in Hong Kong and Malaysia I can identify closely with many of the pitfalls… especially now that I have returned to Australia where I had reverse culture shock. As I read through I kept on picturing particular people I have known in Asia and how they really do encounter divorce, homesickness, loneliness, profligate spending, having affairs and wallowing in the luxury lifestyle of an expat -- a lifestyle that won’t be available when they return home. This book, well-written and easy to read will make all the difference to people moving to a new country and to those who are returning home after many years abroad.
There is an even greater depth to the book because many of the issues are life issues and apply to anyone, anywhere. Though for the about-to-be or entrenched expat, this book provides the right mix of life tales and professional insights to make it an essential read.
Cathy Tsan-Feign's excellent "Living Abroad: What every expat needs to know" does just that. Using examples inspired by her work as a family therapists, Tsang-Feign prepares readers for all of the potential but rarely discussed pitfalls of packing up your life and moving to a new home abroad for an extended stay.
You won't find any technical jargon or abstract theories in this book. The author uses a simple spare style that's easy to read and understand. She illustrates each point with stories of people who have experienced upsets abroad and how they could better deal with their problems.
The book covers a full range of difficulties expatriates could face, from marriage problems, to work stress, to dealing with an overload of visitors. She guides readers through the process of culture shock and even the unexpected trauma of trying to decide when to move back home. But while the book deals with problems, the tone is always positive and helpful.
"Living Abroad: What every expat needs to know" is the kind of book I would recommend to any friend who is preparing for an extended overseas assignment. It might not prevent all the problems they might face, but it would make those problems easier to deal with.
Keep Your Life, Family and Career Intact While Living Abroad: What every expat needs to know
Most recent customer reviews
trivial matters without going beyond obvious common sense observations.Read more