Search: Culture Shock

by Natalie Arauco You can’t prepare for the culture shock that hits you when visiting your passport country. You go, excited to reconnect with friends and supports, but something feels off. Things are not the same as they used to be. Has the world changed so much while you’ve been away? Or is it you […]

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Third Culture Kids, College, and Culture Shock

by Rachel Pieh Jones on June 18, 2018

This year two of my three Third Culture Kids are graduating. Last year, we went on college tours in Minnesota and Wisconsin. We observed some, um, interesting cultural things. Our observations were specific to the Midwest and our perspective comes from 16 years in the Horn of Africa. But, they just might help you with […]

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By Beth Barthelemy It’s been almost six months since we stepped off the plane and onto South African soil. Six months of glorious new experiences, of meeting new people and trying new foods, of seeing new sights and relishing (mostly) sunny weather… and six months of that dreaded companion known to all cross-cultural workers: culture […]

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Culture Shock: On the Up Curve

by Anisha Hopkinson on September 11, 2016

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Coming up to three years in country and most days are finally ok. It’s been almost a year since I broke out in sobs because I burnt granola, or couldn’t find oats in town, or judged a friend better at everything than I am. Through the free fall from honeymoon into disillusionment and then the […]

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Beyond Culture Shock: Culture Pain, Culture Stripping

by Rachel Pieh Jones on January 4, 2013

Expatriates are told to prepare for Culture Shock and expect to experience it within their first year. But what about after that year? What about after seven years? Nine? Fifteen? What about the frustrations and tears, hurt and stress, internal (or external) cries for ‘home’? What about those days when you will do anything to […]

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The Beast of Culture Shock

by Laura Parker on December 6, 2012

Culture Shock can be a beast. It can be an unexpected, slow drain that leaves you stressed and angry without really knowing why. This culture shock typically hits hardest during the first year of living overseas, but it can creep back in unexpectedly after a furlough or a vacation or even 6 straight hours at […]

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When a Third Culture Kid Goes “Home”

by Editor on April 29, 2018

by Nicole Baldonado Out of place. Emotionally unstable. Awkward. Overwhelmed. These are all common experiences of third culture kids who “go back home.” In other words, they return, or move for the first time, to live in the country listed on their passport. Regardless of citizenship, a third culture kid’s identity and sense of home […]

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Every summer I begin thinking about change and transition, about reentry and culture shock. With the first warm breezes of the season, I am transported to places and times where this was my reality. And I begin to hear stories from others who are going through these transitions. The stories are told in photographs and […]

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Culture Stress, when There’s No Hook to Hang It On

by Craig Thompson on April 22, 2016

When most people open up their closets in the morning, they usually ignore the out-of-style shirts on the edge, the wrong-color sweaters, the too-tight pants. Instead, as much as they can, they grab something that looks right, something that fits right, something that feels right. When you transition between countries, your cultural closets get switched. Your choices become limited, and you often have to put […]

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An Appeal – A Life Overseas

by Marilyn on August 9, 2020

On November 14, 2012 Laura Parker, co-founder of the A Life Overseas blog and community space posted a “Welcome Video” to the site. That was the beginning of what has now become an online community thousands strong. We are a diverse group linguistically, culturally and theologically, but we all agree that taking the step to […]

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Strangers in Covidland

by Editor on June 10, 2020

by Katie Hoffmann Blurry-eyed after 36 hours of flying with kids, we handed over our passports. The customs official returned a hearty, “Welcome Home.”  Those words felt almost digestible as we entered the Seattle International Airport after years overseas working for a Christian non-profit. Although we were grieving all the goodbyes, I felt ready to […]

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The International Traveler in the Domestic Terminal

by Rachel Pieh Jones on February 12, 2020

*a version of this was first published at Babble, in 2014. When you are the international traveler in the domestic terminal, you look and smell really bad. Everyone else has just come from home or one other connection. You left home twenty-five hours ago and have already endured three or four airports. Your kids are […]

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