A showcase of FIGT Members' written work, focusing on the issues we study, the best practices we share, and the strategies we provide to support expatriates and cross cultural individuals and their families. Contributions are a privilege for Small Business and Corporate membership levels only and you can submit up to 3 posts per year. Please use our online form below to submit a blog for consideration or contact blogeditor@figt.org.

  • 11 Jan 2019 4:59 AM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    FIGT is very pleased to be holding the #FIGT2019 Conference at NIST International School in Bangkok. NIST is a leading International Baccalaureate (IB) school with many previous and existing members of its community brought up within Third Culture Kid (TCK) situations.

    Keen to improve awareness around the opportunities and challenges faced by the globally mobile community,  NIST promotes diverse knowledge-sharing and partnerships. The school is no stranger to hosting big events, such as the imminent Global Goals World Cup – a football festival for the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

    The FIGT Board is very grateful to NIST for their ongoing assistance ahead of the Conference.

  • 05 Jan 2019 10:54 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    In the first post of 2019, we're delighted to welcome one of our Members to the blog, sharing her experience and tips for navigating repatriation successfully. Lindy will be one of the speakers at FIGT's 2019 Conference in Bangkok, so if you haven't already checked out the brilliant lineup of speakers and registered to join us, you can find out more here

    Unless you've moved abroad and experienced the return "home," it's impossible to understand the challenges of repatriation. Re-entry is actually not that unlike moving to a foreign country. But why is going home often so hard?!

    By Lindy Chapman 

    Much of this is due to expectations. When moving to another country, you expect to feel foreign, therefore are somewhat mentally prepared for the inevitable culture shock. It makes sense that leaving friends, family and all things familiar will be challenging.

    And others tend to be sympathetic, giving you time to adjust. In addition, HR and relocation providers are well trained to recognize the challenges, and provide concierge services to facilitate the move long before you arrive as well as throughout the duration of the assignment--anything needed to help a family, especially the relocation spouse, transition successfully.

    Yet when returning home, the (former) expat is often surprised to find themselves a stranger in their own country.

    The expatriate finds the once familiar, unfamiliar. Things missed while living overseas are now overwhelming (like a visit to Costco after the limited choices offered at a local European market). Situations previously handled with ease are now a challenge to navigate (or impossible, such as getting a driver's permit for an 18-year old college student in order to teach them to drive before getting a driver's license--true story:).

    Or the expat may simply miss the daily challenges of life in a foreign country (communicating in a foreign language, driving on the opposite side of the road, stores closed on Sundays, etc).

    But often unlike the concierge service received upon arrival in a foreign land, the expatriate must find their own way with little 'hand-holding' as they choose new schools, navigate the DMV, connect utilities, purchase vehicles, identify service providers, find new friends, and discover the familiar is no longer the 'comfort zone' they remember.

    In addition, there are often numerous extenuating circumstances that contributed to the move back such as the arrival of a new baby, kids leaving for college, health issues, divorce, aging parents or other major life events that create stress under normal circumstances.

    The initial excitement turns to a surprising mix of sadness, alienation, disorientation...and a much slower than ever imagined readjustment to life back home. (And to make it worse, friends and co-workers who watched via social media the expats 'fabulous' international life experiencing the world will offer little sympathy!).

    Finally, unlike the grace period often allowed to adjust to life and work in a new land, the employee and relocation spouse typically feel pressure (real or perceived) to immediately perform at full capacity.

    So it's important to be prepared (knowledge is power!) and understand that repatriation typically ignites a rollercoaster of emotions. From the excitement to return home to family and friends--to a surprising mix of sadness, alienation, disorientation...and a much slower than ever imagined readjustment to life back home that can lead to loneliness, fear, depression, and anxiety if not anticipated.

    8 Tips to Successfully Anticipate and Navigate the Return "Home"

    1. Give yourself permission to adjust--and grieve--it’s part of the process

    Don't try to instantly re-create and continue the life you left. You are no longer that same person! Give yourself permission to say 'no' to job or volunteer opportunities until fully ready. If you were the PTA president at your child's school when you left, wait at least a year before stepping back into a leadership role. You may even discover you no longer have the same passion for things you once enjoyed or felt like were your responsibility. Give yourself time to rediscover who you want to be in this next phase of life!

    2. Find others who understand and give you grace 

    After arriving in Texas, I 'looked' like I belonged so most didn't realize how foreign I felt. Seek out people who have also lived somewhere else, even if simply another state. This is especially true when it comes to your real estate agent. You need someone who takes the time to get to know who you are and can help guide your search for neighborhoods, homes, schools, service providers and finding a place to 'belong.' 

    3. Stay in touch with friends made while abroad

    Create a group text. Write letters (yes, with envelopes and stamps). Plan a reunion. Keeping in touch can serve as a reminder you are not alone!

    4. Join an International Club or InterNations

    If not one, find other expats and start one yourself. It was of the first and best things I did upon arriving in Southlake, TX--a seemingly homogeneous city until you look a little deeper! 

    5. Continue learning 

    One of the great things about moving is the opportunity to learn new skills. Find a cooking, photography, art or language class. Or create a class to teach others skills or passions developed while living abroad.

    6. Don't fall back into old routines

    What did you appreciate about where you lived? Seek to recreate it. I loved hiking in the forests, so was thrilled to find a beautiful wooded path near our Texas home that I walk regularly, especially on days when missing Germany.

    Also, you are not the same person--or family--you were when you left. So take this into consideration before moving into your old neighborhood or buying your next home. (We left for Germany a family of 6, returned a family of 3--fortunately, we took this into consideration and downsized knowing we would rather spend money and time traveling especially as Texas is not 'home' to our kids!).

    7. Find your purpose

    Whether it's pursuing a job or volunteer opportunities, nothing creates gratitude more than service or work that utilizes your strengths and passions.

    8. Protect your marriage / significant relationships

    Recognize you are not the only person struggling with the return home. But unfortunately, divorce is not uncommon after the return home. So it is essential to be proactive and protect your relationship. (If you need a great international resource, check out www.thesignificantmarriage.com--it is faith-based but open for anyone to attend. The weekend provides a 'business plan' for marriage and helps couples find purpose in their stories in order to encourage and serve others).

    If you've returned home, we'd love to hear about your experiences. What were the challenges? What made the return easier? 

    Lindy Chapman became a realtor in Dallas, TX, after numerous moves around the US and internationally. She is passionate about teaching consumers how to successfully navigate the disruption in the real estate industry, educating Realtors on the unique needs of the relocation client, providing career resources and connections for the trailing spouse, and is currently creating a relocation certification for realtors. Find her at www.lindychapman.com.

  • 23 Dec 2018 2:25 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Here at Families in Global Transition, ‘tis the sponsorship season!

    We’re welcoming back returning sponsors and recruiting new ones to help FIGT continue to grow in its mission as a welcoming forum for globally mobile individuals, families, and those working with them across cultures. It is the work of FIGT to promote cross-sector connections for sharing research and developing best practices that support the growth, success and well-being of people crossing cultures around the world.

    Did you know that we’re a highly diverse, inclusive, globally-focused, multi-sector, multi-disciplinary, member-run non-profit directly serving the worldwide mobile/cross-cultural population, and those who support them? Did you also know that we are almost entirely run by volunteers, and rely on membership, sponsorship and conference revenue to thrive?

    Our members, conference attendees, and the broader global community we serve live, work, and study around the world, have previously done so, and/or intend to again. They are individuals, couples, and parents who want to know the latest in topics, trends and research that affect themselves and their families. They come from academia, international schools, global corporations, entrepreneurs, small- or mid-sized businesses, missions, the military, the diplomatic service, international organizations, non-profits, and beyond.

    Many will gather at our annual conference, with its theme of Connect – Lead –Change: Welcoming New Perspectives to Inspire and Support People in Transition, to be held April 26-28, 2019 in Bangkok. All look to FIGT to address these and other relevant issues year round.

    We’re fortunate to have supportive sponsors whose invaluable financial and professional support helps keep FIGT growing and serving our global community throughout the year. Just as we work diligently to identify, invite and include new or missing voices to our community, we welcome new sponsors interested in the same.    

    If you – or someone you know – might be a good match for partnering with FIGT, we encourage you to contact our Sponsorship Chair, Linda Janssen (sponsorship@figt.org), for a no-pressure conversation regarding available opportunities, and the benefits and privileges involved. As we like to say, “Our Sponsors know when it’s the right fit, and so do we.”

  • 11 Dec 2018 6:38 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    As 2018 draws to a close, behind the scenes at FIGT, the Program team is currently putting together what promises to be another fantastic lineup for the FIGT 2019 conference.

    This year, we had well over a hundred proposals, a testament to the growing interest and need to share knowledge and experience for those living in global transition. Every proposal submitted is carefully reviewed by a panel of readers, made up of members of the FIGT community. It is this wonderful group of people that get first look at the voices, topics and presentations that will be shaping the FIGT experience in the coming years, and so we took the opportunity to ask a few of them to share their insights.

    What new themes, topics and trends did you see in the RFP's this year? What was exciting and why?

    Ruth Van Reken, CoFounder of FIGT and Author of Letters Never Sent and “Third Culture Kids, Growing Up Between Worlds.

    When I read the RFPs, I was blown away by the incredible breadth of topics submitted. Compared to our first FIGT when we only offered 4 repeated sessions - one talk for parents, one for ATCKs, one for 'trailing spouses' and then our stunner--'Transition to Indiana' - the breadth and width of the topics globally mobile families face was unbelievable. Even the 'usual topics' such as transition, reentry, raising CCKs, and even global careers came in with fresh looks.

    Linda Janssen, FIGT Board Director (Sponsorship) and Author of The Emotionally Resilient Expat: Engage, Adapt and Thrive Across Cultures

    This is the seventh year I've been part of the Requests For Proposal (RFP) review team, and three points never cease to amaze me: growth, currency, and relevance. The first is how the presentation topics are rarely static or directly repetitive; they continually expand, extend, evolve and build upon research, themes and shared knowledge from previous years. The second is how timely topics are, reflecting what is happening in the broader world around us. The third is the fascinating manner in which those submitting RFPs will take topics and specifically drill down to how they affect, impact, or influence our globally mobile, cross-cultural community, or specific elements within that community.

    Scott Keehn: Former FIGT Board Director and Conference Bookstore Manager for over a decade.

    We've been at this for a number of years, so while many themes have been covered previously, what we did see were some fresh insights into good foundational topics. I was excited to see several good proposals on the theme of developing thriving skills beyond simply surviving.

    Were there any sessions that you personally were pleased to see / interested in and why?

    Stephen Toole, International School Educator

    As an educator, I am very excited about the strong focus on education and counselling throughout the conference. I am looking forward to being able to participate in the discussions that will take place and to learn more about what different schools are doing to help students manage their TCK lives. I am very interested in the work by Ellen Mahoney (former FIGT Board Director and Founder of Sea Change Mentoring) She very engaged with the international school community and I look forward to hearing her speak about the work she is doing and how this applies to our work in helping our students understand who they are.

    Daniela Tomer - Former FIGT Board Director (Programs) and Co-founder of GNW (Global Nomad's World)

    As a Clinical Psychologist I was pleased to see a large amount of presentations addressing the field of mental health for the globally mobile both in research and in practice. I was also pleased to see many new names growing our diversity in terms of background, nationalities, experiences and age. I was personally happy to see many Israeli names, for me it represents the successful inclusion of other expat communities that tend to stay very close do to language barriers. I was happy to see some presentations that are coming out of the expat bubble representing other types of globally mobile lives.

    Ruth: Because my realm has been primarily focused on understanding the story of children who grow up cross-culturally, I was more than delighted to see topics related to Chinese and Korean TCKs, as well as Danau Tanu's proposal to share lessons learned on the Asian TCKs experience learned from her Ph.D work in this topic. I love seeing names of those who have presented stellar and ground breaking (for me, anyway!) sessions in the past to realizing how many new names were on the RFPs and appreciating the new insights they will also offer our community. And I am so delighted to see all the topics relating to schools and education as well.  Wish I could go to every single session I saw in the RFPs!

    Linda: Whether you come to the conference to follow issues around a particular topic, group or cultural aspect OR you're looking for a sampling of the widest array of subject matter, you've come to the right place! The topics address such a diverse spectrum of issues: from depression to joy, stillness to taking action, care for self to care for others, professional to profoundly personal, privilege to giving back - it's all there. It excites me that each attendee can find what they're looking for - or initiate a conversation where they don't.

    The conference is being held in Asia for the first time this year - what encouragement / advice would you give to members of the global community who haven't experienced a FIGT conference before?

    Stephen: COME TO BANGKOK! What a great city it is to visit and take part in this 'coming together of like minded people who travel the globe'. I attended the conference in The Hague last year and it was one of the best conferences that I have been to in my professional career. I enjoyed listening to other people tell their stories of being internationally mobile. It was like being with family!

    Ruth: Many ask what makes FIGT such a unique experience from other conferences they have attended. I believe no other conference offers the same broad, safe space for those from many different backgrounds who live a globally nomadic lifestyle to intermingle and share their stories with the professionals of many disciplines who work with them. Together, we have a chance to consider many aspects of this experience in one place and from many approaches that helps us all to grow and be affirmed in our shared conviction that these matters we discuss are important and relevant for our changing world. This began as a grass-roots movement and while the organization has evolved, at heart it is still a place we affirm each other, care more for growing our understanding than competing for personal or corporate glory.

    Daniela: My best advice is to come and be part of the magic. As someone who was very impressed attending my first FIGT conference I can’t recommend it enough. If this is your area of interest, this is the place to be. The unique combination of content delivered by open minded, knowledgeable generous people is one of a kind. The amount of collaboration, initiations of projects, ideas coming to live is outstanding. So if you want to get a boost of energy accompanied with valuable fresh relevant content and the support of an amazing community this is the place to be!

    Scott: Come with an open mind; be prepared to learn, unlearn and relearn (everything); and get ready to network and connect! As has been stated before about FIGT, we are a recurring family reunion of strangers.

  • 08 Dec 2018 3:34 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    It’s been a few months since we’ve documented #FIGTMembers who have appeared in our newsfeeds but that doesn’t mean they’ve stopped being newsworthy!

    Stephanie Ward, #FIGTMember, hit the news with her association with one of the big names in business books, Seth Godin, featuring in his latest book.  Thanks to #FIGTMember, Amel Derragui for bringing it to our attention!

    It was great to see #FIGTMember Jodi Harris smiling at us from the Savvy Tokyo website where she was interviewed by Kathryn Wortley about her expat experiences, starting her business and her coaching work with trailing spouses.

    We saw through various sources that one of our small business #FIGTMembers ACCESS was nominated for the “The Hague Awards” in the Sucesss category.  Congratulations ACCESS!

    There was a lot of chatter on the newsfeed about the lovely gift from #FIGTMember, Lisa Liang and her gift of a free download of 'Alien Citizen: An Earth Odyssey' to our newsletter subscribers.   It was described by one twitter reviewer as 'a poignant transcultural voyage.'  If you missed the deadline, it's still available to rent.

    ‘A Great Move’ the book by #FIGTMember Katia Vlachos has shone yet again, featuring in ‘The New York Review of Books’ and in the Manhattan Book Review.  Well done Katia! 

    And while we're talking books, #FIGTMember Lisa Ferland submitted the cover of 'Knocked Up Abroad' to the September Book Cover Design Awards. This site is all about the feedback and as you will see Lisa received some excellent feedback -unlike the cover featured below hers!

    We were excited to see the launch of Sea Change Mentoring and Globally Grounded’s independent research project into transitions support at international schools being shared many times across twitter, Linkedin and Facebook.  An excellent initiative by #FIGTMembers Ellen Mahoney and Jane Barron.  If you haven’t completed the research you can do so here.

    And more research in the newsfeed – this time from #FIGTMember Tanya Crossman who is looking for Adult TCKs aged 20 -50 to complete her survey here. A recent blog she shared on twitter about TCKs being misunderstood touched hearts, with retweets, likes and comments.

    There were also many likes, hearts, retweets and shares for #FIGTMember Sundae Schneider-Bean, as she celebrated the 100th episode of her podcast the Expat Happy Hour.  Well done Sundae that is truly a milestone to be celebrated! 

    We want to congratulate #FIGTMember Michael Pollock.  We heard via twitter that he will begin a new job in January as Executive Director of Interaction International.  Wishing you a smooth transition Michael!

    We’ve started to see #FIGTMembers sharing the excitement of learning they will be presenting at #FIGT2019 Conference in Bangkok –but more of that next month!

    And if you are an #FIGTMember and want us to share your news – let us know about it!

  • 07 Dec 2018 2:14 AM | Deborah Valentine

    Membership has some new functionality options for you, which we would encourage you to explore, update and make a note of.

    The first - more fun than anything else - is a world map, mapping out where our members are. Fun for our members to explore, useful for those visually inclined and hopefully an extra support for those looking for local connections, especially with our members offering their services, expertise and more - on a local level. Whether you are a member or not - do take a moment to explore FIGT’s world. Personally, I have fun with the ‘satellite’ viewing option. :)

    On a more serious level though, we have made a few additions to our Member’s profiles, those public as well as within the members only section. To date, only our publicly listed members (small businesses, non-profits, organisational and corporate) were able to include a reference to their area of Focus & Expertise. For our individual, student members we have now activated this option for you to include your area of interest/research. Updating your profiles enhances the chances of being found - as the words used there are also captured by the ‘search’ function on the website. So, please, do take a moment to refresh your profiles - update and include your areas of focus, expertise, interests or research.

    While you logged in why not also add your social media profiles? This functionality has been added and activated as well recently. Again, enhancing not only your own visibility, but also the opportunities to connect with fellow members, and those looking for you.

    Not sure how to update your profile? Take a look at this simple instruction sheet for assistance. Maybe this could be one of those New Year’s Resolutions (if you make them) which can be done BEFORE the new year, which means, you can give this one a big check mark for being DONE. :)

  • 04 Dec 2018 1:19 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    Families in Global Transition is thrilled to announce our new Platinum Sponsor, hailing from our upcoming conference city, Bangkok Mothers and Babies International (BAMBI).

    BAMBI, a longstanding special project of the not-for-profit Childbirth and Breastfeeding Foundation of Thailand, is in its 37th year of providing support and friendship through the common bond of parenthood. In terms of impact, BAMBI “provides a soft landing for young families new to Bangkok,” and then helps support them as they grow and thrive.

    How FIGT came to learn about BAMBI, and how BAMBI has since become a Platinum Sponsor, is itself a story of global connections, the unceasing desire to support causes near and dear to one’s heart, and an interest in making the absolute most of resources to benefit all involved.

    Earlier this year, a longtime FIGT supporter approached us with the generous desire of making a sizeable donation to help FIGT continue to grow in its mission as a welcoming forum for globally mobile individuals, families, and those working with them across cultures.

    Eager to maximize the impact of this gift, our donor – who wishes to remain anonymous – mentioned BAMBI, and the great work they’ve been doing over the years providing an extensive range of services targeted at parents and young families in Bangkok.

    From the humble beginnings of the Bumps and Babies program, a support group for pregnant expats in Bangkok, these services have grown to include support for expectant and new parents, baby activities, playgroups, after school activities, seasonal parties, me-time for mums, cultural events, and support for local charitable projects supporting young families in Thailand. BAMBI also coordinates and promotes a wide variety of external community support groups, including in the areas of Breast Cancer, Learning Disabilities, Lone Parenting, Adoption, and Fertility.

    Further discussions among the three parties led to our donor graciously contributing the Platinum Sponsorship fee for BAMBI, benefiting both BAMBI and FIGT at the same time. Talk about a growth mindset resulting in win-win-win results!

    The theme of FIGT’s conference in April is Connect – Lead –Change: Welcoming New Perspectives to Inspire and Support People in Transition. Having learned about BAMBI’s impressive work these many years in Bangkok, they certainly are at the forefront of connecting, leading and helping their members enact change, and definitely celebrate and support families in cross-cultural transition.

    FIGT is fortunate to have supportive sponsors such as BAMBI (and our anonymous donor), whose invaluable financial and professional support helps keep FIGT growing and serving our global community year round.

  • 29 Nov 2018 9:07 PM | Anonymous

    As many of you who support Families in Global Transition will know, October and November are periods of huge transition, both for the organization’s Board of Directors, but also for the Board Members moving into their new roles.

    Last month, we had the privilege of saying a fond farewell to our dedicated outgoing Board, and this month we get to welcome the equally talented incoming Directors.

    Joining our current Board Members -  Rita Rosenback, Todd Cress, Trisha Carter, Kate Berger, Kyoung Mi Choi, Linda Janssen, Jody Tangredi and Deborah Valentine - we are delighted to add Dawn Bryan, Valérie Besanceney, Vivian Chiona, Anne Lessle, Megan Norton and Ginny Philps.

    So what inspired these great people to take on the task of navigating FIGT’s onward journey, and what do they hope to get out of their deeper involvement? Wonder no more, because we asked them - and here are their answers!

    Affiliate Director

    One person who is truly able to understand the benefits of the FIGT Affiliates is Vivian Chiona. She is already a Co-Chair for both the Netherlands and the Greece Affiliate, and is looking forward to “building our network of affiliates and to take our efforts at FIGT to the next level, as well as to develop greater awareness of the important work we do here for the international community."

    As someone who is passionate about bringing FIGT to local communities, Vivian’s personal motivation is clear. “Knowing that I am giving back and contributing all I can to the international community, I feel a great sense of satisfaction working with an organization like FIGT, whose values are very much in line with my own.”

    Communications Co-Directors

    We are delighted to benefit from the combined expertise of Ginny Philps and Anne Lesslehttps://www.figt.org/Anne-Lessle, who will be Co-Chairing the Communications Team. While Anne is managing her own global transition, Ginny notes that she is:

    most looking forward to building on the amazing work that FIGT members have done before me. I am also keen to respond to the call made by Ruth van Reken to 'widen the tent' and  see who is 'not at the table' ...helping ensure that FIGT is widely appreciated for the great community that it is. On a personal note, I’m hoping to add value across the Communications sphere through utilising my relevant corporate, NGO and international school experience.”

    Nominations Director

    As a previous conference Speaker and Panel Moderator, Megan Norton brings a wealth of experience and a great enthusiasm to her role as Nominations Chair. That is reflected in her commitment to

    “advocating for an expanded perspective, drive, and reach to continue conversations surrounding diversity, equity, privilege, CCK/TCK identity, transnational mobility, culture, and faith. We are a community of thought-leaders, game changers, and curious minds that lead these challenging and intersecting conversations in our ever increasingly interconnected and intercultural world. On a personal level, I would love to see young adult CCK/TCKs to find their sense of belonging both professionally and personally in this community.”

    Program Director

    Valérie Besanceney was an integral part of the Program team for last year’s 20th Anniversary Conference, and so has a first hand understanding of the impact of her role.

    “It is a tremendous honor to replace Daniela Tomer in the role of Program Chair. For the past two years, I have really enjoyed seeing the program come to life, together with the rest of the program committee. Being able to experience this process now as a member of the Board adds a whole new dimension. On a personal level, I am looking forward to becoming even more connected to others who share a passion for helping others thrive through transitions. It’s been intensely rewarding to have been part of this community for the last five years, and I cannot even imagine life without FIGT in it. The connections with others is where I find myself at home at FIGT.


    Our final words go to Dawn Bryan, our talented incoming President, who captures the spirit of community, commitment and the shared values of everyone involved in Families in Global Transition. She reminds us what we can achieve when we come together...

    “I'm really excited to see the 2019 conference come together. I've only been on the board just over a month but I'm already thoroughly enjoying watching a team of volunteers pull together to make this conference happen. It's pretty extraordinary! I love being around so many dynamic, like-minded people who see the world through a global lens. I'm also looking forward to having a front row seat on all that's happening in FIGT!”

  • 20 Nov 2018 2:59 PM | FIGT Blog Editor (Administrator)

    FIGT is fortunate to have supportive sponsors. This is the sixth of a short series of articles highlighting those whose invaluable financial and professional support has helped keep FIGT growing this year.

    Introducing 2018 Conference Silver Sponsor American Psychologist.nl

    Another first-time FIGT sponsor in 2018 is American Psychologist.nl, owned by Mark Burdick. A graduate school of The American School in Lugano, Switzerland and an educational consultant and psychologist with multiple degrees and licenses recognized in the US, UK and EU, Mark has dedicated his life to developing a global practice helping individuals and their families find the right education and treatment programs addressing mental health and other challenges.

    Services include program referral tailored to each client; sobriety services; assessments and interventions; parent sessions and classes; and aftercare support upon program/school completion.

    He has spent the past forty years traveling extensively, helping families and investigating schools and programs worldwide. Given that both his clients and the best solution recommendations for them may be located around the world, Mark recognizes a natural affiliation with Families in Global Transition. In fact, it is what attracted him to sponsor FIGT.

    “FIGT is a community appreciative of the novel and creative outcomes provided by living outside of one’s familiar territory.”

    When asked what it is about his and his small number of trusted associates’ services he would most like the FIGT community to be aware of, he didn’t hesitate.

    “We are practitioners who are licensed to do our testing, counseling, and placement. We can provide an ‘insurance friendly’ invoicing across the United States, United Kingdom, European Union countries and others. We are all Third Culture Grown Ups ourselves.” Later, he expanded on this answer, noting that their services are “ethical, non-harming, moving family forwarded, and successful.”

    Mark spent significant time in The Hague at FIGT2018 conversing with attendees, listening, asking questions, reassuring, helping. If you’ve met him, it’s no surprise that, when asked the value of attending the annual conference, he joked about having “a day off” and loving “the photo bombs with others.” Then, quickly becoming serious, he added, “Truly, it is about unity in purpose.”

    Mark is also the founder of Burdick Psychological & Placement Services. 

  • 13 Nov 2018 12:06 PM | Deborah Valentine

    Those familiar with FIGT and past conferences will know, this is the time of year our AMAZING Program team is busy reviewing the proposals to speak, reaching out to speakers and finalising the content for our next Conference. As you will have also read in past newsletters, there were an outstanding number of submissions received. This makes the work of the Program committee more intense but it ALSO means there will be much in store for us - conference attendees and the FIGT community at Bangkok FIGT2019.

    As we await, in anticipation, perhaps this is a good moment to reflect on what we have, in the past, covered, discussed, shared and learnt from past conferences. Now available, for all to review, an summarised overview of FIGT2016, FIGT2017 and FIGT2018. Of course, our members can read and explore further, and have access to many presentations which were made. But, even if you are not yet a member, you will certainly get an impression of FIGT conferences - and perhaps this will encourage you to join, consider attending or simply, provide you with some insights.

    To remind you of past conference themes:

    At FIGT2016, in Amsterdam - the first conference outside of the USofA - we explored “Bringing Empathy and Expertise to the Evolving Global Family”

    At FIGT2017, in The Hague - we discussed “Building on the Basics: Creating Your Tribe on the Move”

    At FIGT2018, in The Hague - we celebrated FIGT’s 20th Anniversary by exploring “Diverse voices celebrating the past, present, and future of globally mobile lives”

    To whet your appetite, a reminder of what we will be covering at FIGT2019, in Bangkok: “Connect. Lead. Change. Welcoming new perspectives to inspire and support people in transition”

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