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How does childhood experience with being different affect our later lives as expatriates?

04 Apr 2016 10:40 AM | Judy Rickatson

From: The Interchange Institute, March 31, 2016

How does childhood experience with being different affect our later lives as expatriates?  This is the topic of the recently-launched study by The Interchange Institute.

In exploratory work on this topic, we have heard thoughtful examples of how childhood experiences of difference, while maybe difficult at the time, have given strengths and options that wouldn’t have been had otherwise. Differences in religion, race, nationality, economic status, physical or mental health, family constellation and more - people were inclusive in their reflections about their childhoods.

At the same time, participants without such childhood experiences also enumerated strengths and options that they felt came from having been raised as a majority member, with a sense of belonging and acceptance that they could leverage for good.

Both can be true, of course, and that’s the focus of this new study. How do early/childhood experiences affect expatriates’ adults lives?

Please consider taking the on-line survey if you meet the criteria below. And share it as broadly as you can - Facebook, LinkedIn groups, listservs – any way you know to reach this group.

Participation criteria:

- you are 18 years old or older
- you are now living, or have ever lived as an adult, in a country other than your childhood passport country
- have spent a total of at least six months outside your passport as an adult

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. Many people have reported they found it a reflective and useful exercise. Here’s the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KYF2PT9

The Interchange Institute hopes this study will contribute to our broader societal understanding of how we can live effectively and meaningfully with those who are different from us. Thanks for your help.

Anne P. Copeland, PhD

Executive Director, The Interchange Institute



PS If you’re interested in such transitions, please consider joining us for an upcoming Crossing Cultures with Competence training of trainers workshop. Discount available for FIGT members in 2016.

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