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The expat re-entry program

Returning home after an extended stay abroad is no simple task. The fact that expats and their families have been away from their home environment for an extended period presents two distinct challenges:
What was “home” has changed in ways that can not be perceived by others and they have changed from their former selves, pre-assignment.
 It is necessary to be aware of these two dynamics and to take active, concrete steps in order to reintegrate socially and to work effectively in a different environment.

These skills can be learned in the Expat Re-entry Program.

The situation
The economic crisis has led to dramatic cut offs in the number of personnel. Often, the first to go are the highly paid, which usually means internationals or expats. These valuable employees with specialised skills were offered attractive compensation packages in order to relocate. This expense is often perceived, rightly or wrongly, as a disproportionate burden, relative to ROI, on the company’s bottom line.

The resulting situation is that expats are being terminated from their positions. Many of them return to their home country and face tremendous unexpected problems while readjusting to the general and work environments. Often, neither the company nor the repatriates understand the challenges of the re-entry transition. In fact, coming home is not only understood to be one of the biggest challenges of the international transition cycle, but can also be much more difficult than moving abroad. However, research indicates that individuals who are prepared for repatriation do not experience the negative aspects of re-entry (such as psychological stress and anxiety) to the same extent as those individuals who come back unprepared. Bottom line: it pays to prepare.

Who is this for?
 Expats in the Netherlands on assignment who will be returning to their home country within six months (< end of 2010)
 Families of expats
 HR personnel who work with expats
 Training and development bureaus, education institutes and other institutes who have expats as clients.

Objectives
Participants have the opportunity to:
 Be informed about the challenges and opportunities they can expect to encounter and appropriate solutions to potential difficulties.
 Receive insights into the concept of cultural determination.
 Learn about themselves; how to appreciate and profile themselves for who they are and the value they can offer.
 Learn how to communicate the newly acquired skills, knowledge and identity to their colleagues, friends and family members.
 Understand the differences in perception with their country - media versus reality.

If possible, recent arrivals from their country are invited to give a fresh perspective on what to expect.

Content
The training programs will contain the following elements:
 Awareness
Reflection on cultural expectations and perceptions of behaviour.
 Application
Translation of findings to dealing with international clients.
 Practice
Role-play typical encounters with home-country compatriots.
 Reflection
Developing strategies for sustainable reentry.

Potential topics
 Entrepreneurship
 Self-empowerment
 Social media
 Long-distance networking: how to maintain contact with the “home front”
 Social and cross-cultural readjustment
 Kids re-entry
 Communication strategies

Methods
The training is based on a solid theoretical framework regarding learning, adaptation and cultural understanding. However, the training itself is anything but theoretical; we work with individuals and teams to go beyond perceptions and patterns of behaviour.

Analysing our needs determines the appropriate tools for the training program. These will range from cases and role-plays to video simulations and inside advice from real internationals in the target group. In lively, interactive sessions, we will help participants not only to see the need to change the way they interact, but also how to achieve it.

Participants will be stimulated to find creative alternatives to familiar, sometimes well-trodden paths. Once participants have identified the recurring patterns, they can learn to avoid the pitfalls and turn interpersonal situations to their own advantage. 

Details
 Date: Thursday, September 30, 2010
 Time: 9am to 5pm
 Location: Amsterdam Bright City, Claude Debussylaan 2-8, 1082 MD Amsterdam
 Costs: 275 euros per person (15 percent discount for multiple attendees from one company, referrals, members Amsterdam Bright City) 

You can register here

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