The Interchange Institute

Established in 1997, this year we celebrate 19 years focused on understanding and supporting those who live and work across cultures through our training, research and publications.

  The Interchange Institute is a not-for-profit research organization established in 1997 by Dr. Anne P. Copeland. The work of smoothing intercultural transitions has never been so critical. The work of helping others understand us and of coming to understand others is our mission. We conduct research on the process of intercultural transition, produce publications to assist newcomers to the US, design and deliver specialized cross-cultural training workshops, and train and consult to professionals in the field. Read more about The Interchange Institute. The sidebar on the left provides additional navigation for our site.  


What's new? PublicationsTraining Research News



This unique two-day training-of-trainers program is designed for people who are already working with people from other cultures and who want new ideas, new materials and a new level of understanding about how to offer a top-notch cultural orientation.

Schedule for Upcoming Training Sessions May 1-2, 2017 – Washington, DC

September 21-22, 2017 – London, UK (co-sponsored by ACS International Schools)

November 6-7, 2017 – Washington, DC (co-sponsored by English Now!)

Please watch this site for details or contact us to learn of confirmed dates and locations as they are announced.

Click here for details and to register.


“This was the best investment I have made in a very long time. Anne is an excellent, open, knowledgeable and professional trainer who put together and delivered the best professional course I have ever done. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a wealth of knowledge and insights."

Derval Chambers Petit, Life Coach and Trainer – Dublin, October 2016

“After the first day of training, I called my boss and told her this was better than we ever could have hoped for.”

Sean Sutton, Cultural Competency Coordinator, Bromberg & Associates, July 2015

 “I’ve attended many professional development trainings and I can honestly say that I have never received such high quality, well-organized, ready-to-use training materials and tools…As an experienced interculturalist, I left with what I came for – new ideas; more confidence; rejuvenation; and inspiration.”

Christy Herlick Gibson, Executive Coach and Intercultural Trainer, Ambitions Abroad, July 2015

"Crossing Cultures with Competence is a fantastic course! The two-day program was engaging, exciting, and opened up a world of new possibilities for me in my current work and future career. The training techniques and curriculum materials that you walk away with are excellent; it would take any trainer hundreds of hours to develop and test these kinds of materials, and after the course you have them right in your hands and ready to be deployed in your own trainings. The course is great experience and a great value."

Emily Henehan, Travel Program Specialist, Girl Scouts of the USA

Storytelling for Intercultural Reflection

Telling stories about our own lives is an ancient way to convey values, share history, and explore meaning. Join us as we explore the stories behind our values, beliefs and behavior. Turn what you learn into your own intercultural autobiography of understanding, and/or help others to increase their own awareness with the tools you'll learn.

Join us at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (www.intercultural.org) July 12-14, 2017. Or Contact us to join an online Storytelling group.

Also at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (www.intercultural.org):

  • Through the Lens: Designing Cultural Orientations That Make a Difference: Make a new culture come alive for those you support by combining theory with exploration, writing with photography, listening with telling, and individual reflection with multicultural teamwork. Get the tools you need to offer well-grounded, professional, fun and interactive cultural orientations for anyone moving to a new culture – students, employees, co-workers. Break down that training room wall and plan an agenda that ties traditional training with excursions into your city or town, so that participants learn the practical information they need to thrive in their new environments, while practicing their new cultural interpretation skills under your facilitation. Practice structuring team-building activities, using photography as a vehicle, for exploring cultural dynamics.

  • How (and Why) to Live and Work with Someone with Multiple Cultural Identities: There are various routes to having multiple cultural identities – living in a new country as a child (being a TCK); having parents of differing nationalities, races, or faiths; attending [some] international schools; being the child of immigrants; and more. These experiences often force one into being a bystander and careful observer, and into understanding, from an early age, that there is more than one good set of rules for behavior. We will explore the workplace and personal upsides and potential downsides to having this increasingly common identity foundation.

In collaboration with Cultural Crossways, join us for the only train-the-trainer course targeting the unique skills needed to work with international young people, 15-18 years of age, who have enrolled in a U.S. secondary school program. We will cover the key elements required in a strong cross-cultural training and support curriculum, and provide specific tools and techniques to encourage self-reflection and cultural self-awareness.

Contact us for upcoming dates and locations..

Click here for details and to register.

Webinars on Intercultural Matters
We have launched a new series of on-demand online modules on topics of interest to people who live and work with people from other cultures:

a. "Cultural Differences in Communication Style" Anne Copeland gives a brief overview of the kinds of communication styles used around the world, and describes what happens when people misinterpret a communication style difference as a character flaw. Watch it at your convenience, for free. Register and begin watching.

b. "Getting the Conversation Going" In this 32-minute module, produced with Lois Bushong and Tina Quick, we discuss five easy-to-use techniques for helping groups of people who are in intercultural transition begin to talk about their experience. We elaborate on what some of the obstacles to open expression are and how you can address these. And we talk about some of the themes you should listen for. Watch it at your convenience, for free. Register and begin watching.

See all training information.


Reviewed in Cool Tools...Best cultural introduction.

"...mastering the complexity of modern life should be taught and is taught pretty well in Hello! USA. ....America is a nation built on the incoming flow of immigrants. There will be more coming. This is a good tool if you have the occasion to help a new arrival."

Hello! USA, 6th Edition. This classic book has helped over 18,000 newcomers make a smooth and informed entry into the US. The Sixth Edition includes updates of every URL and telephone number, plus pages and pages of brand new material on getting connected on line, registering for school, searching for a home, banking, shopping, cooking, finding medical care and more.


Newcomer's Almanac An 8-page monthly newsletter that is a unique collection of information, advice and cultural interpretation for international newcomers to the United States. Delivered electronically, with your organization’s logo on the front page, for you to distribute to your families. Also includes 4-page English-practice tool.

The Reflection Photos add another layer of communication for the assignees. I'm amazed how much people are touched by them. They open up in a way that sometimes verbal communication can't deliver. In some cases, the images seem to "choose" the assignees and not the other way around. They are fun, allow for deeper conversation while providing a safe container for vulnerability to enter the training room. I specifically like to ask assignees to select two images: one that represents where they are now in relationship to the assignment and another to represent their vision. Then, the dance with the metaphors begins.

Rita Brown, M.A.
Integral Master Coach & Intercultural Trainer

Refection Photos: Facilitating Intercultural Reflection with Visual Images is a collection of 100 photographs you can use to elicit reflection about the process of intercultural transition. Grounded in both theory and research, it was designed initially to help people who have moved from one country to another reflect on their experience, but can also be a powerful tool for those who work in multi-cultural teams and those fac­ing other life transitions. It is an open-ended, free response tool that works well with both adults and children, in any language.

Understanding American Schools, Fifth Edition. The Fifth Edition guides newcomers from around the world through the challenges of understanding the US school system, from pre-school through high school. We’ve checked every URL and updated every statistic using the latest available data from a range of government, international and education agencies. We’ve included the latest numbers (average teacher salaries, average SAT scores, average high school graduation rates, average private school tuition fees). And we’ve included lots of international comparisons, so parents aren’t reading in a vacuum.



Welcome to Boston A Guide for International Newcomers, 15th Edition. As in previous years it has been updated for the most current and accurate information for Boston. It is a reliable, detailed and complete resource.
In Their Own Voice: Intercultural Meaning in Everyday Stories is a collection of stories written by people who have moved to the United States from another country and culture. In the authentic, personal, everyday moments portrayed here and the commentary that accompanies each story, we gain precious access to the thinking and action behind the value differences that reveal themselves at work and in our daily lives. Global Living Magazine named "In Their Own Voice" from The Interchange Institute as one of the five best expat books.



  Being Different


Crossing cultures draws on our ability to be “different” from those around us and still thrive. In our latest research study, we ask whether those who experienced being different as a child (in race, language, family income, religion or any other way) were affected – positively or negatively – as adults while living or working across cultures. Participants’ reflections highlight a surprisingly positive perspective. Participants weclome.

  Close Neighbors: Moving Between the US and Canada


Surprised by the challenges encountered in moves between the US and Canada? Many people are.Our recent study explores the reasons why moves between these “close neighbors” are so surprising. Click here for an Executive Summary.

  What to Wear Where: Mishaps in the Presentation of Identity Across Cultures


Now available - final report, What to Wear Where: Mishaps in the Presentations of Identity Across Cultures. In it, we explore an important mode of non-verbal communication: our physical appearance and the messages we send about our identity, both knowingly and unknowingly, when we get up in the morning, fix our hair, slip on our shoes, pick out our jacket and walk out the door.



See all research information.


Recent and Upcoming Workshops:

  • Storytelling for Intercultural Reflection (Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC)

  • Understanding Intercultural Families: A Systems Perspective (Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC)

  • Working Effectively Across Cultures (Common Hope, Antigua, Guatemala)

  • Third Culture Kids and Their Families (Antigua international School, Guatemala)

  • Working from the Heart: Conscious Capitalism in the Relocation Industry (EuRA, Malta)

  •  Preparing Students to Observe, Reflect and Interpret Cultural Values (Duquesne University in Rome, Italy)

  • Working in a Multicultural Group (for Boston University Medical Center; McLean Hospital;
    Brown Brothers Harriman)

  • Succeeding in a Global Workplace (Harvard Medical School Office for Post-doctoral Fellow)

  • Challenges Facing International Students (MIT, Brandeis)

Interested in similar training for your workgroup? Contact us.

See all news information.

HAVE QUESTIONS? Feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.


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