The Interchange Institute

Established in 1997, this year we celebrate 23 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.  
PublicationsTraining & Workshops Research News


Join us and other interculturalists from around the world for a free bi-weekly online Culture Chat.

Click here for details.

Crossing Cultures with Competence

This unique 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.

We are pleased to announce that we will offer this workshop in an online format during the coronavirus emergency. New format, same top-notch training. Click here for schedule and details.

We will be offering in-person workshops as soon as possible, consistent with the recommendations from the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding travel and meeting group sizes.

Please contact us and let us know of your interest in on-line or in-person offerings.

Click here for details and to register.

"I am grateful for the wealth of knowledge and host of materials that I was able to walk away with. This was the best investment I have made in myself and my future career in intercultural training." Natalie Otoo, Intercultural Trainer


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, 7th Edition. This classic book has helped tens of thousands of newcomers make a smooth and informed entry into the US. The Seventh Edition includes updates of every URL and telephone number, plus current advice about local transportation options, getting connected on line, registering for school, searching for a home, banking, shopping, cooking, finding medical care and more.
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.
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, 19th Edition. As in previous years this handy guide has been updated with the most current and accurate information for Boston. It is a reliable, detailed and complete resource. Now available in both hard copy and electronic format.



  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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