The US as Others See Us
It is relatively easy to understand how the problems of US culture - materialism and violence, for example - are viewed from the outside. But what about those aspects of US culture that we hold dear? Are they universally embraced? In this session, Dr. Copeland examines how people from outside the US view those values that Americans are proud of. How does "rugged individualism" look to a person from a culture built on valuing group loyalty? Why does American-style friendliness feel like intrusiveness to some? How do Americans come to be so optimistic about their ability to control the future, and how does this optimism affect expatriates' adjustment? What is the "honest" thing to do (and why are Americans' answers to this question so different from those from other cultures)?
Explaining American Schools to Newcomers
Low math scores and Columbine. That's what makes international news about American schools. So those of us who work with newcomers to this country have a lot of explaining to do. In this session, Dr. Copeland reviews five features of the US American school system that newcomers should understand: (a) an expectation for parental involvement, (b) the decentralization of school funding and decision making, (c) the high university enrollment rate and its impact on how K-12 teachers teach, (d) late specialization demands, and (e) the values American teachers are trying to teach. International data comparisons and short essays written by newcomers to the US illustrate these points. This session can be designed for professionals whose job is to explain these features to international newcomer, or for international newcomers themselves.
Parenting in the US
In some ways parents moving to a new country have an easier time than people without children, as their offspring provide them with a natural and interesting entrée into American culture. But there are challenges too. They must cope with a different school system, differing parenting values, and different legal requirements about their responsibilities. In this session, Dr. Copeland reviews these challenges and engages the audience in a discussion of how to meet them.
10 Moments that Made a Nation
A brief historical overview of ten moments in American history will give attendees an understanding of the historic roots to such American social issues as gun control, states' rights, and such American values as effort optimism, friendliness, and individualism.
Why It's Hard to Move to a New Country
Some answers to this question are obvious - language problems, daily living challenges, culture shock. But is that all? Hardly. In this session, Dr. Copeland brings her expertise as a clinical psychologist to go beneath the surface to examine what happens within families, couples, and in individual lives when they move internationally. She will review common family and couple reactions, and discuss practical steps people can take to make their transitions smooth and productive.
Rachel and Robert sit perched at their computer monitors, right fingers on the left mouse keys. Both are successful software engineers in young multinational firms. Both are married and have young children. And both know that to do well in their companies, a global assignment is a must. So both are about to click "Submit" and enter their names into the pool of candidates interested in an international assignment. Rachel and Robert's paths may sound similar. But from the moment they click that key, their international experiences are likely to be very different, in three ways: (1) how their colleagues and customers treat them, (2) the roles they play within their families, and (3) their personal and social styles. In this session, Dr. Copeland reviews these differences, and discusses action steps women can take to get and stay on a global career path.
What Corporations and Spouses Can Do to Maximize the Success of International Assignments
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Our internationally-recognized study of expatriate accompanying spouses led to dozens of practical recommendations for corporations and spouses. Hear about the findings and how they apply to your organization's challenges. New data from spouses living in the US are now available.