Research

Research on the process of moving to and living in a new culture is one of the central activities of The Interchange Institute. We use our findings as the basis for all our other activities. Our publications, training, consulting and writing are all based on the latest, cutting-edge research on intercultural transition and adjustment. 

See a summary of our recent work below or contact us to start work on a  collaborative research project

Download our free research reports:

Building and Nurturing Your Intercultural Career

Interculturalists do many different kinds of work, in many different cultures and countries and organizations, each with its own set of norms, entry requirements and expectations. Most interculturalists have had careers outside the intercultural field, developing skills and gathering a wide range of credentials along the way. No wonder there is no internationally-agreed on set of professional criteria. Newcomers to the field have little guidance about how to get started, how to assess the relevance of their other credentials, how to build their business and how to know when they are ready to offer their services. Few have a mentor to help them. We set out to offer them some guideposts.

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Many Women Many Voices

A study of 194 women who moved to a new country primarily because of their husbands’ jobs – what helped and what hurt their changes of adjusting smoothly to their new lives.

Many Expatriates Many Voices

A study of 101 accompanying spouses and partners who had recently moved to the US because of their spouse/partners' job, focusing on their reactions to Americans, what made a difference in their adjustment, and which services helped smooth their way.

What to Wear Where: Mishaps in the Presentation of Identity

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.

Voices from the Road: The Personal and Family Side of Short-Term International Assignments and Extended Business Travel: Spouses’ Perspective

In Phase II of the study we surveyed spouses of employees on such unaccompanied assignments, asking for their perspective on the assignment. What is it like for the family to stay at home? What jobs, roles and stresses does the at-home parent need to absorb? If he’s not there to talk to, confide in, offer advice or solace, have fun with, what’s she to do? How do families cope with the revolving exits and entrances of the employee? Just when they’ve gotten used to his being gone, he’s home for a visit. Do they return to their old pattern of decision-making, or having gotten used to managing on her own, does she resent his “interference?” In short, are short-term assignments good for marriages, or even “OK” for marriages? And the children? How absent can a parent be and still maintain a loving and supportive connection to a child? What kinds of parenting can – and can’t – be offered by telephone and email? What events (like school plays, graduations, and games) are so important they can’t be missed, and do the parents and children agree on the answer to this question?

Voices from the Road: The Personal and Family Side of Short-Term International Assignments and Extended Business Travel: Employees’ Perspective

In Phase I of this study we surveyed 1461 employees on unaccompanied short-term international assignments and extended business travel. We measured and compared aspects of both the work and family context of the assignment, and work and family outcomes. Results led to recommendations for families and sponsoring organizations. 

At Home Abroad: How Design and Architecture Influence Overseas Living

A look at the importance of home environments on overseas living. We examined the relationship between housing layout and expatriate adjustment among 130 participants, who shared their experiences of choosing and settling into a home in a new country, and their thoughts about how their new home’s design influences their cultural and family experience living overseas.

Nicholas Dunn

Community Curator

Nicholas Dunn is an independent consultant and trainer who helps diverse teams thrive by building intercultural competence and cohesion. As the Community Curator for The Interchange Institute (TII), Nicholas grows and supports a vibrant community of interculturalists. He helps members of the Culture Chat, Interculturalist Circle, and Crossing Cultures with Competence Alumni groups connect, network, share best practices, and thrive in their intercultural careers, as well as guides the direction of TII to meet the needs of the community.

Nicholas began his own intercultural career as a Peace Corps Volunteer in western China, where he and his wife helped train future middle school English teachers. When he wasn’t teaching, practicing Mandarin, and travelling, he helped coordinate the English library, movie nights, teacher trainings, and more. 

Originally from the panhandle of Florida, Nicholas studied history at the University of Florida. He has a background in customer service in a number of retail roles, including coffee shop management. He also recruited, trained, and worked alongside volunteers for three years at a small non-profit in Gainesville, Florida.

In his eight years at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign International Student and Scholar Services office, he not only advised international students, but assessed, trained, and coached intercultural mindsets and skills for thousands of faculty, staff, and student leaders. In the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, he provided intercultural mentoring and assessment support for students in the Global Leaders Program and co-led their short-term education abroad program in Medellín, Colombia. 

Dr. Tasha Arnold is an experienced leader and researcher in the field of education specializing in cross-cultural training, transition support, and program development for schools, universities, and global teams. She co-founded The Academic Achievement Bureau where she worked with international schools and universities conducting research on their organization and providing services to aid intercultural understanding, transition adjustment, and student achievement. She is currently the Executive Director of The Interchange Institute, a NEASC and CIS school accreditor, and serves on the board of The Namibia Project.  

Sample Questions:

  • I’m interested in working with international schools, universities, NGO’s, and not-for-profit organizations – How should I get started and who do I contact?
  • How do I promote and market my services as an intercultural trainer?
  • What are some tips and tricks for working with multicultural and global teams?
  • How do I write a proposal that stands out from the competition?

Terri McGinnis, M.S.

Senior Trainer​

Terri is an independent cross-cultural trainer specializing in helping families moving overseas, assisting those coming from overseas to live and work in the U.S., and providing group business briefings on China, Brazil and USA. Terri has worked with large automotive companies, automotive suppliers, oil companies, national office supply and furniture companies, the construction industry, electronic companies, IT companies, chemical companies, not to mention many other national and international companies.

A well-read and traveled individual, Terri has lived in and navigated different cultures successfully. Ms. McGinnis lived with her family as an expatriate in Beijing, China. In China, she conducted cross-cultural training programs, studied Mandarin, worked for the International School of Beijing providing classes to their staff, and provided Pilates training to individuals in the expatriate community of Beijing.

In addition to her overseas experience in China, Ms. McGinnis also lived with her family as an expatriate in Brazil for three years where she studied Portuguese. In addition to her language studies, she worked for Fiske School teaching English as a second language to Brazilian nationals. While in Brazil, the International School of Curitiba engaged her services for curriculum and staff development.

Prior to her international assignments, Ms. McGinnis was a high school teacher teaching vocational business skills. She also has eight years of experience in the automotive industry working in various HR positions.

Ms. McGinnis graduated with a Master of Science degree in Instructional Technology and a Bachelor of Science degree in Education.

Her experiences in Brazil and China have taught her to appreciate the world’s diversity and to cross cultures successfully. Her hobbies are reading, sea kayaking, paddle boarding and travel. She has two daughters attending university. She actively volunteers for her a local national club swim team.

Tasha Arnold, Ed.D.

Executive Director

Dr. Tasha Arnold is an experienced leader and researcher in the field of education specializing in cross-cultural training and development for schools, universities, and multicultural teams. As the Executive Director of The Interchange Institute (TII), Tasha is responsible for overseeing the administration, programs and strategic plan of TII, while also serving as an evaluator for the Intercultural Training Expertise Certification (ITEC) Board and being actively involved in the training of emerging and experienced interculturalists through the Crossing Cultures with Competence Train the Trainer program.

Tasha is a certified teacher and principal/head of school and accredits schools worldwide with the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and Council for International Schools.

Prior to her work at the Interchange Institute, Tasha held positions in both public and private schools and co-founded The Academic Achievement Bureau where she worked with international schools and universities conducting research on their organization and provided services to aid intercultural understanding, transition adjustment, and student and staff well-being.

Tasha has directed several research studies in the UK and Qatar on educators’ experiences and perceived needs with regards to transition at their international school in order to improve the transition experience for educators, students and families in these cultural contexts. These findings have helped her to develop and deliver school-wide transition and intercultural development programs.

Originally from the USA, Tasha relocated in 2011 to the UK and currently resides with her husband near London. She serves on the board of The Namibia Project Charity.

Anne P. Copeland, Ph.D.

Founder of The Interchange Institute

Dr. Copeland is a clinical psychologist with expertise in family and cultural transition. During her tenure as Executive Director of The Interchange Institute, she provided cross-cultural training for individuals and families moving to and from the United States. She also trained almost 500 interculturalists around the world to deliver tailored, individualized cross-cultural orientation programs through the Crossing Cultures with Competence program that she developed.

Dr. Copeland has written several books on families and transition (Studying Families, Sage 1991, Separating Together 1997, and In Their Own Voice 2011), and has authored over 90 research articles, chapters, and professional presentations.

Prior to founding The Interchange Institute in 1997, Dr. Copeland was Associate Professor of Psychology at Boston University, where she conducted research and research supervision in psychological aspects of family process assessment, ethnicity, cultural influences, immigration, development, developmental disabilities and affective development. During her tenure at the University, she relocated with her family to work in London in 1988, where she was the academic advisor for Boston University’s British Programmes.

Dr. Copeland has directed many research studies on expatriate families’ experience, including multinational in-depth analyses of the social, familial, and personal aspects of moving to a new country, including a focus on the personal and family side of international short-term assignments, the role of one’s home – its design and layout – on one’s expatriate experience, on the challenges of moving to a country that is perceived as very similar, the experiences of high school exchange host families, and the ways in which having experienced being different as a child has an impact on the expatriate experience. Recent work focuses on how interculturalists have built and nurtured their careers.

Dr. Copeland lives with her husband in Boston, MA, and Barters Island, ME.