The Art of Coming Home


This expanded and updated edition is destined to continue the tradition with solid advice on what it takes to reduce the pain and stress of transitioning home.

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The Art of Coming Home

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This expanded and updated edition is destined to continue the tradition with solid advice on what it takes to reduce the pain and stress of transitioning home.

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Editorial Reviews

Soundview Executive Book Summaries
The Challenge Of Living Abroad
Many executives have experienced the combination of anticipation and anxiety as they prepare for a posting abroad. What many executives fail to anticipate is the culture shock they experience on returning home. Cross-cultural specialist Craig Storti addresses these experiences in his clearly written book called The Art of Crossing Cultures.

'It's Not the Heat...'
The expatriate transition will differ greatly, of course, depending on where you are coming from and where you are going. A new and (to the newcomer) uncomfortable climate, doing without ("the list of things 'they don't have here' sometimes seems to have been designed with you personally in mind," Storti notes); the loss of routines; and unfamiliar faces are some of the elements of what Storti labels "country shock."

Country shock, however, is just a sideshow to the main event: culture shock. The weather is one thing. Dealing with "different, deeply held beliefs and instincts about what is natural, normal, right and good" is another.

'The Fried Ants Are Delicious'
The first step in dealing with culture shock, according to Storti, is to abandon expectations of cultural sameness. People in foreign countries are going to act differently. Expatriates must then take steps to learn about the culture around them. They will then come to understand and even expect the behaviors and attitudes of the people in their new country.

"The message of this book," Storti notes, "is not that you must uncritically embrace all local behavior no matter how strange or offensive, but only that you should not reject behaviors before you have understood them."

The result might surprise you. As one foreign aid worker in East Africa wrote, "All in all, [this] is a really nice place to live and work. The people are friendly, the beaches are great, and the fried ants are delicious."

Why Soundview Likes This Book
The Art of Crossing Cultures is typical of the titles published by Intercultural Press, a small Maine publisher that specializes in authoritative, how-to guides on cross-cultural relations. Any person facing the prospect of going abroad would do well to start with this title. Then, request the Intercultural Press catalogue for more detailed guides on specific countries. Copyright (c) 2002 Soundview Executive Book Summaries

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781857882971
  • Publisher: Intercultural Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 203
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.04 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Craig Storti is founder and co-director of Communicating Across Cultures, a Washington, D.C.-based intercultural communication training and consulting firm specializing in seminars on cross-cultural adjustment and repatriation. With work appearing in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune, he is the author of six books, including Speaking of India: Bridging the Communication Gap When Working with Indians and the bestselling Cross-Cultural Dialogues, The Art of Crossing Cultures, and The Art of Coming Home. Having lived nearly a quarter of his life abroad, he lives now in Maryland. For more information, please visit his website:

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
1 Coming Home 1
The Issues 3
What the Returnee Can Do 37
2 The Stages of Reentry 45
Leave-Taking and Departure 47
The Honeymoon 49
Reverse Culture Shock 51
Readjustment 59
3 The Return of the Employee 67
Issues for the Employee 68
Issues for the Organization 79
What the Organization Can Do 82
What the Employee Can Do 95
The Stages of Workplace Reentry 98
4 The Return of Spouses and Children 103
Issues for the Spouse 104
What Spouses Can Do 111
Issues for Younger Children 113
What Parents Can Do for Younger Children 114
Issues for Teenagers 116
What Parents Can Do for Teenagers 128
What Teens Can Do 132
5 Special Populations 137
I. Exchange Students 138
The Issues 139
What Exchange Students and Their Families Can Do 148
II. International Voluntary Organizations 150
The Issues 151
What Returning Volunteers Can Do 158
III. Military Personnel and Their Families 160
The Issues 161
What Military Returnees and Their Families Can Do 169
IV. Missionaries and Missionary Children 170
Issues for Missionaries 171
Issues for Missionary Children 175
What Missionaries and Their Children Can Do 180
Epilogue 185
Useful Resources 189
Bibliography 193
Index 199
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2003


    If you spent months in Paraguay or Latvia longing for modern supermarkets, octo-plex movie theaters and mega-malls, coming home will surprise you. All that consumerism, all those different breakfast cereals, all that plenty and pizzazz may not play as well with you as you had remembered. Never mind. Eventually you¿ll again expect to be offered 15 different kinds of herbal tea with your $18 lunch, but when you first return and the deprivations of your overseas station are still fresh, reentry can include a big shot of culture shock. Companies pay plenty of attention to executives and workers who need help and advice when they¿re given an overseas assignment. But Craig Storti thought it was time to address the needs of those same expats when they return and face the challenge of readjustment. He does so expertly in this practical guide, which includes hard logistics and some soft psychology. We from getAbstract highly recommend this book to homecoming expats and to those who play crucial roles in managing their reentries.

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