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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Monday, May 16, 2011

What constitutes 'the real Africa', 'the real Kenya' or the 'real' aspects of any country? Do we base our experience on visiting another country based on stereotypes or media representations or something else that is real we see and experience when we arrive? If we never 'see' or 'experience' what 'others have before us' then what and how do we define our travels?

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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Monday, March 07, 2011

Tips on how to 'prepare' for the annual time change in America [and other places] that have Day light savings time.

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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Monday, December 20, 2010

A British expat who's been living in Nairobi, Kenya (East Africa) shares some of her pros and cons of living and raising a family in another country.

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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Monday, December 13, 2010

Anu came from India to small town America in 2006. Moving from Mumbai to Oregon brings a lot of changes. How does Anu balance her new found identity in small town America with her Indian identity? How does she stay connected to her roots and nourish herself while balancing cultural integration being married into an American family? Click in to read some of her story. Thanks for sharing Anu.

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Monday, November 29, 2010

Helping someone study and prepare for the TOEFL test offers opportunties for the student to improve their English as well as offers oportunities for the tutor or teacher to also improve his or her English skills as I do in this post. Podcast and transcripts within!

 
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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Festivals for all - 'Tis the Season. Click in to see all the holy-dates of December 2010.

 
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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Monday, November 15, 2010

Are you looking for authentic and quality information for your student paper, research journal, master’s or Ph.D. thesis, magazine or newspaper article, television or radio program, internet presentation, online media or other media outlet or project? Look no further than this website for relevant and thought provoking information on many cultural, relational, expat and lifestyle adjustment topics.

 
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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Friday, November 12, 2010

College culture for students and staff have changed in India since Deepa and Brijesh left and returned to India over the past 10 years. What are some of the changes and current conditions they have noticed working as professors in Vellore Institute of Read More »

By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Friday, November 12, 2010

When we gain fluency in another language in it's native environment, we may come to find out the sounds we make are not heard clearly by native speakers. This forms an accent. Accents are personality traits and are wonderful, but if our accent impedes understanding and clear communication, our daily life can be impacted. Rather than shy away from talking and making new friends in a new language, here are tips to improve your American accent!

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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Making a decision to move home after years away can be tricky whether we live a few towns away or a few continents away. What are some factors that can be weighed in the decision making process? How far ahead of time are such decisions thought of and planned out for? What are some of the adjustment factors that seriously considered? Are these decisions different based on the location of the move? Click in to read some experiences of Brijesh and Deepa in their planning to return to India after being NRIs abroad.

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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Monday, November 08, 2010

Deepa, Brijesh and Gayathri

Learning to stay connected to one's culture and identity can be a challenge when living in another country as an international student, foreigner or expat. Have you faced that? Brijesh and Deepa share some of their lessons on maintaining their identity away from their native culture and country of India while they stayed in U.S.A.

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Friday, November 05, 2010

For East Asians, especially Japanese, the L and R do not have distinctively different sounds in their languages, so when Americans hear it, we get confused 'Are they saying L or R."? This can be problematic when we don't have a context for the sounds to get the right word. In today's lesson we learn a bit deeper about L and R with consonant clusters "CR" and "CL". I hope this lesson not only helps you with improving your speech but much more! Click in to see what I am talking about!

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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Wednesday, November 03, 2010

What do people eat for Diwali? As Diwali nears, many eagerly await Diwali, not only to see family, friends and burst firecrackers (where it's still allowed!) but also to eat tempting treats and mouthwatering morsels. Click in to learn more about some Deepawali delights from different corners of India.

Thank you to Kamala, Natasha, Ramaraobobby, Sailaja, Sanjeetha, Srivalli and Vidhya for sharing their menu memories with us!

 
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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Monday, November 01, 2010

Are you interested in knowing more about living abroad or cultural diversity issues? Click in to learn about my Authentic Journeys cross-cultural Facebook Forum.

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Friday, October 29, 2010

Sometimes two or more sounds in the same language are not only made the same way but sound so similar that even when 'native speakers' don't talk clearly we misunderstand each other. This series will help us distinguish similar sounds by fine tuning our ears and also our pronunciation skills so we can both hear and speak correctly!

Today's lesson is "How to Pronounce P and B"

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A month to give thanks, November is full of holidays and special days for Americans and Indians of different spiritual traditions.

 
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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Monday, October 25, 2010

In India they speak many languages, and none of them are called 'Indian.' India has 28 states (I quoted this wrong in the podcast!), each with different languages with different scripts. These languages and regions vary so much it's like India is made up of many, diverse countries! So, I was asked, how does a country like India with many languages disseminate messages to its people so that everyone can understand? This is the question I attempt to answer in the podcast.

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Friday, October 22, 2010

Understanding the weather report is important in daily life in America since in many areas of the country the weather can change so drastically in any given day - from warm to cold temperatures, sun to rain to snow to ice, thunderstorms, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, blizzards, floods, and many other kinds of climate conditions. Though many Americans take it for granted that we can understand the weather report; many foreigners in this country even entering with English knowledge get stumped by the weather report because it is unscripted, spontaneous and uses a lot of idioms, sayings and local slangs. Try your hand at understanding a local weather report from Rochester, New York!

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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In this video, I answer the self-reflection questions I posed about my own staring behavior in the previous video. It's not fair for me to ask you and not dig inside myself to find my own answers. What are your answers? You do not need to tell me, but please tell yourself. This will help us understand ourselves and our behavior better. Thanks for your interest in my videos and in learning yourself! You are great!

 
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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Monday, October 18, 2010

One of the first questions Americans have when going to India is "Will I be stared at?". Click in to hear my thoughts on this topic and my answers to the question, "Do Indians Stare More than Americans?"

This is a different approach, I hope, one to make you think not only about why someone else does something but why you do or don't do something. This will be addressed also by me, more in part two. Keep tuned in!

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Friday, October 15, 2010

American Idiom Podcasts - American English Conversation Tips

Idioms are groups of words that when used in conversation have particular meanings that may not be found in dicitionaries. Listen to the podcast to understand the idiom "give it back."

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Friday, October 08, 2010

Improve Your American Accent Podcast Button

Sometimes- well almost always when Americans talk 'fast' we drop letters and combine words, making two or three words sometimes sound like a completely different word! These podcasts will help you to understand us a bit easier! (I hope!) Click in to listen.

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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Monday, October 04, 2010

The day to observe thanks to the utensils, gadgets and machinery that makes our lives a little easier is what Ayuda Puja is all about. Cars and vehicles are also worshiped on this day.

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Friday, October 01, 2010

Improve Your American Accent Podcast Button

Have you come to America prepared with years of English lessons and tested fluency but then get frustrated in understanding us Americans? Talking English fluently is different than listening to us talk to you! You have the skill to talk, but fine tuning your ear to the way Americans talk can help your fluency in everyday conversations. Inside is a podcast that you can listen to that has tips on improving your fluency in listening to us Americans when it seems we are just talking too fast.

 
By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

After some meetings with people I help, I may make a YouTube video or podcast depending on the nature of the lesson. Click in to see some of the topics I have created podcasts on for people I help.

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Monday, September 27, 2010

Chiyomi, coming from Japan to America continues to help me see America through new eyes- assessing, reassessing and relearning my own culture and language through helping her get used to this place called America. Thank you Chiyomi for allowing me into your life and learning from each other to enrich both of our lives.

Read her testimonial to me in English and Japanese by clicking into the post.

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Friday, September 24, 2010

Improve Your American Accent Podcast Button

Click in to listen to a podcast with matching word pairs. The purpose of the podcast is to help you improve everyday, conversational American English!

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Celebrate the birthdays of Gandhi, Maharishi Valmiki, and the special days of Columbus Day, Halloween, and all the special days of Navarathri!

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By Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach on Friday, September 17, 2010

Well, of course, United Kingdom and United States are two different countries, we learned that in history class- the map tells us so, but what makes them unique? Is it possible to have culture shock when moving between these two nations? Julie and Sanjay share their thoughts on this and other cross-cultural topics.

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By Jennifer Kumar, LMSW, Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor on Friday, September 17, 2010

One aspect of learning any language is words that sound the same but actually have very different meanings- one way of training your ears to hearing the difference in some of these words is by understanding words that rhyme. Rhyming words sound almost the same minus one or two sounds at the beginning of the word. Click in to hear a podcast to help you along this process.

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