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Written by: Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach
Monday, August 02, 2010


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Transcripts of the video to help you understand better if you are an English as a Second Language learner or you have a hard time understanding my American accent!

Many people are getting ready to go to college.

This is a big step for a lot of people. Going to college is a new experience for many people. It's not just the act of going to college and taking classes at a higher academic level, but it's the social and cultural aspects of moving away to college. Whether you're going to the same country for college or you're going to move abroad, there are gonna be differences because you're suddenly you're probably gonna be living on your own; you're going to have to manage things a little differently, you're gonna have to approach the world a little differently.

I'm specifically talking to people who are going to moving to America to study from another country. Firstly, before I get into the real 'meat and potatoes' of this video, I'd like to say congratulations to you!

It's a big, big accomplishment to get accepted into college in another country. People may take this for granted now a days because so many people are doing it, but the biggest reason I feel it's a great and magnificent accomplishment is because in order to apply to college and get accepted into a college in another country you have to think differently than the rest of your peers. You have to do things differently. You may have to do things that no-one in your family or friend's circle has never done before because simply they have never been exposed to that process before. Even if you have people in your family or friends circle who have come to America to study, know the process and helped you through it, you still had to approach things differently. You probably still had to learn things about the American culture and how we do things here that may have taken you by surprise or maybe it was a welcome surprise. But in any case, you had to learn to think differently to get accepted into college in another country.

So, that's the first step of learning about another culture. Congratulations- it's a lot of hard work to get accepted into college, so it's really great!

I am a cross-cultural coach, which means I will sit with people and help them to move abroad, to get adjusted to different cultural challenges; maybe before they move but also after they move. Research has shown, that preparing yourself for moving abroad not only physically by getting stuff packed, but also mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually getting yourself ready to move abroad before you do it significantly improves your success while you're abroad for many reasons.

Many of us may find this to be a delicate topic because we want to do things on our own. We want to be resilient. We want to be able to say, "I adjusted to another culture and was successful." And you will be- everyone's successful in their own way. But, at the same time it's nice to have a little help along the way- someone to bounce your ideas off of and your thoughts and your feelings that is not going to judge you and who is not a part of your family and friends circle.

Why is this important? Well, your family and friends circle - they love you, of course, that is wonderful they love and care about you. But, with any family and friends circle there is a limited amount of information or approaches to situations or problems. Especially if they have never lived in another country before they may simply not be able to really, completely understand where you're coming from or your situation. That's not their fault. That doesn't show that they don't love or care for you, they love and care for you just as much as they always have, but if someone has not experienced something it's much more difficult or impossible for them to really be able to guide you through it in a way that is understandable or relatable to you. That's where I come in because I have lived abroad. I lived in India for two years. I went as a student; a master's degree student. You're coming to study here in America; I went there to India to study. I know what it feels like to have to adjust to another culture, get used to the situations and try to do things differently to be successful in another country.

I know the struggles that are faced before, during and after [moving abroad].

People have conflicting feelings before they move abroad, or if they move to the next town. This might be what you're feeling too. You want people to think that you're on a positive spin, so you may only say the positive emotions- that you're excited, that you're eager, that you can't wait to get there, that you're going to love it there. You're saying all the positive things to people because you don't want them to worry about you. But, maybe inside you're secretly feeling scared, shy, nervous and doubtful if you could really make friends in a new country, or interact with people the same way you do in your country, or maybe you're wondering about something else. There are too many things to wonder and think about. ... Will I feel comfortable in the new place? Will I be able to find food I like? Will I make friends? What will I do if I'm bored? Can I call my parents if I feel lonely?

These are natural fears, but sometimes we suppress them before we move because we don't want our loved ones to be scared for us or maybe even talk us out of going! That's why I am here, to be that impartial person who can help you. Maybe I can help you by listening to you and sorting out your feelings and come up with action plans. Or, maybe I can help you improve your American English accent. Or, maybe I can help you find ways to communicate to your professor because maybe you don't understand the American way of doing it and you want to improve it to be successful over here. Or, maybe you need help for your spouse who's coming with you with a child who will be sitting inside within the four walls all day and doesn't know English that well.

There are so many things we could do together to help you be successful here. If you need a little extra assistance with something or you know someone who needs a little extra assistance that's why I am here.

Thanks for watching (reading!), and welcome to USA! Particularly if you're in Rochester, New York, that's where I am. You can give me a call or e-mail me. We can also meet in person if you're coming to Rochester - University of Rochester (U of R), Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), Roberts Wesleyan, Nazareth College, St. John Fisher or Monroe Community College (MCC).


 Jennifer Kumar is a cross-cultural teacher, trainer and lifestyle adjustment mentor helping people feel more comfortable in cultures far from home. Are you worried about making friends, adjusting to a new job, raising children, conversing in a new language or everyday lifestyle changes when moving to a new country? She can help you explore these topics and more before you leave or after you arrive. She was educated in India as a social worker and in America as a life coach. Feel free to see her website - Authentic Journeys - Lifestyle and Cultural Transition Services.



Thank you for watching this video/reading this post.

Have a wonderful day!





Copyright ©2010 Jennifer Kumar, LMSW Cultural Adjustment Coach/Mentor


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