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About the Seminar

As strange as that may sound, most expats say that moving back home after an international assignment is much harder than moving abroad in the first place.

The goal of this Repatriation Seminar is to help prepare you for the final phase of your international assignment: a successful readjustment to your home culture and workplace. It covers:

  • Reverse Culture Shock: What is it, why it exists, and why it’s harder than initial culture shock
  • Stages of the Repatriation Process
  • Redefining Home: What it means to be “at home”
  • Reidentifying yourself: How your assignment has changed you
  • Readjusting to your Home Society: How to deal with lifestyle changes
  • Reconnecting with Family and Friends: How to tell your stories, and when to stop
  • Responding to Specific Challenges:
    • In the Workplace — colleagues interactions; changed job descriptions; office culture differences
    • For the Spouse and Children — housing changes; leaving the expat community camaraderie; school and playmates; lifestyle adjustments
  • Steps to Take Now: What to do before you leave
  • Revisiting the Rewards of the Expat Experience: Why it’s worth it
Who, When and Where:
  • Recommended for all expat families within a few months of return
  • A one-time, 3-hour session
  • Scheduled individually at a time and location convenient for your family
  • Instructors: Susannah Barba or Elissa Hardy-Schafer (both experienced expats and teachers)
The Teachers

Susannah has an M.A. in English and 8+ years of TESL experience.  She taught English in China for three of those years.


Elissa has been a certified TESOL teacher since 2007 and has lived as an expat in Mexico, France, and the U.K.

Living overseas changes you. You return to your home country, eager to tell your stories and share your new perspectives. In the meantime, life at home has gone on without you. You aren’t going to be able to pick up right where you left off.

The net result for many “repats” is confusion, frustration, and depression, all at a time when everyone expects them just to be happy to be home! In the worst cases, people find themselves deeply miserable, with a negative impact on their jobs and families.