Culture Resource Centre

Country Briefings: Preparing Expatriates for International Assignments

Country Briefings to prepare Expatriates for International Assignments (Professional Services Industry)
(2013 – ongoing)

Each year, a number of young highly educated professionals are going on assignment (from two months up to two years) to represent their organisation. The professionals have limited cross-cultural understanding and competence and are offered expatriate coaching to prepare them for the overseas assignments: they are expected to ‘hit the ground running’ from day one and to build long term relationships with the overseas partners in which sharing of information is crucial for the success of the partnership. We are requested to coach and prepare them for their overseas placements and develop their cultural competence for working in a complete new environment.


  1. Professional fills in Personal Needs Analysis to identify challenges, experiences and expectations
  2. Professional assesses their cultural competence to deal with culturally diverse situation: Intercultural Communication, Building Commitment, Cultural Sensitivity and Managing Uncertainty
  3. Virtual meetings (three two-hour sessions):
    – cultural know-how, cultural behaviour and style
    – challenges and experiences – preparing for culture shock and developing strategies
    – action planning around individual cultural competence
    – defining dilemmas and integrating cultural gaps
  4. Country specific knowledge to assist in understanding the country of secondment
  5. City specific knowledge to understand the city that are going to live in
  6. Professional completes Coaching Feedback Analysis and reports are shared with organisation and contact person
  7. Follow-up session after two and six months in the country

The professionals have reported back that the ‘Expatriate Coaching to Prepare Professional for Overseas Assignments’ sessions prepared them thoroughly for the unexpected culturally diverse situations, for the challenges (communication style, culture shock, different business and work styles etc.), and how to better cope (strategies, practices, interpersonal skills, intercultural competence, etc.). We are available to continue supporting the professionals when they are overseas and in need for additional coaching and ongoing mentoring. We have prepared professionals for a range of countries in Asia, Europe, South America and the USA.

We work with a number of (International) Corporations to prepare professionals for:
– secondments / expatriate positions overseas
– professionals who are coming to Australia for the assignments.