Case Study

A French family expatriated to the UK

Project introduced by CERAN Paris

Introduction

Intercultural training for an employee of a major French company being sent to work in the UK. He will come with his family.

Background

The French company, a major electronics firm, has research operations outside London. The employee, a qualified engineer, is relocated to join the UK research team.

Although the employee and his family had been travelling abroad extensively, this was a first-time expatriation, moving abroad for a period of at least 2 years. The company wanted to assist the employee and his family to have a smooth transition to expatriation and facilitate acculturation in the UK.

The family had already visited the area they were moving to, found an apartment and schools for their children.

Training

The intercultural training was in Paris, over one full day from 9 AM to 5 PM and in French.

The objectives were:

  • Decipher the mysteries of British culture;
  • Introduce the United Kingdom and its values;
  • Introduce British communication and habits;
  • How to navigate professional and social life and administrative tasks.

The training was a mix of slide presentations, games and quizzes, with cross-reference to the French culture and habits where appropriate to create bridges between the French and the British cultures. The purpose of the games and quizzes is to get the learners to do, and gain a better understanding.

Particular attention was paid to the fact that children were present for some of the time. It was therefore important that those sections of the presentation, quizzes and games where accessible to them and appropriate for their age as well as keeping the interest of parents alive.

Conclusion

After the training the parents had a better understanding of life in the UK and the children of what they could expect in an English school, improving the expatriation experience for the whole family.

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