Monday, January 2, 2012

Successful Culture Crossing – For Those Who Want to Blend In

Moving to another country or engaging in an inter-cultural relationship, especially a long distance one, poses many challenges that we don’t often realize we are going to face until we are facing them. Most of us go through life with the unrealistic assumption that things aren’t that different around the world. While I agree that people’s minds work the same, culture plays a huge role in how they think and act in their daily lives. Luckily, there are experts out there who can help you make sense of it all, especially what you are going through, and can enable you to face these challenges with a more realistic rather than emotional view. 

One such person is Jennifer Kumar, a cross-culture lifestyle mentor. Jennifer helps Indians transition to life abroad and also helps women in intercultural relationships focus on how to adjust to the new culture they have invited into their lives. Jennifer provides a realistic view of life, culture and the family dynamics that often throw those crossing cultures for a proverbial loop. As someone who has helped me, I wanted to help you all see just how valuable Jennifer, and those like her can be.

Jennifer helps “people to overcome differences when adjusting to a new culture. I specifically focus on bridging cultures between USA and India. I have noticed that though culture coaches may focus on self-development, I have been able to attract more coachees through offering practical skills training in areas like deciding locations to move that suit lifestyle and comfort, how to build skills to be successful in the new culture (tips on getting good grades if in college, resume writing and job interviewing skills) and social etiquette tips especially suited for adjusting in the American culture.”

This is vital and I sure wish I had met her before deciding to move to Amritsar! She could have pointed out many things that would have helped me be more realistic in my expectations and helped me find ways to be better prepared for the environment here. She may just have recommended I move to a different city where my independent nature would be supported rather than sequestered. 

There is so much more to what Jennifer has to offer though. I don’t think her website could possibly ever cover all the valuable knowledge she has to help individuals such as myself adjust to the things they don’t understand. Not only is she a vital resource for ideas and opportunities, she offers a completely unbiased and objective opinion for the questions you need answers to about your cross-culture life. Jennifer can provide you insight into finding the answers to the questions and situations that keep you awake at night. She has a unique understanding of both small and large cities in America as well as India. 

Jennifer offers both classes and one-on-one coaching sessions to help you fit in and thrive in your new surroundings without losing your personal identity and style. She can teach you words, etiquette, communication styles, greetings and ways to dress that will help you fit in as well as offer suggestions of how to find a new comfort zone in the new land. This is often the hardest thing when moving abroad, finding comfort in new things rather than the old favorites you had back home. 

Cross cultural coaching provides a mental clarity that most cannot achieve on their own. Jennifer strives to help you find the right plan of action for your needs. She can help point out things you may not have thought of giving you the chance to make the most informed and best decisions about your cross-culture move and relationships. She provides tips to help you alleviate the culture shock you will experience with moving abroad or even moving back to your own country after living abroad. 

Want a taste of what Jennifer may have to say to you? Here is what she said to me when I asked her for one recommendation for those suffering from culture shock to help themselves that they may not have already thought of:
“The main thing is always to be open to new ideas, suggestions and solutions. Sometimes the answer to our problems is closer than we know but since we are immersed in it we can't see it. More than this is to try to always focus on the positives (don't deny the negatives but use the positives to overcome the negatives) and to create future plans and ideas for how to live your life where you are living. Find ways to enrich your life today and into the future. We cannot get immediate relief. It may take time. The irony is once we become more patient with ourselves and 'forget' the culture shock sometimes it automatically relieves itself!”

You can read more on Jennifers' professional sites:


  1. Haha I always wanted to see you in a saree :D You look awesome :D :D

  2. let us see if the coments work this time - Jennifer doing a real good job - I had to do everything on my own with my husband for help when home

  3. Jennifer is amazing. She's unbiased and insightful with her work and has a significant amount of wisdom to share.