Chapter 10 – International Projects

10.9. Key Terms

Ability to Adjust to Foreign Country: Ability to adapt and transition to different cultures. There are 4 phases: (sometimes called culture shock or culture adjustment).10.4

Acceptance: After some weeks or months of dealing with frustration and emotional struggles, the person(s) begins to adapt and accept their new culture. They may not understand everything about the culture, however, function within it in a healthy way. They find and use resources to cope. They feel more at ease and accepted by the new community.10.6

Adjustment: Over time, the person(s) begins to become familiar with their surroundings. They are more comfortable with the people, culture, language, and food.10.6

Competence: Cross-cultural abilities that help the person adapt to new surroundings. In other words, can perform successfully in a different culture. Some of these may include empathy, diplomacy, language ability, good attitude, adaptability, flexible. They must also have emotional stability and an open mind about different cultures.10.4

Cultural Fluency: The degree of understanding and interaction required with people from different cultures and backgrounds.10.7

Culture shock is a feeling of uncertainty and being disoriented when a person is in an unfamiliar way of life in a different culture than their own culture.  It is caused by a number of things. 10.6

Debriefing Sessions: This enables the project team to debrief and have reality checks with “where they are at in their return”, financially, emotionally, mentally, and physically.10.7

During The Assignment: Human resources need to provide ongoing support for individual development, and team development.10.7

Expatriates: These are employees who have been hired to work temporarily in a foreign country. They are also called international assignees.10.2 

Expatriates or Expats: Is used for employees leaving their home country to work in a host country. 10.4

Frustration: The person(s) feel fatigued because they do not understand the signs, gestures, language, and communication styles. It may be difficult to order food, shop for food, not be able to follow the transportation system. Some people begin to feel homesick and become depressed.10.6

Home Country and Home Country Nationals: Country where the corporate headquarters is located. The project manager and team would leave the home country for an international project.10.2

Honeymoon: The person(s) feels overwhelmed and positive. They are excited about the new challenge in a different culture. They want to experience all the new things: food, the people, the language. The person(s) feels this has been a great decision and a great adventure. Each person is different in their response. However, everyone is affected to some degree..10.6

Host Country and Host Country Nationals: Refers to a foreign country where the corporation invests. The project manager and team relocate to the host country (foreign country) to complete the project. Host country nationals are project employees who are native to the country, and work and live in their home country.10.2

International Projects: These are different from domestic projects because of the cultural, regulatory, social, geographical, reporting, and infrastructural diversity.10.2

Pre-Departure Training: Helps the project team adjust to the new demands of working and living in a foreign country.10.7

Re-Entry or Returning: From the foreign country has its own set of challenges. Often called repatriates, people returning to their home country from a foreign country, experience culture shock or are sometimes referred to as re-entry shock.10.7

Soft Skills: Skills that include psychological readiness, international experience, the language of the foreign country, ability to provide training to others.10.4

Technical: Technical and managerial skills are critical.10.4

Third Country National: Project manager and team who are not from the home country or the host country. However, work for the corporation.10.2



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