The Practical Interculturalist's Guidebook to: Transitions Across Cultures

Rated 4.00/5 based on 1 reviews
An easy to read explanation of what you can expect when crossing cultures. Learn how to effectively navigate the stages of transition. Understand why you will experience culture shock and what to do about it. Identify healthy ways to deal with the stresses of crossing cultures. Prepare to return home, whether you’ve been gone for a month or for years. More

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About Stephen W. Jones

Stephen W. Jones is an interculturalist who enjoys navigating the complexities faced by people engaged in international and cross-cultural work. He holds a Masters of Arts in Intercultural Relations from The University of the Pacific in conjunction with the Intercultural Communication Institute. He also holds undergraduate majors in business and religion.

Jones's introduction to teaching interculturally came when as he taught his first college course for an American university in while in Mali, West Africa. He has worked with groups involved in overseas study and service in Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, as well as in various subcultures of the United States. In 2012 he was also responsible for overseeing a team of students who were in Mali, West Africa when that country experienced a coup d’état, and worked diligently to ensure a successful return home for those students.

Jones has rich personal experience in various cultural settings and in industries ranging from agriculture to hospitality to higher education to financial services. He has also worked significantly in the non-profit sector, particularly in the realm of community development. He brings a breadth of experience that allows the reader to engage his warm and practical writing.

Jones currently resides in Minnesota with his wife and children, where he also serves on the faculty of Crown College as Assistant Professor of International Studies.


Review by: Beth Yoder on June 8, 2013 :
The Practical Interculturalist’s Guidebook to: Transitions Across Cultures is as promised: a brief, clear explanation of what to expect when moving into another culture – useful both for the person going, as well as the family, friends or people responsible for the one going.

The book is a list of 23 Big Ideas, which are good advice packages, distributed over 5 chapters with practical examples in between. The introduction makes the standard case for why this is important, with the exception of one rather shocking example that does not fit the tone of the rest of the book. With the basics established, the author moves on to explain the phases of culture shock in each successive chapter and give useful suggestions on how to deal with it. To my delight, he includes a chapter on Reentry, which is all too often forgotten even though it has potentially as beneficial or dire consequences as moving abroad.

Based on the title, I expected the book to be heavy on tips and to do’s, and it is indeed full of great advice such as, don’t just be yourself, or begin with the endings – list five things that end with the move. However, it also includes a fair amount of theory presented in simple terms and examples. This gives the reader some understanding of underlying theories and concepts so that they can apply it in other settings and/or take it further and come up with their own practical applications.

The content shows a clear sense of being based on a good combination of personal experiences and acknowledged experts. It is written in casual American English and seems most aimed at college students. For readers whose first language is not English, the occasional jargon or metaphor, such as “ballpark estimates” and “stuff,” might leave them a bit lost, but it is otherwise easily understood.

Lastly, that this is an e-book is in itself very practical – lightweight to take with you means it makes an easy journey companion, and easy to reference at each stage of your transition.
(reviewed 20 days after purchase)

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