Tag Archives: cultural adjustment

10 Ways to Date Your New Home

10 Ways to Date Your New Home

By Laurie Melin


2013-07-18 11.48.19Relocation is intimidating. Whether your move is regional, national, or international, the transition is an adjustment. Even if you’re excited for the move, the reality is that settling in is not instant. Feeling really comfortable in a new place and within a new group of people always takes time.


Besides language differences, what if you cannot find people who share your background or your values or even your interests? What do you do when everything is different from what you are used to and from what you enjoy? How do you connect?


Think of life in your new community as a new relationship. How do you build relationships — romantic or otherwise — with other people? You spend time with them, do things together, and talk about their interests, their background, and the things you have in common. As you get to know them better, you build trust and mutual appreciation.


“Dating” your new community may not make you fall in love with it, but the activities below can help you get to know it and appreciate it. They may also help you meet local residents and begin building personal relationships that connect you on a deeper level to individuals as well as to the culture you are learning about.


1. Make a point of introducing yourself to your neighbors.

When you move into your new home, your neighbors might come to your door or you might walk up to theirs and say hello. In any case, introducing yourself when you meet can be a good way to build a safety net. People watch out for friends, and knowing your neighbors generally makes you safer. Your neighborly acquaintance may also lead to shared conversations, household supplies, gardening tips, child-rearing help, and more. It opens the door to begin interacting at a deeper level with people who are around you every day.

2. Take public transportation if available.

Public transportation gives you a peak into the real lives of real people. Who takes it? How absorbed in technology are they? How much do they like talking with people around them? IMG_1954[1]How boisterous are they? How reserved? How much space do they prefer to leave between themselves? How organized is the line to get on the bus or train? Learn by example what behavior is considered normal and acceptable in these settings.

3. Visit favorite spots of locals and tourists.

Travel guides list beautiful, interesting locations in your new community. Check them out! While you are there, take note: Who comes here? Who enjoys this place? Make a point of visiting local favorites, too. Where do locals go to relax? Where do they go out to eat? Where do they go on the weekend? Many of these places are not in guide books, but they’re powerful points of connection for people who live full-time in your community.

4. Visit art and history museums, landmarks, monuments, memorials, forts, etc.

The monuments, memorials, and landmarks of a place are the most obvious clue to what is and was important to any group of people. Take your own field trips and find out who these structures were built to honor. Learn more by visiting history museums large and small. How does this community discuss and represent its struggles and triumphs? Discover art museums in the area. Who and what do locals connect with? What do they commemorate?

101_22675. Visit churches and/or other religious meetings – even if you’re not particularly religious.

Observing and experiencing the religious traditions of a community is a window into the deepest beliefs and values of that community. Religion always shapes the human experience, and knowing more about the religious past and present of your community can help you understand the people living around you.

6. Start learning the local language.

If locals speak a different language than you, start learning it. This may be the hardest item on this list and take the most time, but it is also one of the most important ways to get to know a place and the people who live there. Do not stress about making mistakes as you learn. Speaking with someone in his/her own language opens the door to a deeper personal connection as you demonstrate your interest in understanding the culture and your desire to become part of it.

7. Plug in to local news sources: watch local TV, listen to local radio, and read local newspapers.

Want to know what people care about? Watch their television stations. Listen to them call in on the radio. Read the op-eds and life/culture sections in their newspapers. Learn about the (good and bad) news that matters to their daily lives as well as the topics that interest them.

8. Learn to cook local food.

While watching local TV, you might find a cooking show. In the newspaper, there might be suggested recipes. When talking to your neighbor, you might hear about or smell a new dish – ask for the recipe! You do not need to change your diet completely, but become familiar with the food your community enjoys. Why do they eat it? Where does it come from? Cook it, eat it, share it, learn to appreciate it….even if you do not want to eat it every night.

9. Explore community life through local eyes: Read their books. Listen to their music. 101_2181Learn the dances they love.

What music do your neighbors listen to? What did they read growing up in school? What do they dance to on Friday and Saturday nights? Build some commonality by experiencing these things, then go out and do/enjoy them with the people around you!

10. Participate in local celebrations, festivals, parades, fairs, etc.

Check out health fairs, holiday parades, independence day festivals, government celebrations, and more. These events happen because the organizers expect a crowd. Find out why people go. How do they connect with the event? Do you connect with it, too? How is it different from a similar event back home? How is it alike?


We are not all the same. Deep down, different values and beliefs have shaped people living in different cultures. Our personal and cultural background influences the way we interact with others and the way we see our world. We cannot overcome all obstacles by ignoring our differences, but we can build relationships on mutual interest and respect.


Spend time getting to know your new community after relocation. The more you learn about it, the more it may interest you, and the more you may care about it, which makes forming connections with people there much easier.




For further cultural insights useful throughout your transition to Puerto Rico, visit http://global-perceptions.com/. Global Perceptions, your relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, works closely with you, your family, and your company to assure that your relocation goes as smoothly as possible.

Independent decisions

Adventures in Study Abroad: Lesson 2



Southern Wisconsin Farm

Ever since I was young, people have recognized my independent nature. I have always wanted to do things by myself without the help of others. In fact, I chose to walk to the bus stop with an older neighbor girl on my first day of school, leaving my heartbroken mother to watch from the window. This is simply part of who I am. It wasn’t until I had the chance to study abroad however, that I truly felt independent. I went to college in the same town where my family lived to make going to school affordable, so this was the first time I lived away from home. I was solely responsible for my studies, health, money, and more. What I ate, how often I did laundry, when I went to bed—they were all up to me, as were the consequences of my decisions.

While traveling through Europe, I was confronted by all kinds of situations that I had never experienced before. For example, I went to youth hostels across the continent and was repeatedly assigned to a room in which I was the only female. I recall being so uncomfortable the first time that I called my boyfriend back home to talk it over. It was just so unexpected for someone from my cultural background.

In Rome, I arrived at the train station without a lodging reservation. Previously I had not had problems going up to any of the hostels and getting a room, but that day was different. I wandered around the blocks surrounding the station, but found no vacancies. Then I noticed a small hotel and thought to myself, “This is what they make credit cards for. Stay here for one night and then find a more inexpensive option tomorrow.” The concierge standing guard must

Roman Convent

Roman Convent

have read my mind because he pointed down the street and told me to knock. I didn’t fully understand him, but hesitantly knocked on the door anyway. I was granted two nights lodging in a room of female Japanese tourists in a convent! That’s right, I stayed in a convent in Rome! How many people can say that?

After touring Munich one day, I opted for a cheap dinner at a recognizable fast food restaurant. As I sat with my sandwich and fries, a twenty-something man looked over at me and began to speak. My inability to speak German spread over my confused face. The man quickly switched to English, striking up a conversation which showed that we had something in common. We both knew Wisconsin! His girlfriend was studying in Madison and I had grown up not far from there. We talked for a bit and then he offered me a ride back to my hostel. It

German Fast Food Restaurant

was cold and dark and I was not sure of the way so I took him up on his offer. He even permitted me to call my boyfriend from the car phone in his Mercedes! A solitary dinner turned into a pleasant experience.

As I now look back on those seemingly minute moments, I see them for what they were—very naïve decisions made on the part of a young woman without the cultural cache that I know possess. I recognize the uninformed theories that I used to make those decisions and am eternally grateful that there were no serious consequences as a result. On the flipside of the coin, had I not had experiences like those, I may not have become the resourceful, culturally-informed woman that I am today. Those circumstances taught me to look for the good in people, to always have a Plan B, to assess the situation and choose the best course of action for me, and above all, I learned to rely on myself, trust my instincts, and become independent. It is these experiences that have shaped who I am today.


Please tell me how your study abroad experience has impacted your life by leaving a comment! I would love to hear from you!

I have applied my study abroad knowledge to start Global Perceptions, a communication and relocation consulting business based in San Juan, Puerto Rico. For more information on our services, visit www.global-perceptions.com or call 787.455.7764.

Journey Abroad

Adventures in Study Abroad by Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D.


Fifteen years ago, I embarked on a journey that would forever change my life. I left home to study abroad as part of an exchange program coordinated between my home university and one in Rouen, France. As I look back on that period, I see how that experience shaped my career decisions, personality, and values. This month I will reflect on some of those experiences. I will start with my departure from Wisconsin.

With enough luggage to provide for an entire family, I left for O’Hare airport in Chicago on that brilliant August day. I don’t recall being nervous, but as a 20-year old college kid from a small farm town in Wisconsin who had never lived away from home, I must have been.

Into the Brave New World

Into the Brave New World

All I remember is that I was incredibly excited to go back to France and to visit with my best friend. I achieved a life-long dream of visiting France two years earlier with my high school French class, but this was different. This time I would be on my own, forced to fend for myself without the security of a bilingual teacher to translate if needed. I was fully independent.

After a roughly eight-hour flight, I arrived in Amsterdam, my first stop.  Outside the baggage claim I was greeted by my dear friend who had been an exchange student at my high school during our senior year. Occasional phone calls and Christmas cards kept us in touch, but seeing her waiting for me warmed my heart. It also made managing all my luggage much easier! Thank goodness her father had invested in an American-made car or we may not have fit the passengers and luggage in the car. (Yes, I have since learned to pack MUCH differently!)

Along the drive, I looked around at everything through a jet-lag induced haze. From what I could see, The Netherlands looked a lot like Wisconsin. Lots of farm land and vibrant green vegetation as far as the eye could see.

After we arrived, her family sat down with me to inquire about my trip over coffee and snacks. It didn’t take long for them to see how tired I was and offered to let me sleep for a bit. I accepted.

Clogging around The Netherlands

Clogging around The Netherlands

The next day our adventure began. Before we even left the house, I managed to short circuit their entire home when I used the wrong adapter for my hair dryer. I was mortified!

The rest of the week was filled with trips to fishing villages in the north, museums in the south, a late night bike ride to a pub with her friends, and wandering the streets of Amsterdam. It was just the kind of welcome I needed to ease into the idea of spending four months away from home. It also allowed me to overcome the jetlag before heading into the classroom.

At the end of the week, all of my luggage and I got on a train in Utrecht headed to Paris. As the train pulled into the train station, the nervousness began to creep into my mind. Here I was with an impossibly large suitcase, a duffel bag, a shoulder bag, and a backpack and no idea where I had to go to get my train to Rouen. A young woman stopped to help me, explaining that I had to take a bus to Gare St. Lazarre.

I don’t think I will ever forget the looks on the driver’s or other passengers’ faces as I maneuvered my bags onto the bus. I was every bit the American tourist. My jeans, t-shirt, tennis shoes and incredible amount of luggage screamed AMERICAN! I was mortified once again!

Thankfully, the other passengers helped me navigate the stops to get off at Gare St. Lazarre and I boarded the train for Rouen. It had already been quite a day and I was tired. A woman noticed and started to speak with me. I explained that I would be studying there, which

My Study Abroad Home

My Study Abroad Home

excited her so much that she offered to give me a ride to my university once we got off. Once again all of my bags were loaded up into a European compact, leaving barely enough room for me to sit.

Pulling up to the university gave me a sense of relief. At last, I had made it. This is where I would live for the next four months. This is where I would learn to count on my own ingenuity and become resourceful. This is where I would gain independence and strength of character. This is where I would get lost and find myself. This is where my world would open up and where I would come to numerous realizations about who I was and where I wanted to go in life. Of course I was blissfully unaware of the overall impact of this trip until much later, but as I reflect on the course my life has taken over the past 15 years, I am fully cognizant as to why I am where I am and how I got here. That is a humbling feeling.


Please tell me how your study abroad experience has impacted your life by leaving a comment! I would love to hear from you!

For more information on how I have applied my study abroad experience in my own life, visit www.global-perceptions.com


“Linked to the My Global Life Link-Up at SmallPlanetStudio.com” – See more at: http://www.smallplanetstudio.com/2014/02/28/february-mygloallife-link-up/#sthash.LHzXs3QW.dpuf

Wake-up Call

Written by Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D., President of Global Perceptions Communication and Relocation Consulting


 Wake-up Call

IMAG0142Cocka doodle doo! Cocka doodle doo!

It’s early morning and the sky is still black. The normally bustling neighborhood is silent at this hour. Then it hits again.

Cocka doodle doo! Cocka doodle doo!

“All right, already, I’m awake,” I shout.

Through sleep-mattered eyes I peer at the clock—4:30am. It’s much too early for me to be awake, especially in the middle of July when there are no classes in session. This is supposed to be the time when I make up for all of the quality sleep time that I missed last semester, but it appears that someone, or rather something, has a different opinion.

Cocka doodle doo! Cocka doodle doo!

“All right, that’s it! I’m coming after you, you stupid bird!”

Feeling my blood boil, I wrap a pillow around my head. I have had enough of that ridiculous rooster waking me up before the crack of dawn, and I’ve only been here for a week. “So this is how the farmers live,” I think. The problem is that I am far from anything that resembles a farm to me and even when I lived in the small farm towns of Wisconsin, I was never bothered by a
P1020488self important rooster. Now that I am in the middle of a major metropolitan area, I certainly did not think that a rooster waking me up would be one of my dilemmas. Traffic jams and long lines were things that I expected. A rooster was not. I began to wonder just how people lived here. I mean why is there a rooster in the neighbor’s yard in the middle of the city anyway? This simply made no reasonable sense to me.

The next few minutes were silent and I drifted back to sleep. Dreams of the peaceful countryside back home filled my head allowing me to calm down. Half an hour later though, the rooster was back to his antics. “This is too much. How am I ever going to manage to survive here if I can’t even get a good night’s sleep?” I wonder. Giving up on sleep for the moment, I turn on the television. The bird may have won today, but I vow to win the overall tug of war battle with that bird. Before long, he will have met his match.

Or so I thought…fast-forward seven years and now all of my neighbors have roosters. In that time, I have learned to sleep through their wake-up calls and largely ignore then during the day. They no longer annoy me like they once did. Now my biggest concern is keeping my dogs from killing the darn roosters. In the beginning this challenge seemed insurmountable. Now it is an everyday occurrence. I guess the rooster won after all.

Two hours to the beach


Written by Julie L. Parenteau, Ph.D., President of Global Perceptions Communication and Relocation Consulting


I have had an interesting journey through my almost seven years in Puerto Rico. Until recently, I didn’t think that my story was all that special. A dear friend convinced me that we are all meant to tell our stories. With that in mind, I have gone back through my early writings to share some of my adventures with you.


Two hours to the beach

trafficIt’s now been two weeks since I arrived on the island. Determined not to let another day go by without a trip to the beach, I pack my sunscreen, towel, and a fashion magazine. Sliding my sunglasses over my ears, I give myself a pep talk and get into the red Honda that I am borrowing for the day. I slowly back out of the driveway and make my way onto the Expreso. Driving amidst the other cars on the highway is still my biggest fear. Not only do I have no idea where I’m going, but people constantly cut me off under the assumption that a turn-signal is an unnecessary form of communication. That really ticks me off. Back home someone who forgets to use their turn signal is considered rude. It’s only polite to indicate your desire to turn in a certain direction, allowing the surrounding traffic ample time to get out of the way. Knowing that it’s likely someone is going to cut me off, I pay extra attention to the surrounding traffic, often missing the sign for my exit.


But today, I am determined to find the one beach that I know how to access. There is no entrance fee and there is usually ample parking, so going to Isla Verde sounds ideal. Approaching the tunnel, several cars zoom from lane to lane in front of

minillas tunnelme. It’s dark in the tunnel and the lack of turn signals frightens me. I have no idea which way to go and am afraid to move from my position for fear of hitting someone. In the process of thinking through all of this, I veer to the left, heading toward San Juan. After a mile, I realize that I have made a mistake. I should have gone to the right as I exited the tunnel. Trying to correct my error, I pull off the highway and find myself in Condado. I recognize a few familiar sights. The water is several blocks away, but I can make out the crystal blue color in the distance.

“Well, I could go to this beach instead,” I say out loud. Changing my original plan, I look around for a parking space. After several blocks there is no space to be found—at least not any that I am willing to pull into in a borrowed car. I travel down a cross street trying to find a way back to the highway. The road seems to go East so I keep following it, hoping that it will eventually get me to Isla Verde. Feeling more confident, I travel on. Ten more minutes go by and then it appears on the horizon—El Morro. “How could this be? I was sure I was going toward Isla Verde.” Not knowing whether to laugh or cry at this point, I keep driving. “Eventually I am going to reach Isla Verde,” I state hesitantly.


I manage to get out of Old San Juan without too much trouble since I stayed in a hotel there on a previous trip. Passing by an area of hotels and restaurants that I recognize, I begin to get comfortable again. This time I am definitely going toward Isla Verde. I can see the highway and carefully merge with the traffic again. I go South, assuming that I’ll be able to get off near the tunnel and turn around.


“This looks like a promising exit. Let me take this one.” I pull off and immediately realize that this is not the exit that I should have taken. Again I am forced to search through the streets for an entrance back to the highway. Block after block passes, but I have no idea where I am. Eventually I realize that I have been driving the wrong way in a bus-only lane when a not-so-kind sizzlertaxi driver scolds me from his own vehicle. Feeling exasperated and frustrated, I finally find something that looks familiar. To my chagrin it looks familiar because I was just at this same spot twenty minutes earlier. For the third time in the last hour I pass by the Sizzler.


“Maybe I’m not supposed to go to the beach today,” I confess. Ready to give up, I get back on the highway and decide to go back home. Along the way, my determination rears its head again. By the time that I reach the exit for my neighborhood, I decide to try one more time. Now I know that I have to go to the right in the tunnel so maybe I will actually get there if I just start over. With a sense of renewed confidence, I turn the car around.


Half an hour later, I finally park the car in front of the beautiful blue waters. “I did it!” I find a space under a large palm tree and spread my towel over the fine grains of sand. Settling into an article in my magazine, I congratulate myself on overcoming the challenge of getting to this beach. It took me two hours, but I finally did it, and I did it all by myself. “See Julie, you just need some practice. You’ll get the hang of this,” I tell myself. Ten blissful minutes pass by and then they come—big, wet raindrops. “Just my luck, I guess I really wasn’t meant to be on the beach today.” I toss my wet towel and beach bag in the back seat and decide that a mid-afternoon nap could offer a bit of reprieve from what has happened over the last few hours. Fortunately by now, I know the way home.100_0117


For more information on Global Perceptions or its President, Dr. Julie Parenteau, please visit http://globalperceptions.net/ or our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Relocation.Specialist.PuertoRico

System Evolution or Increased Personal Experience?

Transitioning from one culture to another typically requires multiple visits to government agencies for anything from driver’s licenses to health insurance cards to tax filing procedures. Being an expat in Puerto Rico is no different. Upon arriving in 2006, I was perplexed by the incredible number of steps I had to go through to begin work. The standard driver’s license and social security card were not enough. Instead, I had to have a health exam, prove that I didn’t owe any back taxes on my salary or property (even though I didn’t own property), get recommendation letters, and complete five other official documents requesting personal information.

Being new to the island, I had no idea what these various certifications were, where to find them, or what acronyms like CRIM stood for. I was completely lost. I remember walking into Hacienda in Old San Juan mid-morning and being told that I would have to come back another day because all of the appointments for the day had already filled up. I was aghast. How could all the appointments be filled at 9:30am?!

I also had to visit CRIM (Centro de Recaudación de Ingresos Municipales) which is hidden down an alley-like road in Santurce. I was so lost. Finally I ended up parking my car somewhere I felt safe and walking at least a mile. I still didn’t know where I was going so asked several people along the way until I finally found the office. My broken Spanish helped me get there and then aided me in finding which office I needed. When I got there, the line was incredibly long. It took much longer than I would have expected to get to the counter only to be told that I was in the wrong line. I wanted to cry. I had had enough of this so-called system. Eventually I left with the paper that I needed, but my spirit was completely depleted. I never wanted to experience something like that again.

Six years later, I found myself in a position where I had to obtain a number of similar documents once again. I was told that I needed all of the documents by noon the following day. I thought “You’ve got to be kidding! There’s no way I can do that!” Thinking this mission was literally impossible; I awoke early the next day and ventured out to Hacienda once again. This time I knew to be early. I arrived at 7:15am, found parking immediately, and was the first person in line. The office didn’t open until 8am, but when it did, I entered, asked for the documents, and was out in less than five minutes. You could have knocked me over I was so surprised!

While in the line at Hacienda, I mentioned something about needing to go to CRIM to the woman behind me. She reminded that there is now an office in Cupey where she said I could get through quickly. Thanks to her suggestion, I went to that office and, much to my amazement, was out in about 15 minutes. I was the only person in the first line and the second to pay for the transaction. By 10am I had all my documents, including the health certificate. This experience was the total opposite of my previous experience.

So now I ask you, was my experience proof that Puerto Rican government agencies are becoming more efficient or because I have lived through similar experiences and now know how to work the system? Have you had similar expat experiences? What could Global Perceptions do to help you through that part of your global transition? Write to us and let us know!

These tips are another service provided by your Puerto Rico Relocation Specialist, Global Perceptions. Contact us for additional services by calling 787.455.7764 or by visiting our website www.globalperceptions.net.

It’s all about Relocation, Relocation, Relocation!


Relocating internationally is never easy, but the thought of leaving the frozen north for the sandy beaches of the Caribbean may make the process more enjoyable. Imagine yourself resting peacefully in a hammock, sipping a refreshing beverage while the salty ocean breeze passes over you. Sounds good, doesn’t it?



Unfortunately, everyday life in the Caribbean is not quite that simple. Wherever you come from, relocating to Puerto Rico can cause major culture shock. If you have no real understanding of the culture or history and don’t speak Spanish, it can be even more challenging. But you’re in luck! Following is some advice from a professional relocation company to help you prepare for your relocation journey in Puerto Rico.

1. The relocation process will take much longer than you anticipate in Puerto Rico. Even the most organized person will find that everything moves a little slower here. This is largely due to antiquated policies left in place from Spanish rule and a generally laid-back approach to life. Add on extra time to whatever you plan to do no matter if it’s get the groceries, pick up the kids from school, catch a movie, or pay a bill. And don’t be surprised if you don’t accomplish everything in one day, even if the same activities would have taken you only a couple of hours back home.

2. Be prepared for the traffic and driving techniques. If you come from a place where a traffic jam consists of more than three cars at the one red light in town, it can be a major shock! Driving in Puerto Rico requires one to be creative as well as watchful. Stop signs and red lights are merely suggestions, any lane can be a turn lane, turn signals are rarely used, speed limits are posted but not followed, and the slow people
tend to drive in the left lane. It takes some adjustment, but you can do it!


3. School curriculum may also be different from what you or your children are accustomed to. Even at the English-language schools that cater to newly-arrived families, there seems to be much more focus on reading and writing than creative thinking or problem solving. Additionally, daily homework in most classes is a reality and many projects require parental supervision if not participation. This is not necessarily bad, but is something parents should be aware of as they go about selecting schools.

4. Legally Puerto Rico is part of the United States. Culturally, it is far from the same. Do not expect your experience at McDonald’s, Home Depot, or Sears to be like that of any other experience. First, you are likely to find more people shopping on any given day. Second, employees will attend customers in more of a triage fashion than an “I was in the line first,” fashion. Third, the checkout lines are bound to be longer and slower. It doesn’t seem to matter where you go. Plan for such an experience; look at is as part of your cultural initiation and learn from the situation.

For more tips and advice on relocation in Puerto Rico, keep reading our blog! More relocation tips are soon to follow! We share what we know to help you through each step of the relocation process.  Feel free to comment and to share your experiences as well! We look forward to hearing from you!

Don’t forget that we are offering FREE CONSULTATIONS for Spanish lessons for both adults and children until September 15, 2012. Contact Global Perceptions TODAY for an appointment! Visit www.globalperceptions.net or call 787.455.7764. 

Cultural Training in Puerto Rico: Global Perceptions Offers the Whole Package

Are you new to Puerto Rico? Have you participated in a cultural training program yet? If so, your cultural training experience likely consisted of theoretical knowledge about one of the many cultural adaptation models, basic tourist information, and some highlights of the host country. When the adaptation program was over, did you feel any more comfortable or confident about living in Puerto Rico? Major corporations invest thousands of dollars in your adjustment process, yet most people walk away from those cultural training programs without the practical knowledge that they need to deal with the day-to-day life.                                      

What if there were a company that not only offered a more application-oriented cultural training program than that mentioned above, but also assisted you with establishing your phone, cable or electric service, getting your driver’s license or buying a car, finding service professionals like doctors, dentists, hair stylists or housekeepers, obtaining government documents, making appointments, and provided on-going coaching services? You’re in luck! Global Perceptions, your Puerto Rico Relocation Specialist, offers this and more. We don’t believe in leaving you high and dry post-cultural training. Instead, we are there to assist you through every step of the challenging adaptation process. Whether you need a little or a lot of help, our staff welcomes the opportunity to help you through this cultural transition.

Not a Spanish speaker? We can help with that too! Our innovative Spanish-language curriculum is custom-designed with the individual and his/her specific needs in mind. We help you get around town, make formal business presentations, and everything in between. You will learn at your pace from bilingual education professionals who are committed to your progress.

There you have it! Global Perceptions is your relocation solution in Puerto Rico because we offer the Whole Package. We will be there with you every step of the way!

If you have been through a cultural training program, but still feel lost in Puerto Rico, contact Global Perceptions today by calling 787.455.7764 or visiting www.globalperceptions.net

Cross-cultural trainers in Puerto Rico

Is your company searching for cultural training programs in Puerto Rico? Look no further! Global Perceptions provides multinational corporations, universities, hospitals, military personnel, and non-profit volunteers with the information and skills to adapt effectively in the Isla del Encanto.

Relocating to Puerto Rico is not an easy task, even for those coming from the United States. People from all across the world experience adaptation highs and lows no matter where they move to, which can impact their professional and personal lives in both positive and negative ways. This is one reason why having competent, experienced intercultural trainers at the ready is so crucial.

At Global Perceptions we welcome all those making the move to Puerto Rico by providing them with intercultural training programs specific to their needs. Custom-designed programs developed with each client in mind include information to facilitate daily living, negotiate business deals, and generally acclimate to the host culture. Because we recognize the need for the whole family to be comfortable, pre and/or post-departure orientation programs, as well as on-going coaching services, are available for both adults and school age children. This approach stresses the challenges that each member of the family faces and helps them work through any difficulties with experienced professionals.

Global Perceptions staff have adjusted to life in a variety of cultures resulting in compassionate, understanding trainers who can address client needs in either English or Spanish. Staff have also received coaching from Dr. Julie Parenteau, the relocation specialist in Puerto Rico, making them uniquely qualified to serve as intercultural trainers. Perhaps most importantly, they have successfully adapted to living and working in Puerto Rico and are excited to share their experiences with newcomers.

At Global Perceptions we understand the relocation process and the toll it can take on people. That is why we make sure that we address the concerns of all family members, while helping them feel more comfortable in their new home. As a result, program participants develop the confidence needed to navigate their own adaptation process in Puerto Rico. Your company will most definitely benefit from working with our experienced intercultural trainers for your employee’s relocation needs.

To find out more about our intercultural training programs or to request a proposal, please contact our office at 787.455.7764 or visit www.globalperceptions.net.






Ten Tips for Relocating to Puerto Rico

Legally Puerto Ricans are Americans, but culturally the country and people are quite different from the mainland. People who come to Puerto Rico thinking that their experience will mirror living at home just because they see Walgreen’s on every corner and can shop at JCPenney, Kmart or Home Depot soon discover that they are mistaken. Puerto Rico is a different country and those relocating to Puerto Rico should recognize that. Spanish is the dominant language, rice and beans are the main dishes, and radio stations play everything from salsa to reggaeton to ballads. The differences don’t end there. Want to be better prepared for your cultural transition to Puerto Rican life? Start with these 10 tips!

  1. Be open-minded and flexible.
  2. Do your research. Read about the history and political situation on the island.
  3. Read between the lines. Learn to recognize when yes means yes and when it really means no.
  4. Learn to be patient because you will wait in line.
  5. Don’t expect to accomplish as much in a day as you would in the States. It will only frustrate you.
  6. Don’t bring valuable furniture, artwork, or photos. The humidity can ruin them.
  7. Learn to expect the unexpected while driving.
  8. Explore beyond the shore.Puerto Rico offers much more than beaches.
  9. Don’t procrastinate. Pay bills, buy groceries, and take care of household items ahead of time.
  10. Start taking Spanish classes shortly after arrival. Even if you speak some Spanish, you will likely struggle simply because the Spanish spoken in Puerto Rico is challenging even for native Spanish-speakers.

These tips will prepare you for the everyday situations that you will encounter while relocating to Puerto Rico; however, keep in mind that each person has his or her own experience upon arrival. Tips like these can make your relocation experience smoother, but they do not take the place of actually relocating to Puerto Rico. Talk with locals and non-Puerto Ricans about their experiences living in Puerto Rico. Find out what suggestions they have. Listen and learn from them. There will likely be moments of frustration, but if you keep focusing on the positive and take good care of yourself, you will enjoy all that Puerto Rico has to offer.

To register for your FREE copy of the upcoming DVD “Getting Your Feet Wet: Top Ten Tips for Adjusting to Puerto Rico,” go right now to Global Perceptions on Facebook. 

« Older Entries