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Using Social Media to Train Expats
Social media has dramatically changed the lives of expats young and old, helping them to make new social connections and keep in touch with old ones.
But what about the use of social media—popular sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn—in pre-departure training for international assignments? Not only do these tools help spread the word about valuable resources, they are also convenient in today’s busy world where scheduling training sessions can often be difficult.
“I think nothing is as effective as live classroom training, but video training is a definite second best,” believes expat coach Heather Markel of Culture Transition. Heather uses videos, blog postings, Twitter and other platforms to prepare her clients.
“There’s no way to prevent trainees from doing something else if they are on a video conference or phone call. That’s the main reason why some of those methods can be less effective,” she notes, adding that fighting participant’s multi-tasking can often be a huge challenge for trainers.
“For participants who are fully focused, video and online training can be an excellent resource,” says Markel.
MoveOne Relocation has the most ambitious collection of on-line videos for training expats in the practicalities of international relocation globally.
Videos include interviews with other expats and specialists regarding schools, moving pets, health care facilities, and just about everything else under the sun in short video bursts.
MoveOne also created specific City Guides to answer as many unanswered questions as possible before an expat has even arrived at their destination.
“We are not only telling them what they need to know for a successful, informed move,” says Camilla Zalka of MoveOne. “We are showing them as well. We believe that eases any hesitations they may be feeling.”
If you want to ask a direct question and have it answered. Try International Living, a large and popular expat website that has uploaded more than 100 videos to YouTube.
Internet radio is also coming on strong with the growing popularity of programs on Expatstradio “You can listen anytime, anywhere and get involved at a level that suits you,” says Expatsradio’s media director Peter Anstis.
“It’s not like a phone call you need to schedule or having to sit down and write a letter. It’s all at your fingertips instantly when required,” he says.
Expatsradio has developed many briefing-related shows, including a program about culture shock with host Margarita Gokun Silver of Global Coach Center.
“Social media helps train expats for international assignments because it also allows for so many perspectives and opinions and experiences to be shared on any one subject,” says Silver.
“An expat who is about to go to another country, can receive great insights and learning just by listening to many different people out there.”
About the author
Robin Pascoe is the author of four widely-used books for expatriate families. She recently posted a global video lecture tour on the content of her books at her popular website.
You can also follow Robin on Twitter @expatexpert