“I really want to take this opportunity to inform you of how professional and thorough I believe Palms to be. I personally enjoyed every minute of the pre-departure course. Not only was the location great, but the planning and structure of the briefing is a credit to all the staff involved.”

Pre-departure preparation is an important part of making an effective contribution overseas. Whether working in development, diplomacy or business, the impact of miscommunication across cultures should not be underestimated. A small early investment in preparation when working in a new culture can have an invaluable impact.

Palms Australia has been providing pre-departure training for cross-cultural workers since 1961. Our expert-led training courses use a variety of dynamic teaching methods to keep the learning useful, memorable, professional and fun.

It’s not as simple as speaking the language.

In every interaction with another human, we all bring own expectations, pre-suppositions, desires, demands and baggage. People working cross-culturally do so more successfully when they have a better understanding of the culture they are living and working in. Closer relationships are formed and trust is developed, resulting in more effective and sustainable programs.

It’s not just about achieving outcomes.

Working across cultures can be a stressful experience. The intercultural worker may suffer from stress, loneliness, confusion, frustration, isolation and even trauma. These challenges will undoubtedly affect their work performance, but they may also negatively affect a person’s long-term wellbeing.

Included in Palms Australia’s cross-cultural toolkit are strategies for self-care, adapting to a new culture and managing relationships. When a worker is equipped with an understanding of how and why they think, behave and react in their new host culture, they can work more effectively in the long term, both abroad and at home.

It’s not as easy as reading a manual.

While Palms Australia’s preparation materials include a small amount of reading, a theoretical understanding of cross-cultural communication is not sufficient. Palms Australia understands that each person and situation is unique, so we’ve developed an in-person training program that can be scaled and applied universally.

Our training provides practical skills, built upon a solid theoretical foundation, to help participants communicate effectively and keep safe in their host culture. Participants also learn from each other through enjoyable and interactive practical activities. This helps keep learnings from the program memorable and effective in the field.

We invite individuals preparing to work or volunteer overseas in a new culture to join our eight-day residential Orientation Course in Bowral, NSW from 6-14 January, 2018. We also run tailored programs for your organisation upon request.

If you wish to participate in the next orientation course or enquire about a private workshop, please complete the form on this page, email palms@palms.org.au or call us on (02) 9560 5333.