The Who’s Who of FIGT

At the FIGT conference I met so many interesting personalities and people I’ve admired, including Margie Ulsh, the editor of “Among Worlds” magazine, Jo Parfitt, the author of “Career in Your Suitcase” and Dr. Janet Bennett, the executive director of the Intercultural Communication Institute in Oregon, where I would love to attend one fine day. Another highlight for me was meeting Ruth E. van Reken, author of Third Culture Kids – Growing up Among Worlds, which was instrumental in helping me to define my identity and explain my experiences growing up.

The conference had a very collaborative and open atmosphere. Before the conference even started, I went to the Houston Rodeo with a group of conference participants. That was a fun night during which I got to watch steer wrestling and mutton bustin’ while hanging out with Dr. Katrina Burrus from Switzerland.  I later attended her presentation on Global Nomadic Leaders, an interesting look at the pros and cons of  ATCKs in management positions.

After hearing Jo Parfitt speak on writing in the last concurrent session, I had an epiphany about writing a series of childrens’ books. That’s when someone pointed me to Dr. Laura Sicola, who spent time showing me her personal collection of multicultural children’s books, as sources for me to find the inspiration I need to write my own book about intercultural friendships.

Oshikan Bunse-Sjodin and I sat down after the conference to discuss coaching as an option for me. We had a good connection and she offered her ideas on the subject, patiently adding to what I had already learned  about coaching as a viable and valuable service for expats. There were so many helpful individuals who offered me their time, advice and resources.

These people and so many others I haven’t mentioned have really inspired me to stay on this career path that I’ve chosen. I’ve also been introduced to new areas, such as the spouse/partner experience, teenagers, education, and writing for trans-cultural children or young adults. I really feel like I’m in the right place. And I can’t wait until next year’s conference in Washington DC!

More to come on my impressions from the 2010 FIGT conference!

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