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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Suggested Book List for Parenting and Living Abroad


Note: A PDF version of this list is also available.

Bender, Margaret (2002). Foreign at Home and Away: Foreign-Born Wives in the U.S. Foreign Service. Writers Club Press. Stories of women born in other countries who, through their marriages to American diplomats, became representatives of the United States. Experiencing immigrant life in a unique way, they share the challenges faces by other women in cross-cultural marriages away from their own countries.

Bowers, Joyce M. (1998). Raising Resilient MKs: Resources for Caregivers, Parents and Teachers. Association of Christian Schools International. A comprehensive collection of the best and most current thinking on a wide range of topics dealing with the nurturing and education of "missionary kids".

Copeland, Anne (Ph.D.) and Bennett, Georgia (2001). Understanding American Schools: The Answers to Newcomer's Most Frequently Asked Questions. The Interchange Institute. This book guides newcomers to the United States, or those who have been abroad for a long time, about the challenges of understanding the U.S. school system. Foreign born spouses might find this book especially helpful. info@interchangeinstitute.org.

Fenzi, Jewell with Nelson, Carl L. (1994). Married to the Foreign Service: An Oral History of the American Diplomatic Spouse. Twayne Publishers. 170 individuals offer candid and revealing testimony about the lives and roles of Foreign Service spouses through interviews spanning the twentieth century.

Hess, Melissa Brayer and Linderman, Patricia (2002). The Expert Expatriate. Nicholas Brealey Publishing/Intercultural Press. An easy-to-follow guidebook full of practical and useful suggestions on successfully relocating overseas.

Jehle-Caitcheon, Ngaire (2003). Parenting Abroad. Aletheia Publications. Written by an expatriate, who lived abroad for twenty-six years, this guide provides useful insights on the many and complicated issues that arise as one raises children abroad.

Johnson, Spencer (1998,2002). Who Moved My Cheese?, Who Moved My Cheese? for Teens, and Who Moved My Cheese? for Kids. Putnam Press. This is parable about how each of the four characters react differently to change in their lives. The parallels with Foreign Service life are obvious.

Kalb, Rosalind and Welch, Penelope (1992). Moving Your Family Overseas. Intercultural Press. The authors of this book are Americans who draw on their personal experiences to balance general advice and detailed suggestions as they explore the major issues in raising children in the internationally mobile lifestyle.

Langford, Mary et. al. (2002). The Essential Guide for Teachers in International Schools. John Catt Educational Ltd. A roadmap for future international schoolteachers; a lantern on the road to understanding and interacting with other cultures in an international environment. Insight into what to expect for those contemplating teaching overseas.

Maxfield, B. (2000). Up, Up, and Away!!!! Washington, DC: Foreign Service Youth Foundation. FSYF@fsyf.org. Paperback. Mainly for the kids themselves.

Meltzer, Gail and Grandjean, Elaine (1989) The Moving Experience: A Practical Guide to Pyschological Survival. Cleveland: Multilingual Matters, Ltd. This book gives practical suggestions for surviving the psychological stresses and challenges of moving for both local and international moves.

McCluskey, K. C. (Ed.). (1994). Notes from a Traveling Childhood: Reading for International Mobile Parents and Children. Washington, DC: Foreign Service Youth Foundation FSYF@fsyf.org. Paperback. Writings intended to bring to life, the exciting and challenging experience of the "Foreign Service" life-style.

Parker, Elizabeth and Rumrill-Teece, Katharine (2001). Here Today There Tomorrow: A Training Manual for Working with Internationally Mobile Youth. Washington, DC: Foreign Service Youth Foundation FSYF@fsyf.org. Lesson plans for guiding teens through constructive discussion about the challenges of transition.

Pascoe, Robin (2000). Homeward Bound: A Spouse's Guide to Repatriation. Expatriate Press. Written to help better prepare the globally nomadic family to gain the greatest benefits from their experiences, this book covers topics ranging from re-entry shock to marketing one's international experiences to prospective employers.

Piet-Pelon, Nancy and Hornby, Barbara (1985). In Another Dimension: A Guide for Women Who Live Overseas. Intercultural Press. Good, solid, practical advice to help women take advantage of one of life's greatest opportunities... that of sharing in another culture.

Pollack, David C. and Van Reken, Ruth (1999) The Third Culture Kid Experience. Intercultural Press, Inc. Based on both research and the personal stories of countless individuals, this book fully explores the various implications of growing up abroad as a "Third Culture Kid" by individuals. The authors are internationally considered to be leaders and experts in the field of TCK studies.

Seaman, Paul Asbury (1997). Paper Airplanes in the Himalayas - the Unfinished Path Home. Cross Cultural Publications. An autobiographical account by a "Third Culture Kid" of his journey from his childhood in Pakistan, to boarding school for missionary kids to the struggle in his adult years to find a sense of belonging. Recounts one mans struggles to find peace with the Third Culture Kid experience.

Smith, Carolyn (1996) Strangers at Home: Essays on the Effects of Living Overseas and Coming "Home" to a Strange Land. Aletheia Publications. The editor of this book is a Foreign Service spouse who understands well the full implications of the international nomadic lifestyle. The compilations of essays by others who have been through it offer many insights, as well as practical suggestions for helping children - especially teenagers - to adjust.

Stepanek, Vanessa (2000). Riding the Crosswinds. Johnson Printing "A journey as seen through the eyes of a young girl growing up abroad, always moving and travelling, as she is exposed to the hidden messages of the world." Summerfield, Ellen (1997). Survival Kit for Multicultural Living. Intercultural Press, Inc. An insightful examination of the cultural and ethnic cross-currents that have swept the United States. The author offers concrete steps the reader can take toward successful multicultural living.

Taber, Sara Mansfield (1997). Of Many Lands: Journal of a Travelling Childhood. Washington, DC: Foreign Service Youth Foundation FSYF@fsyf.org. A journal for people brought up on foreign countries, the author allows the reader to record his/her international experiences with samples of her own journal entrees.

Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office


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