Before Your Participant Arrives
As with any new employee, international professionals – whether an intern, a trainee, a scholar, a professor, or a specialist – should be welcomed to your business in both formal and informal ways. This may include onboarding, an orientation, opportunities to meet American staff, and more.
ONBOARDING AND ORIENTATION
Coordinate with your human resources department to arrange for onboarding and orientation of your international participant(s). You should also prepare the space and any necessary equipment your participant(s) will need – a computer, a phone, etc.
STAFF BRIEFING AND INTRODUCTIONS
It’s helpful to prepare your American staff members for the arrival of your international intern, trainee, or professional. Educate your staff about their work experience, educational background, home country, and personal interests. You may also wish to discuss adjustment issues your participant may face. For example, gestures, tone, and demeanor carry different meanings in different parts of the world; this is a great opportunity to discuss and learn about these differences.
In addition, suggesting ways your employees can welcome your participant – for example, inviting them to lunch or a local event – might also help ease the participant’s transition.
BEING A LOCAL RESOURCE
As residents of your community, local staff are well-positioned to offer advice to international interns, trainees, and professionals; this may include ideas about local housing, transportation, and cultural opportunities. Sharing this information with your participant(s) before they arrive (and throughout their program) will make it easier for them to get settled and feel welcome.