Subtle DifferencesAccording to researcher Ben van der Anker in a recent article on Expatica, ‘soft skills are important for an expat to fit into life abroad’. Research agrees that the family’s inability to adjust to the new location is the key reason for assignment failure. It is therefore crucial that all family members develop their awareness of potential cross-cultural stumbling blocks. Fortunately, a unique new cross-cultural book has just been published that makes learning about this really important area both enlightening and fun.

SUBTLE DIFFERENCES, BIG FAUX PAS by Elizabeth Vennekens-Kelly

“A primer chock full of important information and describing many brief cross-cultural dilemmas.”

   Norine Dresser, author of Multicultural Manners

American cross-cultural trainer, Elizabeth Vennekens-Kelly is married to a Belgian and lives in both Germany and Belgium. She realised first hand how easy it was to make intercultural mistakes and how that impacted her happiness, her self-esteem and desire to stay living overseas.

When she began work with the newly arrived staff of companies such as Sony and Bloomberg Financial, she soon recognised which teaching methods were most effective.

“Most people learn better and remember more when actively participating in the process; quizzes let them do just that,” explains Kelly, whose newly published book contains 32 sections, each with a quiz at the end.

“I wanted to encourage folks to learn why people may do things differently and to help them understand that ‘different’ is not ‘wrong’,” she continues. “I hope my book will raise awareness of the minefield that can be out there and to instil curiosity in those who go abroad.”


For interviews with the author and to arrange review copies, images and excerpts of the book, please contact the publisher, Jo Parfitt, at or author, Elizabeth Vennekens-Kelly at

Subtle Differences Big Faux Pas is available via all online bookstores and for Kindle


Publication date MARCH 25TH 2012

Price £10.99/€12.99/$14.99

Summertime Publishing

ISBN 978-1-904881-66-7

242 pp, paperback





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