Most of the sources below are geared at international or cross cultural experiences. Take a look and find something that might be relevant to prepare for your placement.


Achebe, Chinua, Things Fall Apart. Heineman, 1958

Things Fall Apart is a 1958 English-language novel by Nigerian author, Chinua Achebe. It is a staple book in schools throughout Africa and widely read and studied in English speaking countries around the world. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first African novels written in English to receive global critical acclaim. The novel concerns the life of a Nigerian community and the influences of British colonialism and Christian missionaries on that community during an unspecified time in the late 1800s or early 1900s. It is an important book to read in order to get a sense of the colonial legacy that is part of our world history.

Austin, Clyde N, Cross-Cultural Reentry: A Book of Readings. Abilene Christian University Press, June 1986

Cross-Culture Reentry is a great collection of studies, personal accounts and research about the effects of returning to your host culture from living in a foreign culture. Cross-Culture Reentry has numerous creative recommendations for individuals and companies to plan for, maintain and re-culturize people as they transition through the maze of crossing cultures. It has great cross-culture stories of various individuals and their families letting you know that you are not alone in your re-entry process.

Chambers, Robert, Rural Development: Putting the last first. Longmans, 1983

Rural poverty is often unseen or misperceived by outsiders. Chambers contends that researchers, scientists, administrators and field-workers rarely appreciate the richness and validity of rural people's knowledge or the hidden nature of rural poverty. This is a challenging book for all concerned with rural development, as practitioners, academics, students or researchers.

Clift, Elayne (Ed.), But Do They Have Field Experience! Kumarian, 1993

A lively, sensitive, and vivid anthology comprised of stories, letters, journal entries, poetry, and original artwork depicting real-life drama in the far corners of the world. An important contribution for anyone interested in international development and development education, and a great read for just about everyone.

Eller, Jack David, Violence and Culture: A Cross-Cultural and Interdisciplinary Approach. Thomson Nelson, 2005

This book focuses on violence as a modern and international cultural problem. It uniquely combines comprehensive theoretical discussion with rich empirical description and analysis in a global approach.

Hess, J. Daniel. The Whole World Guide to Cultural Learning, Intercultural Press, 2006

In order to function effectively in another culture it is essential to understand its values and its patterns of behaving, thinking and communicating. And the best way to learn is to immerse oneself through experience. Here is a text that helps students pursue culture learning with increased effectiveness.

Hofstede, Gert Jan, Paul B. Pedersen, Geert Hofstede, Exploring Culture: Exercises, Stories, and Synthetic Cultures, Intercultural Press, 2002

Exploring Culture is a book of extremes, which is exactly what makes it useful to readers. The authors have taken Geert Hofstede's original five cross-cultural dimensions - groups of characteristics across which most cultures can be compared and contrasted - and placed them in a framework that makes them easier to understand and remember. It provides a variety of tools which are helpful in understanding another culture.

Kiser, Pamela Myers, The Human Services Internship: Getting The Most From Your Experience. Wadsworth Publishing Company, 2007

This manual features a helpful six-step model that guides you through careful observation, identification and application of relevant knowledge, reflection on personal reactions, identification of dissonance, articulating learning from the experience, and planning for the next step in your work and learning. With exercises and activities designed to get you thinking reflectively about your day-to-day internship experiences right from the start, Kiser offers you the tools you need to analyze and apply the lessons you've learned to your future career. Chapters focused on ethics, diversity, communication skills, stress management, and other important topics will help you to integrate your classroom knowledge with your experiences in the field.

Kohls, L. Robert.  Survival Kit for Overseas Living for Americans Planning to Live and Work Abroad. Intercultural Press, 1996

Offers North Americans planning to live or work abroad tips and skills to getting along in a foreign country. Shows how to explore the mysteries of culture, avoid stereotypes, and other pitfalls.

Luce, Louise Fuber & Elise C Smith (Eds). Toward Internationalism: Readings in Cross-Cultural Communication. Newbury House Publishing 1987

The major components of cross-cultural communication are treated in this collection of essays. The articles illustrate the influence which a society's values, role expectations, perception, nonverbal patterns and language behavior bring to bear on the international cross-cultural encounter.

Menzel, Peter, Material World. Sierra Club Books, 1995 

In honor of the United Nations-sponsored International Year of the Family in 1994, award-winning photojournalist Peter Menzel brought together 16 of the world's leading photographers to create a visual portrait of life in 30 nations. Material World tackles its wide subject by zooming in, allowing one household to represent an entire nation. Photographers spent one week living with a "statistically average" family in each country, learning about their work, their attitudes toward their possessions, and their hopes for the future. Then a "big picture" shot of the family was taken outside the dwelling, surrounded by all their (many or few) material goods.  This book offers an excellent visual perspective on the distribution of wealth and culture around the world. (Menzel has other interesting books along the same topics that would be good to look at.) 

Milnes, Joan, Field Work Savvy. Pleasant World, 2003

Field Work Savvy is a reader-friendly guide that walks students of all ages through the steps of searching and applying for internship opportunities - resume writing, portfolio creation, interviewing, developing measurable goals, establishing the learning contract, best practices in the field, reflection, acquiring letters of recommendation, and bringing closure to field work. Sprinkled throughout are tips containing advice from experienced students, wisdom from veteran site supervisors, and guidance from field work professionals.

Sweitzer, H. Frederick and Mary A. King, The Successful Internship. Thomson Brooks/Cole, 2004

Sweitzer and King address concerns, emotions, needs, and unique personal challenges that are the essence of an internship or field experience. They describe in detail the path of change students will find themselves embarking on and the challenges they will face along the way, and they provide clear, concrete tools that build the foundation for students' successful field/practicum experience. The book's five-stage model of the internship process - anticipation, disillusionment, confrontation, competence, and culmination - places the material in a meaningful framework that lends structure to students' understanding of the work they will be doing.

Turnbull, Colin, The Mountain People. Simon & Schuster, 1972

Turnbull describes the dehumanisation of the Ik, African tribesmen who in less than three generations have deteriorated from being once-prosperous hunters to scattered bands of hostile, starving people whose only goal is individual survival. One of the most riveting and reflective anthropological studies of one possible future global scenario: chaos.

Vanier, Jean, Becoming Human. Paulist Press, 1999

In this provocative work, Vanier shares his profoundly human vision for creating a common good that radically changes our communities, our relationships, and ourselves. He proposes that by opening ourselves to outsiders, those that we perceive as weak, different, or inferior, we can achieve pure personal and societal freedom. Our society shuns weakness and glorifies strength. By embracing weakness, however, we learn new ways of living and discover greater compassion, trust and understanding. This spirit of inclusion has extraordinary implications for how we live our lives and build our communities.