Pre Departure Training are very important for people



Pre Departure Training are very important for people who will be sent for the international assignment . To make sure people is already compatible with the company objectives . If it is run well then it will reduce the probability of early return of the expatriates and also keep the employee mindset true ( for assignment not for vacation ). Pre Departure Training will conducted by company to train the people who  will been  sent to the different country  and make sure they can adjust  with the new environment and perform well.

Pre Departure Training will conducted in the frameworks of cultural awareness ( in daily life and work life ), but the other factors also will be includes to support their performance .

The following elements will be including on the PDT :

  1. Culture Profile : Differences and similarity of the host and home country
  2. Country Briefing : General information about the host country
  3. Cultural Adaptation : Intercultural and Culture Shock training
  4. Logistical Information : The etiquette of gift and giving , whom to call in emergency
  5. Business Etiquette : The basic procedures of business technique
  6. Sensitivity Training : Roles employees and partners will assume in new location
  7. Table Manner : Breakfast , Lunch , Dinner , Coffee time
  8. Paper Orientation : Make a report base on case study
  9. Critical Incident : Problem discussion
  10. Movie : German Movie
  11. Language : German language
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In this case, the company will assign one female employee to Germany for 4 months. She has husband and 2 children.

The methods used during the pre departure training are base on cognitive (country briefings, cultural briefings, language training) and affective approach (case study , discussion) . Some entertainment approach also will be included (games, watching film).

The Pre Departure Training Program will be conduct in 5 days (discussion, class room) , 6 months ( language training ). Three days training (08.00-17.00 pm) in a row, and it won't count as a leave. The six months language training ( 1 hour everyday ) , company will call the German language trainer to the office . It considered as a work hour (17.00-18.00 pm)

The trainee should be professional and know about both culture (Germany and Indonesia).


The main objectives of this pre departure training is to make the employee feels comfortable stay in foreign country and to avoid or at least minimize the culture shock , to enable the employee to handle his/her obstacle and challenges . To help expatriates adapt with communication practice and leadership style in host country. That's why this pre departure training has been created for providing the employee with support to deal with the cultural,  personal , professional , and social challenges they would face during the assignment .


Day 1:Cultural Profile and Country Briefings




Welcoming drink




Country Briefings

11. 35-12.00

One by One discussion


Lunch Break + pray


Cultural Profile


Coffee Break + pray


Summary today's session

Explanation :

Opening : In this session the trainer will explain about the syllabus, the purpose of the whole session ( day 1-5) and the company expectation for the training also do small conversation to introducing each other.

Country Briefings : The general information about the German (geography, climates, religion, people, economic, political, law and government) will be explained by the trainer.

One by One discussion : Every participant will be given a specific topic and at the end the participants should discuss with the trainer about the topics.

Cultural Profile : This session will full of video, explanation, also sharing knowledge about Indonesian and Germany culture. The similarity and differences of Indonesian and Germany culture will be explain in simple way (general to specific) .

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Summary : The result and summary of the sessions and closing for today's session.

Day 2: Cultural Adaptation + Critical Incident




Welcoming Drinks


Review Last Session


Cultural Adaptation


Lunch Break + Pray


Critical Incident + Discussion


Coffee Break + Pray


Summary today's session

Explanation :

Review Last Session : It will take sometimes to refresh the participant minds about last sessions

( cultural profile and country briefing)

Cultural Adaptation : In this session, all of the phase of expats will be explains ( the tourist phase , cultural shock phase , cultural shock phase and adjustment phase ) . The trainer will give suggestion (real life not theory only) to the trainee. Some video about the adaptation phase will be shown (two or more video ) .One video will present  people who can not adjust with the culture and one video will show people who can adjust with the German culture . Beside that, the cross cultural training will be included in this session. The participants also will explains about the different between Indonesian and Germany culture, so the participants can see

Critical Incident

And discussion : The trainer will give some problem scenario about  the cross cultural communication skills . The participants should  as critical as possible to solve the problem  and should  use German language  at the discussion . They have to position them self into the problem , as if they all trapped in it . It will increasing their confident if he/she have to talk in front of the colleagues. It also will train them to solve some problem wisely and correctly. At the end , the trainer will give the best answer or way to solve the problem .

Review Session : The result and summary of the sessions and closing for today's session

Day 3: Logistic Information + Paper Orientation




Welcoming Drink


Review Last Sessions


Logistic Information

11. 35-12.00

Paper Orientation


Lunch + Pray





15.40 - 16.00

Coffee Break + Pray


Summary Today's Session

Explanation :

Review Session :In this session , the trainer will divided the participants into group .   Each lain about yesterday session ( different point each group) using German language.

Logistic Information : In this session the trainer will explain about the etiquette of gift and giving and whom to call in emergency.  The trainer will divided the gift and giving etiquette into two part (German and Indonesia ) , both will be learned and compared .  The participant also will get some important number ( at least 2). One is people from German office who will always available ( usually from HR department ) , one from Indonesia Office ( also from HR department )

Paper Orientation : In this session , the trainer will give some case study related with the gift and giving etiquette , and asked the participants to make a report base on that article(s) . The due date is at the 4th day .

Debate : The participants will be divided into 2 groups . The trainer will give one topics ( Chat during work are important ) , one group is pro group and the other is contra group . Both group will do a debate ( using German language) . At the end every group have to give the conclusion .

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Games : The game is ice breaker game and very simple . Every participant play ‘ concentration games ‘. Every participant have to choose one country name in German . It started from the trainer , and continue to the rest . The participant must remember their ‘ country name ‘ and the other country name. Must mentioned their own ‘ country name' and also one of other country name following the song . If your  ‘ country name ‘mentioned by other person , you have to prepare to mention your  ‘ country name' and other ‘country name' . If there are people who do some wrong in this game , they will out of the game and will be punished ( fun punishment ).

Summary :  The trainer will give summary of today's session and close today's session

Day  4 :Sensitivity Training + German Movie




Welcoming Drink


Review Last Session + Report Submission

09. 15-12.00

Sensitivity Training


Lunch + Pray


German Movie + Discussion


Coffee Break + Pray


Summary all session + Closing

Explanation :

Review session : The trainer will explain about the last session and the ask the participant to collect the report assignment.

Sensitivity Training : In this session the participants will learn about the correctly react in the new environment , roles of gender ( men and women ) , personal space , body language , expression when doing business , relationship in the work environment and the hofstede analysis about German.

German movie : The movie should related with the sensitivity , after watch the movie all the participants will be choose randomly to summarize the film .

Summary : The trainer will summarize today's session and give an assignment to the participants . They have to apply today's materials ( sensitivity ) , especially for tomorrow .

Day  5 :Business Etiquette + Table Manner




Welcoming drink + Breakfast (Table Manner)

08.40-09. 10

Business Etiquette

09.15- 11.00

Business Etiquette


Table Manner ( Lunch ) + Pray

13.05- 15.15

Guest Speakers

15.20 - 16.00

Coffee Break ( Table Manner ) + Pray


Summary All Session



Dinner ( table manner ) + closing

Explanation :

Almost every session in this day will be related with the business etiquette and table manner .

Table Manner :  Table manner for breakfast ( simulation for formal and informal). It usually welcoming drink part in previous 4 days , but in this day start from welcoming drink the trainer will teach them how to do it properly base on German culture and explain the differences and similarity between German and Indonesian culture .

Business Etiquette :  In this session , the trainer will explain and build some curiosity of the participant related with business etiquette ( giving name card , meeting , presentation , how to work in a true way in the German environment ). They have to really care about time in Germany , they have to read book ( because German people is really love reading )  to improve their knowledge .

Table Manner : Table Manner for lunch ( simulation for formal and informal ) . The participant directly do the lunch together in a table . The trainer will explain all the steps start from introducing the tools. The participants followed the trainer steps . The trainer also will explained what do(s) and don't(s) action done in the table and also explain what makes different between Indonesian and Germany way in doing lunch .

Guest Speaker : The guest speaker must be well experienced in the German and Indonesian culture . He/she will shared their experienced and fulfill the participants curiosity  ( build y the trainer in the business etiquette session). The guest speaker also will tell participant s about the real life there ( the transportation , the traditional market , the hospital , the public area , the shopping area ,etc ) .  The participants can freely asked the guest lecture about something related with the German .

Table Manner : Table Manner for coffee break ( simulation for formal and informal ). Same with the previous table manner session, the participants also will do it directly and the trainer will show the proper way in doing that in German way .

Summary : The trainer will summarize the whole session .

Table Manner : Table manner for Dinner . This is the closing ceremony for the training , but the trainer  still explain and shown the proper way for dinner in German way.

Language Training






Language Training



Language Training



Language Training



Language Training



Language Training

Language Training :The German  language training will be conduct every day after work hour ( 17.00-18.00 ) . The training more focus on conversation but the vocabulary and grammar will also includes.  The company should hire the professional , because language is very important when doing international assignment. It will be a test every week ( on Wednesday ) . The trainer will teach the participants  about the daily conversation , business conversation ,  meeting conversation ( presentation ) , cross cultural communication . only conversation , the trainer have to teach about listening . For listening , the participants can use CD simulation  , listening to the German song , watch some German film  . Beside that the trainer will also teach the participants about reading in German language. For example , ask the participants to read some document , newspaper , magazine , novel , comics , etc . In this training , the trainer will be present about the similarities and also the differences between Indonesian and Germany way to communication.  The language training duration is 6 months.


Geography :

Germany is a federation made up of 16 federal states, each of which has independent if constrained state authority.

Location : Central Europe

Size :357,021 km2

Neighboring states : Germany is at the heart of Europe and has nine neighbors :  Austria , Belgium , The Czech Republic, Denmark, France , Luxembourg , The Netherlands , Poland , and Switzerland .

Largest City : Berlin , Hamburg , Munich , Cologne , Frankfrut/Main

German Federal FlagGerman Federal Emblem

Facts about Germany

State holiday : October 3 ( day of Germany Unity )

Currency : Germany is a member of the Euro zone  , EUR

Phone dial code : +49

Internet  TLD : .de ( one of the ten most frequent top level domains)

Official language : German ( German is the mother tongue of 100 million people and German is the mother tongue spoken most frequently in the European Union.

Climate : Moderate oceanic/continental climatic zone with frequent changes in weather and primarily westerly winds.

Religions :  Protestant ( 26 million people , 900,000 of them go to Orthodox church) , Catholics ( 26 million people) , Muslims ( 3,3 million people )  , Buddhists ( 230,000 people ) , Jews ( 100,000 people) , Hindus ( 90,000 people ).

Degrees : Bachelor's , Master's , Ph.D . , State Examination , Diploma , Magister , Promotion .

Tradition : German writers , composers and philosopher such as Goethe , Schiller, Bach, Beethoven , Kant and Hegel have strongly influenced cultural epochs and are acclaimed figures the worlds over.

Festival : Richard Wagner Festival Bayreuth , Bachfest Leipzig , Berlin International Film Festival ( Berlinale ) , Theatertreffen Berlin , Rock and Ring , Oktoberfest ( Hustle and bustle ) over 6 million people from all over the world visit the Octoberfest in Munich every year.

Economy : Germany ranks no.3 in the world economy , German rank no.1 in the world export champions , German rank no.4 the attractive location , German rank no.3 that have high degree of competitiveness.

Standard of Living : Germany is one of the countries with the highest standards of living in the world ( UN's HDI Index)

Ways of Life : Most people in Germany live in multi person households.23 million people live as a couple and yet close to 14 million people live alone.

Rights :  Women and men have equal rights. In Germany , equal right are enshrined in the Basic Law. It is legally impermissible to discriminated both gender as regards working conditions and pay , and there are numerous law guaranteeing the right of women. This makes Germany places 9th best world wide in the UN's GEM index which measures women's participation in business and politics.

Living in Germany : Trend to more part-time work , High proportion of women in employment , Almost one in three people live in a big city , The Germans are a very sporty nation , Living cost is the biggest expense , Soccer is the most popular types of sport.

Art fairs and cultural

Event : Art Cologne , Art Frankfurt , Frankfurt Book Fair , Berlin Film Festival , Leipzig Book Fair , Bayreuth Festival.


In conclusion, all of those information and training  can be the references for the participant who will be sent to Germany for International assignment . All information should be explained before she/he arrive at Germany . The aim is to support their performance so they can finish their job on time . Some additional information regarding pre departure , such ad : visa , airplanes ticket , who will pick them up there , what should they do when they arrive at the first time , where will they live ( home/apartments/hotel) , would the company there give a car for transportation , phone number who will they call in emergency , the phone card , the currency ( Euro) , and so on .

Interview Result

Indonesia to Germany

Name :Adry Sutedjo ( 4 months in Germany)

Company : BMW

Position : Head of Human Resource  Department

PDT : She assigned to Germany for 4 months . Yes , she's got Pre Departure Training for 8 days. 3 days in Singapore ( Introduction about BMW ) and 5 days in Oxford ( International competences ). Her family didn't  include in the PDT  program. First program on the PDT was management skills and the second program was intercultural differences ( managing differentiations . The company didn't give her training about the culture shock. After she arrived at the Germany , the company told her about the accommodation and living information . But they did It after she  arrived , not on the PDT. She said the PDT program was very useful. She could did some business trip because it conducted on different country , she can met and get to know other colleagues and also all of that was her new experienced . The PDT  was suitable with her necessity in general , but the PDT did not look the audience ad an individual but as a group ( no one by one discussion) . She faced a problem in the PDT , there is no friend from the same region and no one accompany her on the PDT program. She also said those problems related with culture in the work environment are important theoretically but in real situation all the theory completely forgotten.  Including the family on the PDT program are necessary if the expats will being accompanied. She learned the German language (expatriates must do it). Based on her experienced, German people in work environment are individual, they knew each other but only in work borders. Before 2,5 months her German people only asked her to go to pub , drinking and all that. No chit and chat during work time . After 2,5 months her friend asked her to came to her apartment. She can adjust with the German culture , the key is don't u ever feel alone. You have to socialize with other. Her suggestion for the next PDT are : Providing the language training ( 6 months ) , Give all the detail about the destination country , providing person who will always available ( to explain about everything to the expatriates).

Name : Priscilla Novensia Christyani Reyes ( 16 months in Germany )

University : Martin Luther Universitaet Halle Wittenberg

She did some research about Germany ( at least you know about the culture or the habit in Germany ) before she went there  and she also learned the German language. Learned the language it self , she had to  prepare the money because  the life cost in Germany is quiet expensive. These some general knowledge about Germany : People in Germany are on time ( time is greatly appreciated there) , German people are very individual , German people love drinking beer ( its legal for people above 16 years old) , they love reading ( wherever , e.g. : in the train , in the bus) , Usually they only use fork when eating (including eating rice) , they walking on the right side . There are some differences between Indonesia and Germany. In Indonesia , time is not really appreciated , Indonesian usually use fork and spoon when their eating ,  they friendly to everyone , walking on the left side , beer is illegal and book are not really used . She said , adapt to the local culture were very important to make you survive. Beside that , if we knew the culture and the social life there we can take the good one and remove the bad one .   .


Name : Hanna Müller

Country of origin : Germany

Brief background about her : Studying Asian Studies and Management with Indonesian language, spent her 4th semester studying at UGM in Yogyakarta to learn bhs Indonesia, did an internship at her 5th semester at PT Mercedes Benz Distribution Indonesia in Jakarta. 25 years old, married, no children. 2010 was her 4th time to Indonesia, first time in Indonesia was in 2002 with AFS Intercultural Studies in Malang, 6 months going to SMA, living with Javanese muslim family, learning language and bahasa for the first time.She has been in Indonesia for 10 months in 2010 → from March to December 2010,(3,5 months in Yogyakarta, 0,5 month in Flores , 6 months in Jakarta)

Company : PT Mercedes Benz Distribution Indonesia

Position : For the brand smart (internship, but actually handling large parts of the process of launching the smart product (in Jakarta and Bali) , organization of advertisement, events and coordination work

PDT :  Her company did not gave her PDT but her university in Germany did . The PDT conducted at the university. It was the whole time she studied , especially during the 3rd and 4th semester. They had a lot of classes concentrating on Indonesian culture , language and behavior. It conducted by the professors with long term experiences in Indonesia. They were working there or did PDT for companies. Her family did not including on the activities because it was not a real training , it was more on a part of her studies. That were very useful for her life in Indonesia and the PDT suitable with her necessity , without that preparation a lot of things would not so easy understandable. She thought that problem about culture are very important on the work environment , it's the best to work on case studies and to compare their culture to the Indonesian culture. She thought that involving her families maybe important if the family also join move to Indonesia and if not , its not necessary. The pre departure training about culture make her life in Indonesia much easier to orientate in the beginning in an culture which is quiet  strange and new ( for the first impression).When she came to Indonesia at the first time , she faced some problem related with language , culture, values and beliefs but after she was in Indonesia several times she can eliminate that especially in 2010. She did not have considerably problems with culture and so on. Her suggestion about Pre Departure Training is that the training must be conducted by a very experienced person who understands both cultures and can compare them without depreciating one to other. The training should last for some time , not only 2 weeks or something like that. The training should continue when the expats is already in the country. Maybe for some expats it would be good to have contact person in Indonesia to care for his in culture misunderstanding and problem .  She need quiet long time to adjust with the Indonesian culture( 2 months ) . It depends on which values and behavior of the culture . She really confuse with the indirect conversation because sometimes the people made her going crazy and a bit impatiently. The biggest lesson she learnt during her stays in Indonesia : cultures and behavior are different in their view but in a nutshell they are all the same. People may behave strange or whatever but somebody aims to the same ( mostly happiness and a good life). The training can guided but the biggest part to learn something lies in your own heart. She is an open person so it was not difficult for her to open for something new and unusual ( open your mind)