New Welcome Program – being piloted in Victoria

Welcome to Melbourne/Victoria

The National Alumni Association Australia and New Zealand (NAA ANZ) is pleased to provide INSEAD expats arriving to Melbourne/Victoria with a support service to assist during the process of settling in this beautiful part of Australia.

In short, an INSEAD resident volunteer can be called upon to provide guidance to the incoming INSEADer (single or family). All requests for assistance will be funnelled thru the NAA ANZ,  who will put the parties in contact.

Please note that this service is volunteer based and free of charge. It follows in the long tradition established in the Fontainebleau campus of senior students extending help to the newcomers.

As expats, we learn that the typical phases of a becoming a new resident are: Preparation, honeymoon, culture shock, and adaptation.

  • HR departments take the lead on documents, booking of temporary accommodation, removalists, etc.
  • Arrival – Honeymoon. Everything is wonderfully new. The hotel is comfortable and you live with a tourist mindset. The Expat’s HR department takes care of the most things. However, reality kicks in rather fast and some critical decisions must be taken most especially schools, finding housing, discovering neighbourhoods, dealing with an unknown rental market and system, traffic, etc. In many cases the spouse manages this task which can be overwhelming. While relocation agents can indeed be helpful, they are short-lived and very busy.
  • Culture Shock. Soon the novelty is over and the newcomer (and the newcomer’s spouse/children) has to fend for him or herself in the new environment. Isolation, lack of friends, contacts, communications. The simplest things can become difficult (do you know a reliable plumber? I need a baby sitter, do you know anyone I can trust). Stress kicks in, sometimes leading into depression.
  • After 1 year, and many ups and downs, the expat (and the family) start to feel comfortable with their surroundings. There are yet many hurdles to overcome, but they all can be conquered or minimised.

What is on offer:

  1. We are INSEAD colleagues. We are not motivated by business. It is our sense of belonging to the same community.
  2. We have been there, we made some mistakes, we learned from them, and we are ready to help.
  3. We can lend-our-ears and provide guidance to you and your spouse.
  4. Points of contact
  5. Network, network, network

What is not on offer

  1. We will not do your homework. Prior to starting you must do some research.
  2. We are not real estate agents, baby sitters, bankers, lawyers. We are just colleagues willing to extend a helping hand and able to direct you to people that might solve your query.

How does the service operate

  1. The NAA ANZ has drawn a list of INSEAD individuals and families willing to contribute their time.
  2. The newcomer should contact Karin Velez Rodriguez MBA ‘91 D, who has kindly offered to coordinate the program, at karin.velez.rodriguez@insead.edu  quoting “Welcome Program”.
  3. Karin will then refer the newcomer’s inquiry to an INSEAD resident.
  4. The local INSEADer will contact the newcomer and organise a get together (lunch/dinner) in order to start sharing practical experience relating to the topics you might have in mind (where to live, costs, rental market, schools, shopping, traffic, medical services, etc.).

You have chosen to live in one of the most liveable cities in the world. You are now able to gain access to new colleagues who will provide you with non-business related knowledge that will make your first months a bit easier.

Enjoy and welcome to Melbourne/Victoria.