While contemporary theories and models of intercultural competence (ICC) development such as the Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity and the Intercultural Development Continuum offer much insight for individuals and organizations that value effective, appropriate, and satisfactory intercultural interactions, practitioners need a conceptualization of ICC that better aligns with the lived experiences of expatriates and other ‘culture-crossers’. Representing the orientations of the Intercultural Development Continuum on the arc of a pendulum rather than on a linear trajectory not only more fully explains the fluid and complex nature of the development and the maintenance of intercultural competency, but also describes how global and local aspects of competency interact with each other and manifest in individual experience. In this presentation, a narrative of expat life is articulated alongside a pedagogical tool that depicts stage-based intercultural competence development as a pendulum, and the implications of this re-imagining for teaching, training, and coaching are discussed.
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