Language and Cross-Cultural Training
for Global Mobility

Client Requirement

As a multinational company, Nestlé frequently move talent abroad to take up roles in other countries.  The assignees and their families need to acquire the language and cultural knowledge of their host country, so that they are equipped to cope with the challenges of a different way of life and the unfamiliar working practices of their new environment.

Similarly, overseas assignees and their families, who move to the UK, need to improve their English language and communication skills quickly and deepen their understanding of British attitudes, behaviour and culture to ensure their successful integration into British life and, most importantly, the success of the assignment.

Our Solution

We have been supporting Nestlé’s international assignees since 2006. Time spent preparing for an international assignment has a hugely positive impact on how quickly and effectively assignees and their families adapt to their new environment.   The right support will minimise culture shock, manage expectations and play an important part in the success of the assignment.

We devise a support package for each assignee and their family, which includes:

  • a minimum of 40 hours’ tailored language training for the assignee and his family
  • a day’s cross- cultural training
  • in-school bi-lingual support for the children of the assignee

Recent examples include:

  • Japanese language training for a Director taking up a new position in Japan. Training was also provided to her husband and sons prior to the move. The assignee and her family opted to continue their learning virtually with their UK-based trainer from Japan.
  • The provision of 40 hours’ Spanish language training to a lawyer and his partner who were moving to Barcelona in the New Year. All training took place in the evenings and at weekends over the busy Christmas and New Year period.
  • 40 hours’ French training for the wife and daughters of an assignee relocating to the head office in Vevey, Switzerland.
  • Vietnamese language and cultural awareness training for the wife of a senior executive moving to Vietnam.
  • 40 hours’ Malay language training and a bespoke cultural awareness briefing to a manager moving to Kuala Lumpur.
  • English language and communications skills training and cultural awareness training for international assignees and their partners relocating to the UK.


  • The acquisition of language skills prior to their move has enabled assignees to feel more confident interacting on both a personal and professional level. They have been equipped with basic “survival” language and have a firm foundation on which to build.
  • Practical advice has helped assignees to deal with the everyday – from the school system to local recycling practices!
  • Cultural knowledge and understanding of the key cultural, social, economic and political aspects of the host country have aided employees’ transition and enriched their experience of living overseas.
  • Familiarisation with local business practices and culture has enabled assignees to build positive business relationships and operate effectively in their new business environment.
  • Cultural fluency has been key to ensuring successful transitions – resulting in successful assignments for the individual, his or her family and the company.
“Learning the Malay language with Fatimah was a lot of fun. Her relaxed style very quickly put me at ease and the content and structure enabled me to quickly grasp the basics. Fatimah also provided me with many cultural insights and do’s and don’ts. These supplemented the excellent package of information that Nelly provided during the cultural briefing. All of this preparation paid dividends, as I gained respect from my new colleagues very quickly and I have settled into life in Malaysia easily.”

James Millard
Supply Chain Manager, Coffee & Beverages, Nestlé
"Language Matters provides excellent support with quality services.  English lessons, cultural training and in-school support definitely helped my family a lot to settle into our new life in the UK.

You introduced excellent English teachers for my children.   They could not have improved their English so quickly without the private lessons and in-school support you provided.

My family appreciates your fantastic support."
Japanese Manager
International Assignee to the UK, 2018 - 2020
"Thank you once again for an awesome session. We could not stop talking about it.   We are so grateful we had the sessions.   They really helped to manage expectations with the different cultures."
South African Assignee