A Word From Our Director....
Why I Started The Interchange Institute
In 1988 I moved from Boston to London with my two-year-old daughter
and my accompanying spouse. At the time I was a full-time university
professor. I was off to be the academic advisor for our study abroad
program for a year while my husband wrote a book. It had promised
to be a plum assignment but a series of interlinked problems made
it a bit of a lemon. Happily, our short sojourn turned into a career-changing
adventure for me, for when I came back, I found I wanted to do something
different, something important with my intercultural experience.
I learned many things that year:
- Living in a new culture is easier if you understand its values
and history. I was stunned by how different the US and UK cultures
were. But after all, 400 years of separate history is a lot of years
of separate history. Still, I thought, if this cultural transition
was so hard for me, how do people from much more different cultures
- People from two cultures will work together more easily if both
recognize the differences and try to learn from each other. All
that year, I was scrambling to understand the cultural differences
I was feeling. The most helpful exchanges came from British colleagues
who were also interested in the ways our cultures had diverted.
- You can do a much better job living in a new country if your spouse
is happy. I had all sorts of problems to deal with in my job in
London, but my husband was having a ball. He kept our house going.
He took our daughter to every London park. And he was a valuable
sounding board for me.
I founded The Interchange Institute in 1997, with the goal of using
my psychological and research expertise to increase knowledge about
intercultural transitions, and then turning that knowledge into practical
products for real people. You'll see the fruits of my London experience
throughout our work - in our research on accompanying spouses, in
our materials about values and history for newcomers to the United
States, and, perhaps most importantly, in our various attempts to
educate both newcomers and hosts about the challenges this global
I have loved this work since I began it. But since September 11,
2001, I have felt its urgency. The work of smoothing intercultural
transitions has never been so critical. The work of helping others
understand us and of coming to understand others is our mission.
Anne P. Copeland, Ph.D.
Founder and Executive Director of
The Interchange Institute
Dr. Copeland is a licensed psychologist with expertise in cultural transition and clinical psychology. Prior to founding The Interchange Institute in 1997, Dr. Copeland was Associate Professor of Psychology at Boston University, where she conducted research and research supervision in psychological aspects of family process assessment, ethnicity, cultural influences, immigration, development, developmental disabilities and affective development. During her tenure at the University, she relocated with her family to work in London in 1988, where she was the academic advisor for Boston University's British Programmes. After leaving her full-time position at the university, she served as Adjunct Associate Professor until 2007, continuing her role as mentor and research advisor to Psychology graduate students.
Dr. Copeland has written several books on topics of families and transition (Studying Families, Sage 1991, and Separating Together, 1997), and has authored over 60 research articles, chapters, and professional presentations. She has also written extensively, through The Interchange Institute, for people moving into or out of the United States, including Newcomer's Almanac, a newsletter for international newcomers to the United States published monthly since 1994, Understanding American Schools, Global Baby, A Smooth Beginning, and other support materials.
Dr. Copeland provides cross-cultural training for individuals and families moving to and from the United States. She also trains others to deliver tailored, individualized cross-cultural orientation programs. She developed and conducts International Writers' Club meetings for international newcomers in her community; essays from these Clubs about cultural differences are published in school newsletters, enhancing intercultural understanding throughout the school community.
Dr. Copeland has directed several research studies on expatriate families’ experience, including two multinational in-depth analyses of the social, familial, and personal aspects of moving to a new country. Recent work focuses on the personal and family side of international short-term assignments, and on the role of one’s home – its design and layout – on one’s expatriate experience.
Among her other research activities:
- Member of Peer Review Panel for US National Institute of Mental Health Small Grants Program (1983-88) Consulting Editor, Psychological Assessment (1994-1998)
- Reviewer for Journal of Marriage and the Family, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Child Development, Journal of Pediatric Psychology, and other child development and abnormal psychology journals
- Advisor to 4-8 doctoral dissertations annually, 1977-present
- Head, Doctoral Program on Human Development in Context, Boston University (1990)
- Director, Family Research Training Program, Boston University (1986-88)
Dr. Copeland lives with her husband in Brookline, MA.
Director of Administration
Margaret joined The Interchange Institute as Director of Administration
in July 2004. Her responsibilities include operations, order fulfillment,
customer service, and database management. She also assists with
research projects and marketing initiatives.
Margaret graduated from Stanford University with a B.A in psychology.
and has a M.Ed from University of Vermont in counseling. Margaret
developed her office management skills while working for many years
for BBN (Genuity) in Cambridge, MA. Her last position with Genuity
was as Manager of Customer and Information Services in the Facilities
Margaret lives in Newton with her husband and three dogs. Outside of work her
time is spent as coordinator of a municipal "Adopt-A-Space"
program and other volunteer
Bryant is a sophomore at Boston University majoring in International Relations.
He began working at The Interchange Institute as an office assistant in November 2011..
Catherine first joined The Interchange Institute
as a graphic design intern in November 2003. She was an intern for a year, during
which time she designed many of the pieces The Interchange Institute continues
to use to this day. Today she works at the Interchange Institute as a part-time
graphic designer and consultant.
Catherine graduated from Clark University
in May 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, concentrating in graphic
design and photography. After interning at The Interchange Institute, she accepted
an offer from Endicott College in Beverly, MA to work in their publications
department. Catherine continues to work for Endicott as one of their in-house
graphic designers and the primary staff photographer.
Marissa Lombardi, Ph.D.
Prior to joining The Interchange Institute, Marissa spent five years in Rome, Italy, where she developed and directed an English language and culture program at an international bank. She also served as a cross-cultural trainer and coach to the bank's senior management. In 2007, Marissa returned to Boston where she completed a master of arts in Intercultural Relations at Lesley University, and a doctorate in international education at Northeastern University. Marissa recently returned to Italy to serve as Dean of Students at Lorenzo de Medici Institute. Previously, she taught cross-cultural understanding and Italian culture and business practices in the Global Studies Department at Bentley University. Her research explores the acquisition of intercultural competence in a variety of contexts.