Like a Fish in Water

Rich Kurtzman

Studying abroad is the opportunity of a lifetime, but the idea of leaving home so far behind can feel overwhelming. Like a Fish in Water prepares you to feel comfortable, confident, and ready to take on the world, even in unfamiliar territory.

Rich Kurtzman is a Chicago native who has spent more than twenty years living in Barcelona, overseeing study abroad programs and coaching multinational organizations—teaching students and executives alike how to thrive in new countries and cultures. Step by step, Kurtzman shows you what to expect from your experience abroad, helping you harness your new cultural superpowers to land your dream job.

Like a Fish in Water is your personal guide to international living. Learn how to adapt to any culture, fit in with the locals, and turn what you thought were challenges into exciting opportunities. Done right, studying abroad will dramatically expand your horizons—not just in your professional career but for the rest of your life.

Press & Praise

Melissa Torres, President and CEO of the Forum on Education Abroad

The study abroad field has needed this kind of book for a long time. It's written for students in a way that's the perfect mix of supportive, insightful, and instructive with a lively wit that encourages them to squeeze every moment out of their precious experience. Kurtzman's decades of experience in the field shows, but it's his sincerity of purpose and desire to guide every student toward maximizing their journey that really makes the difference. Don't let your students study abroad without it!

Devika Milner, Assistant Dean and Director of Study Abroad at the University of Miami

Like a Fish in Water is the one and only resource I recommend to all students who are considering study abroad. This book is a must-read for students and families as they prepare for one of their most important and enriching educational journeys. It provides reassurance, critical advice, and guidance that I haven't seen in any other writing.

Brenley Bruxvoort, study abroad student

The activities in this book were so helpful to me before, during, and after studying abroad. Like a Fish in Water explains everything clearly and in a fun way. This book helped me feel incredibly supported and would help anyone who might feel nervous about getting the most out of the experience.

Rich Kurtzman was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. He studied abroad in Russia and Spain and interned in Italy before following his dream to work in Barcelona. Still there twenty years later, Rich has dedicated his entire professional career to international education. Today, he directs a study abroad company and is a sought-after speaker on building intercultural competence and working across cultures.

Rich and his wife, who is from England, live just outside Barcelona with their two multicultural, multilingual children. His newsletter, Culture Stock: Tips and Tricks for Increasing Cultural Awareness, has a distribution of thousands. Find more information at

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