June 2022 – Singing as a common language – when arriving in a new country, with various backgrounds – experiencing music together is a great way to integrate. How wonderful that a few international students of Ithaka Utrecht came up with a small singing group, to not only build language and singing skills, but also work on presentation, and self confidence. Integration through choral singing and getting to know a new language & Culture – a great match!

June 2021 – It is just great to start combining musical workshops with Cross Cultural Awareness (CCA). By sharing my own story with students from multiple backgrounds – through workshops for ”Meer Muziek in de Klas”, while having fun making music and creating something together, it is wonderful to see how these connections help these students to share their story, to grow in confidence, to learn some new (Dutch) language and to work together as a team. Music really combines so many subjects and skills – so happy to explore music & CCA further in the near future!

March 2021 – I gave myself a present today. A membership to Safe Passage Across Networks (SPAN). Attending an online meeting made me feel at home again, nourishing a part of ‘me’ that is still there; a cross cultural sociologist, dedicated to help expatriates and repatriates to understand the challenges and opportunities of settling into a (new) country. ”SPAN is a non-profit organization which offers a home to people and schools committed to healthy student, family and staff transition”. I felt a sense of belonging again listening to likeminded International School leaders and teachers. And being in the same ‘Zoom-room’ with wonderful authors of my favorite and must-read-books such as ‘Third Culture Kids’ and ‘Letters never sent’ by Ruth van Reken and ‘Safe Passage’ by Douglas Ota made me extremely enthusiastic to pick up again where I left off: Cross Cultural Awareness.

July 2020 – An article published by GOS – The International Mobility Network – about my own repatriation experience. ”The challenges lie in the accepting of and giving time to the discomfort, struggle and grief when settling in and finding our sense of belonging…. There are many opportunities to find a new purpose, but with repatriation I can only say: give yourself time to adjust. You will stay here for a while…. You are home!”

August 2015 – How singing with other expats and locals can be a wonderful way to connect and share while having great fun. An article by Geoje International Center about Geoje Choir – The International Choir of Geoje in South Korea.