Amsterdam is a multicultural city with residents coming from all over the world. Some of us come here for a short time before moving on, while others settle, find work and start new relationships. Moving to another country and start a new life is something that I have experienced personally. There are certain challenges that people might find in doing this; these are mostly caused by cultural clashes. You might experience difficulties if they try to adapt to values that you still do not understand. Coaching during this process can help you regain your own balance and appreciate the value of this new experience. Multiculturality is enrichment, not a limitation.

The reason why you left your own country and the manner in which you left, has consequences for your life in your adoptive country. Refugees know this only too well. Even the second generation can carry issues resulting from their family’s life experiences. Adult children of migrants coming the Netherlands, for example, form the former Dutch colonies and elsewhere, may recognise this. They have had to learn to fit in, not to stand out. They have often had to support their parents in finding their way in the new surroundings, dealing with local customs, and in many cases become the language translator in the family.

Living in different countries, being in contact with people from different background, being in relationship with people from different countries, has helped me to develop a strong cultural sensitivity. It has given me an understanding of the values and costumes that are seen as ‘normal’ in different cultural settings. The world is so wonderfully divers. This rich diversity of cultures, languages and customs is something that touches me deeply, and has motivated me to study languages. This passion gives me the drive and excitement to engage and work with people from different cultural backgrounds.