About Intersango

Intersango means ‘exchange’ in Esperanto, the world’s most widely spoken constructed language which is meant to encourage intercultural understanding between people with different languages. ‘Exchange’ is a key element in my work and in my research. Intercultural interaction is where we learn about other cultures, where we best learn what is appropriate and effective in a particular culture. One of my aims is to encourage expats to break out of the expat bubble, and engage with the host culture and locals. This may well push you out of your comfort zone, but it is certainly enriching and you will learn a lot. As Marcel Proust said: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”.

About me

I graduated in International Business Communication at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. After my studies I was a Visiting Study Fellow at University of Oxford where I conducted a research on the adjustment of Dutch diplomats and their partners in London. In February 2012 I successfully defeMarian van Bakel (1)nded my PhD thesis ‘In Touch with the Dutch’, in which I put expatriates in touch with a Dutch host to examine the effect of this contact on the success of the international assignment. During my PhD I also worked as in house communication consultant at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and have done extensive voluntary work in the intercultural field for the Young Society of Intercultural Education, Training and Research (Young SIETAR). One of my projects was to co-edit and co-author A Suitcase Full of Discoveries (2008), an intercultural storybook for children.

Currently I am an assistant professor at the Department of Marketing and Management of the University of Southern Denmark. In my research I focus on the various benefits of contact with locals for expatriates, both within and outside the workplace, and on how expatriates can more easily get in touch with locals as this can be difficult in certain countries. I also offer both consulting with regard to global mobility issues and coaching of individual expats who would like to be better prepared for working and living abroad.


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