Meet Sandra Bissell

I believe we can achieve any desire to which we set our minds and that knowledge and a positive attitudes are our most important tools to reach our goals.

Feeling equally excited about our next vacation and our to-do list is possible!

It takes learning new skills and partaking of the knowledge already out there shared by others who have traveled the paths we are now choosing.


Hello Dear Friend,

     I’m Sandra Bissell. I am a cross-cultural trainer and mindset coach for international women and families in transition. I share, teach and learn within this ever-growing global community. Through my training and coaching programs, I help my clients gain clarity and develop their self-esteem and courage, to improve their overall performance and happiness in life, with less stress and regardless of where they call home.

My Story

I have been blessed with the opportunity to live as an expatriate for more than 2 decades.

Originally from the countryside of Sao Paulo state, in Brazil, I have enjoyed life in Kanagawa and Aichi prefectures, in Japan, Boston and San Diego cities, in the United States,  São Paulo, Brazil,  as an expatriate in my own country,  Zurich – Switzerland and most recently Stamford – Connecticut, back to the United States.

As you may guess, I feel the most comfortable within the international community.

But, this hasn’t always been true!

As a Japanese-Italian-Brazilian, with some Portuguese blood, one might expect that navigating through the world should have been easy.

Not so fast!

I started this global life as a non-skilled immigrant, working in a factory in Japan as I learned Japanese and English, and in retrospect, international living skills.

Initially, I struggled with my pride to have to work in a low level job. In my native culture, it was easy for me to secure more qualified positions, and having to work with my hands on the factory floors really hit me hard.

She won’t last a month – I heard some of my co-works say.

I had decided to live in Japan for a few years to save money for college and learn languages.

Due to my maternal Japanese grandparents, I was able to legally work in Japan, and found a job even before I left Sao Paulo. My new employers paid for my trip expenses, therefore guaranteeing that I would stay with them for a while. This arrangement benefited both parties, as I couldn’t have paid for the trip myself.

My new company, Fuji Products, picked me up at the airport, provided dormitory facilities and transportation to and from work – a perfect way to arrive at a new place when alone and unable to speak the local language.

This is where the joy comes in. Life always provides the necessary answers if one keeps on searching.  And with the search comes a certain knowledge that when shared, multiplies.

The skills I learned during those initial hard days in Japan kept on serving me, as I moved from one continent to the other.

ExpatJoy Blog is being created as a venue to share knowledge and to learn from each other, serving the expatriate community.

My personal mission is to inspire you and me to live a passionate global life.

I will do this by sharing tested skills used by successful expatriates, pass along research being done on topics such as cultural shock, cultural adaptation, third culture kids and adults, transitional coaching skills, repatriation, among others.

As an avid life student, I have noticed, and I’m sure you have as well, that in any situation there are people who succeed – people who find joy.

I invite you to take this journey with me, and find out what makes an ExpatJoy person.

Thanks for joining me.



(Some of my passions are – people, my family,  good conversations, traveling, ethnic food, dancing and Capoeira , an Afro-Brazilian-Martial-Art-Dance.)


Sandra's Credentials...

Sandra earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Emerson College (Boston - USA)  along with post-graduate studies in Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages at the University of California (UCSD). She is an iPEC (The Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching) Certified Professional Coach and an Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner ™ .



Schedule your Complimentary Expat Discovery Session
with Sandra

Let's spend 30 minutes together on the phone exploring your needs and desires for coaching and what I have to offer.

What Others Share About Working With Sandra

"I had the pleasure ...

of being coached by Sandra and it was a terrific experience.  As a healthy and successful individual, I never thought I needed help from a coach so I was a bit hesitant about what to expect the experience.  Sandra was able to help me notice things about myself that I had never noticed before and enabled me to move past obstacles that were hindering me from getting what I wanted out of life.  After several months of coaching I can say the experience was extremely valuable and I (and others around me) were able to see the positive impact Sandra’s coaching had on my life." Bill T.  Allendale, NJ

"I enjoyed being debriefed by Sandra...

on the Energy Leadership Index Assessment and I felt comfortable being very open with her about any issues that came up for me at the time. Sandra was thorough in explaining each level so that I would understand it in easy language. This helped me feel calm and relaxed, in continuing and completing the debrief process.

I was able to be spontaneous with my responses and react quickly to what my gut was telling me. Sandra even pointed out something, that my percentages of two levels in “My Energetic Profile” were the same, no other coaches mentioned this fact!" Lisa Botwinick -  New York,  NY

" E.L.I. Assessment and Debrief are...

GAME CHANGERS.  Sandra was able to explain my results and their meaning clearly.  She was warm and friendly during the debrief.   She took the necessary time to explain each area, made sure that I truly understood every single detail and used concrete examples to help me truly benefit from the debrief process." Dr. Charlotte Jones-Burton New York Area, NY 

"It has been a privilege....

having the experience of working with Sandra. I sought her out for coaching based on her impressive credentials, expertise in coaching, and business execution. I needed support in prioritizing and implementing actions steps not only in my coaching business, but in my personal life, specifically, time management and self-care.  She has helped me to keep focused on my goals and achieving those goals through strategies and steps that produce quick results. Her coaching has helped me accelerate the planning and execution of my business and personal goals. Sandra also has a gift in her ability to get beyond surface issues and asks powerful questions that move you above and beyond where even you thought you could go. She has provided me with unconditional support and encouragement and clearly believes in me wholeheartedly. I am so grateful for this experience and highly recommend her to anyone wanting to make dreams a reality. Thank you Sandra!" Marilyn Rose - Smithville, NJ 

"It's my honor to share my heartfelt thoughts ...

with anyone interested in working with Sandra as a professional coach. During a 3 month coaching relationship with Sandra, I came to know myself in truly beneficial ways.  Because of her very organized & systematic approach, I was able to not only experience internal change but the satisfaction found by the accomplishment of many external goals. Whether it be something I desired in my professional life or something missing in my social life, she was able to be a true partner in discovering impactful solutions. I'm very happy to have Sandra in my corner & I strongly recommend her coaching services to anyone seeking a partner in conversations that help reveal optimal personal potential. Esco Wilson - New York, NY