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.
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 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 ™ .