My Expat Story: Alice Jungclaus

Here at Global Living we want to connect with our readers — know what you’re all about, what you love, where you’ve been and where you’re going. The best way to do this? Hear it straight from YOU!

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We received an email from Canadian-born, Switzerland-based Alice Jungclaus, who told us about her expat and travel experiences.

What’s your favorite part of expatriate life?

For me, the joy in expatriate life is the infinite learning opportunity to develop a global mindset and cultural intelligence.  The travel, work and study abroad experiences that I have had the good fortune to enjoy, have enriched, deepened and humanized my intellectual understanding of “global living”.  Expatriate life, in particular, has lit the fire to inspire my professional pursuits and warmed my personal family life with happiness. Working with International Baccalaureate Schools in Asia and Europe has allowed me to continue to enjoy my passion for communicating and learning across various cultural communities. It can be a very fulfilling way of living.

Where have you lived around the world? Favorite places?

I’ve lived as an expatriate in Japan, Hong Kong and Switzerland and as a culture and language student during extended séjours in French-speaking Canada (Québec City and Montréal).  My formative years were spent in beautiful English-speaking Vancouver on the Western Canadian Coast and on Cree First Nations land in Saskatchewan, Canada.  My favourite places have been beautiful natural landscapes in and around big cities where sea and land meet; Vancouver and Hong Kong offer breathtaking panoramas and Fukuoka, Japan provided me with some of the best food and intercultural personal development I have ever had.

Where do you want to move to eventually?

To be honest, I still have a lot more traveling and living to do here in Switzerland before I can decide on whether or not I would like to move elsewhere.  Prior to leaving Hong Kong I had two strong forces attracting me:  Zürich and Singapore. I loved my tourist trips to Singapore and could easily jump into moving there. However, I did not know Zürich at all. I chose to go on the path of the unfamiliar and so far, it has been brilliant.

What’s your sense of home?

Home is about feeling connection. For me, true connection is based on mutually positive relationships between human beings within the physical space that they share. Thankfully, I have felt powerful connections in many of the places I have lived, thus I have many “homes”!  A brief snapshot to explain: I was born and raised in Canada by a heart-centered family with cultural origins in West Africa, the Netherlands and First Nations Cree culture. I married a man with German-Danish cultural origins and we have a son who was raised and schooled for most of his life in Asia. This is just the tip of the iceberg to illustrate my sense of “home”.  Ultimately, a global and culturally conscious lifestyle is what my family and I are currently enjoying. It is part expatriate, part cross-cultural, part heart-centered and always globally minded.

Share anything else you’d like us to hear!

To foster success and joy internationally, I suggest that all globally mobile and globally inspired individuals make it a priority to develop their communication and interpersonal skills broadly and deeply.  Continually strive to understand the needs of the people in your community as well as your own.   Somewhere in the space between lies a sweet spot!

Follow Alice on Twitter at: @AliceJungclaus.


If you’d like to be featured on our Letters to the Editor section, send an email to us at info@globallivingmagazine.com and tell us about your experience as an expatriate and/or global citizen. Don’t forget to include your Twitter handle so we can help you connect with other expats from around the world!

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