Beyond Language: Lessons on personal growth abroad

At the 2015 polyglot gathering in Berlin (an event for those who love learning languages), I gave a talk called ‘Beyond Language: Lessons about life, self-understanding and transformation.’

During the talk, I shared what I had learned from living in Finland for 5 years, and how I had adjusted (the ups and downs I went through) – basically the messy process of personal growth abroad. I was excited to share the deeper lessons that you learn when living abroad for a longer stretch of time…those lessons that go beyond language but also cannot happen without it.

I got a lot of positive feedback from people in the audience who told me later that they felt understood, and like they weren’t alone. Even this year, people remembered the talk and told me how much it had helped them. This gave me the courage to share this video more widely, since I’d been too scared to do so before now.

If you find it helpful or have your own story to share, please leave me a comment below!


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Hi! I’m Irina.

I’m a multibelonger to Finland, Canada and Romania, without ONE language or culture to call my own – I have several. My intention is to be present where I am and find inner peace and harmony where ever life takes me. I’m embracing the gems of the ongoing cultural and linguistic transition which is my life and hope to inspire others interested in doing the same. Click here to find out more!

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