Adrielle Stapleton (Boston 2011–2014)
Hi all! This year took us to Bonn, Deutschland. It's my turn to learn about the real expat experience - I am working hard to learn German, meet people and make a new routine here! I took my first trips to Paris and Berlin in the fall, and this spring I get to see Amsterdam and Dublin and Carneval in Cologne.
I write about the expat spouse experience at my blog, http://www.stickersonoursuitcases.com/. Most recently I wrote about professional volunteering online and online networking. Both of these strategies have been helpful to me during this adventure. I'd love to chat, and to hear if you have suggestions for topics that would be interesting to you!
Adriana Atalla (MIT 1998–2000)
It was 17 years ago this February when we landed in Boston to our new life in the United States. So much has happened since then. My husband was working as a research scientist at the Active Materials & Structures Lab, and I, as a spouse, couldn't work legally. It felt really bad not being able to be a productive person. I hope that immigration law can change one day for spouses on H-4 visas.
I found out about a group of women meeting every Wednesday at the Student Center. I decided to give it a try and attend an MIT spouses&partners meeting.
There I found women like me and around my age; some with kids, many spoke as much English as I did. Meeting other people in the same position as me changed my perspective of how I should face this new chapter in my life. I started meeting lot of people, and getting involved in many activities.
After three years at MIT my husband started working at United Technologies in Connecticut, where we lived for 12 years. I have two beautiful kids and we bought our first house in Glastonbury, CT. Two years ago my husband got transferred to Raleigh, North Carolina, where we live now. I love living in a place that doesn't get snow! It’s much more like Brazil.
We travel back to Brazil every year to see our families, and our kids are bilingual in Portuguese and English. We built a life here in the United States and recently became citizens! We still have many friends from that time at MIT scattered around the world, and here in the US. Whenever we go to Boston we take the kids to see the infinite corridor and the student center. Who knows one day they could go to MIT too!
Kerstin Dellemann-Weiße (Boston 2000–2006)
I enjoyed the company of MIT spouses&partners from summer 2000 to spring 2006 while my husband Gregor was doing his MBA at Sloan School and later working for a start-up in Cambridge. As we had two sons born during this time (Nils in Jan. 2002 and Tobias in Nov. 2004) I spent a lot of time with BabyNet (BabyNet was a parent-child group that encouraged its members to form babysitting exchanges to support each other).
In May 2006 we returned to our home country Germany and lived in Ulm for about two years. There our third son Sven was born in November 2006. Gregor switched jobs in summer 2007 and started to work for Zeiss, an optics company in Oberkochen. We moved closer to his place of work in summer 2008. Now we live in Aalen, a small but active town one hour’s drive east of Stuttgart. All three boys are in school now and so I could return to work, teaching math and physics part-time at a local high school.
Last year my parents moved to Aalen. And now for the first time the kids have grandparents around who can help out when mum and dad are busy. While Gregor could visit Cambridge on his business trips rather often, I was excited to come back to this wonderful city in 2011 when we spent our summer vacation in New England. Now I am looking forward to our next visit that hopefully will happen in 2016.