My name is Sinead Twomey. I was born in the Philippines and later raised in Ireland. As my father’s job was primarily based in Asia, growing up, I experienced first hand the difficulties of having family members on opposite sides of the world. Although challenging, this has allowed me to gain insight into the dynamics of an expat family.
The apple did not fall very far from the tree, as I then became an expat myself when I was 18 and moved to the Netherlands to study Psychology. My own personal experience as an expat student has enabled me to recognize the daunting experience of immersing yourself in another culture, whilst also trying to balance making friends and a demanding study schedule.
Quite some time ago when I was around 15 years of age I decided that I wanted to study psychology. I found comfort in the fact that I was the person my friends would turn to when they were going through some difficulties and needed someone to listen to them in a non-judgemental way. I could always understand different perspectives and had an inherent ability to rationalise various points of view even if it was different from my own. I always wanted to understand why people behave in certain ways and have specific thought patterns. I found that the best way to do that is to try to put yourself in their shoes and see things from their experience.
By nature, I’m an empathetic, people-person, so I knew Psychology was the right choice for me. My own personal experience as an expat student, has enabled me to understand the sometimes daunting experience of immersing yourself in another culture, whilst studying.