How I Got Here: Ann-Katrin van Schie

image1 (2) (1)Born and raised in Germany with dual German-Swedish citizenship, I always felt as if I did not belong in Germany. At 27, I left Germany and embarked on an adventure that took me to Belgium, Singapore and Egypt. After a rather tough repatriation period in Germany, I came here to Tokyo with my family of five. I’ve moved alone, with my partner, and with kids and each situation has had different challenges and benefits. Each has made me evolve as a person.

For example, quitting my job when we lived in Singapore was a turning point for me. The situation showed me what kind of impact dissatisfaction and frustration can have on your health. Before taking that big step away from employment and stepping into something new and unknown, I faced almost a year of insomnia. The day I quit was the first night I slept through the night again.

Now, I am in the process of getting out there to provide a space where expats, repatriates and people facing another move can feel “at ease,” with yoga, guided talks and wellness information. I believe a place is needed where this group can access a sense of calm, seek support and find balance.

Moving around can leave you feeling lonely, lost and misunderstood. Every move is different and challenging, but we can draw strength and comfort by sharing our experiences with others and by taking time for ourselves so that we feel grounded and strong again. With AtEase, I want to create a place where Yoga and guided talks let expatriates and repatriates feel at ease in body and mind.

FEW has inspired me more and more to go forward and to put my idea into something real. The group of participants is absolutely interesting and very wide-spread in terms of profession, backgrounds and cultures. The meetings and the seminars are always inspiring, uplifting and encouraging.

Learn more about Ann-Katrin and AtEase HERE or find her on Facebook HERE.


Q&A with Jackie F. Steele and Megumi Ishimoto

Leading up to our upcoming monthly meeting on ‘Celebrating Women as Change Agents in Post-Disaster Tohoku,’ we’re featuring a Q&A with Jackie F. Steele, a political scientist at the University of Tokyo, and Megumi Ishimoto, Executive Director of NPO Women’s Eye. The Q&A is modeled on the Proust Questionnaire, designed to reveal insights into the respondent’s personality. Join us […]

Published on 14th March 2018

March Strategic Partner Member Offers and Other News

Check out the latest member offers and opportunities from our Strategic Partners here! Our Strategic Partners are committed to bringing the best services and products to FEW members. And go to our Strategic Partners page to learn more about all of FEW’s Strategic Partners, who not only support FEW’s activities but also provide professional and personal services […]

Published on 1st March 2018

February Meeting Recap: Survivor – How to Overcome Adversity

You never know where life is going to take you. That was the message from our February guest speaker, Maxine Van-Cliffe Arakawa, who has had a decades-long career as a fashion stylist, make-up artist, and fashion show director in New York and Japan. She shared her personal experiences dealing with bi-polar disorder and gave her candid advice to […]

Published on 1st March 2018

March Community Services Feature: Five Tokyo-Based Organizations That Fight For or Empower Women

In honor of March’s International Women’s Day, we’d like to present to our FEW community a list of five organizations that have established themselves as organizations who fight for or empower women as well as a list of five events that you can attend to show your support for this year’s theme of #PressFor Progress. […]

Published on 28th February 2018

How I Got Here: Johanna Nousiainen

I first came to Japan as a study abroad exchange student. That year changed my life, even though at first I didn’t know it would. I was supposed to become a journalist in Finland, since that was what I loved to do – looking for information, interviewing people, writing articles about unique encounters you have. […]

Published on 28th February 2018