About

Sundae Schneider-Bean

Meet Sundae Schneider-Bean

I´m on a mission to help you make the most of your life abroad.

You could be

  • A spouse who´s enjoyed expat life for years but you´re starting to feel like something is missing and you can put your finger on it.
  • A leader in an organization who manages an intercultural team or region. Work and problems are piling up, you have long working days and difficulties finding time or energy to spend with your family.
  • Living in the country where your spouse was born and raised. You’ve bent over backwards to adapt and get integrated but you’re getting tired of it all. There are days when you wish you could just throw in the towel and move back home.   
  • Responsible for sending families abroad and want to be well prepared so your employee can hit the ground running.

I work with people just like you so that you can: 

  • Adapt as quickly (and painlessly!) as possible
  • Be successful and still have time for what is most important 
  • Create and nurture meaningful connections (abroad and at home)
  • Cherish this unique experience.

You’re open to new experiences, curious about other cultures and not afraid of good-old-fashioned hard work. You’re fulfilled when you can make a contribution to your family, organization or community.

My unique triad of experience, spanning nearly twenty years and multiple continents, has enabled me to develop a proven process to minimize time to adapt and maximize satisfaction and success abroad.

As an intercultural strategist, I help you fast-track your adaptation and guide you through the most hefty challenges.

I have helped hundreds of internationally-minded individuals like you find answers to your biggest questions and make important changes that last. It is time to come to terms with the fact that what has worked in the past might not work for you now. Together, I help you maximize your performance by teaching you the strategies to succeed in an intercultural context, regain energy and build insider relationships that expedite success.

My clients become interculturally savvy by learning how their own culture influences their thinking, communication style, and core values. They build the right relationships so that they reach their goals faster. They understand the importance of being highly resilient and battle expat fatigue before it goes too far.

I´m a solution-oriented coach, which means I´m trained to get a ton done in a very short amount of time when we work together. I have an uncanny ability to summarize what is at the heart of your challenges in a way that you were not able to see before. My superpower is to discover strengths disguised as your weaknesses. We focus on what keeps you awake at night so you break free from what’s holding you back or draining your energy.

Together we can identify patterns that don’t serve you well anymore and replace them with new strategies for success.

Finally, I’m an expat, dual-citizen by marriage, business owner, and mother of Cross-Culture Kids. I get it. My professional skills are backed up by deep experience, bucket loads of empathy, and a healthy sense of humor.

I can help you adapt quickly, be successful, create important and meaningful connections, and love the life you life abroad.

Get proven-strategies on mastering the ups and downs of international life – for free!

This is how I got here

Through Prairies, the Alps and Africa

sundaebean_prairielife

I was born and raised in Williston, North Dakota, USA. My father managed the farm. My mom managed the house. They passed on a fierce work ethic and strong sense of humor. I left the prairies of North Dakota chasing a hunger for more adventure. I moved to an urban jungle to get my degree and ended up graduating in a cloister in Spain. I signed on with a major consulting firm in the late 90s and between assignments I backpacked around south-east Asia for a few months. I was on my own, in my early 20s, and loving the adventure. During the last two weeks of my trip, I met a guy in Vietnam. He was from Switzerland. I married him and moved to his hometown. This initial adventure led me to spend the next 15+ years living, traveling and working across cultures.

My childhood did not prepare me for this. I had no models to draw from. I was in unfamiliar waters – a lot. I had to totally reorient myself. I made some mistakes. I made some friends. I´ve picked up a few new languages. I admit it – being curled up in the fetal position was sometimes necessary some Friday nights. I made large strides forward. And then there were times when I watched the effects of expensive intercultural mistakes roll in at work because my team (myself included) was simply too buckled under time and financial pressure. I have experienced both the joys and challenges of living in a bi-national marriage. I have taken on the life-long assignment of raising cross-cultural / third-culture kids.

In August 2013, I relocated with my family from Bern, Switzerland to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This move pushed me to face unexpected challenges including Ebola at our doorstep, a political uprising, a transitional government, pre-election concerns and a coup d’état.

Dealing with this level of uncertainty builds resilience. FESTIMA_2014_sundaebean

I´ve managed the ups and downs of being a support to the expat assignment, driven my own business priorities, and worked hard to meet the needs of a family – all while coping with heat that can melt almost any level of patience.

In January 2016, Ouagadougou fell victim to an attack by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). This decline of security in the region was a game changer – catapulting me into a life of navigating a family split between Burkina Faso and Switzerland. Since then I have relocated to South Africa.

Along the way, I´ve developed a process to minimize your time to adapt and maximize your satisfaction and success abroad.

These experiences are all part of my quest to help others live and work well across cultures (my professional qualifications below). I want you to be successful across cultures, live well, and keep your sense of adventure. To be honest, if this were so easy everyone would be doing it. You would be doing it already.

Thanks to my professional training, personal experience and thousands of hours working with a wide-range of clients, I can anticipate your challenges. Together, we can develop solutions.

These are my qualifications

My professional background has led me to train and coach individuals from over 60 countries across 6 continents.

Here is a sample of some of my projects:

  • Coached accompanying partners from multiple institutions based in West Africa on how to make the best out of their time abroad via the Trailblazing Spouse® program.
  • Training and intercultural coaching for all inbound hires at top auditing firm in Switzerland which breaks away from classical country-specific orientation to instead address a more holistic approach to adjustment and intercultural competence development.
  • Executive coaching focused on intercultural competence development with key organizational leaders across the business.

I regularly coach a wide range of individuals living or working in international contexts, including Country Directors, first-time accompanying partners, experienced expats, CEOs, department directors, specialists or relatively “fresh” professionals.

Looking for an official synopsis of my professional biography? Here is a summary: Sundae_Bean_Prof_Bio.

Here are a few highlights of my qualifications:

  • MA in Communication, with a specialization in intercultural communication from the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University (rated number one in the USA for its intercultural program at the time)
  • Certified coach (ACC) with the International Coaching Federation. Completed an accredited coach training based on a solution-oriented brief-coaching approach (Lösungsorientiertes Kurzzeit-Coaching) as well as Martha Beck Life Coach Training.
  • Completed extensive training, including Training for International Transition, Methods of Intercultural Training, and Effective Intercultural Teamwork from the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication.

My experience is with European multi-national organizations and Fortune 500 companies, and has more recently included international NGOs active in Sub-Saharan Africa. A sample of my industry experience includes software manufacturing, global pharmaceuticals, financial services, logistics, manufacturing, higher education and auditing. In my last corporate role before starting my own business, I was the Head of Intercultural Management of Switzerland´s second largest company.

 

One day my situation had changed – I moved to an entire new continent and became a trailing spouse. It turned out I completely underestimated what impact it would have on me: break in the career, language challenge, change in social status, cultural differences, etc., etc. Luckily when I got really tired of struggling with getting my life back on track, I met Sundae and learned about coaching. And it was the best thing that happened to me. After each session I felt more and more empowered, energetic, positive – just happy. I started believing in myself again, I became more active, I got my confidence back. And I just got a job. Sundae is a very professional, competent, compassionate, energetic coach that will guide you the best way imaginable. Starting coaching with Sundae was one of my best decisions ever.

– Beata Imans, expat spouse and Communication Consultant, Ivory Coast.

 

Intercultural coaching makes you confront your own leadership approach. Examining the theoretical toolbox coupled with in-depth discussions with Sundae Schneider-Bean opened me to a broader perspective of my own daily management. It is warmly recommended to even the most experienced leader.

– Jürg Bucher, former CEO Swiss Post

 

Find out how to make the most of your life abroad.

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