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VFN Member Blog

Our VFN Member Blog features diverse themes from across our network to show who we are and what we do!
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  • We all know communication in relationships can be…er…complicated. And cross-cultural relationships come with some unique “toppings” on the old relationship pizza.
    With language barriers, cultural differences, and logistical challenges such as, “your continent or mine,” it’s a wonder any cross-cultural relationships get past the (often long distance) dating phase.
    However, I’ve had a few lovely misunderstandings in my own relationship which have actually benefitted our communication in the long run. Here are 3 examples.

  • In multi-national cities like Vienna, we find ourselves on this adventure called life, alongside people of different cultural, linguistic, and ideological backgrounds. And this makes the adventure both trickier and more enriching at the same time.

  • Dear VFN WhatsApp Group,

    It’s been several years now since I joined this group, at which time I was just over halfway through my first pregnancy. Like many of us, I was far away from my family and friends. I felt thrust into an exceedingly complex and bewildering system and was overwhelmed by a language that seemed to mock my attempts at learning it. I was beginning to realise that maternity leave might turn out to be quite lonely and I was anxious that the most challenging moments I was certain to face would be without the support system on which I had always counted before life made other plans.

  • Even though I design children’s clothing, I still find it challenging to shop for my children. It’s not always easy to find durable and comfortable clothes that can last for more than a few months. Unfortunately, a size label is not a reliable indication of how well a garment will fit or how long it will last. In fact, there are several reasons why clothing with the same size label can have vastly different lifespans.

  • The first part of this blog post ended on an uplifting note, but there is also of course a flipside – arising in part from the “invisible” nature of ASD and the difficulties presented by “isolation” can have, in terms of hampering acceptance. Children’s educational experience in childhood shapes their whole life experience, but sadly in some respects, Austria lags somewhat in terms of acceptance in an educational setting.

  • April abounds with content about Autism Awareness. Sadly, increased acceptance is still lagging. ASD diagnoses are now frequently made in childhood, with numbers of diagnoses increasing. A diagnosis during childhood places massive burdens on parents as caregivers. Living abroad can exacerbate the burden further – whether due to not necessarily speaking the local language or struggling to comprehend local attitudes at odds with those elsewhere.

  • One of the hardest parts of being a parent is leaving your child in the care of someone you trust. This is hard enough when you are in your home country. It is doubly hard when you find yourself in a new country where you may or may not speak the language. If you’re struggling to find a kindergarten in Vienna, please know that you are not alone.

  • Human life has been significantly related to water since time immemorial and humans don’t need anything more than water to live. That’s why we have (mostly) a very positive relationship with water probably defined by how we develop and come into the world. Moreover, swimming and its benefits have been proven for a long time. So, it was natural for me to start thinking about enrolling my newborn son in a swimming course for infants.