It’s always a pleasure to find people interested in writing and literature, so I reached out to fellow SENSE member Sarah Foster to invite her to share her background and interests with us and to welcome her to SENSE.
You are American, but have lived abroad for a long time. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and where you are from?
I’m originally from Virginia, but I had lived in Ecuador for most of the last ten years. I studied history and comparative literature in the US. My professional background is a mix of education, journalism, writing, and translating. I used to teach full-time. I love working with students, but I think the flexibility of freelancing is a better fit for me. I started off with a few random translating and editing jobs until I felt more confident and built up a repertoire of skills and services that I could offer. I wrote for a travel magazine, translated film scripts and subtitles, and did a few reporting projects on conservation and environmental issues in Ecuador. I recently finished a longer project developing an intercultural communication course for an NGO.
May I ask what brought you to the Netherlands and how are you getting on with Dutch?
My partner found a job here, so we decided to make the move. I was also ready for a change of pace and looking forward to more professional opportunities. I understand Dutch quite well, and I can manage most basic interactions. Watching TV shows and reading children’s books are helping me to learn more vocabulary and grammar. I hope to make some progress over the next year so that I can start to use Dutch more in professional contexts.
How did you learn about SENSE and why did you decide to join?
I have been freelancing since 2016, but I left most of my clients and professional network behind when I came to the Netherlands. I started looking for resources for Dutch freelancers. I came across SENSE and thought it would be a good way to make connections.
It must be challenging to be studying and working at the same time. How do you manage?
I’m studying in an environmental humanities graduate programme at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and I also work on my freelance business. It’s been really busy, but both are important to me. Recently, I’ve done mostly fact checking, translation (Spanish-English), and editing.
I’m really enjoying my graduate school experience, and it’s helping me to specialize in environmental research. I’ve gotten to work on projects about landscapes, conservation, climate change, and environmental philosophy. If you are looking for a researcher, writer, or editor for an environment-related project, please feel free to reach out (website: sarahjanefoster.work; LinkedIn: sarah-jane-foster).
I also write poetry and nonfiction and I’d love to connect with other writers here in the Netherlands.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Well, I used to do a lot of hiking, but there aren’t many mountains around here! I’m starting to enjoy cycling, and I also like ceramics and singing.
Is there anything that you would like to share with the SENSE community?
I hope to find spaces to learn from other people’s experiences, and I’m also very happy to share my own! I’m glad to now be a part of the community.
Blog post by: Paula Arellano Geoffroy