An Unexpected Road to Life in Europe

In the 10th article in the “Inside View” series, Terra Robinson shares how education lead to her life in Europe.

During my undergraduate days, I decided to do a semester abroad programme in England. Little did I know this experience would be the spark that led to me living, studying and working in Europe for most of my adult life (thus far).

After graduating with my BA and spending a few years of working – mainly bouncing between Atlanta, New York and London – I decided to get my Master’s degree. My undergraduate experience studying abroad really left a mark on me. I was intrigued by the English teaching approach I experienced while studying abroad, so in 2007 I applied for graduate schools in the United States and the United Kingdom, ultimately ending up at King’s College London in the Fall of 2008.

After assuring my mother that I would be back in the United States by the end of Summer 2009, I spent a year in London exploring the city and studying international relations. While still a student, I applied for a six month competitive internship in Brussels. My work background was mainly communications (my undergraduate degree was in journalism) not international relations (the main focus of the organisation), so I figured my chances of getting the internship were slim to none.

But lo and behold, I was chosen for the internship, which didn’t start until a year after I finished my studies. So I had a choice to make: wait for a year and do the internship or try my luck at getting a paying job now and forgo the internship. I picked the first option. While filling the year-long gap between finishing my MA and starting my internship, I took a temporary job in London then relocated to France for six months to take intensive French courses (something I’d wanted to do for a while) and teach English part-time (something I’d done in the past), and spent some time with my family in Atlanta. At the end of my self-imposed gap year, I headed off to Brussels for what I thought would be a six month internship. It turned into a nearly 2.5 year stint (six months as an intern and nearly two more years as a consultant with the same organisation) in the city that bills itself as the capital of the European Union.

Funnily enough, my time in Brussels is what led me to my current job working as a corporate journalist for a Danish firm just outside of Copenhagen. Working in Brussels showed that I was comfortable working for an international organisation in a city far away from my family for an extended period of time – something I think came in handy when my boss was shortlisting and interviewing candidates for the position. A year and a half after moving to Denmark, I just passed the six year mark of living in Europe. What was meant to be a one year stint in London ended up being much more – and ended up taking me to countries I never even considered living in.

Terra Robinson 213x300 An Unexpected Road to Life in Europe

Terra Robinson is an American Black Chick in Europe. She chronicles her time living, working and travelling in Europe through the filters of being an American, a woman and black. One part travel, one part expat and one part personal blog, American Black Chick in Europe serves up tidbits and information about life in Europe straight up with no chasers. Having lived in Europe since 2008, with stints in England, France, Belgium, and currently Denmark, this American Black Chick in Europe seeks to demystify what she affectionately refers to as these crazy Europeans.

Our DC brunch – thank you so much for coming

Yesterday sisters in DC, Maryland, Virginia, New York city and Philadelphia gathered in the Nation’s Capitol for brunch with Black Women in Europe founder and DC native.

Good food, laughs, smiles, and hugs were plentiful as we soaked up the sun, personal and professional stories and made promises to get together again this year.

Kristen Lewis – Soprano in Vienna

 Kristen Lewis   Soprano in Vienna

Source: http://www.kristin-lewis.com

Source: Visit Kristen Lewis’ website

Kristin Lewis, Soprano, a lyrico-spinto soprano lauded for her interpretations of Verdi heroines, is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas/USA. Ms. Lewis began her vocal studies at the University of Central Arkansas under the guidance of Dr. Martha Antolik. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree, she continued with her Master of Music studies at the University of Tennessee with Ms. Kay Paschal and Mr. Andrew Wentzel. Her postgraduate instruction was led by Dr. Jonathan Retzlaff until her move to Vienna, Austria, where she currently resides. She is now under the tutelage of Ms. Carol Byers.

A recipient of many honors, Ms. Lewis was awarded the Orazio Tosi Prize 2012, given by the Club Lirica Parma, at the birthplace of Giuseppe Verdi. Ms. Lewis was named the 2010 recipient of the Artist of the Year Award by the Savonlinna Opera Festival. In addition, she was voted a 2010 recipient of the coveted “Oscars of the Opera” by the Foundation of Verona for the Arena. She is a two-time National Finalist of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Competition. She has also been a finalist of the “XLVI Concours International de Chant de la Ville de Toulouse”, a winner of the “Internationalen Gesangswettbewerb Ferruccio Tagliavini” and a winner of the “Concorso Internazionale Di Musica Gian Battista Viotti”. Ms. Lewis also won the Opera Prize and the Audience Award in the “Concorso Internationale di Canto Debutto A Merano”. Among her other achievements, Ms. Lewis is very active in humanitarian work. She was recently named an Ambassador for the Red Cross in Vienna, Austria. She is a supporter of Animal Care Austria, an animal rescue agency based in Vienna, Austria.

The 2014-15 season will be highlighted by Ms. Lewis’ return to Teatro alla Scala, in Milian, Italy, to sing the title role of Verdi’s “Aida,” with Maestro Zubin Mehta conducting. She will also be led by Maestro Mehta at Bunka Kaikan Hall in Tokyo, Japan, in presenting Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Other highlights will include her return to Teatro La Fenice, in Venice, Italy, to sing the role “Leonora” in Verdi’s Il Trovatore, her debut at Guangzhou Opera, in China, singing the title role in Verdi’s “Aida,” as well as her debut of “Lucrezia” in Verdi’s I Due Foscari at Teatro Municipale in Piacenza, Italy.

During the 2013-14 season, Ms. Lewis participated in the bicentennial celebration of Giuseppe Verdi. She sang the title role of “Aida” at the Vienna State Opera, the Staatsoper im Schiller Theatre Berlin, l’Opéra Royal de Wallonie, as well as Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy. Other anticipated performances were the roles of “Leonora” in Verdi’s Il Trovatore at Teatro alla Scala, “Mimi” in Puccini’s La Boheme with Teatro La Fenice , and “Nedda” in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci at the Royal Danish Theatre and Teatro Regio in Parma, Italy.

Ms. Lewis’ other highly acclaimed Verdi roles are “Elisabetta” in Don Carlo, “Medora” in Il Corsaro, and “Amelia” in Un Ballo in Maschera. Equally comfortable with multiple composers, she has also been featured as Puccini’s “Liu” in Turandot, Mozart’s “Donna Anna” in Don Giovanni, Jake Heggie’s “Sister Rose” in Dead Man Walking, and “Maddalena” in Giordano’s Andrea Chénier.

Ms. Lewis has performed in such prestigious houses as the Vienna Staatsoper, Teatro alla Scala, the l’Opéra de Paris, Berlin State Opera, the Arena di Verona, Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Opera Orchestra New York in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center, the Bayerische Staatsoper, the Mariinsky Theatre, Chorégies d’Orange, the Royal Danish Theatre, Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Puccini Opera Festival in Torre del Lago, the Sächsische Staatsoper Dresden, Teatro Regio di Parma, l’Opera de Nice, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Italy, the Savonlinna Opera Festival, Opéra National de Lyon, Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Italy, in addition to appearing on the far eastern stages of Tokyo, Japan. She has been directed by many illustrious conductors, including Nicola Luisotti, Alain Altinoglu, Gianandrea Noseda, Riccardo Muti, Bruno Bartoletti, Philippe Jordan, Dan Ettinger, Zubin Mehta, Donald Runnicles, Donato Renzetti, Daniel Oren, Daniele Gatti, Daniele Callegari, Alberto Veronesi, Omer Wellber and Philippe Auguin.

Visit Kristen Lewis’ website for more information, photos, reviews and more.

Full details available for Black Women in Europe “Shades of Vienna” Meet Up

vienna 1024x675 Full details available for Black Women in Europe Shades of Vienna Meet Up

Our sisters in Vienna have planned a fabulous weekend in Vienna the Fall.

Join our private group on Facebook for Black Women in Europe and get the full information: https://www.facebook.com/groups/blackwomenineurope/

Vienna Meet Up

vienna 1024x675 Vienna Meet Up

Join the Vienna contingent of the Black Women in Europe™ group for a weekend of exploration, networking, friendship and great wine from October 3 – 5, 2014!

Hotel information and an agenda coming your way next week. For more information, leave a comment or ask your question on the invitation in our private Facebook groups and we’ll get back to you soonest!

Find our private group for black women living in Europe from this link, and for black women around the world from this link.

pixel Vienna Meet Up