Invididualism in Europe (Map)

This map is based on the data from Hofstede Centre using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory. In 1965, Hofstede founded the personnel research department of IBM Europe (which he managed until 1971).

Wikipedia described his theory: “Regarding the individualism index, there is a clear gap between developed and Western countries on one hand, and less developed and eastern countries on the other. North America and Europe can be considered as individualistic with relatively high scores: for example, 80 for Canada and Hungary. In contrast, Asia, Africa and Latin America have strongly collectivist values: Colombia scores only 13 points on the IDV scale and Indonesia 14. The greatest contrast can be drawn comparing two extreme countries on this dimension: 6 points for Guatemala vs. 91 points for the United States. Japan and the Arab world have middle values on this dimension.”

Source: Eupedia

Philadelphia – Dec 02 2015

Space is limited, only 15 tickets available, for ladies only. (please LOGIN to get the ticket info)

Drinks and light hors d’oeuvres.

Dress code: Dress like your inner goddess, or the woman you aspire to be.

Join EuroCircle for an intimate gathering of Philadelphia’s most stylish women, in the city’s most exclusive atelier.

Designer Bela Shehu presents NINObrand, the coveted women’s line described as the fashion brand of the future, with an aesthetic both modern & classic.

Sherry Kumar of EuroCircle, presents the Goddess Principles Concept, defining what it means to be a Goddess in every aspect of a woman’s life, tonight, from the perspective of developing a personal brand.

Together, they will consider what it means to have a signature style, in a relaxed and playful way. We will sip champagne, mingle, and have an opportunity to try on styles that are ahead of the curve.

6:30 Champagne welcome

7:00 Doors Close

7:15 Talks by Bela Shehu & Sherry Kumar

followed by personal styling by Bela.

Please arrive early. Doors close by 7:00 pm.




Atlanta – Nov 4 2015

Greetings everyone:

Please join us for our next gathering which will take place at Cinebistro in Brookhaven.
This is perfect venue for our group and we always had great turn-outs in past years so I hope you can join us yet again for our monthly get-together. Complimentary appetizers will be on hand as well as some drink specials and parking is free and all around the venue.

Please remember to invite your international & like-minded friends and hope to see everyone next week!!!

EuroCircle Atlanta

New York – Nov 17 2015

Start the holiday season off with EuroCircle’s Pre-Thanksgiving Party at this Midtown Hotspot!
NO COVER with online RSVP by 4 pm on November 17th!
Say “EuroCircle” to the hostess to get a stamp/wristband

Happy hour specials until 9pm – food is available for purchase!
Attire: Dress to impress
We hope you will join us for a fun night out!

Featured Hosts:

Jelena Ignjic,  Serbia.  Jelena just moved to NYC from Philadelphia to pursue a career in banking.

Mathilda Herlin , Sweden, SISA

Jari Mattila, Finland,

Please stop by and say hello, as she is new in town.


Sherry, Alexandra & EuroCircle NY TEAM

EuroCircle New York Facebook GROUP

Like Us at

Paris Chansons – Ukrainian-Born Francophile Julia Kantor Made Her Dream a Reality

I absolutely love French chansons and back in Finland still have tens of albums (yes, actual LPs) of Edith Piaf, Mireille Mathieu, Joe Dassin etc. If I lived in Los Angeles, I’d love to see these guys perform. Well, judge yourself! They are all very talented musicians.

Three years ago, Ukrainian-born Francophile singer, Julia Kantor, had a dream to start a French band.  Paris Chansons, the eight-member acoustic ensemble was born.

Julia and her Russian guitarist-singer husband recruited two other vocalists—one French, the other Moroccan-born and Israel-raised. They added a Hungarian-American violinist, a Broadway-seasoned pianist, and a pair of L.A. veterans: a drummer and an upright bass player.

Together, they perform original renditions of French favorites and add in Russian, Italian, Spanish, and other world flavors.

“Francophiles from all over the world come to see our shows. When I started this band, I had no idea there were so many people who loved French music. I never imagined the cross-cultural, international mix.  On any given night, the crowd may include Romanians, Russians, Lebanese, Israelis, Armenians, Moroccans, Persians and Francophones from all over!”

Paris Chansons just released their original song, “Bamiyan” which is a tribute to peace and hope.

Bamiyan is the place in Afghanistan where the enormous statues of the Buddha were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.  This song is about what can never be destroyed – faith and hope.

Jacob Kantor originally wrote the song in English and they recently collaborated with a French songwriter, Zera Vaughan, who re-invented the lyrics into French.

Here it is!

You can hear the band performing at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood, the Sofitel, Vibrato, and private and corporate events all over.

For more information, please visit:

Matt Szymanowski – Polish-American filmmaker currently based in San Francisco

Matt Szymanowski has experienced both American and Polish lifestyles so I asked if we could interview him since he was planning to come here to Austin in November 2015. Austin premiere of his dark comedy film – greatly inspired by the Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki – will take place on Nov 14th.

Who are you?

I’m a Polish-American filmmaker currently based in San Francisco. I’m the first in my family born outside of Poland. As a child I spent many of my summers in Poland with family. I grew up with this dual cultural identity. As an adult I moved to Poland for filmschool, and it was one of the best decisions I made.

I now run a video production company called Wolves Films in San Francisco. We work with brands and artists to tell their stories in a compelling and visual way. When not making films for others I enjoy making my own stories. I recently finished my debut feature film called The Purple Onion. It’s about a struggling Chinese American comedian in San Francisco, down on his luck, who finds inspiration when he meets a mysterious older woman.

How did you end up in  San Francisco of all places?

I grew up in Cupertino, the home of Apple. It was just a suburb to me then. San Francisco, just 40 minutes to the north always had this allure. I took art classes there for a couple of summers in high school. When I was accepted into San Francisco State University for my BA I felt it was too close to home. I opted not to study there. Instead, I studied humanities in Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University. After that I took up an offer from my father to work with him in his furniture business so I moved to China for half a year. My father was grooming me to be his business partner. Though I knew I wanted to pursue filmmaking more seriously.

I applied to the renowned Polish Film School, and a few months later I left the furniture biz and moved to Poland. A one year director training course turned into four years. I directed a handful of short films, made close friends and got reacquainted with my family roots. Then, on a fluke, I was accepted into the only master’s program in cinema that I applied to back in San Francisco. I missed my brother and mom back in California as well. So I left Poland. Quickly, I realized I didn’t feel right in the program, and after a month I dropped out. I began working right away. Six years later I’m still here, and I’m ready for what’s next.

How do you make your living now – and how would you like to develop that career?

I’m a video producer and director of video content. When I’m not directing commercial spots I’m producing and managing other video producers on various projects. I’m shopping my feature film around now and aim to have it distributed next year. I’m also developing my next film project as a Polish-American coproduction. And I have to tell you about this really cool project called Reach Out I created based my experiences with the amazing nonprofit Each One Reach One (EORO). Reach Out is an animated web series based on plays written by kids in jail. The original plays were created within EORO’s playwriting program for incarcerated youth. We’re working with another nonprofit, BayCat, which teaches disadvantaged kids media skills. Kids at BayCat will be handling the animation of these plays. So kids in jail are indirectly collaborating with kids outside of jail on these videos. We’re now working on two pilot episodes before we aim to professionally produce more episodes for a full season. Eventually we want to attach name talent to act the voices in these plays. Wouldn’t that be awesome? It’s really an amazing project unlike anything I’ve seen, and along with the other projects going on, I don’t get to travel enough.

Do you see the differences between nationalities easily – yours vs. Americans vs. other Europeans?

I’ve noticed Americans are more outwardly hungry for success, they’re more calculated and eager to advance and improve their positions. This is fueled by a fierce optimism that can be matched with pragmatism, too. Maybe this is a characteristic mostly of folks in the Bay Area of San Francisco, Silicon Valley. And while Poles, and in general Europeans, can also be like this, I’ve noticed that in Europe life is better balanced with a desire to have more leisure and social time and not only live to work. I miss this balance.

I’ve also noticed Poles are less cordial than Americans and less so than many other Western Europeans. Poles have fewer social barriers. If they are annoyed, you’ll likely know it. They don’t hesitate to express themselves, their social filters are less precise. At first this was off putting when I moved there as an adult, and yet, with time, I came to appreciate this more instinctual behavior in daily life.

What do you absolutely miss from your Poland …or elsewhere?

When I’m in the US, I miss easy to get fresh deli meats, a wide variety of cheeses and freshly baked breads. Living in Poland I shopped for these things daily. There are shops that have these things on every corner. Here in San Francisco I need to go to Wholefoods or specialty stores where prices are high.

And when I’m in Poland, I miss In & Out Burger. I have to have my In & Out Burger at least once a month.

What cafes or restaurants do you recommend to tourists to go to in San Francisco and why? Or to do something else.

One of the best parts of San Francisco is the food. I mentioned that Americans are less concerned with leisure and social time than Europeans. And yet in San Francisco, there’s an appreciation for food that is very apparent and maybe unmatched anywhere else in the US. It’s as if a nice meal from time to time at a well reviewed restaurant is enough to balance out the long, intense workweeks and short vacation time. And sometimes it really can be.

What would be your ideal life – with no monetary issues to make it happen!

I want to combine my love of traveling, storytelling and social justice into an international career as a mediamaker and creative strategist. I want to work with visionary people and organizations in the fields of social justice to communicate their messages. I want to tell the stories of people who have no voice, people who have been silenced by unjust systems and flawed institutions. I want to utilize art, storytelling and creativity to better express and further these aims. With two passports and having lived on three continents, I’m a citizen of the world, and I feel I’ve only just begun my journey.

Would you move to Poland fulltime –why and why not?

I read an interesting article somewhere about the experience of being a foreigner. The article mentioned an “otherness” that foreigners experience. It’s a sense of being detached from your roots, from your home. This detachment allows you to act more boldly, to do things you may not have done back in your home country. You can more easily create a version of yourself you used to only imagine as a foreigner. My parents did this, like so many others. They left Poland and they created new their lives in a new land. The irony is that having been born in the US, I have a need to feel this “otherness” that my parents experienced. I get a glimpse of this sense whenever I travel, I definitely felt this when I lived in China, and I also felt this when I lived in Poland. Now, after being back in California for six years, the need to feel that “otherness” is stronger than ever. I don’t yet know if it’s a much needed vacation that will temporarily cure this, or if relocating altogether is what’s needed. Either way, I’m looking for the next adventure.

How to connect with Matt:


Website: www.mattszy.comy




Trailer to his film:
Audience response video to his film here:
Link to film poster: The Purple Onion

Amsterdam Calling – is about expat life and it’s feelings

Meet Sanna Sneen who currently lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Who are you?

I am an expat-mom of two small girls, marketing professional and a blogger currently living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, because of my husband’s job. Our family is trilingual with Finnish, Swedish and English spoken daily.

What is your story?

I was going to live and work happily ever after in Finland and preferably stay in Lauttasaari, Helsinki. However, life took me to Louisville, KY through my husband’s job. Suddenly I was a stay-at-home mom in the Midwest in between cultures, finding another layer of life.

The original plan of returning to Finland changed into yet another move to a different culture, The Netherlands in 2014. I do not even need to know “our plan” anymore. I have started to live my life without knowing where I will live within the next five years. Our kids go to an international school and I have started working as a marketing communication consultant, who can work remotely from where ever.

What is Sannan kupla?

It means Sanna’s bubble and it is my blog about the emotions of expat life, raising multilingual third culture kids and about life as a human on this planet. You can also find great insider tips about Amsterdam there. All texts are both in English and Finnish.

What’s the story of Sannan kupla?

When we first moved internationally from Helsinki to Louisville, KY, I did not know what to expect. I am well traveled, have an international education and had summer jobs in Canada and Germany when growing up, but still I had no idea what to expect when transferring the life of a family with small kids across the ocean. Our youngest was just six months at that time and I had a lot of questions and worries on my mind. I started jotting down my feelings and it gradually became a blog that interested readers too.

In Kentucky, my mind first noticed everything that was different from Finland, which is typical in the transition process. After a while I started paying attention to things that we all have in common, that make us human. The world suddenly seemed a lot smaller than before.

Moving away from Finland was a mind-blowing experience to me, little surprisingly. For the ones who decide to live in one culture for their whole life, it can be hard to understand why. It is not because life would be shinier or better or bigger somewhere else, but mostly because you start seeing yourself differently. The surroundings form a big part of our identity and we often let it have a strong power in defining whom we are. When the culture you were raised in is not there to support your picture, you are forced out of your comfort zone, at least for some time. That just simply means growing. This is the part that makes expat-life so interesting. Not always easy, but interesting.

You are most welcome to come and read my thoughts in Sannan kupla.I would love to hear about your views or feelings too!

Twitter: @twitter/sannasneen



Ann-Marie – How Did a Finnish Girl End Up on Gran Canary Island?

Gran Canaria is the second most populous island of the Canary Islands, a Spanish archipelago, with a population of 838,397 which constitutes approximately 40% of the population of the archipelago. Located in the Atlantic Ocean about 150 kilometres (93 mi) off the northwestern coast of Africa and about 1,350 km (840 mi) from Europe. The island is called a “Miniature Continent” due to the different climates and variety of landscapes found, with long beaches and dunes of white sand, contrasting with green ravines and picturesque villages. A third of the island is under protection as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Now, let’s meet Finnish girl who somehow found herself living in Gran Canary Island.

I’m Ann-Marie Merkel. I am originally from Finland and currently live in Spain, Gran Canary Island. I’ve lived here since last January (2015). I am a blogger.  However, I have plans to open a small bar here. I’m helping my boyfriend a couple times a week with his music performances when he has his gigs around the island.

My Spanish family is my boyfriend and my pitbull Jeremiel (2). The rest of my family – mom, dad, my brothers, grandparents and friends all live in Finland.

How did I end up here? Well I used to say that I would never go for a holiday in Canary Islands. It’s just proves Never say never – one of my best friends was working here during the winter 2014-15. We booked a holiday with the other girls to see her. Three days before we were supposed to fly back home to Finland I met this man – my boyfriend and future husband. So, life gives you what you ask for. In three weeks I returned to the Canary Islands.

The best thing about this island is the weather. 

It’s pretty much always sunny and warm. Even though I miss the fall right now, crisp mornings and wool socks – life is SO much easier with just a pair of flip flops, right ? 😉 I also love the ocean. As a matter of fact I can see the Ocean right now from my living room window. That’s the view!

My typical day goes more or less like this:

In the morning I work on my blog and some other stuff on my laptop. In the evenings I help my husband by being his technical assistant. When we have days off we go shopping, to the pool, movies, dinners, meet some friends etc. – all the stuff any normal couple might do!

Restaurants are far cheaper here than for example in Finland. I like to go and eat different foods and try different restaurants.

Lifestyle is a subject that I was actually thinking to blog about yesterday. For tourist, this is like a paradise, a really easy place to visit. However, when you live here it is a bit different story. Everything here is either tomorrow (manana) or not their fault, and many times it’s really pisses you off. Any regular stuff you take as granted like phone company: so far whatever they have said to us will happen or work – or promised us – has not been true or taken place. There is no timetable, no urgency, no prices, nada. NADA! I am not kidding.

Learning to deal with different mentality than you are used to… For example: there is a laundromat in Arguine (24h hyperdino gasoline station (self- service). Their dryers didn’t work and they do not bother tell you that. You find out AFTER you have tried twice drying your laundry and it is still wet. You would think they would tell you that, right? I didn’t realize this at first. I just listened to my husband telling how rude they are. Why – because when Finnish people are rude I am pretty sure anyone can tell that without understanding a word of Finnish. Not the same here.

Apartment hunting experiences… Let me tell you another example. We were looking for an apartment and the agent was a local guy. However, he spoke Finnish pretty well! He offered coffee at his office while we were waiting for the owner of that house to arrive. We spoke about different options, how the house is really big, private, great etc.

Well everything changed when we saw the house. A private house does not have a terrace shared with three other people. Not to mention you could also see inside the other house as people were having a siesta there. The house was smaller than we were told, one window behind in the bedroom – absolutely horrible – and not at all what we told him we wanted.

When my husband saw that I didn’t like it and he didn’t like it either (he has this slightly annoying habit to tell to everyone ”you are the boss”), I was in-charge. Well, I was shy and asked politely about other housing options. Suddenly, everything changed. The agent became rude: ”This is the only one you can get”- and that’s it. It really was such a surprise to me. Now I understand how they are, or how they aren’t. What happens when they can’t please you –  or you aren’t pleased what they have to offer.

In general people are very nice and easy going. They say hello to you everywhere – even the supermarket – people who you don’t know you at all. That’s a welcome change after Finnish people who only stare at their toes 😉

At the end, people here are kind and easy to get along with. You will have no problems as a tourist here. However, please rent a car and go see Mogan, go see north of the island, Agaete, caves, mountains and all the nature. There are wonderful small towns – such amazing places. The Play del Ingles (PDI) area is full of hotels and touristy places.

My Tips: I have spent enough time here to have some favorites where to take my friends and family when they come to visit. Let’s see – a few places to name in Playa del Ingles area:

Desnunos, it’s a kind off messy at first but once your look little bit closer, you can find shoes, clothes, home decorations or even bags really really cheap.

A big Chinese shop in San Fernando, I love it, you can find whatever you need.

Along the pedestrian road in San Fernando there is a shop where everything is 10 euros. I like to buy my handbags from them. The products are very nice. I’m gonna take my mom there next time !

When people ask me about moving back to Finland – Yes, we will make home in Finland. Maybe next spring, and also the wedding will be there in fall 2016. So no, this is not rest of my life home but in the meantime I enjoy my life here.

On my To-Do list is to learn Spanish. Many Spanish people don’t speak English so socializing and life in general would be much easier in their language.

Luckily the tourist season is starting soon. Many Finnish people come here so I can start speaking my own language again 🙂

Lastly, I wanted to tell you all if you come to this island, and like Asian cuisine, check out Fusion Restaurant next to Centro Commercial Yumbo. Amazing food !

Nice to meet you all online and below is how you can find me in the future !





Austin – Oct 15 2015

Hello members!

We are hosting our next EuroCircle event as a masquerade party! Come geared up, the mask will be the most important feature you wear!
Prelog’s is kindly hosting us, and will provide the following (including EXTENDED happy hour all night on food and drinks):
1) $4 wells and beers
2) $6 bubbly and their specialty bowl!!!
3) $7 on red/white wine ans Whisk me away!
October is a time of change, darkness and magic…come and show off your attire and spirits! Let your wild out….if you have not already.

A bientot!

Allison, Kaisa and EuroCircle team.


Email Us for ideas or to become part of team! Help is always greatly appreciated.

Photos from past events

Austrian owners Romana and Florian (chef)  brought their vision to  Austin on March 6th 2015, opening the restaurant to rave reviews thanks to their focus on ingredient-driven, European cuisine prepared with a twist, impeccable service in a relaxed setting, and the emphasis on their “centre stage” kitchen where the chefs can show off their skills.

San Francisco – Oct 28 2015

We decided to organize a “HELLOWEEN” integrating a Funny Hat Concept to get a taste of Halloween without fully dressing up. If you want to, you are more than welcome as there will be plenty of people that will.

So come see Hello to other fellow Europeans in Funny Hats with a real cool decor. Bergerac, a French Mansion inspired bar, is a craft cocktail bar that also serves as a great lounge and could be the back drop for an impromptu house party.

This is the first time in 3 years that a Triple DJ threat has been booked for this out of the box thinking fun party.
The 3 DJ’s Pollux, MVB, and Playdoughboy will provide the newest in House Music mixed with some EDM classics.

This is the party to mingle, meet Europeans, with a fancy backdrop and the best Music our European DJ’s can offer!

EXCLUSIVE: Please RSVP to this invite as only Members of can get a special Discount.

Volunteers Needed.

The EuroCircle Team San Francisco.