With our new Meet the Expat interview series we want to share the inspirational stories of the Frankfurt expats to the world.
Today we are talking with Milena, Frankfurt expat from Italy and the founder of the Experiential Training Agency, about her project, inspiration and life in Frankfurt.
Hi Milena, why and when you moved to Frankfurt?
I moved to Frankfurt in January 2019 with my husband, as he was proposed a very interesting job opportunity and we decided to start a new chapter here in Frankfurt.
In Italy, I used to live in a small village, near Bologna, and my dream about moving to a big city finally came true!
What was your first impression about Frankfurt?
My first impression of Frankfurt was great! I was fascinated by the contrast between the old town and the modern skyscrapers, the view of the Main river and the several bridges, as well as by the various green areas and parks in the city.
What inspired you to start your agency? What are the challenges / opportunities of starting/running your business in Germany/Frankfurt?
I started my agency as I want to empower people through art. My goal is to bring the art therapy through wellness programs and art-based workshops to promote the new ways of learning and development within corporate environment.
One of the factors that pushed me to move to Frankfurt was also because this city is dynamic and international. Running my business here means to work with open-minded leaders, intercultural workplaces and English speakers. I consider this a great opportunity for growth for both sides.
Also being expat myself helps me to better understand the challenges that other expats might face and therefore adapt my approach accordingly.
Describe your perfect day in Frankfurt :
My perfect day in Frankfurt is waking up in the morning, having a fast walking along the riverside, enjoy a very good Italian lunch, watching my favourite series on the sofa, and meeting friends for dinner or aperitivo.
What do you love/hate about Frankfurt?
What I love about Frankfurt is mainly the presence of the Main river and the bridges. I think it makes the city even more special. There’s nothing I hate about the city, maybe the language is the only difficulty I’m encountering.
What is your “special” place in Frankfurt?
My special place in Frankfurt is the Restaurant Erbgut located on the Schweizer straße. Maybe because it was the first restaurant I went to on my first day in Frankfurt.
What are your tips / recommendations for the new expats in Frankfurt?
To the new expats in Frankfurt, my recommendation is to simply live the city. This city is all to be discovered. There are so many places and activities to enjoy that I’m here for one year and a half, and I feel there is much more I can still do. My suggestion is: be curious!
Moreover, I would recommend the following art therapy techniques* to enjoy and appreciate your work experience in Frankfurt with a positive and proactive spirit, being focus on the purpose of this journey.
These exercises will help to facilitate self-expression, express the creative side, release thoughts and emotions, promote self-awareness.
Find a place in your house where you can create your art without being disturbed. Before starting each activity, take a moment to focus on your breathing, close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths and, when you are ready, open your eyes and just enjoy the experience.
These exercises are independent from each other but interconnected as they are thought to achieve the goals described above.
Let’s get started!
1) MAKE A CIRCLE. Take a paper and prepare the materials you like (pastels, colored pencils, markers, etc.). Draw a big circle on the paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect. This circle represents you and what’s inside you. What would you draw inside the circle? Choose whatever you want: shapes, lines, colors, symbols, etc. Take 20 minutes. On the back of the paper, write down for each color the related emotion.
2) CREATE YOUR EXPERIENCE. Think about yourself and your experience here in Frankfurt in this present moment. How does it look like? What does it mean to you?
Take one sheet of paper. Choose the materials you like (pastels, colored pencils, markers, etc.). Choose the colors that attract you without thinking. Use lines, shapes and whatever you like to express it. Take 10-15 minutes. Write down 2-3 sentences about the experience.
3) YOUR GIFT. What do you want to bring home with this work experience? What’s the precious gift that is awaiting you?
Find 5 images related to this gift. Cut them and put them on a big paper. Organize them in order to give them the shape that you like and that has a meaning for you. Then paste them on the paper and, by using the materials you want, complete your creation. Write down your thoughts about it.
Let’s make this creative journey contagious:
- Take a picture of your artwork and share it on Instagram. Let us know your feelings, sensations and thoughts about your creative experience.
- Use the hashtag #artonmymain so we can find you and write your comment about it.
- Remember to tag @onmymain and @milena_iacovelli.
Last but not least: thank yourself for finding the time to spend on yourself!
*This is not an art therapy treatment as art therapy need a professional art therapist to facilitate the activities.