Valérie Besanceney was born on November 17, 1976 in The Hague, the Netherlands. When she was five years old, she and her family moved to Zurich, Switzerland. When she was eight years old, they returned to the Netherlands, only to leave again for Luxembourg when she was 13 years old. Finally, when she was 16 years old they moved to Geneva, Switzerland.
Having attended mostly international schools, following the American and British curriculum, Valérie left Europe for the University of Vermont in the United States. She graduated with a B.A. in German and English literature. She spent one semester ‘abroad’ in Germany. Hoping to put her languages and love for traveling to good use, she completed a M.A. in European Tourism Management at the Université de Savoie in Chambéry, France.
Having no luck finding a job that suited her in the tourism industry, she enjoyed being a ski instructor for a few seasons and dipped her toes in a few ill-fitting careers. Meanwhile she fell in love with her future husband who encouraged her (and still does) to follow her heart. Together, they backpacked around the world during the summers while teaching skiing in the winters for a few years.
Their travels and her love for teaching convinced Valérie to get a TEFL certification which led to a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from George Mason University. She has taught in Ghana, Egypt, Burma, Bolivia, Aruba, and Switzerland. Valérie currently teaches Year 3 at an international school in Switzerland where she and her husband have settled down (for now). They have two young daughters who were born into this world as Third Culture Kids.
Although home will probably change places again at some point, Valérie has been able to find her ‘home’ that she was always looking for. As a Third Culture mother and teacher, she strives to guide her daughters and her students through their personal experiences as TCKs and the important journeys of trying to figure out where home is.