I am convinced that the world will be a better place when more people get the chance to broaden their perspective through cultural exchange.
That belief was formed when I took a gap year before entering Maastricht University. Among others, I spent 6 months teaching at a school in Ghana’s countryside. This was no walk in the park at first. Being the only foreigner could be very lonely. But it also ‘forced’ me to open up to people who are different from me. I built friendships for life and we learned a lot, vice versa, about each others culture.
In my University years, I co-founded OCEP, a foundation that eventually helped over 100 volunteers from various Western countries make an exchange to Ghana. Building the website, in 2004, was how I first got to experience the power of SEO and digital marketing. We posted lots of personal stories with photos from volunteers, and at the time, that was enough to attract a steady stream of applicants.
In 2004, I spent a semester on exchange at National University of Singapore. Not only did this shift my perspective from “Europe + Africa” to “Global”; I also met my wife and ended up living and working in Singapore from 2006-2016. I was lucky enough to find a job as an Intercultural Training Specialist, putting together training sessions in the entire APAC region. On the side, I studied Mandarin Chinese. Knowing how hard it is to choose the right language school, brought the idea of my first company.
In 2008, I started Yago.sg, a comparison website for language schools in Singapore. As I was bootstrapping the site, I had to quickly master the skillset needed for success and in a short while, Yago dominated the Google rankings for language learning in Singapore.
From 2014 onwards, I also started working with various schools as an online education marketing consultant for their SEO and AdWords. Among others, I’ve worked with the British Council, Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) and Avans Hogeschool in the Netherlands. Some of the clients I’m most proud of, however, are smaller language schools, which I helped grow from start-up minischools with one classroom to thriving and wellknown brands, with the help of targeted SEO and SEA campaigns on tight budgets.
Currently based near Breda in the Netherlands, I support schools globally in their efforts to attract the right type of students through SEO and Google Ads.
I love to share what I know and learn from others – don’t hesitate to reach out to me for a conversation!