Marianela Martin

My name is Marianela Martin.  I am a mother of 9-year-old daughter. I was born in a small town called Gualaceo in Ecuador's southern Anden's. I moved to Toronto, Ontario Canada when I was almost two years of age.  I spent most of my life growing up in Toronto Canada, but did have the opportunity to visit my homeland often. Before arriving here in Germany, I lived in London UK from 1998-2000 on a Canadian Commonwealth student visa. Before moving to London, I had already worked and studied Dance, Music, Fashion and the ARTS in Toronto. But once of my luckiest break through was to have been part of ACTRA ( the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, Radio Artist) union. As well having my Fitness certification from CKW YMCA which kept me fit and healthy. All of this background and experience gave me the opportunity to venture even more so and discover London's Art, Music, and Dance scene from all different levels. Wait... there is one more thing about my time in the mid-late 90's in Toronto was living and being part of the Toronto's elite 'underground dance & fashion scene. This is beyond words to explain but I did have a stage name ' Nyna Dove' which I took to London. So during my time in London UK, I worked as a Performing Dance Artist in Multi- Media events and co-produced events in the Club and Art scene but I did still kept teaching fitness classes in order to keep my balance in life. During this time in London, in 1999 I decided  to escape for 5 months to South India to study Yoga & Meditation to get away from the big crazy city and experience another country, like India. While there, I met my future husband. He is German, and this why in 2000 I moved to Nuernberg, Germany. During my first years in Germany, I studied German in Nuernberg and Contemporary Dance and Pilates in Munich's Tanzwerkstatt from 'Joint Adventures for there 10-day workshop session for 3 summers.  

In 2005 at the LSI Berlin ( Language Specialists International), I completed my TEFL exam and got certified to teach English a as Foreign language. I worked as a freelancer for companies like, Telecom, Siemens, independent 'Fremdsprachenschuleschools in Nuernberg, and BZ -Bildungszentrum (Stadt Nürnberg). In 2009, I took the  Helen Doron Teacher  Certification (teaching Children as a second language), and I taught for about 1.5 years. However, slowly I felt I had to go back to my passion and original occupation. I decided to go back and teach Dance but I wanted to teach something new. In 2011, I got certified to teach Zumba Fitness.This brought me back to my Latin roots and the feel for the love of dance and latin rhythm. Through 6 years of teaching Zumba, organizing amazing events, and meeting fantastic people, this enhanced and gave me the endurance to upgrade my education even further with Pilates, other types of dance, and fitness. I didn't want to stop there though. After 15 years of studying and practicing Yoga with respectful Yoga teachers. I finally got certified with a '200 -Hour Teacher Training in 2014 from a highly recommended Yoga Teacher Training called  'YogaWorks'. Now I am based as a part-time freelancer teaching people of all ages and levels. I am currently teaching classes and workshops at  Adidas Gym (Company Sports), Bildungszentrum BZ ( Südpunkt), Fitness at Business Companies and Fitness & dance Studios in the region. Mind you, I also had the opportunity teach Refugee Women the last 3 years with Zumba Gold ( Dance Fitness for beginners) in cooperation once again with Stadt Nuernberg Südpunkt BZ. 

Present; this April 2017,  I had the great chance to teach English to 5th and 6th graders as a second language for 'Mr. Higgins' English Camp for kids in Nuernberg during the Easter break.

The International Women's Group was introduced to me by some of my clients from Erlangen about a year ago. I find this group to be a breakthrough and a fantastic way for women of all races, languages, and religious faiths to come together, make new friendships, and to establish connections as well as empower the local Franconian community.

Finally, I am honestly believe that your never to old to change your occupation, go back and study some thing new or find your passion within your work or hobbies.

'The World needs people who love what they do'

'El mundo necesita gente que ame lo que hace'

 Email Marianela:



Elise Rivera

My name is Elise Rivera, and I am the IWG Secretary. I am an American girl, from the Washington D.C. area, and am now living and studying in Erlangen. I completed my Bachelor's degree at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. During my Bachelor, I studied abroad in Italy and traveled to nearby countries, one of which was Germany. This marked the beginning of my global exposure and was my first taste of Europe. During this time, felt a particular pull to Germany. I returned to finish my studies, but I could not shake this need  to return as that chapter of my life remained unfinished. After graduating, it became a matter of turning this dream into a reality. I always knew that I wanted to continue my education as well, so when I discovered my current Master's program, I knew that this was my way back and the next step in my life that I needed to pursue. 

Upon admission into the International Master of Physical Activity and Health at Friedrich-Alexander University, I left my job, family, friends, and belongings behind and moved to Germany at the end of 2015. I have not looked back since! I saw this as an opportunity to grow personally and further my education through an international optic. With how global our world has become, I saw this as a unique chance to gain firsthand insight into culture, travel, history, knowledge, and connections internationally. I chose to pursue my particular degree because of my passion for health but also because I felt that it would equip me with the ability to overcome health inequities, build communities, give voice to marginalized populations, create co-operation between governments and organizations worldwide to promote trust and a mutual social benefit. 

I was excited to discover the IWG because it presented an opportunity to extend beyond my studies and empower the local Franconican community. I love that this organization fosters bonds and interactions with women from an array of cultural background all over the world. Being part of the IWG has been an amazing experience, which has afforded me the chance to learn from women of this community as well as build connections, friendships, and a sense of belonging to an organization of inspirational and like-minded women.

Email Elise:

 Vice President

Lina Campos

My name is Lina and I grew up in Mexico. There I completed my Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and worked in the automotive and pharmaceutical industry for German companies.   I moved to Germany in the early 2000s to learn the language and to pursue my postgraduate studies. I was part of an International Master Program in chemical engineering that gave me the opportunity to study in different universities, during this time I combined my studies with a teaching assistant position.

In 2005 I moved to Erlangen to continue my studies, and I received my second Master of Science degree in the field of mechanical engineering. At the same time I started work as a nuclear safety engineer, first in the area of nuclear fuel and later in new build plants. I left this work at the end of 2014 and now take care of my wonderful baby girl.

My husband and I have been married for 15 years, we love to travel, and we have been together all over the world. We enjoy nature, go to concerts and visit museums. I am an avid movie and book collector.

At the IWG I am glad to help other women making their transition to this country easier.   I look forward to getting together with you and to be a part of this international group.

Events Coordinator

Brittany Swelam

My name is Brittany and I'm originally from California. I grew up in the North Bay, until moving to San Francisco to study when I was 19. I graduate with a B.Sc. in Health Education in 2014. Shortly after, I travelled all around Europe and fell in love with it. I knew I had to come back!

In 2015, I applied for a Master program at Friedrich-Alexander University in Physical Activity and Health. After my admission, I sold everything I had and moved to Germany in September of 2015. I chose to pursue these degrees because I'm a firm believer in equal opportunities, empowerment, and creating self-sustainable communities. I seek to give a voice to those who may not always be heard.

After hearing about IWG, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to get involved in community building, something I'm very passionate about. I also knew it would be a great opportunity to learn from other women, to make new friendships, and to establish connections.

Email Brittany:


Tatjana Radosavjevic

My name is Tatjana and I come from Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia. I moved to Franconia at the beginning of January 2014. I live with my family (a husband and two daughters (6 and 8 yrs. old)) in Herzogenaurach, where my husband and I both work at adidas.

Prior to coming to Germany, I lived and worked in Belgrade at Metro Cash&carry a German bank (ProCredit Bank GmBH) working on different projects ranging from Internal Audit to Business strategy and planning.

Currently in adidas I am working on projects directed towards Team Services. Since March 2014 I have been a member of the IWG Board in charge of Treasury. I have met lots of wonderful ladies, had a really good time attending and helping organize different events. With the help of the group and in its members my family and I have gained a circle of friends who have been supporting us and giving us guidance on our journey through Germany so far. We would like to return the favor and the privilege we were given and help other new comer families find their way towards successful and fruitful life in Franconia.

After being on the Board as ‘back office’ for three years now, I have decided to make more use of my so far invested time in helping the group further develop and to stay on track of helping women integrate in the Franconian society and take a more active role in the decision making and shaping of the future of the group.

Email Tatjana:


 Sangeeta Kumar

My name is Sangeeta Kumar, I Have been living in Germany for more than 30 years now and am very active in Erlangen.

I  love meeting new people and love working with Children.

I would also love to help all who lovely Ladies here and am here for you anytime you need me please feel free to ask any questions and contact me anytime you like. I would feel very honoured to help.

Please feel free to contact me anytime you like, I would love to help you and feel at home. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Email Sangeeta:

History of the IWG

The International Women's Group (IWG) was founded in 1995 by 8 women of different nationalities. Because their husbands worked at Adidas, the company supported the group in getting started and has remained committed.
In the beginning, the women met informally to exchange their experiences of living "abroad" and share useful information about their host country of Germany.
As the number of international employees of companies such as INA, Puma, Siemens and others increased, the membership of the IWG increased as well. With this growth, the IWG found a more formal structure necessary. Therefore, in October 2000, the group was officially registered as a non-profit organization. At this time, a board consisting of seven members was established.

International Women's Group e.V. in Herzogenaurach, Germany | Impressum

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software