Just Another Day


Aisha Isabel Ashraf
Columnists - Aisha Isabel Ashraf

Back to the window, basking in a winter sun blazing through glass, I warm my hands on my cup and inhale the aroma of toasted bagels, hash browns and coffee. Monday morning may take a while to get off the ground in my local Tim Horton’s, but it still effects a steady bustle. I look around - who else is here? - a rounded, grizzled old man with a face reminiscent of a teddy bear sits nearby. His hair is grey but his eyebrows are stubbornly black. I wonder if they hint at a mulish temperament.

Reaching into my shoulder bag for a book I stretch out in my chair, languorously crossing one leg over and tucking the foot behind my calf like a contented cat.   more ...

  ‘My Way’ Is The Hard Way


Diane Lemieux
Columnists - Diane Lemieux

In the back of the Land Cruiser, “Claire” and her husband rolled up to the gate of their apartment complex after a dinner out. The driver flashed the car’s lights. They waited. He tentatively honked. They waited. Finally, a guard opened the gate, zipping up his trousers.

Claire was incensed. This is Lagos – it is not for nothing that we have guards. So how were they doing any guarding if they were asleep? She had a good go at them and the next morning reported the incident to the estate manager. Weeks later, despite her best efforts, nothing changed.
After 9 months living in Lagos, Claire was convinced that:
a) The guards wilfully disregarded the rules
b) The estate manager purposely ignored her complaints
c) The behaviour of both was a sign of gross incompetence   more ...

  Living In The Path Of Hurricanes: Why The Weather Sometimes Really Does Matter To Expats


Clara Wiggins
Columnists - Clara Wiggins

I remember the first time I really started to understand weather. I was in New Zealand, on an life-changing round-the-world trip. Before then, I am a bit embarrassed to admit, weather was just something that happened – and then it passed. Perhaps I had just always led the sort of life that didn’t rely on weather forecasts. Mostly indoor, and if I had to go out, I could just take an umbrella. To be fair, I have always been the urban type – the thought of living in the rural countryside leaves me cold.

However, you can’t avoid weather in New Zealand. Mostly because it is so outdoorsy. And being on a big trip, with the intention of doing all those crazy things people on round-the-world adventures are meant to do (sky-diving, bungee-jumping, whale watching…) I also found I couldn’t avoid becoming one of those people who thinks about, talks about and even obsesses about the weather.   more ...

  Why Moving To London Will (Probably) Make You Happier


Articles - United Kingdom (UK)

London is considered to be among the world’s most desirable cities for overseas workers. In a 2014 survey, London topped the list of popular cities beating other major international cities like New York, Paris, Sydney, Berlin and Rome. London is also a beautiful destination with fascinating architecture, a thriving music scene and great art and culture opportunities. Here are some of the reasons why moving to London may make you happier.

Lucrative job opportunities

Expats who move to London with the intention of securing employment will be glad to know that the city has a thriving business culture. Professionals with varied backgrounds and skills will be able to find excellent job options with the prospect of further growth.   more ...

  What Are The Health Risks For Expats In Qatar?


Articles - Qatar

Before travelling to Qatar, it is a good idea for expats to consult their General Practitioner who can assess any health risks and if required, prescribe vaccines or medications. Usually the following vaccinations are recommended for Qatar.

• Hepatitis A vaccine for individuals over the age of one, preferably 2 to 4 weeks before travel.
• Typhoid vaccine for travelers of all ages except for those on short visits such as business travelers who will consume meals only in the major restaurants and hotels.   more ...

  Useful Job Hunting Tips For Expats Moving To The Netherlands


Articles - Netherlands (Holland)

There are lucrative job opportunities available in the Netherlands for the right candidates. The recent years have seen jobs open up in various economic sectors such as services, trade, telecommunications and information technology. Here are some useful job-hunting tips for expats moving to the Netherlands.

Working in the Netherlands

Nationals of European Union (EU) countries, European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Swiss citizens can live and work in the Netherlands freely. The exception may be citizens of some of the recent member countries who may have to obtain a work permit for their first year of residency. Nationals of non-EU/EEA countries need to apply for a work permit or residence permit in order to begin working in the country.   more ...

  Learning To Communicate With The Locals In Argentina - Some Tips For Expats


Articles - Argentina

There are over 40 languages spoken in Argentina, of which Spanish is the most dominant. English is the second most commonly spoken language, followed by Portuguese, Italian and French. The accent varies according to geographical location, and there are extreme differences in pronunciation within the country.
Languages

Although Spanish is the official language of Argentina, it is very different from the type of Spanish spoken in Spain. Spanish in Argentina has been affected by many of the European languages, especially Italian, which is why it sounds very similar to Italian. The most prevalent dialect is Ripolatense, which uses ‘voseo’ instead of ‘tu’ (the familiar "you").   more ...

  Cost of Living Facts For Expats Moving To Australia


Articles - Australia

Sydney used to be ranked as Australia’s most expensive city for expats. While that may still hold true, the good news is that the 2014 Mercer Cost of Living Survey indicates that it has dropped a whopping seventeen places from number nine to twenty-six. This fall in cost of living has occurred in other Australian cities too. For instance, Melbourne dropped a massive seventeen places to 33, Perth is down nineteen spots, Brisbane and Canberra slipped out of the top fifty and Adelaide was down twenty-five places from its rank of 59 in 2013. The prime reasons for the fall in rankings are the changes taking place in the value of the Australian dollar against the US dollar. This also translates into better job opportunities becoming available in the country, as corporates will find it lucrative to have their offices in any of these cities.   more ...

  Four Good Reasons Why You Need To Put China On Your Bucket List!


Nicole Webb
Columnists - Nicole Webb

If you've never been to China (and maybe you never want to) I'm here to convince you to give it a shot, to put it on the bucket list!

I'm not promising a picture perfect paradise that will blow your mind but I am pitching a place that is predominantly laced with a fascinating past intertwined with an equally intriguing present. It's a unique combination that may well give you one of your more priceless 'holiday' experiences.

I've been living in Xi'an, north west China for around five months now and whilst I lived in Hong Kong for four years and had a reasonably good induction into Asia, (naively) I assumed I was prepared for a move to the motherland. I wasn't.   more ...

  A Month In The Life Of An English Writer In Tuscany - January Reflections


June Finnigan
Columnists - June Finnigan

The continuing adventures of June Finnigan, her Man, and Farty Barty the cat.

Benvenuti to all my Loyal and New Followers

Well, despite the agonising pain in the jaw after a ‘brutto’ time at the dentist, I am writing to you with all my updates in our little bit of Chianti.
The first week was an overlap from the New Year celebrations, which my man and I enjoyed at our daughter’s new home between San Gimignano and Volterra. It is a wonderful old farmhouse on the edge of woodland with panoramic views to the west coast. We were actually granddog sitting whilst the family went off skiing on the Italian French border. For us it was unconditional love from two gorgeous big dogs, providing we fed them and took them for walks of course.   more ...

text
 

Our country guides are written specifically for expats and contain essential information for anyone moving abroad. All our expat country guides can be read for free online and a growing number can also be downloaded. Start planning your move overseas today!

Members of our trusted network of independent expat financial advisers and service providers are here to help you navigate the expat money management minefield. They can provide expert assistance with currency, pensions, taxation, investment, insurance, mortgages and more.

We've assembled the very best expat writers on the web today. Aiming to both inform and entertain, our columnists cover everything from career and financial issues through to cultural differences and the very real challenges of starting a new life abroad.

Drawing on over ten years of experience listening to the problems most commonly encountered by expats moving abroad and discussing solutions with industry experts, the Expat Focus Guide to Moving Abroad addresses all the main issues which anyone moving abroad must consider.

Submitted by real expats already living abroad, our collection of genuine expat experiences is an invaluable resource for anyone planning a move overseas. Learn from the experiences of others before you leave for your new country or submit your own if you're already there!

Expat Focus has been successfully helping people move abroad, and supporting them once they get there, for over a decade. From real expat experiences to interesting articles and friendly discussion forums, there's lots to explore! Take a look at our site map to learn more.

Get free quotes for a range of services from our trusted partners

EXPAT INSURANCE

• Leading international insurers
• Unrivalled global medical networks
• World-class 24/7 customer service
• Flexible products to meet your needs

More info

CURRENCY TRANSFERS

• Best exchange rate guarantee
• No commission
• Same day payments available
• Dedicated, professional consultants
• All bank receiving charges covered

More info

UK TAX SERVICES

• Advice for UK expat high-earners
• Also for foreign nationals paying UK tax
• Advice for expats and companies
• Over 14 years specialist experience

More info

US TAX SERVICES

• Lower rates than most US CPAs
• Over 25 years specialist experience
• Full-time expat tax professional
• For US citizens and foreign nationals

More info

US CITIZENS ABROAD

• IRA/401k management
• Over 10 years specialist experience
• Investments customized for each client
• Specialist in US expat finances

More info

EXPATS IN THE USA

• Over 10 years specialist experience
• SIPPs, IRAs, 401ks and more
• Portfolio and investment management
• Offshore investment accounts

More info

FRANCE MORTGAGES

• Wide selection of French mortgages
• Over 20 French mortgage lenders
• French banks with established presence
• Vast experience of property market

More info

EXPAT BANKING

• Apply for an international account
• Options to suit your needs
• Multi-currency accounts, savings accounts etc.
• Send and receive funds worldwide

More info