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France Springs Into Life

Wednesday, March 07, 2012 (09:35:29)
by Expat Focus columnist, Stephanie Dagg

I love March. Rural France suddenly springs into life again as the temperatures rise. Here in Creuse we normally have long winters that last from early November until well into March. However, this year we swapped long for intense. The four weeks of le grand froid, the big freeze, were painful with temperatures down to minus 19 degrees C, and three weeks without them going anywhere near zero. January and February are usually quiet enough in the countryside, but everyone practically disappeared this year. Caiti and I visited Paris during the cold snap and life seemed to be hectic and carrying on as usual up there, despite the chilliness. That’s certainly not the case in the paysage. It’s a time of hunkering down and keeping the farm and the fire ticking over.

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Personal Branding is the Key to Expat or International Career Success

Tuesday, March 06, 2012 (00:01:51)
by Expat Focus columnist, Megan Fitzgerald

In today’s dynamic, competitive, global marketplace where employers are seeking out talent across the globe, to succeed professionally we must understand how we create value in the world - and insure that the people that need that value are aware of it. We must be visible to right decision makers so when those choice projects and job opportunities come up we are well positioned to secure them.

But understanding what it is exactly that we have to offer can sometimes be a challenge, given we often define ourselves and what we offer based on our job titles or areas of expertise and knowledge.
For this reason, personal branding is what any current or aspiring expat should be using to guide their career management or international job search.

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Could You Survive Abroad Without the Internet?

Monday, March 05, 2012 (23:56:35)
by Expat Focus columnist, Piglet in Portugal

As more people either work or retire abroad I often wonder how expats managed to survive in a pre-internet world. How did they communicate with family and friends back home, or research different aspects of life in their new country?

I can’t even begin to imagine life abroad without the internet. Can you imagine being totally reliant on the long drawn out process of sending letters by snail-mail when you can now send emails in seconds? Or the cost of using a standard telephone when you can use VoIP (Skype) or even better two-way interactive video calls for free?

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The Space Between

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 (19:09:19)
by Expat Focus columnist, Evelyn Simpson

The initial flurry of unpacking and getting settled has passed, the excitement of the holidays is over and a more normal routine has begun to prevail.

For many accompanying partners, the realisation of what “normal” life will entail in a new country comes hand-in-hand with a true understanding of what overseas relocation means for their lives on a personal day-to-day basis. Many, even the strongest proponents of the decision to move, find that reality significantly different from expectations and many may doubt the wisdom of their decisions...

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Trapped Abroad

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 (19:03:55)
by Expat Focus columnist, Toni Hargis

Many expats venture abroad without really thinking too far into the future. “I’m taking a job for a couple of years in (insert far-flung place). It’ll be a great adventure for the kids.” That’s fine, and indeed, planning too far ahead is just asking for trouble in my opinion. However, a surprising number of expats end up “trapped” abroad for various reasons...

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