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Expat Articles


Italy - Five Recommended Expat Blogs

Posted on Friday April 17, 2015 (14:43:51)
At Expat Focus, we like to be on the lookout for resources around the web that could help prospective expats adjust to their new countries. Today, we’re taking a look at Italy and some of the bloggers who write about living there.

Surviving in Italy

A hilarious and irreverent expat blog by M.E. Evans, who grew up in Utah before making the move to Italy. The blog covers all aspects of expat life and is refreshingly honest in its refusal to pretend that everything is always perfect. There are posts about cultural differences, about how to travel around Italy like a pro, and about how being an expat influences the big decisions in life, like when – and whether – to have children.   more ...

Costa Rica

A Guide To Office Culture In Costa Rica

Posted on Tuesday April 14, 2015 (19:36:56)
You will often hear the term “pura vida” in connection with Costa Rica. It means pure life and is used by the locals as a form of greeting, to express gratitude and even to refer to a person who is friendly. It is reflective of the relaxed Costa Rican lifestyle and is an ideal description of how the locals experience life – as something to be enjoyed and cherished.

Expats are not likely to face much of a culture shock in the business and office environment in Costa Rica, as most places follow western standards. However expats should be aware of some unique cultural mannerisms.   more ...


An Overview Of International Schools in Japan

Posted on Tuesday April 14, 2015 (19:33:20)
Japan has a range of reputed international schools that offer diverse curricula for students. Expats often choose to send their children to these schools because they provide international education such as the International Baccalaureate, or they may follow the national curriculum of their home country. The fees at international schools can be high and there may be waiting lists due to limited spots. The application process should ideally begin at least six months beforehand in order to get all the documents ready. Each school may have different entry requirements, and most have these up on their websites. The following is a list of some of the international schools in Japan by location.   more ...


Preparing Yourself For Culture Shock: Five Cultural Customs You May Not Know About In Egypt

Posted on Tuesday April 14, 2015 (19:25:33)
Figuring out what to expect in Egypt can be quite confusing for many expats. Most people across the world have a strange assortment of disjointed facts, myths, and complete fiction associated with Egypt. There are notions about pyramids and pharaohs’ curses, a vague awareness of a cat-worshipping ancient civilization (at least in the minds of most modern cat lovers), and some superficial knowledge of the political uprisings and upheavals of the last several years. Naturally, this fragmented picture depicts Egypt as much more other-worldly than it really is. In reality, Egypt is a modern, developed, diverse country that most expats quite readily adjust to. Nonetheless, it does have many cultural practices that may take some getting used to.   more ...


Things To Consider As An Expat Moving To Bangalore

Posted on Tuesday April 14, 2015 (19:14:07)
Bangalore (now officially changed to Bengaluru, but still popularly known by its old name) is one of India’s main metropolitan cities, among its most modern, developed, and urban areas. Like most of India, Bangalore is a place of great contradictions – dazzling affluence and stark poverty, modern conveniences next to infrastructure that is often outdated and outstripped by demand, and a welcoming, cosmopolitan place that sometimes is tainted by parochialism and prejudice. Bangalore has a large community of expats from all over the world, and is a relatively easy city to settle into, but it’s always helpful to know what to expect, and to consider whether and how you want to make the move.   more ...


A Guide To The Indigenous Cultures Of Australia

Posted on Tuesday April 14, 2015 (19:01:55)
The original inhabitants of the Australian continent are known as indigenous Australians, and are thought to have the oldest surviving culture in the world, with what is probably also the oldest surviving religion in the world. These various tribes of indigenous Australians are thought to have descended from the earliest modern human migrants from Africa, and here in the isolation of the Australian continent, they developed their own culture, language, technology, and practices, uniquely different from the rest of the world, and much of which has survived relatively unchanged up to the present day.   more ...


Internet Access In Qatar: What You Need To Know

Posted on Saturday April 11, 2015 (16:47:24)
Overseas nationals make up a large portion of the working population in Qatar and English is widely used as the language of business. Job and business opportunities are plentiful and Qatar is considered the easiest country in the world to pay taxes in. Despite the considerable foreign population, eclectic business culture and modern lifestyle, Qatar remains conservative in some areas.

Foreigners often wonder about the Internet restrictions in Qatar. This is something that also bothers many locals. Even though the number of net users has increased over the years, Internet use is still heavily filtered. Much of the censorship is conducted by the state sponsored ISP, QTel (now Ooredoo), in accordance with guidelines issued by the country’s law enforcement departments.   more ...

South Africa

Preparing Yourself For Culture Shock: Five Cultural Customs You May Not Know About South Africa

Posted on Saturday April 11, 2015 (16:38:49)
Living in South Africa can be an exciting and vibrant experience. It is true that crime is a problem in the country, but often this is sensationalized by the media. A closer look at many of its major cities will show that the culture and lifestyle is in fact cosmopolitan and welcoming. There are however many cultural variations on account of South Africa’s complex history, and this societal diversity can cause something of a culture shock to those who are not prepared.

Many of South Africa’s customs have come from the native tribes and European colonists. Due to the English colonization, customs of social etiquette such as a handshake or a more affectionate hug and kiss between people are evident in many parts of the country.   more ...


Ten Essentials You Need To Pack For A Move To Thailand

Posted on Saturday April 11, 2015 (16:35:43)
There are many reasons why moving to Thailand is a great decision. Pleasant weather, beautiful beaches and the excellent Thai hospitality are just some of them. For those who are already sold on the idea of moving to Thailand, here is a list of ten essentials you should definitely take with you.

1. Important paperwork
You may require your original documents when applying for visas, work permits and driving licenses. Many offices in Thailand insist on original paperwork, so you will need things like your passport, social security card, driver’s license, birth certificate and certificates of your qualifications if you’re planning to work in Thailand. Also essential are bank account numbers and passwords. Having a sufficient amount of money, including some in the local currency, is also necessary.   more ...


The Pros And Cons Of Teaching English In Portugal

Posted on Saturday April 11, 2015 (14:06:28)
Portugal has a booming tourism industry and learning English has become an important skill for many of the locals. This means that there is a growing demand for English teachers. Those who are considering English teaching jobs in Portugal will be happy to know that it is one of the best countries to live and work in because of the low cost of living and high quality of life. Portugal is also a scenic country with spectacular beaches, grand national parks, rich architecture and a vibrant culture.

There are many opportunities in Portugal for experienced and qualified teachers who are interested in teaching in private international schools. Most schools prefer teachers with a minimum of two years of relevant teaching experience. Native English speaking teachers will also be able to find suitable opportunities in public schools.   more ...

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