moving abroad friends

Meeting people in the local pub is a great way to make friends.

So you have decided to move abroad. For every expat there are mundane tasks to tick off the to-do list such as finding a house, sorting out health insurance, opening a bank account and so forth. However, perhaps a more fun (or cringeworthy, depending on how you look at these things) challenge needs to be overcome – making friends.

The beginning is the most difficult. Once you make the first few contacts, even if they aren’t going to be friends for life, it will become much easier to meet more and more people from there on. Here are some tips to get you on your way to becoming a socialite or to simply find yourself that awesome group of friends to hang out with.

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Multiculturalism

Make time to do these things before you move abroad.

For some, it’s the romance and adventure of the unknown, others move because they find a better job. Whatever the reason for leaving your home country, it’s one of the biggest moves you can make. Success in your new life abroad often depends on how well you plan for it.

Moving in general isn’t all that easy but when moving country it can prove to be a major challenge! Because there are so many things to think about, here are four less obvious but still very important things not to forget when moving abroad. Read More →

moving abroad intercultural

Picture by vancouverfilmschool (Flickr)

Due to globalisation the importance of intercultural competence, and therefore of intercultural training, has risen enormously. Not only as an expat do you have to deal with many foreign cultures, but also in your own country while working with foreign colleagues, customers or suppliers.

To meet this demand, many companies have specialised in intercultural training for individuals or to internationally-operating businesses. What are the benefits of doing an intercultural training course before moving abroad? Does it really help you to adapt to a foreign culture? Read More →

globalmobilityBrookfield Global Relocation Services have recently published the results from their Global Relocation Trends Survey for 2013.

Generally speaking, the results record an overall increase in the number of international assignees globally; with 54% of the companies that responded reporting an increase within their organisation. This, however, is contrasted against the 24% that had reduced the number of employees that they were sending on international assignments.

Brookfield’s report considers the current trends concerning international assignees, in relation to historical data collected since their first survey was conducted in 1993. The findings from the survey represent responses obtained from the whole spectrum of international business; with information gathered from small, medium and large organisations.

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greetings around world

Common greetings around the world

Whatever the reason why you’re moving abroad, there will be a mountain of new customs to get used to. Greetings can be a very sensitive subject, you don’t want offend potential new friends or work colleagues on your first day!

While most locals will understand if you don’t know the correct way to say hello, at least making an attempt will go a long way.

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cultural diversity workplace

How can cultural diversity affect office teams?

Nowadays, it is not only travellers who experience and understand cultural differences and issues. More and more companies around the world define themselves as multicultural.

Working with people who do not share the same cultural values, viewpoints and backgrounds can be difficult and can severely affect work practices. Do other team members perceive me the way I intend to be perceived? Are his habits personal or cultural? Does she think it is normal to regularly be late?

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moving abroad expats

Emigrating can be an exciting experience, but if you make the plunge, plan everything in advance.

You have finally found your dream job abroad and you’re busy thinking about relocating. For many expats, this transition can be an exciting experience. However, getting caught up in the hubbub of moving abroad can lead to crucial mistakes being made.

Here we list some of the most common mistakes and complications when making the big move and tips on how expats can avoid them.

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stock.xchng - Tokyo, Japan (stock photo by chillipadi)

Tokyo, the business and technological capital of Asia

Countries in Asia, including China and India are considered some of the most challenging destinations for relocating employees. In the Global Mobility Survey 2012 cultural differences were identified by 57% of respondents as the main reason behind the demanding nature of certain countries.

Employees working in Asia should be aware each country has its own individual conventions for doing business. However, there are a few ideas that do apply across countries and some important differences to remember. Hopefully, by having at least a basic knowledge of business etiquette, you can avoid the common pitfalls of conducting business in a foreign country.

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Forbidden Palace, Beijing, China

Relocating to China is getting easier

China’s policy for expats seeking permanent residency has undergone a change recently, with increased benefits and a reduction in barriers to application. The developments follow a perceived need to attract foreign talent, and the poor uptake of green cards since their introduction in 2004. Only around 5,000 have been granted up to 2012, compared to vastly higher figures in countries like Australia (100,000 since 2004) and the USA (120,000 in the same period).

Things look set to change though. With China’s government looking at changes to the regulations that would make it easier to work, invest and live in the People’s Republic, as well as new rights when buying property and accessing social security.

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UK company abroad

Increased employee benefits will be needed for UK companies to entice their employees abroad.

Close to half of British companies, of all sizes, are looking to extend their presence overseas, according to a survey by private medical insurance providers, Expacare. The survey questioned 100 decision makers from UK businesses with between five and 1,000 employees.

Nearly a half (43%) were considering a move to start working abroad, or to strengthen their current international position. The results also revealed two thirds (64%) of SMEs expect trading overseas is set to become commonplace in the future.

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