Expat Parenting – Are you ready to adjust to family life abroad?

According to the most recent HSBC expat explorer survey, Singapore has topped the best expatriate destinations for the second year. This is not only because of its financial rewards to expatriates workers and good business environment, but also the high quality of education for children as 75 percent say. In a word, expatriates are placing more attention to a supporting family life and children’s educational environment overseas today. In this article, we will discuss expat parenting abroad – are you ready to adjust to family life abroad.

Know The Difference of Being An Expat Parent 

There are many differences of being an expat parent compared to parenting at home country, one of the most obvious aspect is the lack of support networks. This includes family members and close friends. For many working expat parents, it is suggested to seek support from your company, or networking with local co-workers. For the non-working parents, try to connect with local expat groups and expat web sites that are dedicated to expat parenting, such as Expat Parent.

Encourage Your Children to Get Involved

Moving abroad with children can be a challenge. Many children may show emotional fluctuation at the beginning. It is suggested that expat parents should be more enthusiastic to help their children overcome these obstacles. At the same time, encourage your children to participate in school extracurricular activities. If there is a foreign language is being taught at local school, learn together with your children.

As long as you are open minded and have an attitude of adventure, your expat family life will flourish while abroad. It may also be a good idea to use Skype and other communication methods to allow your expat children to continue to nurture their friendships back home. We often use Skype to communicate with our customers around the world.

Bring International Health Insurance With You 

One of the most important things for every expat family is healthcare. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates of most nationalities across the world. We also offer excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form. As noted above, having excellent global medical coverage will not only give you peace of mind, but will help you maintain the health of you and your family. 

10 tips for a successful business travel to China

Lets say that your company is planning to enter Asian market and you’ve selected as the key person to lead a first business trip to China. What do you need to know? In this article, we offer practical advice on 10 tips for a successful business travel to China, including business manners in China, culture related suggestions and medical care in China. These tips are a great resource for expats living in China.

1.Print Out Your Key Information Before Departure 

It is strongly recommended to print out your contact person’s name and destination (in both English and Chinese language), just in case taxi drivers don’t speak nor understand English. Many Chinese people begin learning English in their primary schools. However, to prevent misunderstanding and troubleshooting, you should print out all the key person’s full name, hotel name and address, and your name.

2.Obtain China Cell-Phone Plan With Your Phone Carrier  

International phone calls can be very expensive. If you are planning to visit China, you can check with your phone plan carrier to see if you can make and receive phone calls while you are in China and ask the rate you will be charged. Another method is buy a prepaid telephone card. The rate is relatively cheap. It will allow you to receive calls from all over the globe and make phone calls throughout China. Some plans in Canada will allow for transfer of your data and phone calls to China for a nominal daily fee.

3. Prepare For a 24 Hour 7 Days Per Week Work Load 

It is common to receive business phone calls at around 10pm or 7am during weekends. In China, basically any time of the day is working time. Some factories of manufacturing industry are even operating 24 hrs for certain rush orders. White collar workers usually stay overtime too. It is not surprised to see a meeting starts at 11 pm in China. Be prepared to keep up with the pace during your business trip to China.

4. Bring Cash 

Almost nobody in China accepts personal checks. Even Chinese local banks do not offer personal checks. Large shopping malls would accept credit card. Please bring cash with you for daily activities. For larger amount, you should pay via online banking. Your bank can provide more information.

5. Check Your Electric Device 

Please note that electronic voltage is different in China. Mobile phones and laptops are important for any business trips. It is recommended to bring the right chargers and converters before departure. You can also buy them at the airport or at local stores in major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

6. Obtain Travel Medical Insurance Before Departure

It is vital to make preparations for unexpected medical costs. Travel insurance is designed to prevent you from losses in many circumstances within a certain period of time. Common travel related issues are: emergency medical treatment, loss of luggage, loss of personal belongings and medical evacuation. This is especially important for business travelers.

Travel Insurance China can offer travel medical insurance to meet the needs of international travelers looking for temporary medical insurance coverage while traveling outside of their home country. Please download IMG Patiot brochurecontact us to obtain a quote online

7. No Tipping In China

This might be different from what Westerners used to, however, you don’t need to pay tips in restaurants while staying in China. The printed amount is the final amount you need to pay. Also, there is no sales tax on top of merchandise that you purchase.

8. Bring A Copy Of Your Medical History Report

To get healthcare during your business trip in China, you should carry your medical history report. Or a statement from your doctor identifying your blood type, any chronic conditions or allergies. These kind of information is very useful in the event of medical emergency. If you have prescriptions, make sure they are clearly labeled.

9. Schedule A Medical Check-Up Before Departure 

Ideally, it is advised to schedule a medical check-up with your doctor 4-6 weeks before your trip in order to get vaccinations or medications you may need. To prevent health hazard, please avoid drinking tap water while staying in China, even in major cities. Avoid eating food from street vendors, unpasteurized dairy products and  don’t consume ice made with tap or well water.

10. Get All The Paper Work Ready

Before you leave, you need to make sure you have all the required documents. Generally speaking, in addition to a passport, you will have to bring a visa for trips to China. Make sure to select the correct type of visa you’re applying for and time period you will be staying in China before submitting the visa application form to the Chinese Embassy. It is best to leave enough time before your trip for obtaining the visa.

Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates of any nationality across the world – including China – if you are going to stay for more than a year and need comprehensive coverage. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form

Going to a conflict zone? Get special risk insurance coverage

Unfortunately, we live in a world that has many regions and countries where war and terrorism are commonplace. Nearly all mainstream travel medical insurance and expat health policies have restrictions on claims that are the result of war, terrorism, riots and civil strife. Some others will exclude coverage in well known high risk countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Most people will not travel to such countries for pleasure, though that has been the case in Afghanistan recently where some “adventure tourists” were attacked by the Taliban. In general, people are traveling to high risk countries for the following reasons:

  • To conduct aid work with NGOs
  • As reporters for news organizations and outlets
  • To conduct business, especially in the mining and oil industries. This can also include companies selling services and products to businesses or government entities in these countries
  • As part of a government delegation or embassy assignment
  • Or to see family members

Whatever your reason for traveling to a high risk country, it make sense to obtain adequate insurance coverage that will not exclude war or terrorism if you get caught up in an unfortunate event. It may or may not be available depending on your country of residence as obtaining individual war risk coverage is much more difficult than sourcing a group plan for employees. The kind of coverage we would want for visiting high risk countries are plans that cover passive war and terrorism coverage, which means you are an innocent bystander and not an active participant in terrorism and war.

If you are traveling to a high risk country for under one year, then most people will want an emergency only travel medical insurance plan that can cover passive war risk. If you are an individual who is going to become an expat in a conflict zone or country where terror is commonplace, then it will be wise to see if the individual expat health plan can cover war/terrorism – unfortunately, most if not all individual expat health plans will have a war and terrorism exclusion. Expat Financial through our parent company TFG Global can source excellent group expat benefit plans that can cover expat employees in high risk and even war zones which can cover passive war and terrorism. We can even source group business travel plans that can cover claims that are the result of a war or terrorist act. Please contact us to see if we can find a plan for your company.