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Tips on Becoming a Global Nomad

Become a Digital Nomad Abroad – Global Nomad Tips

Being a global nomad is definitely an intriguing opportunity for many people. However, there are many factors that come into play while choosing an expat destination. Prior planning regarding the city you would want to move to, type of residence to book, and children’s education is a must to look into if you don’t want to juggle around at the eleventh hour before departure. We have created a beginner’s guide for tips on becoming a global nomad to get you on the right track for your next adventure!

Being a global nomad can be quite challenging, especially if you are moving alone in search of a fresh and better life abroad. Here are a few tips that will assist you in having an amazing experience as a global expat:

1. Manage Expectations

Having too many expectations apart from the usual ones can prove to be frustrating, especially if you are not very familiar with a particular expat destination. Have an open mind when you relocate to a foreign land. Be prepared to face issues and challenges during your initial days at your desired destination.

2. Meet People and Make Friends

Even if you are not too keen, you should mingle with as many people as possible. Staying indoors won’t help, so venture out to meet people and make friends. Meeting and talking to as many people as possible daily will help you be comfortable during your stay as an expat. Participate actively in community activities and events to boost your network. You will be missing out on a lot of fun if you feel shy and don’t have the guts to communicate with strangers.

Friends

3. Obtain International Medical Insurance before Moving Abroad

No matter how good healthcare facilities are in a particular expat destination, having an international health insurance policy can be very helpful. Unexpected health issues can turn out to be an expensive affair abroad. Visit Expat Financial and get a quote for one of the best global health plans before you decide to move. Remember that countries like Spain may not let you stay long term if you don’t have private insurance. So, it’s always better to obtain one in advance. Click here for a free quote today!

4. Go for Language Classes Immediately

If you are planning to move to a country with a different official language, you should join language classes immediately. By learning the language, you will be able to communicate with the local folks effectively. A communication gap can be a major hurdle in interacting with locals if you are clueless about the main language of your destination.

5. Consider Living Costs

Living costs can vary from country to country. Always check whether your dream destination is affordable for you before you decide to relocate. For instance, the average cost of living in Asian countries is much lower than in any North American or European country. You also need to consider the taxes you will have to pay in your chosen foreign land. You should also bring a laptop that will last and work with the local wifi. Did we mention wifi – make sure wherever you go has high-speed internet access that is both reasonable and dependable.

Living Cost

 

Prepare For an Amazing Global Nomadic Life

It is common knowledge that people in every country are different. There are marked differences in the way they eat or cook food. It is this diversity that you will learn and eventually enjoy as you continue mingling with people in every new destination you explore. Being empathetic and kind towards others can endear you to everyone you meet on your journey and take you places. Always keep an open mind and be kind-hearted while you are living a nomadic life abroad.

Challenges faced by expats

5 Common Challenges Faced by Expats

Challenges that expats often encounter while living abroad – Five Plus One.

Moving abroad is often an overwhelming experience for any expatriate. The act of moving to a country that is unfamiliar to your own, a limited social network, and new cultures and languages can often feel burdensome on many people. As an expat moving abroad, there are surely going to be some challenges and obstacles when it comes to the relocation process, as well as the adjustment period once relocated. Many people will react to the stress in different ways as challenges will vary depending on location, cultures, languages, personal mannerisms and general customs of the country. However, there are a few common challenges that most expatriates encounter when relocating. We have put together a list of the 5 most common challenges faced by expats in order to aid in your settlement into your new country and allowing you to enjoy this adventure to the best ability possible. Note that the challenges below are in no particular order of importance.

Challenge #1: Fitting in

As an expatriate moving abroad, there is a big chance that you are leaving a large social & professional network back home. This can have a huge effect on someone, especially if you are someone that places a high significance on these relationships. Don’t fear, you are definitely not the first, nor the last expatriate to have the fear of not fitting in properly in your new city.

Challenge #2: A language barrier

If you are moving to a country that has an entirely different language than your own, the process of getting accustomed to your city and the locals may seem daunting. This is something that is ultimately unavoidable if you don’t know the local language beforehand. Read all about our advice on learning a new language while living abroad in order to facilitate the process, and jump-start the learning curve for your new life abroad! We do recommend trying to learn a rudimentary level of the foreign language before you take off, as it will facilitate the entire process of moving overseas!

Challenge #3: Being lonely

Don’t let the fear or the potential of being lonely prevent you from embarking on a new adventure and impede your decision to become an expatriate in a foreign country. It is extremely common for a new expat to feel lonely when they first move abroad. A key point to target when you relocate to a foreign country is to build strong relationships with the people around you. This will surely take some time, but it is important to try your best to form some bonds with the people and the city in which you now call home.

Challenge #4: Finances & money management

Organizing your finances, taxes and money management can be extremely difficult when you are living in your home country but adding overseas travel and living abroad to the mix, and things get very complicated. As an expatriate, you will have to decide if you will become a non-resident for tax purposes by talking to an expat tax expert – do not try to do it on your own. We have a list of some great expat tax advisors at our Links page. You will also have to advise your bank that you will be living abroad and probably have to set up new banking in your new home country. Most countries will want to see your visa documents and also some proof that you will be living there. It may be useful to keep your bank account back home as well. Having a bank account in your new host country in the local currency will still be invaluable and probably save you on foreign exchange. You may also have to move your investment account as well, so talk to your investment advisor and tax accountant to see what solution works best.

Challenge #5: Healthcare 

Making sure you have proper global health insurance while living abroad is one of the biggest concerns that many expatriates worry about when it comes to relocation. Local plans in your new host country may not be up to your standards and may only provide basic coverage and access to local hospitals. Most expats want to have access to private healthcare both in the host country, regionally and also for treatment back home. Having an international health insurance plan in place before leaving abroad will alleviate stress with finances, ability to obtain medical help and peace of mind for the duration of your relocation. Contact us today to discuss all your international insurance needs!

Challenge #6: Safety 

Yes, I know we said only 5 challenges, but we really needed to add expat safety to the article. As discussed in our expat safety page, personal safety is a very high priority for individual expats and expatriate employers and global mobility managers. While the world is safer now than it has been in the past, today’s security concerns and challenges range from terrorism, bombings, assaults, thefts and much more. It is vital that expats prepare for the worst when moving abroad and check out the local security in their new home country through both free and even paid information sources. Even expat destinations in first world countries can be fraught with danger – such as the terrorist attacks in Europe and mass shootings experienced in the USA. Expat safety should definitely be your priority if you are moving abroad or already living the expat life.

Thailand

Thai Expat Guide to Eating and Living Healthy

A Short Guide to Living and Eating in Thailand for Expats

People need to be independent in order to succeed when living outside of their home countries. If an expat gets ill, they may have to rely on themselves to get by when trying to recover from the medical conditions.  As such, expats need to be extra careful when caring for their health. We have created a Thai expat guide to eating and living healthy for expatriates overseas. One of the ways expats can care for their health is by ensuring that they eat healthily and lead healthy lifestyles. The list of tips to eating healthy and living healthy lifestyles for expats is extensive. Below, though, are just some of the tips expats may refer to in eating healthy and living healthy lifestyles if they are based in Thailand:

1. Monitor all caloric intakes, even the small ones 

Oftentimes, intakes of small doses of calories are the ones that add up quicker than the intake of larger doses of calories. Expats need to ensure that they only seldom eat fast foods. Eating small doses of junk foods often adds up to more than the large doses of calories taken by larger meals, without expats realizing of its effects. It’s important to also remember caloric intakes from beverages. Often these are forgotten about, but they have the potential to add up quickly in someone’s diet.

2. Host healthy physical activities with fellow expats & other colleagues

Expats can surely benefit from weekly group physical activities with fellow expats and other colleagues, examples of these activities are yoga, aerobics, and so on. Expats may initiate hosting these activities in gyms or local community centers. Once organized, expats can invite larger groups of colleagues to participate in order to create a healthy and social activity for everyone.

Physical Activity

3. Participate in other travel programs that employers may offer

While working in Thailand, Expats do not need to confine themselves to Thailand for the duration of their stay. If other opportunities to travel for work come their way, it is encouraged for expats to explore surrounding countries. Seizing the opportunities to travel to Singapore, Malaysia, or Hong Kong for work shall prevent Thai expats to have idle physical activities only. Expats will have opportunities to move out and about, and thus, be more physically active, while travelling extensively.

4. Continue eating a consistent healthy diet

It is always better for expats to continue eating in a healthy manner, ideally in the way they have always previously been accustomed to. Expats need to be resourceful in finding proper stores in Thailand that sell the healthy foods which they previously ate back in their home countries. Expats will need to invest efforts and patience in order to succeed in locating these stores in Thailand. Down the road, though, expats shall realize that the efforts they invested in doing this are well worth it in the long run.

Healthy Fruits

Our informal Thai expat guide to eating and living healthy is a rudimental approach for staying healthy while living abroad. Expats currently need not settle with the ways they are living their lives and eating the foods they love to eat. They need to always be open to any alterations which they may need to apply to their lives in order to eat and live healthy lives. Thailand offers excellent food choices for expatriates and locals alike. Don’t be afraid to indulge in local food chocies. In the long run, expats are the only people who may benefit from these choices themselves, and once they reap the fruits of eating and living healthy lifestyles.

For extra protection, ensure that you have an international health plan in place that will provide you with extra security in case you fall ill. Knowing that you have proper medical care will allow you to live a more comfortable and stress-free life. For your international health care needs, contact Expat Financial to discuss all your personal needs today!

International Health Insurance

Choosing between a local or global health insurance plan as an expat

Why you should purchase a global over a local health plan if you are an expatriate

Expatriates who are moving overseas will often opt into purchasing a local health plan from the government or a private insurer. Some countries, regardless of your own coverage, may require you to purchase the local coverage care, even if inadequate for your needs. Most local plans will be inexpensive and some can potentially be quite good. However, if you are moving overseas there are five reasons why we recommend expats to purchase a global health policy:

Portability

As an expatriate living abroad, opting into a local health plan may limit your portability and your access to medical care in cases of relocation. If there is a possibility of you moving to a new destination, or if you are not consistently in one primary country, you will want to have access to a health care plan that provides you with the portability that you require. Another benefit of obtaining a global health insurance plan is that it may also include coverage for business travel and travelling for pleasure. Global health insurance plans are especially important for expat employers that employ mobile employees globally.

Moving Abroad

Local health plans may be deficient

Many expatriates find that local health care plans are not sufficient for their standards. One benefit that has proven to be important for expats is the ability to get medical care with a large network of hospitals and clinics. Many local plans will have a small network, in which you have to receive your care. Global health care plans tend to have a much larger network, as well as the ability to access medical care from outside network hospitals with approval from the insurer.

Local health facilities may be substandard and not up to western standards

The quality of medical care and facility capabilities vary greatly from one country to another, and in some countries, the standards of medical facilities may be much lower than those in Western countries. If you are an expat located in a second or third world country, the medical standards set in place may not be up to the standards in which you are accustomed to. Medical care that is not up to your usual standards may be passable for check-ups and basic care, but will not be adequate for any procedures that require a specialist or any form of intensive care. However, it is not only in third world countries that you will want to consider a global health plan. Even in developed countries, having a global health plan in place will help in a time of emergency, and explain how to deal with medical emergency coverage when times of need require it. It will also have the added benefit of providing you and your family with an accurate direction and alleviate panic at all times.

Health Insurance

Local plans won’t cover you for treatment outside of that country

The difficulty with local plans is that once you have left the country, your local plan may be cancelled out. While being an expat often encompasses a certain amount of international travel, you will want to ensure that you are covered upon leaving your main destination. Another difficulty that comes along with local health care coverage is if you do decide to relocate, there may be a lapse in coverage or necessary waiting periods for coverage between the two regions. This may become detrimental in your protection if you are travelling in high-risk zones.

You may need or want to seek treatment back home or regionally

Although local health plans may be tempting for expatriates, local health plans are not designed for expats, but in reality, are designed for local natives. If you are wanting to obtain medical coverage back in your home country, you will no longer be covered under your local health care plan. You may also require medical evacuation coverage in cases that local hospitals are not able to treat you adequately. Evacuation coverage is a crucial feature of any expatriate insurance plan.

Health Treatment

Expats are often portable, so it is vital that you have a global health policy that will cover you if you move from one country to another. It is important to note that most expat health providers are not able to renew their coverage should you move back to your home country or spend more than 6 months in your country of citizenship. It is important that you check your requirements and fine print when you apply online for a global health plan.

Expat Financial offers a variety of international insurance health insurance plans on a group or individual basis. To maximize your expat experience and avoid unforeseen risks and costs, please contact us today to discuss your international insurance needs and requirements. Toll-free number: 1-800-232-9415 or email info@tfgglobal.com

Thinking for Abroad

The fundamentals of becoming an expatriate

There are numerous reasons as to why someone will make the decision to relocate to a new country and become an expatriate. The decision can be an inbound decision of wanting a new life of adventure or you are being relocated due to your job. Regardless of the reason, there are an abundant amount of benefits for making the move. The term expatriate is often misinterpreted and we are here to help you understand what it means to be an expatriate and how we recommend preparing for your new life.

What is an Expatriate?

An expatriate is considered as anyone who is living outside of their native country – meaning the country in which they were born and/or brought up in. Expats that are living overseas can be considered in a permanent, semi-permanent or temporary placement, depending on the expats’ specific situation.

When relocating abroad, regardless of the reason for moving, there are plenty of considerations to think about beforehand. Some top priority factors are to determine where your income will derive from, are you living in a safe area, how to attain housing, are you moving somewhere with a different language than your native tongue, whether or not you need a visa, and how does the medical care system work in your new country. We have created a small guide to answer some big-picture questions that are crucial to know before your big relocation.

Signals

Visa requirements

Most countries will require a visa in order to become a local resident, and the process and availability will be dependent on your country of origin, as well as the inbound country. It is very important to understand all the factors and limitations of your visa before moving. More often then not, a work visa will have a longer period of validity in comparison to a visitors visa, resulting in a more stable duration of stay.

Adapting to local culture

Your international relocation may bring you to a country that is vastly different than your home town, whether that be in Africa, Asia, Europe or South America. Each region and country around the world has it’s own unique offerings to you as an expatriate, and it will be important to learn and appreciate how differently things are done. One aspect that will greatly benefit you as an expatriate will be to learn the local language as well as possible. Learning a new language has many benefits and challenges, and in the end, it will greatly improve your experiences in the new country. The more you adjust and dive into the culture and experiences of your new home, the easier it will be for you to adjust and enjoy your time away from home.

The benefits of Expatriate health insurance

Countries all around the world vary in healthcare, in cost and standardization and care. As an expatriate living abroad, you will want to have the best healthcare coverage as possible. In most circumstances, countries will require expatriates to obtain a global medical coverage plan for extra protection, as most expats won’t be covered under a domestic plan. A comprehensive global medical plan that can move with you and cover you locally, regionally and globally – especially back home will be critical.

A major benefit of a global medical health care plan is the ability to cover other dependents as well – whether that be a spouse or children. Obtaining the best care for yourself and your family will be extremely important as you choose to live an expatriate life.

Domestic government health plans often only provide access to public hospitals and doctors. This may become problematic as you will have more restrictive access to medical care. In order to avoid the complications of long wait lines, extra costs of medical testing and surgeries, most expats will seek out a global medical care coverage in order to have access to private hospitals, doctors and clinics.

The keys to success

Success Ahead

As rewarding as living an expatriate life can be, there will surely be some obstacles along the way. Here are some suggestions in order to get the most out of your expatriate experience.

  1. Appreciate the cultures and languages of your new country! Many people will never be given the opportunity to travel and live the way you are, so make sure to take the time to dive into new cultures, meet the local populations and learn to appreciate the way of life that is different than your norm.
  2. Moving abroad is the perfect opportunity to do a major clean out of your house! Deciding what to pack when moving abroad can be a stressful and tedious experience, however, it is an excellent opportunity to purge out old household items and clothing that you don’t need!
  3. As you are becoming an expatriate, it will be important to engage in an expatriate community as well as the local natives. There are several benefits to relying on other expats, including learning from their past mistakes and suggestions, as well as their knowledge on conducting business and creating a social life in a foreign land.
  4. It will also be important to know about your countries taxation policies. As all countries differ in tax legislation, it will be important to be up to date on your tax status and whether double taxation agreements are in place between the two countries.
  5. Lastly, obtaining your international health insurance before relocating, or within the first few days of moving will be crucial. This will alleviate a large amount of unnecessary and added stress that is preventable in order to protect yourself. At Expat Financial, we are able to meet the growing needs of expatriates living around the world who require global healthcare coverage for themselves and their families. To view available international health insurance plans available, click here!

 

Expat Tokyo - Why you need international health insurance?

10 tips on how to keep your expat kids healthy & happy overseas

Here are Some Tips for Expatriate Parents on How to Keep Your Kids Happy and Healthy Overseas

Moving abroad is often a difficult transition for expatriates and their spouses, but often even more so for their children. You want to make sure that the transition to life abroad is as effortless as possible. One of the most important considerations for expat parents is how to keep their expat kids healthy and happy abroad. We have noted several steps that expatriates can take before and after they move overseas to make sure the little ones and even teen expatriates will maintain their emotional and physical health.

1. Adjusting to their new school abroad

While you are trying to welcome your new environment, don’t forget to help your children to choose a school. Picking the right school requires you to do adequate research before moving abroad. It can be vital to the health and happiness of your children. For most children, the transition to a new environment can require sufficient counseling to help them integrate.

2. Make sure they are vaccinated

Obtaining the necessary vaccinations is important if you are moving overseas, but especially for children. Talk to your doctor and make sure they are up to date on their vaccination schedule and also make sure that they are properly vaccinated for diseases that may exist in your new home country abroad. When it comes to vaccinations, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

3. Encourage them to pack their things

Another step you can take to help your children to stay positive is to include them in the packing process. Encourage them to pack their belongings, and choose what they want to take on the plane and what gets shipped. Of course, also make sure they don’t forget their favorite toy or blanket!

Portrait of happy mother and baby girl on street overlooking rooftops of rome on sunset

4. Be mindful of their mental health and adjustment abroad

Moving abroad is a big deal for adults, but even more so for your children. They are moving away from all what they are familiar with – home, friends, cousins etc… Don’t try to avoid their questions and anxieties. As soon as you know there’s going to be a relocation, include your kids in the conversation. Listen properly to their questions and concerns. They have to make new connections in a brand new culture. While they may be excited, it can be quite daunting. If you can see assistance both before and after you go and be very mindful of their mental well-being after you move abroad. Think about having them join a team or club while abroad. Also, maybe include your kids in the process of decorating their rooms. Let them choose their furniture, paint colour and bedsheets.

5. Keep copies of your kids’ medical records

One of the biggest challenges when relocating with children is looking for high-quality medical care. It is always suggested to bring your children’s medical records wherever you go, as well as vaccination updates, and allergy history

6. Research destination illness and health warnings

Many countries are providing diseases and health warnings on their travel websites. Expats should consult these sites before moving abroad. In most cases, children are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Through adequate research, you should be able to identify the signs and symptoms of some common local diseases. It also helps to take preventive actions such as vaccinations and checkups for your kids before you move.

Expatriate Life Insurance

7. Help your children to keep in touch with home country

Moving abroad will be a landmark event in your children’s lives. It is suggested that you help your children collect all of their friends’ contact information, put them in an address book. Another helpful step would be to create photo albums to preserve their memories from their home country. It will also be a good idea to host an unforgettable goodbye party to celebrate this life-changing decision.

8. Find local expat kids groups

There are local expats groups or communities resources online, through social media or employee networking. Bring your kids to these child-friendly activities. It has been proved that these similarly minded expat parents can help expat children to acclimatize to the new surroundings faster.

9. Learn the language together with your children

It is a good idea to begin a language course before relocation. However, to better help your kids’ transition, you are recommended to take the time to learn the new language with your kids. It will help them to see there is a learning curve for everyone. And if you are enjoying the new language, they will be more likely to also.

An elementary age girl is holding her stuffed animal at the doctors office. Her mother is talking to the doctor in the background.

10. Obtain international health insurance to cover you and your expat kids

It is crucial for every expat family to take the necessary action to ensure that their spouse and children’s health and well-being are protected and provided for via an appropriate level of international health insuranceExpat Financial offers a wide array of excellent global health plans designed specifically for expatriates of most nationalities around much of the world. You should also consider purchasing the expatriate dental coverage option.

If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized evacuation quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.

Vancouver

Top 5 most livable cities in the world for expatriates

In many surveys of the quality of living over the years, there are five that are often viewed top global cities for expats and locals alike. There are many factors taken into account when considering a top city for expats: drinkable water, electricity, transportation, housing, safety, pollution levels, city infrastructure and much more. They are all important considerations when determining the allowance for expatriate workers in expat assignment and creating an effective relocation policy for organizations. While what makes a top city is open to debate and is highly subjective, in this article, we will introduce five extremely livable cities in the world for expatriates take into consideration when assessing an expat destination or on assignment. Since the cities note below change in their rankings on various studies, we have included them below in no particular order.

Vancouver Canada

5. Vancouver, Canada 

In the Economist’s August 2016 report, Vancouver, Canada was ranked third best city in the world. The ranking was based on a series of factors related to healthcare, safety, and security, infrastructure, environment, etc. Vancouver is a multicultural cosmopolitan city with natural beauty, attracts many expats every year. Living in Vancouver, you will have the chance to access to many leisure activities, a much more favourable climate with mild winters and exciting events and festivals. While real estate prices are extremely high in Vancouver, the city remains an excellent place for expatriates to live, work or retire. To learn more, please read our Vancouver expat city guide.

Munich Germany

4. Munich, Germany

Munich is an attractive city with rich culture, cultural heritage, and is ranked 3rd most populous city in Germany. Also, as a major international business centre and expatriate destination, Munich owns the headquarters of many multinational companies and advanced technology organizations. It has repeatedly ranked into the top 10 most livable cities in the world. It is the most populated city in Bavaria and lies on the River Isar north of the Bavarian Alps. The city is well known for the Oktoberfest, especially at the famed Hofbräuhaus beer hall. This great city is a favored tourist and expat location where modern and traditional coexist.

Auckland New Zealand

3. Auckland, New Zealand 

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and economic centre. It is the most populous city in New Zealand. Living in such a multicultural and diverse city, expatriates will enjoy vibrant outdoor sporty life and relaxing weekend beach life. As one of the business and industrial centre of New Zealand, many international companies and organizations have offices in Auckland. The climate is usually warm and humid.

Zurich Switzerland

 

2. Zurich, Switzerland

Zurich has consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the world, according to many expatriate surveys. Zurich is considered as an important financial centre in the world with many banks, financial institutions, and the world’s 4th largest stock exchange centre. The city is clean, safe and there are generally no language barriers for expatriates. English is widely spoken, especially in the workplace. The standard of healthcare in Zurich is high. Expatriates should obtain compulsory private medical insurance before moving to Zurich.

Vienna Austria

1. Vienna, Austria

Vienna is home to famous operas, stunning architectures, art galleries and beautiful streets. In addition to the best coffee shops, this excellent expat city has consistently ranked as a  top destination by many well-known magazines. Vienna is also a center for many prominent international organizations such as the United Nations and Organization for Security & Co-operation in Europe.

Bring International Health Insurance with You 

It is critical for expatriates to obtain international health insurance before relocating to a new city abroad. An international health insurance plan will provide global citizens and their families worldwide coverage (except in the USA unless you add it as an optional benefit). Whether you are residing in the countryside or the city, it is vital that you purchase a plan that allows you to seek medical care internationally. Expatriates living and working abroad will benefit from a global medical policy with day-patient care and full hospital coverage, extensive cancer coverage, dental and vision care, international medical evacuation and repatriation.

Expat Financial offers excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or would like to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.

Source: Mercer recently releases a list of the top cities to live in based on a study that they make every year.

How expats can work from home – 5 tips for expatriates living abroad

The idea of working from home can be exciting. And many expatriates will decide to work from home while living and travelling abroad. This is especially important for expat spouses who are living with their partner who is employed but are unable to work in the new country for a variety of reasons, such as work visa issues. However, there are many inherent concerns and challenges to working from home. In this article, we will discuss five tips for expats who decide to work from home while living overseas.

Benefits of working from home

It is easy to understand why working from home has become so popular. The freedom to control over your schedule, the flexibility in pursuing personal interests, and keeping down the cost of commuting.  To many people, it is pleasant to begin their day as early as they wish, so they’re working when they are most efficient and alert to perform their jobs.

Working from home opens up more opportunities for career growth and personal satisfaction. Here’s a practical guide to excel under minimal supervision:

Make Sure You Set Goals 

It is essential to set goals if wish to work from home, especially during the change of family dynamics while living abroad. You will want to break goals down into small daily goals and identify what daily expectations must be to achieve them. It is important to concentrate your efforts if you’re going to achieve your goals.

Avoid Distractions

To avoid an infinite number of distractions while working from home, it is critical to set up a professional home-based office to stay focused on your daily tasks. It is ideal to have a reliable computer with quality internet, printer, business phone and general office supplies. All these items will increase your productivity and save your time.

Another suggestion would be a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. All the outside and inside noises can ruin your day. Construction noise, traffic sounds, even the TV sounds are annoying. Therefore, it is wise to choose a pair of noise-cancelling headphones while working from home.

Work and Exercise Balance 

It is important to get out of your home office and do some exercise. Instead of sitting in front of your computer all day long. Take a short walk outside your house during the day or head to the gym for an hour workout. It will make a massive difference to your emotional and physical well being, as you will have the chance to connect with people, or even socialize with other groups of people who work from home.

Update Your Colleagues Often 

Consistently updating your colleagues will help lower your stress level and will you kee you from feeling that you’re falling behind. Many work-from-home professionals know that they don’t have to do it all alone. Using an online file sharing system such as Dropbox, will allow you to update your colleagues or teammates in real-time. It will also eliminate the problem of working with outdated projects.

Don’t Forget International Health Insurance 

For work-from-home professionals living abroad, it is important to note that you will most likely be responsible for obtaining your own international health insurance plans as you might be working for yourself or may not be supported by an employer. Additionally, the country you live in may have little or no medical coverage and may not provide adequate healthcare facilities. However, some expat employers will employ people working abroad, especially in IT roles.

Domestic health plans may not even cover you or will only cover you in that one country, which is not ideal if you wish to travel or obtain health coverage abroad. You will probably lose your current health plan coverage if you live abroad or it may not cover overseas travel. 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. Also, don’t forget to obtain individual life and disability coverage as well if you are a work-from-home professional.

Six social media platforms for expatriates living abroad

If you are an expatriate living abroad these days, it is important to keep in touch with family and friends both online and offline. Many expats turn to social media platforms as a great way to interact with their fellow expatriates and share their experiences online. There are many social media platforms in Asia, Africa, North America, Europe and around the world that expatriates will utilize. From Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to Google+, Weibo to Wechat, finding the most popular social networking media that locals are on can not only ease the difficulties of expanding your business and extending your local networking group but can also strengthen your expat company’s branding. In this article, let’s discuss top 6 social media platforms that expatriates have to consider while working and living abroad, especially those in Asia.

1. Facebook

According to studies, Facebook is the most popular social network in Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia, especially for expats and locals alike. And according to reports, in 2016, 43% of Singaporeans use Facebook every month, comparing all other social media platforms. In Thailand, the statistic shows that around 18.9 million people are using Facebook throughout the day. It is reported that three in four Indonesians who use the internet also use Facebook. Note that Facebook is not available in China. If you are an expat interested in Facebook, we recommend that expatriates check out our Expat Financial Facebook page.

2. Instagram

As of 2016, 63% of Singaporeans are using Instagram. According to a recent study conducted by ConnectedLife, Malaysians are very active on Instagram as results show that users have gone from 59% to 73% in the past year. Another large Instagram usage nation in Asia is Indonesia. According to Instagram’s internal data, Indonesia is the largest market for Instagram in the Asia Pacific, with 45 million users. Unfortunately, Instagram is also banned in China, but some people can access the site via a Virtual Private Network. Don’t forget to visit our Instagram page.

3. YouTube

Research shows that YouTube is the most preferred and popular video platform in Thailand. YouTube Thailand is ranked as top 1 in Southeast Asia and top 10 in the world; 81% of Thais say YouTube is the first place they go for video. Other markets with the highest viewership in Asia are Vietnam, Japan and India. Check out our expat and insurance YouTube channel.

4. WeChat

WeChat is the NO.1 messaging app in China. Users can book cabs on WeChat, send and receive money, shop online, book restaurants, share moments with their friends, and perform daily business communication. Other than emails or phone calls, it is preferred to conduct business communication through WeChat in China now. The mobile application is available in many languages such as Russian, Spanish, Indonesian, Portuguese, Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese. Many expats use this excellent communication and social tool.

5. Weibo

According to data released by Sina in 2016, Weibo has 100 million daily active users around the world. The majority of these users are in China mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Weibo is very similar to Twitter in the USA. One of the reasons why Sina Weibo is so popular is because many Chinese celebrities, movie stars, singers, famous business and media organizations joined the platform. The verification system works the same as Twitter for well-known officials and organizations.

6. Pinterest

 Pinterest continues its growth in Asia, and according to recent reports, the site has attracted millions of users in Singapore and Hong Kong. And in Malaysia, Pinterest hit 10 million monthly unique visitors faster than any independent site in history, according to research. Pinterest is also an important platform for businesses to engage potential customers in Asia.

 

Living abroad is an exciting and rewarding experience for expatriates around the world. It will allow you to connect to other expats in your new country location and also keep connected to family and friends back home. Whatever your social media interests, it is important that you stay connected as much as possible both via social networks and also by getting out and about, such as joining a club, attending your work parties and making sure you are meeting new people. Additionally, remember to check out our Social Media page. If you have a teen expat with you, make sure you educate them about the downsides of social media sites and if you can monitor their usage and interactions. Social media can be great, but there are of course dangers that you should watch out for.

We would be remiss if we also did not mention that you should remember to obtain global medical coverage that will include both prevention and medical care that will take care of you and your family while living abroad.

5 Tips for first time expatriates living abroad

For many first-time expatriates relocating abroad or doing an expat assignment, the first few months of living abroad could be either exciting or overwhelming. To help expatriates adjust to living in another culture, in this article, we will discuss five tips for your first months abroad so that you will overcome the negative feeling of culture shock and make your first move successful.

  • Go Out and Meet the Local People 

The most common feeling that expats will face in their first month is isolation. It is strongly encouraged that expats go out and engage locals and other expatriates alike. This kind of interaction will immerse yourself in local living, the earlier you start, the quicker you will eliminate the uncomfortable feeling about an unfamiliar country.

  • Eat Local Food

When you are in a new country, it is vital to maintain healthy eating habits, especially during your first few months. Trying to eat local food that you’ve never had before will provide you with new healthy patterns will give you the feeling of exploration. It is recommended that you try to give your body a few days to adjust to the new place, then you’re good to explore. From Cairo to Bangkok, there are lots of great food choices for expatriates.

  • Keep Your Own Pace When You Move Abroad

Lack of language skills, making mistakes when taking local public transit and getting lost are all common experiences for first-time expats in your new country, so try not to feel embarrassed at the beginning. Things will gradually improve, so we encourage expatriates to embrace all the imperfections during their first few months. It is a way to throw yourself out of your comfort zone and learn.

  • Try Something New

It is also suggested for expatriates to do something new in their destination country such as hiking, dancing, or dragon boating. You will not only develop a new hobby, but you might meet amazing new friends. For expats who work busy schedules and don’t have time to attend these exercise classes, it is also encouraged to attend a gym during weekends.

  • Don’t Rush

Give yourself some time to settle in and don’t blame yourself on feeling lonely and missing home. It takes time to integrate into your new country. Accepting the inviations of your colleagues and neighbours will help you ease the transition process. Many expat employers will have programs in place to help you and your expat spouse an children ease into your new life abroad.

Don’t Forget International Health Insurance 

Moving abroad for the first time is both exciting and sometimes unnerving. Don’t let unexpected medical costs abroad worry you or your family when you make the big jump. It is important to choose a quality insurer when you live abroad for your global medical needs. Expat Financial offers many different international health insurance plans for expatriates across the world from large and respected insurers. We also provide excellent service before and after you purchase your international health insurance plan. Our firm is also very experienced in sourcing group plans for multinational firms with 2 or more expats. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you want to discuss your unique needs and produce a customized expat quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.