US Expats: Tax Information You Must Read!

FBAR and FATCA: Do You Need to File? While you may not be thinking about taxes at this time of the year, now is a great time to make sure you are compliant with your US filing obligations. In particular, have you heard of FATCA and FBAR? If not, it’s high time to get acquainted! If you are required to file the appropriate forms under these tax laws and fail to do so, the penalties can be staggering. So let’s take a closer look at them and explore the similarities and differences! History … [Read more...]

Unsociable? Why you might be and what to do about it

Nearly a third of Britons abroad have no local friends and refuse to venture beyond their British friendship groups, a study has revealed... ...The information was revealed in a study by an international relocation company, Robinsons, which questioned 1,000 UK expats about their life overseas, including friendship groups and attitudes towards the local culture. (source) Now: Brits aren't everybody, and not everybody is a Brit. Yet every expat knows people who don't venture out of their comfort … [Read more...]

UK Food vs USA Food

Guest blog by Ella Jameson. See below for more info on her. Despite Britain’s lingering reputation for bland, stodgy and overcooked food, most people who have spent time in the UK in the past two decades would admit this impression is undeserved. Nonetheless, a bad name is hard to shake off, and many Americans moving to Britain express some trepidation about what their eating habits will consist of from now on. Usually US expats are in for a pleasant surprise when they experience modern … [Read more...]

Three Concrete Things To Do To Get Started Making New Friends

We're talking about friendship and the expat life, trying to be honest about the fact that it is not always easy for all of us to just make new friends when we come to a new place. I am finding out that is true even though I have just repatriated back to my home city and you would think it would be the easiest thing! It's not! So I've wondered what I would say to someone if I were coaching them on this issue - kind of a "selfie", but then with coaching, I guess. Last time we talked about the … [Read more...]

One Is The Loneliest Number*

Last night I came home about 9:30pm and said to my wife, “You know something, I am realizing that I am lonely”. Thirty months ago we moved back to Philadelphia after twenty-two years in the Netherlands. We had immersed ourselves in the Dutch culture and society in every possible way, and truly called it home. I can see in my mind’s eye people that I have known over that span of twenty-two years. There were many long summer nights spent outside drinking, snacking and talking - sometimes on … [Read more...]

FIGT and the Totally Expat Show

In a span of four days time I was at the annual Families in Global Transition Conference in Washington D.C. and the Totally Expat Show sponsored by the Forum for Expat Management in New York City. Reflecting on both events has been interesting, and I wanted to share a few thoughts here. [Snark alert: some of what I say will be broad-brush generalizations, and you may even detect a bit of snark. Chalk it up to Friday morning and an evil desire to stir up the pot a bit. Just don’t forget that … [Read more...]

Should Expatriates Have A Say In UK Politics?

Living abroad is something that many of us may dream of, driven by the desire to escape the drizzle or to take advantage of more appealing job opportunities found overseas. Whatever the reason, Brits are emigrating in what would appear to be a mass exodus: 198,000 UK residents chose to move to a new country in 2012 alone. However this does not mean that expatriates are choosing to completely forsake their home country. Cadbury’s chocolate and Twining’s tea are a couple of perks of being in … [Read more...]

The Currency Ripoffs That Every Expat Needs To Avoid

Foreign exchange is one of the last areas of financial services where the average expat has little understanding of the true cost to one’s pocket. This is unfair, and with a little digging into the core issues, can truly be avoided. Furthermore, security of funds is key. Whilst there are tight regulations governing the companies providing these services, there are some rather opaque currency specialists with less than 100% credible track records. As an expat you will need to be on your … [Read more...]

The new expatriate: the evolution of the working wanderer

In the early years of modern expatriation, young business-minded workers used to move abroad fairly easily, with a well-established way of expat life meeting them in places like Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong. Ask many expats-of-old and they will regale you with tales of their life in the expat bubble; where they lived in gated accommodation, frequented luxurious embassy events, and brushed shoulders with others in the expat elite. But is this the image of the 21st century expat? Here at Expat … [Read more...]

A Language Learning Checklist

When you decide to learn another language as an adult, you are embarking on difficult task. If you come from a Western country which operates almost exclusively in only one language - Brits and Americans, you know who I'm talking about! - it can be even more daunting. This series of blogposts is designed to help you get moving on language learning in this new year. You might find this article interesting, from the British Telegraph: Can you understand another culture without knowing the … [Read more...]