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...]

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...]

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...]

Saving Money on Your Relocation Expenses

This article is contributed by Anna Jennifer behalf of New Haven Moving Equipment. Moving is not cheap, and to expatriate can be even more expensive. Unless you are moving to somewhere you can drive from your current location, you probably have to fly (and sometimes take several flights) to get to your new home. Moving does not have to cost you an arm and a leg, however. By considering the following tips, you can save some money on your move abroad. Negotiate a Comprehensive Moving … [Read more...]

FIGT Annual Conference 2014 – The Conference with Heart

March 21-23, 2014 Tyson's Corner, Near Washington DC If you haven't heard of Families in Global Transition, this is a great time to find out more. Whether you're an expat, a global organization, or a provider of cross-cultural support or services; your search for practical advice based on solid theory and experience ends here. Families in Global Transition (FIGT) is a unique organisation that caters to both the intellectual and emotional needs of the expatriate. For more than 15 … [Read more...]

One thing you can do to reduce language learning frustration

One frustration with language learning is that it seems a never-ending task. You are never quite good enough; there is always more to learn and you never eliminate mistakes. But that is very much to be expected, don't you think? After all, you are not a native speaker. And even native speakers need to keep learning. If you don't believe that, check out these common English mistakes. (Actually, I think this says more about the quality of education in our time, but thats thats' that's another … [Read more...]

Language Learning: Learn a little. Use it a lot.

Language learning is a social activity, not an academic one. That’s the fundamental thought behind this series of blogposts on language learning using the ‘LAMP method’. In the last post we introduced you to the book Language Application Made Practical. The key insight this book offers is that language learning is not something you do so you can begin to communicate with those around you – the language learning process itself is communication, a social activity. In other words, you can be … [Read more...]