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Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World


Prisons, like many important architectural establishments say a lot about the culture, behavior and practices of a country. Prisons are also considered important landmarks and like city halls and museums, prisons can also show the heritage of a nation— just on a slightly grimmer note. You can only imagine the diversity of every prison in the world as they are set to adapt to the traditions, way of living and culture of every country and its people— yet out of all the prisons in the world, there are some that are simply extraordinary; here are 10 of the world’s most interesting prisons.


1. STYRIA, AUSTRIA: Justizzentrum Leoben

Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Al-Ram

Justice Center Leoben is one of the most controversial prisons in the world. There are many who protest that this state of the art facility is too much of a luxury for prisoners, yet there are also some who say that it was specifically designed that way as a form of psychological torture for its inmates. This prison complex was designed by Architect Joseph Hohensinn and was completed in 2004. This complex is home to 205 inmates (who are probably confused if they’re in prison or a 5 star hotel) and has high frame glass windows, spacious corridors, gardens, elegant minimalist bedrooms– and also razor wires on every ceiling and bars on every windows.



2. La Paz, Bolivia: El Penal de San Pedro

Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Danielle Pereira

El Penal de San Pedro or St. Peter’s Prison, located in La Paz, Bolivia is famous for having a simulation of a small community behind bars. Each prisoner have to buy their own cells, and the condition of these cells range from high class luxury facilities with private bathrooms, cable TV, personal kitchen and a Jacuzzi, shared with4x4 common cells where they can stay for the duration of their sentence. There are many jobs and even businesses available inside the prison, a community including families and absolutely no guards.  



3. OSLO, NORWAY: Bastøy Prison

Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: astrid westvang

Bastoy Prison is known as the world’s first ecological prison. This prison located in Bastoy Island, looks more like a farming community with cozy cabins and farm lands for prisoners to raise farm animals and tend to the land. They even get keys to their own rooms and cabins. There are no death sentences or life imprisonment for prisoners in Norway. Most of the time, the most notorious prisoners serve the last years of their sentences in Bastoy island as the last leg of their rehabilitation. It is said to be like the “nice holiday farm version” of Alcatraz.



4. LIMA, PERU: Canto Grande Prison

Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: complex

This prison is also known as the “Shining Path” prison for the same reason it is on this list; because it is run by its own prisoners, majority of which are members of the “Shining Path” crime group. Yes, this prison is run by its own inmates like the prisons shown in movies and series like The Dark Knight Rises and Prison Break. This prison is home to 100 women and 340 men, all members of the Shining Path communist group. They have managed to maintain order and safety within the prison walls and educated all their members with the teachings of Marx, Lenin, and Mao.



5. VOLTERRA, ITALY: Fortezza Medicea Prison

Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: John Menard

This beautiful fortress established in 1474 used to be just a regular prison until 2006, when the prison’s administration opened a restaurant inside the prison using the inmates as its staff for their rehabilitation program. It immediately became one of the most famous restaurants in Italy and a major tourist destination for Volterra, but booking a table is not as easy as calling it in. The prison admin will have to do a thorough background check for all clients who wish to dine in the prison and there are necessary precautions like plastic cutleries in the restaurant.




Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Elf-8

This is one of only 2 prisons in this list that are no longer used as prisons, they are now tourist attractions.  Alcatraz is the world’s most famous prison and is situated in Alcatraz Island a mile offshore from San Francisco bay, California. This prison has been the subject of many fictional stories as well as urban legends mostly stemming from its reputation as “The Evil Island.”It has not been used as a prison or a detention center since 1972. Up to this day, Alcatraz serves as an important national historic landmark and recreation area for San Francisco, California.



7. MARSEILLE, FRANCE: Château d'If

Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Jean-Claude MOUTON

Like Alcatraz, Château d'If is now also a national historical landmark and one of the major tourist spots in the south of France. Château d'If has been made popular as the setting of Alexander Dumas’ novel “The Count of Monte Cristo” and has also been the place of incarceration for France’s most notable prisoners such as Chevalier de Lorraine and Gaston Crémieux.



8. CEBU, PHILIPPINES: Cebu Provincial Prison

Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: sandy gabutin

Cebu prison in the Philippines is one of the most famous prisons in pop-culture due to their extra ordinary rehabilitation program for their inmates. They are known as the “dancing inmates” and became a global youtube sensation for their performance of Michael Jackson’s thriller in the prison courtyard. Their global popularity has led to several generous donations from their youtube fans and has been used to progressively improve their living conditions in jail.



9. HALDEN, NORWAY: Halden Prison

Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Telegraph

Halden prison is known as the most humane prisons in the world, and also one of the most architecturally beautiful modern buildings in Norway. This prison, designed by Erik Møller, can hold up to 252 prisoners and has programs such as cooking, wall climbing, and music classes for rehabilitations.



 10. MADRID, SPAIN: Aranjuez Prison

Top 10 Most Interesting Prisons in the World - ExpatFinder Blog Photo: instantcheckmate

This prison is known as one of the most luxurious prisons in the world. Aranjuez prison has 36 cell units specifically adapted for prisoners with families. The cells are designed to welcome little children and encourage them to get to know their imprisoned parents. The walls are designed with child friendly characters and there are even playgrounds for toddlers so they can freely bond with their parents while in jail. 




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Best Prisons in the World, Prisons Overseas, Unusual Prisons, Interesting Prisons

7 Staycation Ideas for Expats


The expat lifestyle may be fabulous and exciting, but let’s face it, the expat schedule can be a very busy and most expats don’t really have the time to take a nice long vacation somewhere far away; some don’t even have the time to visit home. We are expats already living abroad, so exploring the nearby territories or finding something new to do within the city for a few days off shouldn’t be so hard. There are many things you can do for a staycation than just check-in to a nice hotel and have a pretend vacation. Here are 7 exciting staycation ideas you can do as an expat abroad.



7 Staycation Ideas for Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Henar Lanchas

Geocaching is a real outdoor treasure hunt game played by using GPS-enabled devices. All you have to do is register, enter your postal code and search for the nearest Geocaching area. If Geocaching is not available anywhere near your host country, you can make up your own scavenger or treasure hunt with your family. Take some time to create your own adventure around the city and discover new things through fun activities like this.


Go Camping

7 Staycation Ideas for Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: zetrules

Another fun bonding idea for you and your family or you and your friends is a nice camping trip. It doesn’t have to be far, it doesn’t have to be in the wild… actually, you don’t even need to leave your own yard. If you have a garden, just pitch a tent outside and set up your TV or prepare some games, make a small bonfire and prepare camp snacks like s‘mores and hotdogs. Camping is a nice activity you can do with just a small open space, yet gives such a cool “out in the wild” feeling.


Be a Tourist

7 Staycation Ideas for Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: jwhor

As an expat, you’re mostly seen as a tourist in your host country, so why not be one again! If there are any places in the city or around your host city’s vicinity, go ahead and visit them. Or find a new way to see the sights like biking around the city or taking a boat trip. If you’ve gone to all the tourist destinations before, just try doing it again with a tourist mindset and not just a tour guide for your visiting relatives and friends. You might be surprised with the how much of a good time you can still have over things you think you have already experienced.


Food Trip

7 Staycation Ideas for Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: jamesjustin

Go on a gastronomy tour on the most famous restaurants or the most famous food in your host country. Find the best places for cuisine and culture, whether it’s a big fancy 5 star restaurant, or a fantastic local hole in the wall. Find the best local foods and try cuisines and dishes that you’ve never been able to try before. This is a very good way to get to know your host country more and having a sense of treat and adventure without venturing out too far.


Gym and Spa Weekends

7 Staycation Ideas for Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Tara Angkor Hotel

A health and wellness trip is a trip to your local gym and spa. If in your host country you have a special type of gym and spa available like the “onsen” in Japan, for example—go ahead and try that. If your host country has special cultural touches to the regular gym and spa trips, it’s always good to try something new. This type of trip can be the most relaxing and rewarding type of staycation. Even if you don’t go out of the city at all, after a good massage after a workout, you may find this more relaxing than actually going on a trip somewhere far.


Take a Class

7 Staycation Ideas for Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Salvadonica Borgo del Chianti

Fill your time with learning. Take a class about something that interests you, maybe something that you never had the time for; like a cooking class, a painting class, a music class or a dance class. You don’t have to be good at it, experiencing something new might put things into perspective. Who knows, you might end up finding a new passion in life.


Local Road Trip

7 Staycation Ideas for Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Santiago La Rotta

Have a local road trip into towns that you’ve never explored before, or go an hour outside your city to see what else is out there in your version of “unexplored territories” in your host country. Sometimes the best memories are made from the journey, not the destination, so even if you don’t have a new place to go, it’s always a good thing to take a drive and spend some quality time with your loved ones.



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Staycation, Vacation Ideas, Living Abroad, Expat Lifestyle, Vacations Overseas

FIBA World Cup: Expats in the World of Basketball


FIBA World Cup: Expats in the World of Basketball - ExpatFinder Blog


The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014 is almost at a close, and we would love to share a few highlights of this year’s basketball world cup, in light of its most famous teams and expat players.

Much like FIFA, FIBA is a melting pot of global expats gathered together to represent their respective national teams. Like most athletes, Basketball players travel all around the world to chase the best opportunities and take their careers to the next level. This year, we see an effective strategy by premiere expat basketball star Andray Blatche, who chose to move to the Philippines, the 2nd most popular basketball nation in the world, so that he may be able to stand out than stay in the NBA where there’s an abundance of Basketball talent. This career risk has definitely paid off. Blatche stole the spotlight from most players in FIBA, including the most popular NBA stars in the competition. Blatche ranked 2nd in the FIBA player statistics board with and average of 21.2 points per game. Like most of the talented basketball players in FIBA 2014, he took the expat path into super stardom.

Read more about what you need to know about expats in the world of basketball and the highlights of this year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.


Top Teams

FIBA Basketball Worldcup 2014 is held in Spain, mainly in the cities of Seville, Madrid, Barcelona, Barakaldo and Granada. The top 4 teams have emerged for the semi-finals and it’s not surprising that majority of the members in these teams are expats. The strongest team so far—Team U.S.A.. With an average of 102.3 points per game, Team U.S.A. started off pretty weak but still managed to emerge as the most powerful team in the competition. They will be playing against Lithuania with an average of 76 points per game today, 11th of September, which will determine who will advance to the finals. France with an average of 72.9 points per game will be playing against Serbia with an average of 80.1 points per game tomorrow, 12th of September. The finals will be held in Madrid on the 14th of September.


Team U.S.A.

FIBA World Cup: Expats in the World of Basketball - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: FIBA

Team U.S.A. have always had a very NBA talent-heavy roster. This year, there has been a bit of controversy when many NBA players who were invited, declined to join the team. Nevertheless, the team still has a total of 9 NBA talents in the roster. There is only 1 expat in the team, their point guard, Kyrie Irving. Irving was born in Melbourne Australia and has a dual citizenship in the U.S. and Australia.

The team’s centre and current point leader is Anthony Davis who plays for one of the newest NBA teams, the New Orleans Pelicans. Other famous players on the team are Houston Rockets’ James Harden, Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose, and Denver Nuggets’ Kenneth Faried.


Team Serbia

FIBA World Cup: Expats in the World of Basketball - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: FIBA

75% of the players in Serbia’s roster are expats including their star player, Miroslav Raduljica, who used to play for the NBA team, Milwaukee Bucks. Other notable players of the team are Nemanja Bjelica who plays for Fenerbahçe Ülker in the Turkish Basketball League, and Miloš Teodosić who plays for CSKA Moscow in the VTB League.

Serbia is pegged to be one of the finalists along with team USA. Even though their team statistics trail behind the U.S., Team Serbia seems to have enough spirit to fight the big boys of America.


Team France

FIBA World Cup: Expats in the World of Basketball - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: FIBA

France’s national team faced a bit of controversy when their national team expat star player Tony Parker decided to stay in the U.S. and train with the new NBA champions, the San Antonio Spurs. Even with the loss of Parker, France stayed strong and has recently defeated the crowd favourite and host country; Spain.

Team France consists of 67% expat players and 4 of these expat players play for the NBA, just like Parker. Boris Diaw, who also plays for San Antonio Spurs, Rudy Gobert who plays for Utah Jazz, Nicolas Batum who plays for Portland Trail Blazer, and Evan Fournier who plays for Orlando Magic. The team’s top performer is also an expat player; Joffrey Lauvergne, who plays for Khimki in the VTB United League. Lauvergne has an average efficiency of 10.7 per game.


Team Lithuania

FIBA World Cup: Expats in the World of Basketball - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: FIBA

80% of Team Lithuania’s players are expats. Their players are in almost all the major leagues in the world—from the NBA, to Liga ACB, the Turkish Basketball League and the Polish TauronBaketLiga. Nonetheless, all these players came together to support their country for this year’s FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Though team Lithuania is ranked #12 on statistic average, they are preparing very well to go against the strongest team for the semi-finals. They are determined to stop team U.S.A. in its tracks and take the place in the finals today.



FIBA World Cup: Expats in the World of Basketball - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: FIBA

The most controversial moment about the FIBA Basketball Worldcup is Australia’s alleged strategy to put off playing against team U.S.A. for as long as possible, sitting off most of their key players during the Angola match ultimately losing 91-83. FIBA is now currently investigating the matter, but most of the fans who have watched the game have already set a negative opinion against the team and has dubbed Australia as a national team of point shavers.



FIBA World Cup: Expats in the World of Basketball - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Philippine Inquirer

Upon the start of this year’s FIBA Basketball world cup, Spain and U.S.A. immediately became the favourites. Despite having less NBA start power, team U.S.A. seemed less vulnerable than most people expected. Spain, the controversial host of the 2014 FIBA World Cup boasts the talent of the Gasol brothers and Serge Ibaka. Though Spain and the U.S. were pegged to be the finalists of the cup, there are also other teams that sparked a few excitements; The Philippines has qualified for the first time since 1954 headed by the former Brooklyn Nets player, Andray Blatche who became a naturalized Filipino citizen this year as well. Greece, the team that stood against Team USA in 2006 also gave a surprising performance, but still fell short.

FIBA World Cup: Expats in the World of Basketball - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Sports Grid


Team U.S.A.’s break out star, Anthony Davis has been the star of the cup despite having a slow start in the tournament. France gained an unexpected win against the favourite, team Spain yesterday. The Gasol brothers took to twitter about the terrible team performance that ultimately cost them the championship game against the U.S. Now, awaiting the last 3 matches of the cup, the world eagerly anticipates if the weakened U.S.A. team will still remain supreme in the world of basketball.



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FIBA Basketball WorldCup 2014, FIBA, Basketball, NBA, Team USA, Team France, Team Serbia, Team Lithuania, Anthony Davis, Andray Blatche

iPhone 6′s Most Useful Features For Expats

iPhone 6's Most Useful Features For Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Tutoriales y descargas gratis

Apple has announced its latest products, the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch. Apple CEO Tim Cook hosted the launch of the new iPhones Tuesday, September 9, and will be in stores on September 19 (U.S. release date) while the Apple Watch will be launched in 2015. While there are many significant changes in the new iPhones in terms of specs, features and appearance, we can’t help but wonder about its features that are useful for expats abroad. Here are some of the new iPhone’s most useful features for expats.


iPhone 6's Most Useful Features For Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Miguel Angel Aranda (Viper)

Apple Pay

This feature is one of the most famous new features in the iPhone 6. Apple Pay is a mobile wallet that allows users to store credit card information on the iPhone— which verifies the transaction using the user’s fingerprint upon payment for a quick and safer transaction. Apple has already set up partnerships with MasterCard, Visa and American Express, as well as companies in the U.S. such as Starbucks, Target, Uber, Groupon and Wholefoods. This feature will officially be available in October, and while it might take a little longer for it to reach the global market, this is a promising feature for expats anywhere in the world. No more fiddling for cards or money in your wallet and less worry in giving your credit card number to strangers in a different country. Apple Pay can revolutionize the way we transact worldwide.


iPhone 6's Most Useful Features For Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Miguel Angel Aranda (Viper)

Faster Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is one of the most important technological features for us expats; just imagine a better skype and facetime quality with your loved ones back home. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has up to 3x faster Wi-Fi with 802.11ac. iPhone 6 also allows you to initiate calls via Wi-Fi using your own phone number, so you get better quality calls even with bad cellular signal no matter where you are in the world.


iPhone 6's Most Useful Features For Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: dalioPhoto

Health Chip

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus has a new M8 Motion Coprocessor health chip which is an improved technology for motion sensing and can tell the difference if you are running, cycling or walking. This new technology also gives you a Barometer to determine your elevation while you are trekking or if you are simply walking up and down the stairs, an accelerometer that measures and captures your movements whether you walk or run, and a gyroscope to detect your type of movement. This feature is very useful for busy expats who just have no time to stay fit. You can plan an entire workout just by your daily routine to and from work or a simple jog around your block on the weekends. This feature will allow you to find ways to stay fit with very little time and effort— making it the perfect companion for health conscious expats on the go.


iPhone 6's Most Useful Features For Expats - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: World Leaks

Better Battery Power

This is a feature that iPhone users have always wanted and is the most important mobile feature for expats worldwide. Apple has finally addressed the issue of iPhone’s battery life with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Apple claims to have up to 14 hours talktime on 3G for iPhone 6, and up to 24 hours talktime on 3G for iPhone 6 plus. Though most critics are a bit sceptical about these newly proclaimed battery life for the iPhones, it would be really useful for expats on the go who are always inbetween charging stations.




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iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Apple, iPhone, Mac, Macintosh, Expat Lifestyle, Living Abroad

The World’s Best Places for Expat Pets


For some expats, pets are always factored into the decision when it comes to moving or relocating, they are part of the family, so they shouldn’t get left behind. Though relocating with your pets is never as simple as just buying them a plane ticket, there are some places in the world where it’s just a little easier for pets to not only enter, but also to adjust to the expat lifestyle.

Keep in mind that some pets may not be able to adapt to the expat lifestyle, but if you’re willing to turn your pets into expat pets, here are some of the world’s best places to relocate with your beloved companions.



The World's Best Places for Expat Pets - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Tomas

France is very tolerant with pets and of people who carry their beloved furry friends everywhere—most especially dogs. Your dog or cat can even ride the metro if they’re not too big. Pet import regulations still apply upon entry of course, but nothing too complicated, and once they’re in the country, they can dine with you in restaurants and walk with you almost anywhere in France. Expat pets would love living in France.



The World's Best Places for Expat Pets - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Stephen Dickter

Fiji is a small island in Oceania, near New Zealand. If you and your expat pet enjoy a very “chill” lifestyle, then this is the place for you. This island paradise has 33 white sand beaches where pets are allowed to run free and even swim and over 26 thousand pet friendly hotels and establishments. Expat pets would love the outdoors and the perfect tranquil environment in Fiji.



The World's Best Places for Expat Pets - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: xetark

Turkey is a very cat friendly country; cats are beloved and respected and are considered part of the Turkish culture. If you are looking for a good exotic place for you and your feline pal to live, Turkey is the place for you. Pets need a pet passport upon entering the country and they would also need to be inserted with a pet microchip, but once you have managed to comply with the regulations, you will see that they are in the best interest of your pets.


The United States of America

The World's Best Places for Expat Pets - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: paul stumpr

America is definitely one of the most pet friendly countries in the world. Americans are very tolerant with pets and pet owners. There are many activities you can do with your pet no matter which state you decide to live in. Even in very urban areas like New York, pets are very welcome in most restaurants, movie theatres and even on the subway. The only trouble your expat pet might have is through immigration. Your pets may go into quarantine upon entry, but that depends on which country you’ll be bringing your pet from and what kind of pet you have. It is best to seek professional pet relocation assistance when it comes to bringing your pets to the U.S.


South Africa

The World's Best Places for Expat Pets - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: mallix

South Africa is a very good place for animals. This country could be the perfect choice for expats who enjoy sharing an active lifestyle with their pets. There are mountain parks and beaches where dog owners can hike and run with their dogs. If you have a cat or other types of pets, the perfect South African weather is sure to put them in a good mood and make it easier to adjust to the expat pet lifestyle.



The World's Best Places for Expat Pets - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: richd777

Switzerland is a good country for pet lovers who like to travel with their pets all the time. All dogs and cats are allowed to travel on Swiss trains but you will be asked to pay some fees if your pet is over 30cm. Though the weather can be a little cold for pets with less fur, this is an ideal place for all the big and furry breed of cats and dogs.



The World's Best Places for Expat Pets - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: Robert Simmons

For expats with not so furry but very active pets, Mexico is the perfect place. The low-cost of living allows you and your pets to live a comfortable life. The perest regulations upon entering the country are also not very strict. Your pets will not be quarantined as long as you have pented all the necessary documents. There are many fun activities you can do with your expat pets, as well as your entire family in Mexico.



The World's Best Places for Expat Pets - ExpatFinder BlogPhoto: zio fabio

Italy is also a good choice for expat pets. Pets are allowed in most of the hotels and restaurants all over the country. You can even ride the Gondola in the canals of Venice with your beloved pet. The locals are also very pet friendly, so you shouldn’t have any trouble going anywhere with your furry friend.


If you have decided to take your pet with you when you relocate, make sure that you have done your due diligence and you have all the necessary permits required so you won’t have too much of a hassle. If you can’t put too much time into fixing the requirements yourself, then consider hiring pet relocation companies to arrange your pets move.

Also consider the amount of time that you will be spending with your pet. If you think you will be living a very busy life as an expat, then it might not be too advisable to relocate with your pet. Pets need an adjustment period also, especially when you just moved into a completely unfamiliar place. Consider all the factors before you turn your pets into expats.



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Expat Pets, Expat Lifestyle, Living Abroad, Pet Relocation, Countries for Pet Relocation