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8 World Festivals Expats Shouldn’t Miss

One of the greatest ways to make the most out of the expat lifestyle is by being open to the best experiences in life. There are many celebrations around the world that show the richness in culture and history of different countries. As an expat, you should not be limited to your host country or your own home country’s boundaries, you’ve already made it out of your comfort zone; you’re living abroad, go the extra mile and experience the best festivals and celebrations the world has to offer. 

 

Pingxi Lantern Festival – Pingxi District, Taiwan

Mid-February or Early March Annually

Originally a part of the Chinese traditional “Lantern Festival” celebrated on the 15th day of the 1st month of the lunar calendar’s lunisolar year to mark the end of the Lunar New Year celebration. It is celebrated in many ways throughout Taiwan and China. In Pingxi, they light thousands of paper lanterns to spread the “Yuan Xiao” folklore across the world.

 

 

Holi —Hindu Towns Around the World (Primarily India and Nepal)

Vernal Equinox, Around first week of March Annually

If your host country has a “Little India” town, then there’s a good chance that Holi is celebrated there. Holi is an ancient Hindu religious celebration of colours and love. Holi starts with a night bonfire with people  gathering to sing and dance, then in the morning, bright colour powders and water are sprayed everywhere for people to frolic and play around with.

 

 

The Rio de Janeiro Carnival – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Last Friday before the Holy Week Annually

This street festival is easily one of the most famous celebrations in the world, frequented by at least 2 million people yearly. It has been held on the streets of Rio since 1723. This Carnival starts before the Lenten season every year and ends on Ash Wednesday.

 

 

Boryeong Mud Festival – Boryeong, South Korea

2nd Week of July, Annually

It’s always fun to get down and dirty with your closest friends and family, which is why this mud festival is one of the most amusing festivals in the world. This festival was originally held to promote “mud cosmetics” made from the Boryeong mud flats back in 1998, but after a few years it started to gain more popularity and is now able to attract 2 million tourists for Boryeong every year.

 

 

White Nights Festival – St. Petersburg, Russia

End of June, Annually

Russia’s international arts festival is held to mark the end of the “White Nights season” in the summer when the sun stays in the sky until way after mid-night. This cultural festival showcases a series of art events such as opera, classical ballet and theatre. The festival ends with the “Scarlet Sails” tradition where a ship with red sails is sent off with a fantastic firework display.

 

 

La Tomatina – Valencia, Spain

Last Wednesday of August, Annually

La Tomatina is a well known festival held on the last Wednesday of August every year since 1945. This may well be the world’s biggest and most celebrated food fight with over 40 metric tons of tomatoes used every year. Some rules are upheld by the city council to avoid injuries for example, the tomatoes used for throwing must be squashed to avoid grievously hurting anyone.

 

 

Songkran Water Festival – Thailand, Southeast Asia

13th-15th of April, Annually

A festival held all over Thailand and neighbouring countries like Laos and Vietnam to celebrate the Thai New Year. Locals throw water with herbs to symbolize washing and cleansing all the negativity from the previous year. It is traditionally held from the 13th to the 15th of April every year.

 

 

Dia de los Muertos  - Mexico, South America

31st of October – 2nd of November, Annually

Dia de los Muertos or “Day of the Dead” is a Halloween celebration observed mainly in Latin America and places with prominent latin cultural influence, to commemorate all their loved ones who have passed away. Many people dress up as skeletons during the celebration that starts on the 31st of October and ends on the 2nd of November. Aside from parades, the locals also visit the graves of their loved ones and celebrate with traditional food and beverages.

 

 

 

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World Festivals, Living Abroad, Parties Around the World, Travel, Expat Lifestyle

Top 10 Cities for Young Expats

 

When you are a young professional just starting life fresh with a doe-eyed idealistic view, the world is your oyster. More so, if you’re a young professional looking to get out of your home country and start life as an expat and you’re tired of the usual spots like New York, London and Paris, here are 10 of the best cities you can consider to fill your young life with experiences, opportunities and adventure.

 

10. Cape Town, South Africa

This beautiful South African country is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world. Aside from a thriving local and global economy, Cape Town offers a wide range of activities and places to visit as well as a friendly and active community. The weather is also the perfect “warm-summer Mediterranean climate.” If you’re a bit more laid back and looking to find a new adventure every weekend or even right after work, Cape Town is the city for you.

 

9. Prague, Czech Republic

If you like beer, then this city might be the best fit for you. Beer and Prague has a long history and locals have a very strong connection to their favourite lagers and pilsners. Aside from the beers, Prague is a historical city that managed to adapt really well with modern times. It hosts beautiful historical architecture such as the gothic Powder Tower, as well as the famous modern building— the “Dancing House.” Experience the best of the old and modern contemporary times with a pint of one of the world’s best beers in Prague.

 

 

8. Auckland, New Zealand

Auckland has been emerging as the hottest new expat destination especially for young people in the recent years. This city has a thriving global economy that opens a lot of opportunities for young professionals. Auckland is also known as the “City of Sails” with a lot of prominent yacht clubs and sailing competitions. This is a city for people who are very active and outdoorsy, especially those who are keen on water sports.

 

 

7. Dubai, UAE

If you are looking for a fast paced and luxurious lifestyle surrounded by mystical deserts and extravagant buildings, Dubai is definitely the city for you. Dubai is a global cosmopolitan metropolis with an impressive skyline, rich culture and booming economy. Whether you like driving through sand dunes or partying in the vibrant Dubai night scene, you’re sure to have a good time that pushes boundaries. What else can you expect in a city where the police drive super cars like Bugatti Veyron and Lamborghini Aventadors.

 

 

6. São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo is Brazil’s largest city and also the largest economy by GDP in Latin America. São Paulo offers a cultural melting pot that opens doors to a myriad of opportunities. This beautiful city has over 30 parks and holds more than 10 major events like the Carnaval, the Brazilian Grand Prix, and the festival of electronic art. This year they took centre stage as one of the host cities of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

 

 

5. Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is one of the super cities of Asia and definitely a good city for young professionals who are keen on experiencing the contemporary Asian lifestyle. Seoul is also becoming one of Asia’s premiere techno hubs with world famous modern infrastructure and the highest fiber-optic broadband penetration in the world. Good opportunities and experiences are definitely in store for expat yuppies in Seoul.

 

 

4. Tel Aviv, Israel

This rising metropolis is the 2nd largest economy in the Middle East right after Dubai, and has been gaining a reputation as the up and coming “place to be.” As a growing metropolis, expats worldwide will have a lot of opportunities to excel in Tel Aviv’s growing economy. Aside from its economic success, Tel Aviv is also dubbed as the new “Los Angeles” with its fun and exciting atmosphere.

 

 

3. Perth, Australia

Australia’s newest “it city,” Perth is now gaining a worldwide buzz as a place where you can work on the weekdays and relax effortlessly on weekends. This once remote city that largely offers suburban areas that houses a rising economy and some of Australia’s most beautiful beaches.

 

2. Shanghai, China

As a brilliant city and one of the largest e-commerce markets in the world, Shanghai offers a promising opportunity with their rising economy and strong global corporations. Shanghai can give any young expat a head start and a good experience when it comes to local culture and customs.

 

 

1. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam has always been the popular choice for young professionals. This city is included in most of the lists for young people to live in at least once in their lives. Amsterdam is the best depiction of a youthful city, but it is also one of the oldest cities in Europe. Not only will you have a lot of fun while living here, there’s also quite a lot of culture, heritage and history that you can learn from. Amsterdam is still the best city for young people and even the young at heart.

 

 

 

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Jobs Abroad, Jobs Overseas, Best Cities for Young Expats, Expat Lifestyle

5 Startup Ideas for Expats Abroad

There are many opportunities that open up once you start living abroad. You may have started out as an expat employee or even as an intern, but living abroad can help widen your perspective about your career and your life.

There are many reasons why venturing on a startup business while you’re living abroad can be a good thing, for example, finding cheap local talent can help you and your service or product be a little more diverse and you will have a wider reach in terms of partnerships and opportunities due to your global experience. Franchising can also be a good way to start your business with enough backing from the big guys in the industry you want to pursue. To get you started, here are 5 startup ideas for expats overseas.

 

1. BPO (Business Process Outsourcing)

The BPO industry is a thriving industry among global companies particularly around Asia and Eastern Europe. BPOs relies heavily on manpower, so there is an advantage in starting up a BPO as an expat, because you have knowledge about the local talent in your host country, as well as an international vantage point. BPOs can be a simple call centre for local businesses in your host country or it can be as big as a web development or software development team for big clients. If you would rather start with a big name on your door, you can also reach out to BPO giants that offer franchise opportunities.

The key to a BPO startup in your host country is to know the biggest strengths and weaknesses of the local talents, so that you may know what type of businesses you can promote to outsource for your future clients.

 

2. Social e-Commerce

Social e-Commerce is basically the selling or retailing of product, goods and services through electronic media (social media). E-commerce can cover retailing of items such as books, DVDs, clothes, shoes etc., as well as services such as food and flower delivery, advertising, auctions and travel assistance. Social e-Commerce also has a lot of franchise startup opportunities. Merry Maids is a good e-commerce service company that offers franchising startups abroad with franchise opertaions in the US, UK, Australia and even all over Asia.

As an expat, not only will you have good knowledge about the local talent, but you will also get a good look at the local market. You will have a better understanding of things that will work in a different culture, as well as having a view of the market from your home country. You get a wider range of ideas and a wider reach for partnership opportunities as well. You may have a bit of an edge for global partnerships just by having a much diverse perspective and approach about your business.

 

3. Software Development

Software development can be a very lucrative startup business in your host country if you have the right background and team for it. This can also be a part of a BPO or a specialty BPO company— if you want to ensure clients that your focus is for software development. First of all, you have to gauge the local talent if they have an apt for software development. As of the moment, countries in Eastern Europe such as Ukraine, Belarus and Serbia, and countries in Asia such as China and India are the world leaders when it comes to software development and software development outsourcing. Companies like Focus4IT and many other companies also have good franchise opportunities if you decide to go in the franchise direction for your startup.

An expat’s good advantage when it comes to a startup software development companies, is the assessment of needs from different cultural and social point of view. You may also have cheaper labour costs and good local talent if you launch this startup business overseas.

 

4. Local Expat Consultancy Firm

Maybe the act of setting up a startup business can already be your startup business. Consultancy firms have been quite trendy in recent years, especially with global businesses, which can help if you want to tap into global consultancy firms. If you are an expat who is familiar with setting up a business or hiring foreign and local employees in your host country, then you can start a firm with the right mix of local and foreign talents that can help you organize and setup new businesses for foreign investors looking to enter your host country’s market.

The important key in opening a consultancy firm is the legitimacy of your information. If you're not too confident with your own team or getting your own startup, you can opt for a business consultancy franchise to aid you with starting up your business. You have to be very particular when it comes to information and process and make sure that you only hire credible and experienced local and foreign talent.

5. Global Recruitment

Recruitment is an extensive industry that can really be profitable when you have the right skills and people for the job. Companies like Hays, Adecco and Robert Walters plc have a global reach when it comes to recruitment, but there are still innovations that you can strive for in your startup, which can catch the attention of global recruitment giants. For example, social recruitment like networking on and offline still hasn’t been fully utilized and explored by big companies. As an expat in your host country, you may already have the adequate information when it comes to hiring and finding employment for foreign and local talent. Use your own experiences as a tool to give you an edge and make your startup standout.You should also try to compare the difference of starting a recruitment franchise vs. building your own recruitment network.

 

The expat lifestyle is a good platform to develop more ideas to make your startup marketable in the local and global community. You should weigh your options well and arm yourself with proper knowledge about the industry that you want to pursue. At the end of the day, being able to see and experience different cultures and markets abroad will give you an edge to attract investors and partners for whatever type of startup you wish to launch.

 

 

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Startups Abroad, Jobs Overseas, Business Ideas, Expat Startups

How to Prepare for Natural Disasters Overseas

Natural disasters can strike anywhere, anytime. As expats, you might experience other forms of natural disasters that you’re not used to. So how do you prepare for natural disasters while living abroad? Here are some of the best ways to prepare yourself and your loved ones for natural disasters overseas.

Gather Information

Before you move, one of the things you should know about your host country are the types of natural disasters that are commonly expected in the country, e.g., earthquakes, snow storms, volcano eruptions, tsunamis, typhoons, hurricanes and the like. You can prepare for natural disasters better once you’ve determined the type calamities that are common in your host country. It will also serve you well to research about the expat community’s movement of in your host country during times of disasters. Enter some forums and read blogs, information about other expats’ experiences can be very helpful especially if you are moving to a country that has many possible natural disasters.

 

Have a Worst-Case Scenario Plan

Having a plan for the worst-case scenarios does not mean you are paranoid. What this means is that, you just need to have the basics in case there is an emergency and avoid once you’re faced with these situations. This is something that you should not take for granted especially when you are with your family. Have an exit strategy for worst case scenarios in your house and brief your family about it. Gather all the necessary phone numbers— the Red Cross, your country’s embassy and all the needed emergency hotline numbers—have them somewhere accessible at all times. Keep an old phone charged with emergency numbers and contacts that you may use in case your phone runs out of batteries.

Always have torchlight and batteries ready for use in every room and have a stock of food and medicine in your house.

 

Watch the News

Always be on alert during disaster season in your host country. Don’t take the local news for granted. Stay tuned and take notes when they are giving information about shelters and emergency contacts to have more information when disaster strikes. It also pays to have a connection to the local expat community to have your own group to fall back on, in case you need it.

 

Know Your Surroundings

Asses the area around your house or apartment. If you are living in a country where typhoons or hurricanes and tornados are common, it’s better to keep any large trees in your yard or around your house trimmed. If you are living in a condo apartment or something similar, and earthquakes are prominent, pay attention to emergency exits in your building and check the emergency evacuation procedures in the building. Ask the management if they have a specific guide for earthquakes and other natural disasters.

 

Be Completely Covered

 

When you are living overseas, there are many things you can experience, and sadly, it’s not always going to be good. It’s always best to have insurance like international health, property, home and car insurance and the like, especially if you are living with your family abroad. International private insurance might be a bit more expensive, but you will definitely have a peace of mind once you have the basic types of coverage for you and your family.

Natural disasters are inevitable no matter where you are, but that doesn’t mean that you just have to take it as it comes. There are many things you can do to prepare and be ready for any kind of disaster even when you are living in a foreign land. It is better to be 5 years early, than a minute too late.

 

 

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Natural Disasters, Expat Lifestyle, Be Prepared for Disasters Overseas

5 Tips for Finding an Expat Job

5 Tips for Finding an Expat Job - ExpatFinder Blog

 

The expat lifestyle offers many opportunities for professional and personal growth, which is why it is not a surprise to learn that the number of expats worldwide has increased significantly over the past few years. For those who want to start an expat life, or for those who are looking for tips for a new direction in their lives as a professional expat, here are five of the most effective tips to land an expat job.

 

1. Research

5 Tips for Finding an Expat Job - ExpatFinder BlogBefore you dive in into the expat world, do some due diligence and find out more about what it means to be an expat. Read about the expat lifestyle and see what kind of jobs welcome expats or if your current job is prominent in your selected host country. Know how to pick your country of expatriation. If you think you already have your dream job, but you just want to experience living as an expat, you can also try to talk to your superiors and see if they would be able to send you on an expat assignment. Gather as much information as you can about labour laws and the job market, and find out what type of job recruitment platforms are popular and effective in your chosen country of expatriation.

 

2. Fine Tune Your CV5 Tips for Finding an Expat Job - ExpatFinder Blog

Don’t underestimate the power of your CV. Review your own body of work and try to adapt it to fit in the local market of your host country. Have your experiences laid out in a way that will make you useful in the global and local process of any company that you apply for. If you haven’t moved to your new host country or if you simply haven’t decided where to move yet, you can create a Linkedin profile, or if you already have one, adjust your profile to show that you are exploring global opportunities. You might receive an offer along the line that can help you decide where to move as an expat.

 

3. Networking

5 Tips for Finding an Expat Job - ExpatFinder BlogMost people underestimate the power of networking and referrals when it comes to job hunting. For expats, this is one of the best ways to get a job and be a part of a community at the same time. Networking points you to the right direction of companies and people who are willing to hire expats. By gaining contacts in the expat community, you will also have more info about the types of expat jobs and expat lifestyle in your chosen country. If mingling and networking is not really your thing, you can start small by joining expat job forums online or through social media sites like Linkedin, Facebook and Google+, then gradually try to join in their community events.

 

 

 

4. Identify the Right Expat Job Market5 Tips for Finding an Expat Job - ExpatFinder Blog

Learn to identify the type of expat job market available in different countries so that you may be able to adapt your experience and skills more to what is available in your chosen host country. Target global companies; multi-national corporations tend to have a more accommodating attitude towards expats especially cause they would have more use for people who have experience beyond the local market.

 

 

5. Give it Your 100% Commitment

5 Tips for Finding an Expat Job - ExpatFinder BlogDeciding to be an expat shouldn’t be a halfhearted decision; this is a big, possibly life altering decision that you should be 100% committed to. Before you arrive to your chosen host country or as soon as you arrive, you should already have a dedicated schedule in finding a job. You are not a tourist. Don’t worry; you will have more time to sight-see when you’re already a resident. Your primary goal is to explore all options to be able to find all available opportunities for you. Don’t be too picky when sending your CV, send applications to every job opportunity available. After that, you can make your own short list of options once you receive the response from different companies.

 

The expat lifestyle definitely opens doors to a bright future. You have to be open and prepared for all opportunities while living abroad. With the proper knowledge, the right attitude and a little effort, you could land the perfect expat job.    

 

 

Expat Jobs, Expat Lifestyle, Jobs Abroad, Job Search Tips

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