1 August 2016

Julien Rio - Expat in Victoria, Hong Kong

Julien Rio - Expat in Victoria, Hong Kong

Mr. Julien Rio has been an expat in Hong Kong for 6 years and he is very fond of this beautiful city. Mr. Rio is originally from France and has come to live in Hong Kong 6 years ago to try and live a more exciting life.

As fond as he is of his host country, Mr. Rio also did experience some hardships as an expat initially, especially when it comes to finding a flat, “My first encounter with local flats. I had made some research before coming to HK but no one can ever be fully prepared. Hong Kong flats are insanely small. Regardless your income, any flat you would get here would be much smaller than what you would be used to in your country of origin.” said Mr. Rio.

Finding the right flat can be a challenge when you first move into your new host country. If you are a first time expat and you are moving to a country with a very different culture from yours, you might find it quite difficult to adjust to a certain type of living condition. It is best to prepare yourself by researching and arranging your living accommodations before your arrival or seek professional assistance in trying to find the perfect flat for you.

For more on Mr. Rio’s expat life in Hong Kong, read his full interview below.

Q:  Where are you originally from?

A: France

Q: What made you move out of your home country?

A: I was looking for international exposure and a more exciting life.

Q: Where are you living now?

A: Hong Kong

Q: How did you come to choose this new country of residence?

A: Hong Kong is a very unique city. Located in South East Asia it is one of the only cities around where English is sufficient to communicate. Beside, Hong Kong is such an active, fast-paced exciting city.

Q: How long have you been living in Hong Kong?

A: 6 years

Q: What has been the most difficult experience you've had when you were new in Hong Kong?

A: My first encounter with local flats. I had made some research before coming to HK but no one can ever be fully prepared for how small they are.

Q: Would you say that formalities like getting visas or work permits and international health insurance was particularly difficult in Hong Kong? What was your experience with these?

A: I come from France and compared to French Administration Hong Kong is incredibly easy. Things go fast, people are helpful, forms are simple... no worries on this aspect!

Q: Are you living alone or with your family?

A: I am living with my wife but she is local.

Q: Was it easy making friends and meeting people? Do you mainly socialize with other expats in Hong Kong? How did you manage to find a social circle in Hong Kong?

A: I almost exclusively make friend with locals or Chinese. My idea is that there is no need to cross the world if you end up with the same people you left behind. There is no better way to dive in a culture than meet with its people.

Q: What are the best things to do in the area? Anything to recommend to future expats?

A: No one could come to Hong Kong and not try Karaoke! Hong Kong is a very active city...

Q: How does the cost of living in Hong Kong compared to your home?

A: Beside the price of a flat, the rest is usually lower than France.

Q: How do you find the local culture and people in Hong Kong?

A: People are really nice and helpful. On the Island, people are used to foreigners. On Kowloon side however (where I live), people are always surprised to see foreigners passing by. This is a really nice and energetic place to live, a mix of ancient China and metropolis, a mix of East and West, a mix of nature and city.

Q: What do you think are the positive and negative sides of living in Hong Kong?

A: Hong Kong is really a dynamic place and a great environment to boost your career. You will never be bored here! Nevertheless, you will have to deal with long working hour, expensive and tiny flats and a real lack of holidays.

Q: Do you miss home and family sometimes? How do you cope with homesickness?

A: I have weekly skype talks with my family to share some news with them.

Q: Do you have plans to move to a different country or back home in the future?

A: I am happy where I am and have been for the past 6 years. Let's see what the future brings us!

Q: What has been the hardest aspect to your expat experience so far?

A: Flats' size remains the major issue for me.

Q: What tips can you give other expats living in Hong Kong?

A: Go out and meet people! Don't stick with other expats who will only show you the latest hip bars:really explore the heart of Hong Kong and mingle with locals who will show you incredible places!

Q: Do you have favourite websites or blogs about Hong Kong?

A: You have to visit DiscoverHongKong before coming! All best activities and festivals are listed there! Also my blog, a marketing blog for SMEs and entrepreneurs.