Archive for the ‘Living Abroad’ Category

Mercer’s New Quality of Living Report 2009

 

Mercer has just released their widely recognized quality of living survey and it has uncovered some pretty impressive cities and ways of living, as well as some devastating figures for some parts of the world. To view the report in full, as well as other figures relating to the report, you can head to the Mercer home page. However to see the full report you will have to purchase the guide.

 

Big Changes for Quality of Living 2009

 

There were a number of notable facts and figures released including the anticipated list of the top 10 places to live in 2009 and of course the 10 worst. Tokyo took over the top spot as the most expensive city in the world for expatriates, stealing the position from Moscow who held onto it tightly last year. On the other hand, Johannesburg was named as the cheapest place to live for foreigners.

 

What may surprise a few people is how relevant some Asian cities have become as they, along with some European cities, dominated the top of the list. This year brought about some major fluctuations compared to what people had become used to due to some major depreciation in currencies over the last year.

 

Overall Mercer’s quality of living report takes 215 cities into consideration and gathers their information via the help of governments and many international companies.

 

With that all said and out of the way, let’s get to the point and talk about the top 10 cities to live in for 2009, and of course the worst. As a bit of a warning, we all know that life is what you make of it. Some cities on the bottom of the list may not even sound too bad, while the top cities to live in could make you cringe. Take it all with a grain of salt.

 

Mercer’s Top Places to Live in 2009

sydney

#10- Sydney, Australia

 

Sydney is the largest city in Australia with just over 4.5 million people. The cultural attractions, laid back atmosphere, stunning beaches, and awe inspiring harbour are the main tourist draws for Sydney. The one negative is that Sydney was also named the world’s 15th most expensive place to live.

bern

#9- Bern, Switzerland

 

It’s true, Switzerland isn’t just about chocolate. Bern has a population of approximately 128,000 people which makes it the fifth most populace city in Switzerland. The city boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is the medieval centre, and was also the home to Albert Einstein for a period of time.

 

frankfurt#8- Frankfurt, Germany

 

The Germans had a big impact on this list overall, as you will see with the next few top cities on the list. Frankfurt holds the prize for being the largest financial centre in all of Europe and is the home of the German Federal Bank and the European Central Bank. Some of the biggest tourist draws are the towering, modern skyscrapers and the Gothic cathedral that dates back to the 14th century.

 

munich#7-Munich, Germany

 

Munich is the 3rd largest city in Germany and contains 1.36 million people. The city is most well known for hosting the Olympics in 1972 after miraculously recovering from the devastation of World Ward II.

 

 

dusseldorf#6- Dusseldorf, Germany

 

Dusseldorf is the telecommunications, fashion and advertising hub of Germany and is located directly on the Rhine. The biggest event the city holds is the Dusseldorf Karneval which brings millions of people to the city from around the world, and millions of dollars. The city also boasts the fact that it is a twin city of Cairo, Moscow, Reading and Warsaw.

 

auckland#5- Auckland, New Zealand

 

Auckland is home to roughly 31% of the entire population of New Zealand. The city is nicknamed the city of sails because of the two gorgeous harbours that can be found here, Manukau in the South and Waitemata in the North.

 

vancouver#4- Vancouver, Canada

 

For years Vancouver has been seen as one of the best places to live and one of the cleanest cities in the world. The city is a proud centre for film production and shopping and boasts one of the most ethnically-diverse populations in the world.

 

geneva1#3- Geneva, Switzerland

 

Geneva is not home to an overly large amount of people but is widely recognized around the world. The city has a population of approximately 185,000 and is the home of a number of Red Cross and UN agencies. Diplomacy is the main theme and the city is also the origin of the internet.

 

zurich#2-Zurich, Switzerland

 

Zurich is one of the richest cities in all of Europe and is home to some major international companies. UBS, IBM, Microsoft and Google all have offices in the city as Zurich is home to a dizzying array of cultures and multilingual citizens.

 

vienna#1-Vienna, Austria

 

Vienna is officially the best city in the world to live in according to Mercer’s quality of living survey. Billy Joel has coined a song about it and it was the birthplace for both Sigmund Freud and Marie Antoinette. The biggest bragging rights for the city come through extreme political, cultural and economic strength.

 

Now onto the worst places to live in the world, statistically.

 

Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey Worst Places to Live

 

port-au-prince#10-Port-au-Prince, Haiti

 

Port-au-Prince is the capital of Haiti but doesn’t exactly offer a princely way of life. The cities approximate 2.5 million residents reside mostly in the slums scattered throughout. Tourism is still a major part of the city’s economy despite all of the political unrest.

 

kinshasa#9- Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

 

Combined with nearby city Brazzaville, Kinshasa has an estimated population of 8 million. Other than the large population the city is most well known for the incredibly high crime rate including over 100 murders a year per every 100,000 citizens.

 

nouakchott-mauritania#8-Nouakchott, Mauritania

 

Nouakchott is the largest city in Mauritania and has grown quite considerably since 1950 when it was just a small fishing town. Now the city houses 900,000 people, most of which moved there to escape continuous droughts in neighboring areas.

 

pointe-noire#7-Pointe Noire, Congo

 

A city in Congo once again makes the list. Pointe Noire is one of the largest oil producing cities in all of Central Africa and is the second largest city in Congo. A number of tourists risk visiting the area for the abundance of surfing beaches even though violent crimes and carjacking are common occurrences.

 

sanaa#6- Sana’a, Yemen

 

Since the 6th century BC, Sana’a has been the home to a number of ancient buildings and has become a World Heritage Site. However, an increase of violent attacks on foreigners and the recent U.S. Embassy bombing has meant that it has been crossed off the list for many tourists.

 

khardotoum#5- Khartoum, Sudan

 

Sudan has been the home for quite an impressive economic surge recently thanks to the oil money that exists in the country. It is located near the White and Blue Nile which makes for some beautiful scenery, but the city is overrun with corruption and a monstrous gap between rich and poor. 

 

brazzaville#4-Brazzaville, Congo

 

Brazzaville was founded in 1880 by a European pioneer and is held up thanks to the tanning and textile industries. The nineties saw a wide range of civil wars and political conflicts and the city has yet to recover.

 

ndjamena1#3-Ndjamena, Chad

 

Ndjamena was founded back in 1900 by the French and now has a population over 700,000. The city has never been able to recover from the major damage that occurred during 1979-82 in the civil war and has been affected by rebel attacks as recently as 2008.

 

bangui#2- Bangui, Central African Republic

 

Bangui was originally a French military post and now has a population of over 500,000. The city revolves around the manufacturing of soap, beer and textiles and is also home to archeological sites that have been labeled as UNESCO World Heritage sites.

baghdad

#1- Baghdad, Iraq

 

Mercer has labeled Baghdad as the worst city to live in the entire world. It is built upon a very rich heritage yet is still affected by a severely high level of violence that has ripped large portions of Iraq completely apart.

Travel or Work in Sweden | Benefits of a Swedish Lifestyle

Posted by Drew On August - 23 - 2009

sweden-stockholmAn undiscovered wonderland, life ranges from modernity to modesty in Sweden. Where on one hand you have the trendy nightlife of Stockholm can keep you gasping for more, yet not far behind is Bohuslan where nature seems to be at its best, far away from the quick city life. And do not forget about the beaches. Yes, you heard me right. Sweden has a number of beaches. Beaches, national parks, museums, canals and an incredible standard of living.

Life in Sweden

The third largest country of Europe, Sweden shares borders with Norway, Finland, Denmark and the Oresund bridge. The population is estimated to be around 9.2 million, a majority of which is urban population.

It is a constitutional monarchy with a parliament in tow. It has a temperate and moderate kind of climate, which is incredibly tourist friendly. Snowfall is expected between January and March while July and August tend to be the most rainfall prone months.

Swedish is the official language of Sweden, which is quite familiar to Danish and Norwegian.  In terms of religion, the people of Sweden do not seem to follow any certain religion too closely. Studies reveal that from 45 to 85% of people can be classified into atheists while Roman Catholic and Muslim form the significant religions of the country.

Healthcare in Sweden adds laurels to the nation. Compared to Canada in a number of ways in terms of the low cost of health care, Sweden has mastered the art of health care with things such as the infant mortality being significantly lower while life expectancy is much higher. To cut it short, healthcare here is much better than most other developed countries and more affordable.

Swedes also have a rich taste in music and have a very rich cultural heritage. Also, worth noting is the fact that of late the people of Sweden have become very liberal towards homosexual relationships, with the latter having been backed by law.

sweden-turning-torsoTravel and Work in Sweden

Sweden rejected the Euro, quite out rightly, and has its currency by the name of the Swedish Krona. At the moment 1 SK = .14 USD. Sweden offers jobs in the IT industry, engineering, designs, human resources, education, sales and finance in particular audit and investments. The average salary is estimated to be around $52,000, but it may still vary due to factors like company, skill, education and job profile etc. The best way to find jobs is through the internet, namely via newspaper websites and personal contacts.

The cost of living in Sweden is relatively cheaper in comparison to the US and other European countries. It is cheap for students to stay and while they work part time they can easily make a simple living, but for those who are not staying as students it can be a bit expensive.

Housing in Sweden can be a problem, but if you register as a student it is less troublesome. Otherwise houses and property can be rented or bought through the state agents. Real estate websites also provide to be a useful solution.

Best Time to Move or Visit Sweden

sweden-sunsetThe decision in terms of the best time to visit Sweden depends a lot upon the purpose of your vacation. If you wish to study in Sweden and continue your studies then obviously the appropriate time is according to the academic years. There are a variety of schools and colleges in Sweden. The most famous universities are located in Uppsala, Lund and Gothenburg. But if it is holidaying which is on your mind then the best time to be here is from June to August. Besides all the other attractions you can take advantage of you will also have a chance to enjoy the charm of the midnight sun as well.
Sweden is very well connected through the air, water, roads and rail. Via the sea you can connect to Sweden through sea castle and St. Petersburg. Trains are also the connecting lines between Sweden and London, besides air.

On the negative side a bit unfortunately, Sweden has an above average rate of crime in comparison to other European nations.  Overall though the crimes are not necessarily overly serious and things like consumer fraud contribute quite a lot to the crime rate. However the nation is also troubled by some crimes such as assault, sexual assault and hate crimes. At the same time crimes such as burglary, thefts and bribery are almost non existent within the nation.
Overall what Sweden offers expats is a comfortable life and an easy transition from the western lifestyle. The standard of living is quite high, housing is comfortable, jobs are aplenty, the health care is fantastic and the people are friendly. What many people do not fully understand is just how beautiful the country is and the staggering number of attractions, sights, and activities you can partake in within Sweden. The only way to truly understand is to vacation to Sweden yourself and see if a Swedish life is just what you have been looking for.

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vene-beachImagine yourself being thrown in middle of beautiful landscapes, seductive beaches, serene mountains and beautiful waterfalls. That is just scratching the surface when it comes to what Venezuela has to offer vacationers and expats looking to start a new life abroad. While it isn’t always on the top of the list when it comes to most desirable places to live, it offers an exciting mix of eclectic culture and vibrant cities.
Venezuela is a tropical country located in South America and is bordered by Guyana, Brazil, and Colombia. Despite being a tropical country Venezuela has a diversified climate ranging from humid weather to glaciers which offers a varied lifestyle depending on where in the country you choose to vacation to or settle down. When looking at destinations for living abroad it can often be an added bonus for a climate to be diversified. While beach living is tempting, dry and hot weather all year long can be draining.
vene-caracasLifestyle in Venezuela

The capital city of Venezuela is Carcas. The population is estimated to be around 27,030,656. It has the fourth highest birth rate in South America and houses about 252,200 refugees. The majority of the population is Mestizo and then about one fifth have a European lineage and another one tenth of the population has a lineage from Africa. There is no official religion, as in a religion that is recognized by the state, with the country. The official language is Spanish with more than 30 other local languages in use. The president is both the head of the government as well as the state and is chosen by the system of universal adult suffrage.

Venezuelans have developed a very urban lifestyle and has evolved to a majority of middle class citizens. Local beer, rum and coffee are the most popular beverages and North American music as well as a little South America salsa and Latin soul add a little spice to life. While the majority of citizens are middle class there are quite a few elites within the nation that have built their lives around oil and have quite a bit of pull with the government.

Tourism in Venezuela

Carcas, Angel Falls, Gran Sabana, arid deserts, beautiful mountains and sandy beaches, Venezuela has a lot to boast. A cable ride to Sierra Nevada National Park is worth a fortune. If you find yourself in Venezuela then you do not ever want to miss out on taking a quick jaunt over to Aruba or Trinidad and Tobago also. Playa Colarada boasts of some world famous beaches and then Gran Sabana has some unusually flat mountain tops that are more than worth a visit. To cut it short the country has a dizzying array of attractions and sights. Venezuela is in no way one of those cookie cutter destinations where you find yourself doing the same thing day in and day out.
venezuela1Work in Venezuela
The currency of Venezuela is the Bolivar and at the moment of publication that the exchange rate is approximately 1 VEB = .000465 USD. The inflation rate is quite substantial and currently sits at 26% which obviously has quite an effect on the cost of living in Venezuela. The majority of jobs are offered within the service industry which includes employment sectors such as healthcare, retail, transport, education and of course tourism, seeing as it forms a vital part of Venezuela’s economy. The estimated average salary in Venezuela is 7,480 VEB which may vary depending on the personal factors which are not constant in all cases.
Job networking sites offer a good option if you are looking for jobs within the country. You can speak to local clients and connect with potential employers about the possibility of obtaining a full time job. However, in many cases you are better off simply saving up and heading to Venezuela, and then starting your job search from within. Companies and employers are far more willing to hire people in person rather than over the phone or via the internet.
Housing in Venezuela

Housing can be a bit of an issue in cities like Carcas. The prices vary according to the location and one of your best bets is to get yourself registered with the nearest consulate as soon as possible. The consulate can often help point you in the right direction for housing and accommodations and also help you take the necessary precautions. Venezuela is an earthquake prone country and is affected by torrential rains, so one must also take pretty serious precautions when purchasing property and housing insurance.
Crime rate in Venezuela

Unfortunately, Venezuela has the highest per capita homicide rate in the world. The violent crime rate is an issue of concern here with kidnappings, assaults and robberies occurring every now and then. Many harassment cases against U.S citizens have occurred and have raised a serious concern. The political climate is highly polarized and prone to violence. While this is the one side that is often seen by many foreigners, the issues are a lot more isolated than it appears. There are of course major areas of concern and you are advised to stay away. However there are also very safe communities and especially some safe resorts and areas for vacationers.

vene-desertTravel in Venezuela

Venezuela is connected through a major air route connecting South America with the rest of the world and thus remains a very easily accessible country of South America. It lies just above the equator and is situated in a part of the world that enjoys relatively pleasant weather all through out the year. This does mean that there is technically no off season or peak season in terms of traveling to Venezuela, but still to be precise the best time to travel to Venezuela is from September to April, which happens to be the dry season.
Yes there are a few drawbacks when it comes to considering moving, living and working Venezuela but there are also a number of wonderful opportunities. While some destinations offer an easy transition for expats this is not necessarily the case for Venezuela. However that is what makes it so appealing for some people who are trying to escape their routine life and break off the beaten path. Countries like Costa Rica and Mexico offer completely foreign communities that feel just like a southern American town. A lot of expats love that accessibility but it isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for something a little different then you may want to consider Venezuela. Just keep in mind that research and preparation are keys for a move to Venezuela, even more than for other countries abroad.

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belizeThey say good things come in small packages and Belize happens to be perfect proof of that popular saying. To judge Belize simply by its size would not only be unfair but it would also force you to miss a lot of the exceptional sights and sounds that the country has to offer. Belize has everything to enthrall you and both a short and long term stay in this tiny nation will be an exquisite trip to a land of wonders. The small size of the country adds some extra spice on top of the usual ingredients that travelers can find within a successful holiday.
Geography and Climate of Belize
Belize is a country situated in Central America. It is bordered by Guatemala, Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. The climate in Belize can best be described as tropical and its wet and dry seasons can be differentiated significantly, although there isn’t much of a difference in the temperature which ranges just within 24 degrees and 27 degrees all year round.
Lifestyle in Belize
The population of the country is estimated to be 320,000, which makes it one of the least populated countries throughout all of Central America, and one of the smallest in the entire world. The capital city of Belize is Belmopan and the largest city is Belize City. Belize is the only country in Central America which has recognized English as the official language. Understandably this is what makes it such a popular vacation spot for foreigners and such an easy transition for expats looking to move abroad. Krio and Spanish are the other languages that are put to use in different areas all over the nation. Belize has a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy and the currency is the Belize dollar. At the moment of publication the currency rate equals out to approximately 2 Belize dollars for every 1 US dollar.
belize2Tourism in Belize
Islands, fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, rafting, kayaking, hiking, and bird watching are just some of the thing that tourists and locals alike dabble in while frequenting the country. The fact is that the small list I just mentioned is actually just the beginning and the list of attractions and destinations in Belize can go on for seemingly forever. However, what makes Belize such a great place to live and such an excellent place to vacation is the fact that it is so small that transportation and getting around is rather easy. You can partake in a number of different activities and tours daily without having to be stuck in a car or on a bus for hours. You can have a ton of fun without spending much time on the road.
The Belize barrier reef is both easily accessible and impressive. The Barton Creek caves are another highly sought after place in Belize and the Blue hole, as it is called, is the country’s top scuba diving spot. Then there are the Mayan ruins, which reek of rich, historical heritage and natural beauty. Besides those often discussed spots, there is also the excitement provided by some of the best golf courses in Central American and of course the crystal clear water and pristine Belize beaches that receive a lot of international attention.
Travel to Belize
The international airport of Belize is Philip S.W Gldson. Many airlines serve this airport but most of the time flights will include a layover somewhere in the USA. Even still, this doesn’t deter many foreigners from partaking in a memorable trip to the beautiful country.
belize3Work and Living in Belize
A valid passport that remains valid for at least six months beyond the duration of intended stay is a must have in order to access Belize. While the Belizean government is considerably serious about not letting any foreigners cut out on the job opportunities for locals, there still are two types of work permits that are made available for expats in Belize. These would be the application to employ a foreigner and the application for temporary self employment.
If you intend to stay more than six months then a proper work permit is a necessity in many instances, even if you are not working. One of the main differences in Belize over the last few years has been the decline in the average salary and some of the details involving cost of living. In the late 80’s the average income was estimated to be about 6,000 USD but it has dropped considerably since that time. What this often means for expats is that the country offers an affordable place to call home or even retire. While the cost of living in Belize does vary quite a bit from place to place, there are ways to live comfortably on a lot less money than one would need in other places.
One of the big issues that people in Belize are dealing with recently is the insufficient housing that is placed all around the country. Houses are put up quickly and without much thought, which has caused some major issues over time. On top of this the reoccurring hurricanes that have hit the area have worsened the situation. In order to combat this, the government has begun developing some safeguarded low cost housing programs which should alleviate some of the problems and provide a bit of relief to local citizens.
The Retired Person’s Incentive Program
A big bonus to consider when discussing a move abroad to Belize is the Retired Person’s Incentive Program. This program can allow expats to live a completely tax free life which obviously increases your ability to live comfortably and spend frivolously. If you are not ready for retirement then there are other options, and many people are looking to start their own businesses in Belize that focuses around tourism. What you want to do is make sure that the economy can sustain your business before throwing all of your eggs into a Belize basket.
It really is all about choice when it comes to the cost of living in Belize. You can live well on a very moderate income if you choose to live like a Belizean, or you can spend thousands of dollars a month and enjoy your big SUV, expensive property, and all the hottest restaurants and clubs every night of the week.
Housing in Belize
In terms of rental housing you can usually find a small, comfortable flat for close to $1,000 USD in Belize City or opt for a larger house within a district such as Cayo for around $400 a month. If you want to look into buying land in Belize then you can find nice property for $5,000 USD and sometimes pay as much as $10,000 depending on where you want to live. Then there is also the route of just buying a pre-existing house which you can do for as little as $25 per square foot or as much as $250,000 depending upon the lifestyle and luxury that you want.
belizegardenMore Cost of Living Details in Belize
In terms of daily expenditures once again the pricing varies considerably in Belize depending on what you want or where you are. If you want to dine on imported goods then you are going to have to pay the price. If you are willing to enjoy home grown and local foods and goods then you are going to be able to save a lot of money. One thing about Belize as well is that you can save a lot of money by buying produce that is in season, seeing as it is usually about 50% cheaper. Better yet, just grow your own produce which is remarkably easy in the tropical climate.
The same sort of local concept goes for dining out, partying, and alcohol consumption. If you stick with local foods and alcohol and stay away from imports then you can cut down seriously on your monthly cost of living. If you keep the partying in check and shop around a bit there are ways for a couple to live on as little as $100 USD per week for food, drinks, and entertainment.
For utilities you are usually looking at an average cost of $30 per month for water while electricity is very pricey and averages out to around $100 a month. If you want cable TV then you can tack on an extra $20 a month and reliable internet will set you back about $55 a month. Obviously all of these factors depend on what you do, which utilities you use and so on, but these numbers should give you a reasonable idea of what you can expect in Belize.

Barring the natural calamities there isn’t much that will bother you during your stay in Belize, and quite a bit that will dazzle you. It is a country that is most attractive to retirees and pensioners but there is also a fair amount of opportunity for work if you are willing to search for it. Belize on the whole has all of the ingredients for a magical vacation and enough to make it a wonderful place to settle down and call home. While the work opportunities may not attract many people to the country, holidaying is definitely one of the reasons people visit the country time and time again. Even if you cannot see yourself finding work in Belize, you are not going to want to leave once you dip your toes into the water and the culture in this country.

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Egyptian Travel | Live Move, or Work Abroad in Egypt

Posted by Drew On August - 12 - 2009

egypt1A Diverse Experience of a Lifetime

If Egypt reminds you of some movie which was filmed near pyramids or where the star fought off angry mummies, then it is definitely time for you to take a closer look at this unique live abroad destination. Egypt offers you sights, sounds, and a culture that is much more vibrant than pyramids alone. A unique blend of tradition and present day culture, Egypt offers to you a blissful journey through the historic times and then right on through to the current Hi-tech smart village. One glimpse inside and many travelers are left gasping for more.

From antiques, to Christian monuments, to temples, to a desert trek, to scuba diving, and everything in between, Egypt has it all. When it comes to tourism, Egypt has more than enough incentives to dangle in front of travelers. It is true that this is not a vacation destination that will suit everyone, nor is it a place where all expats would love to call home, but it does offer a life many people would do anything to bask in.

Geography and Climate in Egypt

Egypt is bordered by Libya, Sudan, the Gaza strip, and Israel. It is the 38th largest country in the world and offers an eclectic yet riveting way of life for many foreigners. In terms of weather in Egypt, it obviously does not rain very much and temperatures average between 27 to 32 degrees in the summer and 13 to 21 degrees in the winter. A yearly flood in the Nile replenishes the soil throughout the country and makes up for the lack of rain. Unfortunately, a sudden rise in the sea level has been noticed and many people believe it is a cause of global warming.

cairoLifestyle in Egypt

Egypt is governed by a semi presidential form of government.  The population is estimated to be 82,999,000, which mainly comprises of Egyptians, a number of Nubians, and quite a few Greeks.

Life in Egypt seems to have an unbelievable balance while still offering drastic differences from city to city. On one hand Egypt on the whole is so historically extravagant while at the same time cities like Cairo are a prototype of any major metropolitan city which has sky scrappers, hi tech systems, five star hotels, and is politically enlightened. It really is an incredibly unique blend. Egypt is a republic which follows the parliamentarian form of government. Islam is the official religion and the majority of the population consists of Muslims, yet there is a sprinkle of different cultures, people and religions that dot all different areas of the country.

Tourism in Egypt

Life in Cairo is advancing at the speed of light. As for the rest of the Egypt, the land of Pharaohs hasn’t really lost that special touch and this is what places Egypt on a pedestal when it comes to many travelers wish list of places to visit. The must visits in Egypt are often considered to be Abu Simbel, Edfu temple, the Red sea, the Mediterranean, Kom Ombo temple, St. Catherien’s village, and a never ending list of festivals and celebrations.

Climatically, Egypt will welcome you the most in off summer days, i.e, from October to May. The days are sunny but not overbearingly humid. If you plan on visiting Egypt during the month of Ramadan you will need to plan your trip only according to your priorities. Due to a strict rule of observation, touring around and interacting with the culture may not necessarily be as easy.
market

Working and living in Egypt

The official currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound. The most acceptable alternative currency is the American dollar. Currently at the moment 1 Egyptian pound = 3.6 USD, thus, the cost of living here is cheaper than North America and Europe. An average Egyptian lives just on or below the western poverty line.

The reasons for some of the economic struggle relate to poverty, unemployment, and rising inflation. A major cultural difference that any expat or traveler will want to keep in mind is that the country survives on bakshish, aka tips or bribes, for any favor what so ever. Accordingly, if you plan to come and work in Egypt you should bear in mind the possible difficulties one may face after coming here. The cost of living is estimated to be $2,000 a month, but as we know you can change this figure drastically in either direction depending upon the lifestyle that you crave.

The Expat Community in Maadi

Through speaking with many foreign workers and people who have visited Egypt, it is said that expats can feel most at home in Maadi. Here you will find a large expat community and may find some guidance in terms of finding your way around and getting used to the new environment. Rent for housing tends to vary and usually starts at around $1,000 a month. For that price you can find a suitable two bedroom apartment that’s well furnished in Maadi.

Best Places to Find Work in Egypt

Cairo, Luxor, Alexendria, and the red sea resorts are the prime spots where employers are seeking people for work, especially in the areas of teaching (especially language teachers, namely English), tourism, and real estate. Working in Cairo is a very viable option for many people as it brings with it a number of the perks and privileges that exist in a well knit modern city. To settle in Egypt means to kick start a new life which means you will need to socialize, interact, and get better at Arabic. If you have traveled to Europe looking for work, you may enter through a tourist visa and later convert it into something more permanent.
At the moment though, it is necessary to mention that the average salary and pay scale in most areas of Egypt are not looking to tempting at the moment. If you have your heart set on living in Egypt, or taking a long term vacation to Egypt, you still have a number of options. You can cut back on a number of things, live like a local and save quite a bit more money.

Travel to Egypt and Visas

To travel in Egypt citizens of almost all countries require a visa. A tourist visa is not that difficult to fetch from a European consulate. Though, in certain cases a visa on arrival is also permitted. Egypt is a very well knit country and is well connected to the rest of the world. Even within itself the transport network is very well built and surprisingly cheap and affordable.
Egypt in all ways is an incredible spot for a superb vacation. It is beautiful, it is diverse, it is friendly, it is serene, and your bank account is sure to love it when compared to other expensive destinations. There are a great number of people who have found employment in Egypt, settled in, and been incredibly grateful for the opportunity. However a move to Egypt is not for everyone and is going to consist of major changes in your life. Do your research, learn what you are getting yourself into, and then take the plunge. Preparation is the ultimate toll when it comes to living overseas and escaping your boring day job.

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czech1Open your Eyes and your Mind to the Czech Republic

If you are the kind of person who is outright fascinated by the glory of castles and tales of quaint villages. and if history intrigues something within you that is unexplainable, then you will surely relish a trip to the Czech Republic. If you have ever been wrapped up in a medieval fairytale or entwined within a movie set amongst beautiful old school architecture and castles, then you already understand a part of the feeling you will get by living in the Czech Republic.

While the Czech Republic does not always seem to be one of the most popular destinations for a vacation, it is quickly becoming recognized as a magical place to visit and an inspiring place to move to. Arguably the most enticing part about the Czech Republic is that the entertainment runs all year round and there is no time of the year that is worse than any other. If you live here all year round there are events, festivities, and a vibrant atmosphere during every season for you to enjoy. If you are simply looking to visit then you can take advantage of the exciting atmosphere all year and just book whenever you can get the time off of work, or find the best deals. It truly is as vibrant during Christmas as it is in the spring for travelers and expats of all ages.
Geography and Climate in the Czech Republic
Czech Republic is a country landlocked between Germany, Poland, Austria, and Slovakia in Europe. Its capital Prague is also the largest city in the Czech Republic. It has a temperate continental climate, to the likings of many of the citizens and mostly all of the tourists who visit. Summers are relatively hot and the winters are colder, leading to a considerable difference in the temperature during the two seasons. Sans the urban effect in Prague the climate is just the same as everywhere else, with just a few minor and almost unnoticeable differences. While some people choose to move and live on islands where the weather is always hot and sunny, the contrast in seasons is something that many expatriates tend to miss. That isn’t an issue in the Czech Republic and the contrast in weather just adds to the unique atmosphere and sights.
czech2Lifestyle and Demographics of the Czech Republic
The population of the country is estimated to be 10,476,543. Besides the locals, the population is a blend of Ukrainians, Slovaks, Vietnamese, Russian, Polish, German, Mongolian, Chinese, Dutch and Americans .There is definitely a wide range of citizens within the country and a number of languages that are spoken. If you stick to main cities and touristy areas then you should have no trouble getting around by just speaking English.
One sort of staggering figure when it comes to the culture in the Czech Republic is that there seems to be very little faith in god prevalent among the citizens.  More than 60% of the total population is atheist. In terms of the logistics and government the nation is run under a pluralist, multiparty, parliamentary, representative democracy. The prime minister is the head of the government and the official language is unsurprisingly Czech.
The economy of the Czech Republic is definitely heading in the right direction, which is more than a lot of countries can say at the moment. The nation possesses a GDP per capita of 80% of the European Union average. Another factor that attracts a number of foreign workers is the comparably low crime rate and the safety that is prevalent in the country. A lot of people do not always expect to hear that a country such as the Czech Republic is a safe place, but it really is one of the safest.
Tourism in the Czech Republic
Tourism is one of the most flourishing industries within the Czech Republic. It not only forms a significant part of the national income but also provides employment to a great number of people. As mentioned, if you are the kind of person that is fascinated by stories and historic tales, you are going to fall in love with this place. The country boasts an incredibly amount of history, culture, and stories and also utilizes the great art of puppetry and marionettes, which further facilitates tourism to flourish. For beer lovers this is the home and starting point for some of the most popular beers in the world. The city of Plzen and the Budweis town are the original sources of beers like Pilsener and Budweiser. In terms of cuisine, connoisseurs of meat swarm to the Czech Republic every year to dine on a variety of unique and succulent dishes that tend to be served on every street corner. The two most popular sports within the country are by far soccer and ice hockey, and many Czech citizens live and breathe both.
czech-3The 12 UNESCO sites within the country, a very rare situation, are some of the leading tourist attractions in the Czech Republic. This is not to say that the UNESCO sites are the main focal point, as there is an ample amount of things to see and do in the country. Prague, the capital city, is one of the most versatile cities of the world. Then there are an infinite number of museums, tourist galleries, and a lot of scenic beauty. Besides that, the Czech country side flaunts a number of hot spots to holiday, cycle, hike, and travel by water. Ski resorts and golf courses are also worth a mention and Czech spas are becoming known as some of the top high class and soothing places to be within Europe.
Work and Travel in Czech Republic
Ruzyne international airport is the main airport in the country and is served by a number of airlines. It is also one of the busiest airports in all of Europe. The Czech Republic has a total of 46 airports, 6 out of which happen to be international. The country also has a huge rail network that has been put together to become the fifth largest railway cargo operator in European Union.
The country has developed a very high income economy which may come as a surprise to many that are just beginning to read up about it. The Czech Republic has undergone a growth of over 6% over the last three years. There is a great deal of foreign investment taking place and the domestic industry is reviving. There are a number of jobs in the Czech Republic for expats that can be found in industries such as tourism, breweries , the hospitality sector, and banks and telecommunications. A lot of focus is put on banks and telecommunications when people discuss moving to the Czech Republic because both of the industries are privatized, which opens the doors for foreigners for a number of reasons.

Cost of Living in Czech Republic


Owing to the recent rise in inflation, the cost of living altogether has risen in the Czech Republic and there are only a few sectors, like transport, where prices are still stable.  Accommodation costs have also been on the rise as of late. However, the cost of living in the Czech Republic will have a lot to do with one’s bargaining skills. Bartering, networking, and trading are the most common ways for people to find apartments or even purchase groceries. It is also true that the tag price is often never what the goods will actually sell for, and you need to keep that in mind if you want to save money abroad. Prague still is cheaper than many other European cities which is always a bonus. On top of that, Europeans and Americans may find the country to be a relatively cheap place to retire seeing as the Czech currency falls quite flat when put up against the US dollar and the Euro.

Catering to your Desired Lifestyle


When it comes down to it the Czech Republic is quite capable of catering to many of the expat requirements. There are in fact a number of opportunities for employment, ways to save money and even a great deal of comforts and conveniences that you are surely used to. This is a country that does not always make the list as one of the top move abroad destinations, but tends to sway peoples minds after they visit for a short vacation. There are thousands of expats and tourists that simply chose to visit the Czech Republic by chance and ended up falling in love with the people, the cuisine, and the culture. These people often come back every year on vacation or have set up homes in the area or even found jobs so that they never had to leave. You could be one of those people if you feel that this country offers exactly what you are looking for. Even if you are not ready for the commitment to move abroad and just want to get away you are sure to be pleasantly pleased with this relatively affordable destination. It truly does offer a lot of fun and opportunities for relaxation and comfortable living.

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