Protect your family finances

11 June, 2009 11:22  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Article sponsored by William Russell

By Nigel Harris, Chief Executive Asia Pacific, William Russell Limited

No one likes to think about accidents and emergencies, but when you are living overseas with your family it is absolutely essential to have secure insurance arrangements in place to protect yourself, your partner and children if something untoward happens.  Nigel Harris, Chief Executive Asia Pacific at international expatriate insurance specialist, William Russell, looks at the products and services that are available to protect your family when the unexpected strikes.

Malaysia is an exciting place to live, offering expatriates an excellent lifestyle, vibrant culture and welcoming home away from home.  Like any country however its social services are geared to the needs of the local population and as a result the welfare safety-net may provide expat families with a different level of protection against life’s emergencies than they would expect in their home country.

It may be that you are living in the centre of KL, or in more remote parts of the country; perhaps your children are at school in Malaysia while your work takes you further afield.  Whatever your personal circumstances, it’s essential to make sure that you have the right insurance products in place to provide you with the level of protection you need to match your lifestyle.  These fall into three main areas, international private medical insurance to give you and your family fast access to the highest levels of medical treatment wherever you are in the region, income protection to replace your salary if you find yourself unable to work for whatever reason and life insurance to protect your family’s finances if the unthinkable happens and you’re no longer there to provide for them. (More)


Shopping for Divorces

08 June, 2009 11:11  EasyExpat EasyExpat

An expatriate often has a choice of where to divorce.  You need to make the right choice early, because often it is irreversible – and the jurisdiction that governs your divorce can have significant impacts on your fortunes.

Divorce is not as simple as just ending the marriage.  There are generally two main areas of contention in divorces, one relating to sorting out financial arrangements between the couple, the other relating to arrangements for any children of the marriage.  In fact many countries require that you also sort out arrangements for children before the divorce is granted. (More)


Festivals around the world this June

29 May, 2009 16:26  EasyExpat EasyExpat

The sun's shining, the parties are getting longer, the skirts are getting shorter and the fun is tuned up all the way. Here are some popular festivals from around the world this June.

Glastonbury Festival, UK
24th – 28th June
Glastonbury Festival is the largest greenfield music and performing arts festival in the world. This tented city offers entertainment to match everyone’s taste. From frenzied rock to more laid back jazz, whatever your choice of music, you can be sure there’s a tune that’ll be music to your ears.

June Bonfire Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
13th – 29th June
This is a New World twist on an old European tradition. The feasts of St. Anthony (13th June), St. John (24th June) and St. Peter (29th June) are celebrated with great pomp and tradition in the city. In streets, squares and public places, stalls are set out to resemble village market places and are decorated with streamers and lanterns. Fires are kindled in open spaces, mock country weddings are performed where couples follow the old tradition of leaping over flames.  Eating, dancing, music, fireworks and festivities set against the backdrop of bonfires is the order of the day. (More)


Top 5 adventure activities in and around Dubai

25 May, 2009 18:54  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Dubai has transformed itself from a barely inhabited desert to a top tourist destination. While the sun and the sea attract well heeled travelers looking for a chance to grill on the beach, the city has a number of exciting outdoor activities that are quite unique to the region. From camel riding to hot air ballooning, sand skiing to falconry, here are some thrilling options for the more actively inclined.

Desert Safari

This is an action packed adventure that includes dune bashing, camel riding, sand skiing and a number of other activities in one evening. As the name suggests, dune bashing is just that. Expect an adrenaline packed ride where your 4x4 crashes through dunes and kicks up a storm of sand around you. If you’re attempting your first camel ride, here’s a tip that’ll come in handy. Fight tooth and nail for the seat at the back. It’s far more comfortable and there’s a much lesser chance of falling off from here. Sand skiing is a new rage in Dubai. You basically get to the top of a dune and ‘ski’ down the dune. If you love skiing the traditional way, i.e. on snow, you’ll find this a pretty unique way of enjoying your favourite sport all year round. (More)


Fast facts on Swine Flu (type A H1N1 virus)

16 May, 2009 12:20  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Read the news and chances are that you’ll find yourself staring at the photo of a pig or a swine flu victim. At the time this article is being written, 33 countries have reported more than 6,600 cases of swine flu worldwide, with less than 70 deaths in total. The figures are based on tallies provided by national governments and WHO. According to the global body's pandemic alert level, the world is at phase 5 — out of a possible 6 — meaning that a global outbreak is "imminent." Whether or not this happens, it’s good to brief ourselves on some of the basic facts about this pandemic. Here are some frequently asked questions as answered by CDC, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.

What is swine flu?
Swine flu (swine influenza) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza in pigs. Swine flu viruses cause high levels of illness and low death rates in pigs. Swine influenza viruses may circulate among swine throughout the year, but most outbreaks occur during the late fall and winter months similar to outbreaks in humans. The classical swine flu virus (an influenza type A H1N1 virus) was first isolated from a pig in 1930. (More)


Dubai’s real estate icons

12 May, 2009 10:27  EasyExpat EasyExpat

Iconic, ostentatious, innovative, outrageous… love it or hate it, Dubai’s real estate developments have put the city on the world map. It’s estimated that 25% of the world’s cranes can be found in Dubai. A mere 20 years ago, this was a little known desert town - its centre marked by four buildings. Now, this buzzing city has been dubbed by a number of lofty nicknames- ‘Vegas on the Gulf’, ‘City of Gold’, ‘The Desert Miracle’ to name a few. While the economic downturn has caused a slowdown in its building frenzy, parts of the city still look like a massive construction site. This article takes a look at some of the most famous real estate developments in Dubai. (More)


How to Arrange Your Own Study Abroad Program (5/5)

06 May, 2009 18:14  EasyExpat EasyExpat

This is the last article of a series of 5, explaining how to arrange your own study abroad program.

StarFirst article: Decide Where to Go

StarSecond article: Determine When to Go

StarThird article: Language Problems and Programs

StarFourth article: How to Pay for It

Practical Matters

After you've made the difficult decisions concerning where to conduct your study abroad program, when you want to go and have arranged to pay for it, it's time to get down to nuts and bolts of making the final arrangements to go. It's a good idea to keep a checklist and mark each task when it is completed.

If the program you have chosen provides accommodations for its students, either on campus or in the area, it's wise to take advantage of it. The accommodations will almost always be safe, clean and accessible to campus or to transportation, even if they are not always luxurious. If you are very familiar with the area (through prior visits or friends and family in the region), you may be able to obtain cheaper accommodations on your own, but again, allow sufficient lead time. If the program does not provide accommodations and you don't have insider information, ask about recommendations from the program staff or administrators. This is one area where it is unwise to rely on Internet searches alone. Never take a room or a flat sight unseen unless it is issued or recommended by someone you know or your study abroad program.  If all else fails, make arrangements to arrive early and stay at a hostel while you search for accommodations.  (More)


How to Arrange Your Own Study Abroad Program (4/5)

29 April, 2009 18:02  EasyExpat EasyExpat

This is the fourth article of a series of 5, explaining how to arrange your own study abroad program.

StarFirst article: Decide Where to Go

StarSecond article: Determine When to Go

StarThird article: Language Problems and Programs

How to Pay for It

The main obstacle to study abroad for many people is the cost. However, there are ways of getting around this. For instance, if you are an American college or graduate student and receive financial aid, you can almost always apply your financial aid from your present institution to the study abroad program you choose.  European students should investigate the Erasmus program. In any case, you will need to contact the financial aid office at your school and make the necessary arrangements. This may require a few extra steps and a somewhat longer period of time, so don't put this task off until the last minute.

It is less likely that you will be able to arrange financial aid directly with the host institution, but not impossible. Some programs do offer scholarships; however, these scholarships are almost always very competitive. The best advice is to prepare as good an application as possible, but don't count on scholarships from the host institution for all or even most of your funding. Volunteer programs may provide a small stipend or free room and board in exchange for your participation.  If you are studying at the graduate school level, you might also consider grants or fellowships such as the Fulbright, although the competition for these grants is also very competitive. In addition, deadlines for grants and scholarships often fall a year in advance, and two years in advance is not out of the question. (More)


How to Arrange Your Own Study Abroad Program (3/5)

22 April, 2009 18:09  EasyExpat EasyExpat

This is the third article of a series of 5, explaining how to arrange your own study abroad program.

StarFirst article: Decide Where to Go

StarSecond article: Determine When to Go

Language Problems and Programs

Even if you are attending a study abroad program conducted in your native language or in a language you speak fluently, you will undoubtedly have to navigate your way around unfamiliar surroundings, if only to get back and forth to class. Also, unless you are fluent in the language of your host country (which may or may not be the same language as your program), even familiar tasks such as mailing a letter can become challenging. This is especially true if you stay for a longer period of time and live "off campus."

Most study abroad programs will have multilingual staff and instructors. Don't be afraid to ask them how to negotiate such practicalities as train schedules, mobile phone refill cards and grocery shopping, either before you leave or on site. Once you arrive, depending on where you travel, it may even be safe to obtain assistance, especially directions, from people on the street, although it is always wise to keep your wits about you whenever you are in unfamiliar territory. If you speak English, again, you will find yourself at a definite advantage. Many people worldwide speak at least some English. (More)


HSBC: Protecting your wealth in turbulent times

21 April, 2009 22:36  EasyExpat EasyExpat


Article sponsored by HSBC

A seminar for foreign nationals in the UK

Investment strategies for volatile times

There are few certainties wherever you look in today's volatile global economy, but HSBC believe that this is the time when you need to think positively about the future.

HSBC invite you to a seminar on "Protecting your wealth in turbulent times". (More)


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