ExpatExchange got some ink from the New York Times on Wednesday, in an article about Making a Move Abroad, and Working There, Too:
There’s a wide range of jobs that globe trotters may consider. Of course, there’s the possibility of accepting contract assignments from former employers. And there are often positions available to teach English, work as a translator, lead English-speaking tours, or work at hotels that cater to English-speaking travelers, according to Betsy Burlingame, founder of ExpatExchange.com, a leading Web site on international living.
This is a great article, as it covers a trend that is unlikely to change: people will need to work later into life. I think those that are able are likely to find a way to enjoy it, too – if you don’t have a choice, why let it ruin your life? Retiring abroad is adventurous and offers great opportunities – international experiences – that can’t be had at home. It won’t always be fun and games, but what is? So many people don’t have a choice, or they want to move overseas, and they are finding fun, rewarding lives abroad.
Italy’s talent is once again moving abroad, according to a recent article on Yahoo!. These expats have turned to other nations to find a better environment for their respective industries:
For more than a century unskilled Italians have gone abroad to escape poverty, but these days the people running for the exits are among the country’s top brains.
A growing wave of technologists, researchers and entrepreneurs is flowing away from the motherland. Few think this weekend’s elections will do much to alleviate the gloom.
“I am Italian and I love Italy. But every time I come back to visit, I see the country is sliding a little further back,” said Andrea Ballarini, an economics graduate who left for the U.S. West Coast nearly three years ago…
“My business partner and I bought a ticket for San Francisco. We just wanted to check Silicon Valley out. We never came back,” said Ballarini, who was won over by the pro-business atmosphere of the West Coast and now runs a virtual business fair platform called HyperFair.
Wow! Did someone just call California pro-business? Hopefully he means the environment among fellow entrepreneurs, because he sure can’t mean the tax environment. Wonder how the taxes in Italy compare to the taxes in California? Are the taxes in Italy so repressive that they’re more business friendly than California?
An expat couple in Seoul, South Korea, teachers both, found their way into the world of entrepreneurship… and in more ways than one. This has to rank as one of my favorite expat stories. You start off as a teacher in a new country, and then…
Today, they’re running a clothing store in Seoul’s hippest neighborhood, a microbrewery in the neighborhood where all the expats hang out and they’re in the middle of hosting a 20-episode TV series on Arirang about the expat life that’s called “Semipermanent.”
As Mr. Moynihan explains it, “We had a lot of lines in the water … and they came together simultaneously” …
The clothing store is called Decade and is dedicated to introducing South Koreans to designers from North America who don’t just create fashions, but stay involved in their manufacturing…
The microbrewery is called Magpie and operates from a location down a hill from Itaewon that the couple says was designed to be a lab and taste center rather than a bar. Ms. Needham said she recently admitted to a customer that the place – which looks like an overgrown kitchen with a few stools tossed in – had indeed become a bar.
Style and fresh-brewed beer for expats… what could be better? There is an accompanying video that is one in a series that focuses on the lives of expats.
Here is a recent Expat Dream vs. Reality Report from Italy. The implicatioin of how a visa can impact the future of an expatriate can be vastly underestimated, as this insightful report describes:
What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Describe how you “dreamed” expat life would be before you moved overseas. Please provide as much detail as possible.
I dreamed of living in Italy for many years, running my own B&B. I dreamed of sitting around a large table with many friends and neighbors, eating wonderful Italian dishes. I dreamed of exploring the countryside, other towns, even other countries nearby.
How has your expat experience met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?
Almost everything I dreamed of came to fruition, with one important exception. I lived on the side of a mountain, overlooking the Le Marche valley all the way to the Adriatic Sea. I sat for hours at friends’ dinner tables, talking endlessly.
How has your expat experience NOT met the expectations you dreamed about before you moved abroad?
The only problem, and it was a big one, was our visas. We needed work visas to open a B&B, and the consulate in the U.S. told us it would be no problem to convert our visas into work visas. But when we had the renovation completed, we were not allowed to convert the visa. We were told to go back to the U.S. and start the visa process anew. We were not willing to spend another year just doing that, so we sold the property, got a good price and now we are in Mexico, just weeks from opening our B&B. (Love it here, too.) No one asked for my advice, but if they did I would tell them to just let life in a foreign country take you where it should. Let the little things, such as visa problems, or standing in line at government offices for hours, roll off your back.
Take the time to fill out our Dream vs. Reality Report. Other people who are thinking of moving across the globe need to know what your journey is like!
Expats have a lot of reasons for moving overseas. For some, there could be no better reason than their love of beer. Not about drinking it, but making it. A recent article Coloradoan.com highlights the fact that some wannabe craft brewers are hopping the pond to places like Scotland to learn the brewing trade:
To further his training, Morrissy, 25, will be pursuing the equivalent of a master’s degree in brewing and distilling at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, this fall. The program is yearlong.
Morrissy loves craft brewing because it’s still a small community making an “artisan product,” but said the down side is that it “is a competitive and odd industry to get into. There’s no traditional path. Craft brewing is such a new development. For every brewer, there’s a million different stories for how they got into it.”
By going to Scotland, Morrissy will be following the footsteps of Damon Scott, 28, who became the lead brewer at Durango Brewing after completing the same graduate degree at Heriot-Watt. Both Scott and Morrissy appreciate the school for its graduate-level education, but Heriot-Watt’s location was a factor, too.
In the article, it was interesting to read about the number of breweries gearing up to open over the course of the next few years. How many expats or former expats will be a part of those operations? Something tells me it will be a significant percentage!
It appears that people who want or have to live abroad are still looking to India as an adoptive country, as is described in this NYTimes.com article Expats Flock to India Seeking Jobs, Excitement:
Mr. Mehwald is part of a growing number of expats flocking to India in the last few years eager to tap into the opportunities the country has to offer, witness its rich transformation and sample a way of life often very different from their native countries. Foreigners, of course, have flocked to India for centuries, as colonizers, missionaries, volunteers and escapees from persecution in other countries. This new wave is made up mostly of well-educated migrants from wealthier, more developed countries, leaving behind slow economies in search of job prospects and opportunities they can’t find at home.
As described in the article, the large number of people that want to move there has resulted in tighter regulations for those seeking an employment visa.
It has taken decades for the country to reach the point where it is today. While foreign employment used to be frowned upon, the liberalization of such policies have enabled the kind of economic environment that sounds quite similar to what Western democracies have enjoyed for a long time. What is reported even sounds like “the boom” of late 90′s:
“There’s really been a sense of limitless horizons. There’s very little to restrain you. People’s ambitions are set very high and rightly so,” said Rodrigo Davies, 29, who moved to Mumbai two years ago to work as GQ’s online editor after seven years as a journalist in London.
“In terms of opportunities, London is always innovating. But the number of businesses, publications opening there is a fraction of what’s opening here. A lot of companies here are going digital straight away.”
It will be interesting to see how India can capitalize of the wealth of IT talent they have created over the course of the last decade.
Expat women and the entrepreneurial spirit. What goes better together? Whether they are young ladies looking for something fun and exciting, or an expat spouse looking for something to do, it just makes sense.
Four expat women in Shanghai, foodies all, came to the same conclusion and were recently profiled in an article on WSJ.com.
She’s one of four expat foodies behind Pantry — a tiny storefront off West Nanjing Road, one of Shanghai’s busiest shopping streets. The shop is bringing hard-to-find treats to homesick Westerners and, they hope, a new audience of Chinese eaters. All of them discovered an entrepreneurial bent once they arrived in Shanghai.
“Baking isn’t my passion. Cookies are,” said Lexie Comstock, a 23-year-old American who sells chocolate-chip, oatmeal-raisin and other varieties from her shop, Strictly Cookies. “I think they are the absolute best dessert and should be part of everyone’s life.”
She arrived in Shanghai in August 2010 and opened the store two months later. “In America,” she said, “people are realistic, yes, but also pessimistic. Here, we have a more reckless attitude.”
Hats off to these expat ladies for personifying entrepreneurial drive and showing real grit in a foreign land. Entrepreneurs are known for throwing caution to the wind and taking substantial risks to realize their dreams, but doing what they’ve done in Shanghai is a great story. They deserve all the publicity they get!