How to prevent the expat blues

There are many great reasons to move abroad. But like any major life decision, there are also potential downsides. Get ahead of these possible drawbacks by following our top tips to avoid the expat blues and make your overseas experience a positive one:

Video chat regularly

You will inevitably miss friends and family when moving abroad, especially in your first few months. Be sure to regularly catch up with loved ones on Skype or FaceTime, even if it means occasionally waking up early or staying up late to beat the time zones.

Take a few home comforts

It’s good to immerse yourself in the local culture, but make sure you have access to a some home comforts to prevent homesickness. These could be your favourite snacks from back home, some classic British box sets, or your entire iTunes library.

👉 If you’re already abroad, Pickfords unaccompanied personal effects service can bring a piece of home to you, whenever you need it.

Journal your experience

It can be easy to loose sight of why you’re abroad. Make a daily habit of documenting your time there, whether by video diary, a personal blog or paper journal. Read or watch back old entries every now and then to see how far you’ve come.

Practice, practice, practice the local language 

Learning the local dialect is the best way to feel at home in your host country, and constant practice is the best way to learn. Start with a tutor or a quality language app before your leave the UK. Keep up the lessons when abroad if possible, but more importantly, immerse yourself in the language every day by talking with the locals.

Budget

Handling a foreign currency and experiencing different living costs can become overwhelming. Make sure you understand the exchange rate, and keep a strict budget that covers everything you need, as well as the occasional treat.

👉 Whether you’re about to move or are already settled in, manage your money safely with Pickfords’ foreign exchange service.

Get involved

To meet new people with shared interests, join as many clubs and activities as you can. Hanging out with other expats is OK, but get to know plenty of locals to really help you feel at home.


Ready for your move overseas? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

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10 reasons to work abroad

Working abroad is a big decision. It means being far away from friends and family, completely removing yourself from home comforts, and turning your day-to-day life upside down. But big changes mean big opportunities. As a working expat, little else will open so many doors, personally or professionally. Here are 10 great reasons to take a job overseas:

1. Improving your CV

Overseas work experience will help your CV stand out from the crowd. Companies will recognise the that you take initiative and are willing to step outside your comfort zone.

2. Learning another language

The best way to learn a foreign language is to live abroad, and doing so will open new doors in your personal and professional life.

3. Discovering another culture

Much like learning the language, the best way to understand another culture is to live in it. Each day will be a new opportunity to learn something about your host country.

4. New skills

Chances are your new employer has a different way of working than their UK equivalent. A new company culture means news skills to be learned, which in turn will open up more opportunities for your career.

5. A global perspective on your industry

Your host country will likely have a distinct of working in your chosen industry; learn from their approach. When you return to the UK, your newfound international wisdom will help you stand out in the local job market.

6. Motivation

Such a big change will give you a new lease on life, at work and at home. Channelling this enthusiasm into your work will lead to a happier, more rewarding experience.

7. Prioritisation

Changing your environment helps you re-evaluate what’s important. What belongings, places, experiences or people will you miss, and what will you be glad to leave behind? Will you use your earnings to take trips back home, or take the opportunity to travel?

8. Personal growth

Similarly, navigating your host country’s culture, both in and outside work,  will challenge your way of thinking. This new perspective on life will encouraging you to grow as a person.

9. New friends

Whether you connect with other expats or befriend the locals, working abroad provides ample opportunity to meet new people and establish lifelong friendships.

10. Travel opportunities

Working abroad means you can make like a tourist during your time off. You can stay local and explore the inner city landmarks, or journey to your host country’s far flung natural sites.


Found your dream job abroad? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

The most visa-friendly careers in New Zealand

One of the most popular destinations for UK expats, New Zealand offers a spectacular scenery, a high quality of living and a wealth of employment opportunities in key industries. We’ve listed New Zealand’s biggest job sectors to help you decide whether this beautiful island nation holds the key to your next career move.

Construction

Auckland’s population surge and the ongoing recovery and rebuilding of Christchurch and Canterbury after the 2010-2012 earthquakes have led to enormous growth for New Zealand’s construction industry.

Roles in demand:

  • Quantity surveyors
  • Designers
  • Foremen
  • Site managers

Engineering

New Zealand’s government has invested heavily in infrastructure, creating great employment opportunities for the engineering industry. This includes a long-term national plan covering transport, telecommunications, energy and water.

Engineers are sought in the following areas: civil, construction, electrical, electronics, environmental, geotechnical, industrial, instrument and electrical, materials, mechanical, mining, petroleum, production, structural and transport specialities.

Health and social services

Population growth and an ageing population has increased the need for trained healthcare professionals. Among the targets are 380 extra specialists every year through to 2021 and an additional 25,000 nurses by 2030.

Virtually every discipline in health and social services requires offshore talent in both the public and private sector.

IT, electronics and telecommunications

ICT is one of New Zealand’s largest industries with over 10,000 businesses in the sector. Increased digitisation, particularly in business, means the industry is now growing at over 9% a year.

This has led to employment growth across the sector, in particular for the following roles:

  • Software engineering
  • Software development
  • Project management
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Administration
  • Business analysis

Science

Home to several research institutions of international renown, New Zealand competes globally in agricultural biotechnology, genomics, biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics and nutraceuticals.

Scientists are needed to support New Zealand’s primary industries, such as agriculture and forestry, particularly in research and development. Growth in oil exploration has also created demand for geologists studying oil and gas.


With partner offices in 12 key cities, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expats to New Zealand every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expat dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.

Top tips for buying property abroad

 

Looking for a new home overseas? While navigating foreign real estate can be a daunting prospect, the best advice for buying a home can be applied to most international property markets. Read on to discover how to secure the best overseas property, whatever your destination.

Investigate building your home from scratch

Surprisingly, it can be more cost effective to purchase and build a home on empty land rather than buying an existing property. It’s normal to agree a price with a contractor upfront, sometimes as part of a land and property purchase deal. This way, even if the land price increases during construction, your costs stay the same.

Consider the location of the land

Another benefit of building your overseas property yourself is the potential for increasing its value. Look for land near water or in developing residential areas; you should get a good deal with either. Then, once built, your home will likely increase in value due to its great location.

Research neighbourhood property prices

If you do opt for buying an existing property abroad, investigate house prices in the surrounding area. If the local market has reached its high point, steer clear to avoid losing money on the property over time.

Know your property inside out

Estate agents won’t tell you about the dodgy plumbing or leaky roof. For any prospective overseas property, make sure the appropriate surveys are undertaken so you are aware of any building work required before or after purchase. Survey results will also help in price negotiations if any issues are identified.

Learn about the local area

Decide what you need out of your new neighbourhood and check your list against each prospective property or area of land. This could include:

  • Local amenities
  • Good international schools
  • Low crime rates
  • Access to public transport
  • No planned developments that could impact house prices

Discover property hotspots

Research  in property magazines or online to discover where house prices are predicted or starting to rise in your destination country. As developed cities expand outwards, many suburbs are undergoing rapid development. Invest now, and, market permitting, expect to sell at a profit when you repatriate.


Found your dream property abroad? Contact Pickfords for expert international packing and removals. Click here for a quote or find out more.

What are the biggest job sectors in Australia?

Boasting good wages and a high standard of living, Australia offers a wide range of employment opportunities for millions of expats. We’ve listed the country’s biggest job sectors to help you decide whether the UK’s most popular expat destination holds the key to your next career move.

Manufacturing

While not the mammoth industry it used to be, manufacturing is still Australia’s leading source of employment. The biggest Australian industries within manufacturing are:

  • Food, beverages and tobacco
  • Metal products
  • Machinery and equipment
  • Petroleum, coal and chemical products

The food and beverage manufacturing industry is the largest in Australia, with meat, beverage and malt manufacturing providing the most opportunities, followed by dairy, sugar and confectionery.

Mining

While mining is another industry in decline, Australia nonetheless remains the world’s leading exporter of coal, mined primarily in Queensland, News South Wales and Victoria. It is also one of the world’s largest producers of aluminium, copper, gold, iron, mineral sands and zinc. Australia’s mining industry employs over 187,000 people directly and nearly 600,000 in support industries.

Agriculture

Farmers and graziers own nearly 135,000 farms covering over 60% of Australia’s landmass. Farming contributes 93% of the domestic food supply, including meat, vegetables, fruit and grains. Including related sectors – manufacturing and processing, distribution and retail – agriculture provides employment for over 1.6 million people.

Finance

Australia’s four major banks – Commonwealth Bank, Westpac, National Australia Bank and ANZ – are among the world’s largest and most profitable. The financial services sector employs 450,000 people, primarily in Sydney and Melbourne.

Tourism

It should come as no surprise that the country’s seven million annual visitors, and enormous domestic tourism market, create hundreds of thousands of jobs in Australia. Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in particular provide a wide range of tourism-related job opportunities.


With partner offices in 39 Australian cities, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, Pickfords relocates thousands of expats to Australia every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expat dream, request a callback or contact us on 0800 019 8557.

Moving to Canada: what you need to know

Canada has long been a favourite destination for UK expats. As the second largest country in the world, Canada has no shortage of things to do and places to go, boasting everything from stunning, snow-tipped mountains to bustling, metropolitan cities.

If you’re preparing for a move to The Great White North, here’s what to expect from the emigration process and expat life once you settle in:

Applying to work or study

British citizens applying to study or work in Canada will require an Eletronic Travel Authorization (eTA) to fly there. To study, you will need a study permit. Working in Canada may require a work permit depending on the type of work you intend to undertake.

Shipping your belongings

Once you have arranged accommodation in Canada, you will need to ship your belongings over using an international removals company. When your belongings are being shipped over, it is important to remember that in Canada you must be present in Customs in order to clear them – if not, they will be “held in bond” by the Customs Office.

Cost and quality of living

Canadian property is generally more affordable than in the UK and many other countries. Overall cost of living can also be lower, depending on the city you settle in.

At the time of writing, Canada is 2nd in the Social Progress Index, demonstrating a very high quality of living compared to the rest of the world, especially in access to education and healthcare and personal rights.

Population

With much of its vast landmass uninhabited, Canada is among the world’s lowest in population density. While this varies across the country, even the most populated provinces are far more dense than much of the developed world.

Language

Approximately 85% of Canadians speak English, although only 58% recognise it as their mother tongue. Much of Canada is French speaking, especially in Quebec, where it is the official language.

Climate

Canadian weather varies across the country and throughout the seasons, though winters can be harsh in many parts of the country, with temperatures sometimes dropping below -40°C in the interior and Prairie provinces. Snow can cover the ground for almost six months a year in noncoastal regions, and can persist year-round in parts of the north. On the east and west coasts, average high temperatures are generally in the low 20s °C, while some interior regions can exceed 40 °C in summer months.

See also: How does Canadian culture differ from the UK?


With partner offices in Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver, Pickfords relocates hundreds of expatriates to Canada every year. To find out how we can help you fulfil your expat dream, visit our website or call 0800 019 8557.