By Anton Constantinou
Relocating to a new country needn’t start when you touch down at the airport. Thanks to a thriving online expat community, news of your chosen destination is only a click away. Discussion boards allow you to establish new friends, source jobs or buy and sell items. Everything from education to health insurance gets discussed on expat forums, which makes the difficult job of acclimatising a whole lot easier. Long-standing site members are on-hand to answer your most pressing questions, and you’ll also find details of programmes and events which could be worth attending.
Social media groups provide a similar support mechanism, with notifications coming straight to your Facebook or Twitter account as you browse your feed. For those after more of an anecdotal approach, expat blogs are rich with the sort of cultural observations you might not easily acquire from a book.
We can’t pack your suitcase for you, but we certainly help you land on your feet online. Below is a list of the most useful sites your perusal.
Women on the move or already living abroad will find everything they need here, from in-depth country guides, to recipes and exercise routines. Real life stories arrive in the form of interviews with expatriate ladies from around the globe.
Get your head around international cost of living indexes with this handy online calculator. For a seven day or annual subscription you’ll receive a breakdown of how much you need to earn in order to keep a roof over your head. An International Assignment Management Report, meanwhile, sets out a clear plan for you to make your transfer as viable as possible.
With the rise of dating apps allowing you to meet people nearby, there’s no reason why expat platforms shouldn’t follow a similar format. Link Expats does just that, using a handy search browser to filter through nationalities you’re interested in connecting with. You’re also able to create ads and take part in forum discussions.
A one-stop shop for expats the world over. With more than 175,000 members, made up of people who have either emigrated abroad, or are in the process of doing so, Expat Forum is fast becoming, in its own words, “the largest community of expatriates on the internet”. Individual countries have their own dedicated forum and newsfeed which are easily accessed via the navigation menu.
Students and recent graduates looking for work abroad will love this site. As well as hosting career opportunities, iAgora recommends universities and language schools, and also offers advice on how to write CVs and cover letters. Ratings and reviews are provided through a mixture of international graduates, Erasmus and exchange students.
Need a hand understanding how tax works abroad? This site helps US Expatriates get to grips with all the basics, and offers consultation-for-fee help on things like tax audit representation and power of attorney services. The site also includes a Global Tax Matters Blog, containing an assortment of news stories broken down into different categories.
Get your paperwork in order with international visa advice on relocating overseas. With over 25 years’ experience in assisting businesses and individuals, Workpermit.com knows a thing or two about applications. In the Immigration Knowledge repository you’ll find step-by- step breakdowns of how to seek permits and sponsorship. Immigration Boards simultaneously deliver live updates on pressing topics.