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The Expat Overview gives advice about moving to and being an expat in that country- not just a Chamber of Commerce white bread description (available in any guide book), but with real info that newcomers need:

  • How do you deal with a trip to the grocery store and then learn how to cook the bizarre things for sale there- not only so your family won't starve, but so you can take advantage of these unusual vegetables and mystery meats?
  • What weird things are in the markets? Do the stallholders enjoy the sport of cheating the unaware, or can they be trusted to help newcomers figure out the right money from an extended palm-full? Do some stores take credit cards or cheques, or do you always have to have cash?
  • How complicated is it to set up your banking arrangements? How hard is it to get a phone, or to hook up to the internet? Can you do it at home, or do you have to find an internet cafe?
  • How hard is it to get people to work on your house? How long do you have to wait? Are they trustworthy? How is the plumbing in most houses...ancient?
  • What do you do about mobile phones? Pay as you go, or do you have to have a contract?
  • Even though people are friendly, are they open to doing play groups, so your children can get to know local children, or are they so family-oriented that they never make real friends outside of that closed circle?
  • How hard is it to get childcare? Domestic staff? Arrange carpools? Or do children take school shuttles, or public transportation to school?
  • Do most expats mix only with others of their nationality, or with other expats, and how do they meet? Through church, volunteer activities (like what?), school, the Embassy?
  • Do neighbours know each other, and how do you meet new local people, if at all?
  • Do people live in neighbourhoods mixed with locals, or do they live in gated compounds?
  • What about clubs….joining private ones or finding expat woman’s organizations?
  • How do you deal with healthcare, from basic doctors to emergencies (local hospitals or must you hop on a flight home).

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