Do you want to get the most out of your holiday rentals? Spanish Escapes is a place where you can advertise your vacation home on 20+ of the most heavily searched holiday sites and will strive to exceed yours and your guests’ expectations. The company has experienced a 20% growth in bookings and are rapidly becoming the go-to site for rental optimisation in Spain.
Where do you advertise?
We list and advertise properties via our synchronised multi-channel platform on the 20+ most popular sites offering holiday accommodation in Spain. We work closely with new property owners to offer holiday rental owners the reality of advertising through our multi-channel booking programme. We believe that the more visibility a property receives, equals more bookings and happier owners.
What other services do you offer?
Price reviews and other services are available from our property management partners which include; cleaning and laundry services, key holding, meet and greet and much more. Our new partner offering REAL Scandi Design will be happy to hear from you too!
If you want to be part of the booking revolution get in touch today.
Contact Spanish Escapes:
Phone: +34 627 750 021
Dr Leila Catherine Onbargi is an American, U.S. board certified gynecologist and obstetrician who has been attending women at Centro Medico Teknon, a top private clinic in Spain for close to 25 years. She serves the English and French speaking expat communities in Barcelona, as well as the local Spanish and Catalan community.
What do you specialize in?
I have developed a highly respected and well known practice amongst the expat community that has now evolved to focus mostly on gynecological care, gynecological cancer screening and treatment, infertility, the special needs of peri- and post-menopausal patients, pelvic floor and incontinence treatments, and the increasing demand for vaginal rejuvenation procedures.
Who do you help?
We provide comprehensive women´s health care that begins in adolescence, right through to women in their reproductive years and then well into the menopause. Our goal is to offer expert and personalized multilingual healthcare for women at all stages in their lives.
Please refer to the website for further information about services.
Contact Dr. Onbargi at Centro Medico Teknon:
Phone: +34 93 393 31 61
Having worked with expats as a financial adviser for the past twelve years, Russell Hammond is an expert in his field. So much so that he was recently featured as a Top Rated adviser in the Daily Telegraph, with the UK financial advice review platform ‘VouchedFor’. Joining AES International 7 years ago, was a stepping stone to working at one of the best global adviser firms in Europe and the Middle East, advising clients worldwide. We spoke to Russell about the company and what makes them the best.
What makes AES International different?
Historically, the International Financial Services market has been characterised by the sale of expensive, high adviser commission investment vehicles with little in the way of service provided post initial sale. Within AES, we offer something radically different to this. Crucially, we are fee based and NOT commission based. We do not take commission from the investment providers or any of the underlying funds, therefore we use the lowest cost charging structures available. Our charges normally calculate at around 50%-75% less than our international competitors with no lock in periods and no exit penalties, thus complete flexibility to move in and out of arrangements without impediment. We’re the only Chartered Financial Planning firm that works with international expats.
What support and advice do you offer?
There are a lot of very dissatisfied expatriate investors out there. Why is this? One word – commission. It incentivises the adviser to get the initial sale, but then pays the adviser nothing to service and look after the client over the months and years to come. That is why we will often come across individuals who had a great relationship with their adviser initially, and then hearing nothing from year two onwards. As we do not take any commission, we only get paid for as long as our clients continue to be happy with what it is that we’re doing for them. Also, because our fee (1% -1.25% per annum) is based on the value of our clients underlying investments, the more money that they make, the more we get as fee income. It is what you would call, a perfect partnership. It puts the client first, but then ultimately provides a much better business outcome for us.
We will happily take on clients from other advisers who feel like they’ve been ‘cast adrift’ and can almost always recommend improvements to reduce their costs and improve the prognosis for their investment return. We do not charge any fees for initial meetings, and through the use of Go-To-Meeting, we can work with clients worldwide.
Contact us today for a private meeting.
Contact Russell at AES International:
Phone: +44 (0) 754 5060690
Being an expat in a new city is not always easy and it involves a lot of time and effort. This is where Being Barcelona can help! Their mission is to avoid the hassle for people that are coming to Barcelona. They will literally be your right hand and your local contact, and trust that they know the city extremely well and can help with any initial problems that could occur.
We will make your adaption process smooth and guide you until you are fully installed. Choosing the right neighbourhood, finding the right apartment, contracting the best services for you, helping you through the “drive me crazy” bureaucracy. With our help, everything will go faster and we will save you a lot of time.
A concierge service offers today’s most priceless commodity – your time!! Nowadays we all feel more pressure for time than ever before: Long hours at work, time with our families, and having a social life. There is less time for all the tasks we must do, often causing stress and anxiety. With our great experience and knowledge of Barcelona and all it offers, we will help you find the best package for your group or company.
Let us be the one to help you do the things you don’t have time to do yourself!
Contact Being Barcelona:
Phone: +34 635 805 797
If you are looking for the best value car or motorcycle insurance, private health or dental plans or even household insurance, EU Insurance Direct will make things simple and smooth for you. You will be surprised at how reasonable the company’s premiums are and will receive the very best service and advice from Wendy Codd and her friendly English team in Marbella.
What insurance plans do you provide?
We offer several Health Insurance options to suit your needs and provide Private Health Plans to suit any budget, which can be limited to Spain or to the whole of Europe or Worldwide. AXA and DKV Health Insurance provides you the very best services for your health, offering 24-hour medical care. We also provide Dental Insurance. With Car Insurance we have a choice of fully comprehensive with or without excess, 3rd Party Fire and Theft, Total loss or Third Party only. Other insurance policies we assist in are Life Insurance, Home, Business, Pets, Golf, Motorcycle, Boats and Travel Insurance.
What people have said about us:
“I have used EU for 10 years both business and private. They give a fantastic service. Any claims passed straight through to the insurer and always a fast efficient and well-priced service.”
“Excellent service as always from Wendy who lives to get a better quote for you. Very few companies on the coast have service like this.”
Contact us today for a quote.
Contact EU Insurance Direct:
Phone: +34 952 830 843 | +34 635 592 610 | +34 951 080 118
Founded by Suzanne Dickinson, Dionysus Lifestyle was born from her love of a good time and meeting great people. She worked for two decades in the nightlife industry running some of London’s top Members Nightclubs and now has a member’s concierge company with a difference – aimed at professionals aged between 35 and 55 – the most comprehensive concierge service in London.
Why become a member?
Moving to a new country or city can be daunting. How can you be sure that you meet the fun, good-time crowd that would make your time in London the best it can be? Well you can go in and out of all of the bars in your area hoping that it’s where the right people are and hope to eventually meet them. Alternatively, you can join Dionysus Lifestyle, know immediately where the best places are and have a tailor-made new group of London contacts too.
What are the benefits of being a member?
There are 3 key areas of membership:
1) No matter which area of London you find yourself in, Dionysus Lifestyle recommends the best bars and restaurant in that area, from high end champagne bars to pubs with great gardens, all of which are suitable for your age group. It’s no fun being the oldest person in the bar……. There are even exclusive members offers at some of the partner venues.
2) With a monthly members party, you can spend a night with new friends in an informal and fun atmosphere. Meet new people and grow your circle of friends – older people that still like to be sociable and party, but don’t want to be surrounded by a really young crowd when they go out.
3) Members receive a monthly newsletter outlining some of the best London events and pop-ups so you’ll never miss another fantastic event again. There is so much going on in London that it can be confusing as to which are the right ones for you.
At Dionysus we think that living in a hectic city like London and a digital age, it can be all too easy to become stuck in a social rut, which is why we are on hand to help you with your social needs. Request membership today and expand your social life.
To apply for your exclusive membership price of £100 off the fee, use reference MEW295
Contact Dionysus Lifestyle:
Phone: +44 (0)203 5909848
By Jonathan Glancey
They are buildings in which to teach and learn – but they can be magnificent too. Jonathan Glancey discusses some of the most stunning seats of learning.
Nancie Atwell, American winner of the inaugural Global Teacher Prize, was in London in early November where she put across her simple, resonant message: children are increasingly in danger of “being tested rather than taught”.
A classroom, says Atwell, who was chosen for the Global Teacher Award from over 5,000 nominations from 127 countries, should be a place of “wisdom and happiness” rather than stress and fear of failure.
Atwell’s words would have been music to enlightened educators down the centuries, especially those who added ‘beauty’ to Atwell’s “wisdom and happiness”.
A classroom should be a place of wisdom, happiness – and beauty
Stowe in Buckinghamshire is, without doubt, one of the world’s most beautiful schools. It was founded in 1923 in the Arcadian landscape of one of England’s most romantic country estates threatened with demolition at the time. Saved, after a spirited fight led by the architect Clough William-Ellis, it was turned into a school. John Fergusson Roxburgh, Stowe’s founding headmaster, said it would be a school where every pupil would “know beauty when he sees it all his life.”
His pupils were enveloped in beauty every day, from landscaped gardens by Capability Brown studded with enchanting follies to classical buildings by a pantheon of great 18th Century English architects, among them John Vanbrugh, William Kent, Robert Adam and John Soane. Since 1989, the gardens have been in the care of the National Trust while thoughtful new buildings – like the girls’ dormitories by Rick Mather Architects – have added quietly to Stowe’s lustre.
Lagoon of learning
Not every school can be Stowe, an English public school and a place of privilege, and yet beauty can be found in the least privileged settings, too. Which school could be more special than the floating school in Makoko, a waterborne shanty town off the coast of Lagos. Here, NLE architects, a Dutch firm led by Nigerian-born Kunlé Adeyemi, have shaped a simple, yet hauntingly beautiful timber school floating among lagoon houses.
Beauty can be found in the least privileged settings
Makoko is a poor place, although like Stowe 90 years ago it has been threatened with destruction by politicians and officials who see it as an illegal settlement. Now, with a school that has won admirers worldwide, Makoko is a source of pride for an increasing number of Nigerians. Working closely with local people, NLE have brought not just education to Makoko’s children, but self-esteem and a new beauty to this shanty town, too.
Beauty was both essential as well as natural to the founders of early seats of learning, especially those where spiritual and academic learning were seen as one as the same thing. The beauty as well as the practicality of the medieval colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, for example, have not just been celebrated and proven over many centuries, they have also inspired the design of university campuses worldwide.
Oxford and Cambridge have inspired the design of university campuses worldwide
Certain undergraduates choose a college like Magdalen, Oxford as much for its beauty – its medieval cloister and tower designed by William Orchard and its later Palladian and Victorian additions set by the River Isis back onto a timeless deer park – as for its scholastic virtues. It is perhaps not a coincidence that Magdalen’s library houses a fine collection of books on architecture, including its first, a 1649 Dutch edition of Vitruvius’s De Architectura, a treatise dating from the 1st Century BC. Vitruvius reminds architects of their duty to build with firmness, commodity and delight.
The most delightful places of learning have always been lined with books. To wander into the Long Room of the Old Library of Trinity College, Dublin is to experience a literary and architectural epiphany. The 213-ft (65m) long room is timber-lined throughout, rising – since 1860 – to a great barrel vault crowning alcoves of leather-bound books set between busts of prominent philosophers and literary giants.
The most delightful places of learning have always been lined with books
When completed in 1732 to designs by Colonel Thomas Burgh, a military engineer, architect and MP, the library was both one of the largest and most determinedly civilised new buildings in this city of vivid literary, lyrical architectural and intense academic endeavour.
Cloisters and courtyards
Whether Gothic or Classical, or in styles of North Africa, the Middle East and the Silk Route, colleges adopted the architecture of cloisters and courtyards. These offered, as they still do, a sense of calm, quiet and introspection, necessary to writing, research and book learning.
One of the most exquisite campuses in the United States is that of Scripps College, a liberal women’s college founded in 1926 by 89-year-old Ellen Browning Scripps in Claremont, a small town of ‘trees and PhDs’, 35 miles (56 km) east of Los Angeles. Its Spanish Colonial or ‘Mission’ style architecture is serene and perfectly suited to both the Californian climate and to the college’s setting below the San Gabriel Mountains. Here, spaces like the cloistered Eucalyptus Court of Balch Hall designed by the LA architects Sumner Hunt and Silas R Burns engender a sense of Nancie Atwell’s “wisdom and happiness”. They are also beautiful.
Beauty can be conjured at low cost and in any setting, urban or rural
While Magdalen, Trinity and Scripps colleges are special places founded by and endowed with financial largesse, and although they are complemented by schools and universities built in more recent years as diverse as Lev Rudnev’s soaring Moscow State University (1953) or the gentle, yet gravity defying loops of Lausanne’s Rolex Learning Centre (2010) by the Japanese architects Sanaa, beauty can be conjured at low cost and in any setting, urban or rural.
Immediately after World War Two, England’s Hertfordshire County Council began a programme of rapid school building. Lightweight steel structures designed and refined by local authority architects – notably Stirrat Johnson-Marshall and David and Mary Medd – offered bright, airy, spacious classrooms and other spaces realised on a scale that ensured the wellbeing of pupils and teachers alike. Some featured sculptures by Henry Moore. This was enlightened, altruistic design at a time when Britain was all but bankrupt.
Today, some architects are trying to imbue something of this altruistic spirit in a new generation of British city schools. The brand new, low-cost Hackney New School in East London by Henley Halebrown Rorrison squeezes into an inner-city site cheek-by-jowl with former industrial buildings. It cannot offer the spaciousness of a post-war Hertfordshire school or the classical beauty of Stowe, yet it makes maximum use of space inside – doing away with relentless corridors – and is a calm riposte to the many schools and academies of recent decades that have been too like factories or office blocks for comfort.
Equally enlightened, if very different indeed, is the beautiful Druk White Lotus School at Shey, high in the mountainous regions of Ladakh, India. Designed by Arup Associates and Ove Arup and Partners, this has been under construction for the past 15 years, growing to accommodate children from mountainous villages as money, climate and fierce weather allow. Aimed at bringing the latest education to Himalayan children while nurturing their Tibetan Buddhist culture, the school is proving to be a seat of wisdom, happiness and beauty. It is not cost, but imagination that counts the most in the design of schools and colleges, this and the idea that they are, above all, places to learn and to grow.
Welcome to the 4th issue this year of the MyExpatsWorld Magazine. We are truly excited to see our reach of this unique online magazine, for people who moved abroad, grow to over 4 million people around the world.
The global Expat community is a truly dynamic and active group of people, with the common factor that we have left our home countries. Another common factor is that we like to stay in touch with what’s going on in the local place we moved to, as well as what’s going on in our native country and the world.
Those three things are all served to you for free within this magazine and also in our weekly newsletter, news blog, TV channel and radio station. No other organization can match our media channels and our support to expats online free of charge.
In September we are launching our new updated webpage that will make it even easier and exciting to use all of our free services. In this update we also include our new ExpatsAdvisor where expat related companies can upload their ad exactly like in the slightly more well known TripAdvisor. All our followers will then be able to find services world wide, venues with an expat connection, comment and rate. This will be an important part in us helping to match good companies with expats around the globe.
In September we will also restart our monthly events in our 54 connected cities. Keep an eye out for the invitation on Facebook and email and join our events to meet great expats in great venues every month.
We are growing with approximately 700 new expats connecting to us every 24 hours and we expect to have a reach of over 5 million expats before Christmas. Enjoy this issue of the magazine and see you soon at one of our events!
Peter Redrin – Founder & CEO
Clients & Clubs International SL
So you like Spain, the sunshine, tapas and you may have even started to take siesta every day. You’ve learned some of the language and have already decided you want to go on enjoying the never-ending opportunities the Costa del Sol offers. As you may already know, since 2015 it is a requirement to take an official Spanish exam (DELE) and a Cultural and Social test (CCSE) to obtain Spanish nationality through residency.
You shouldn’t be scared about this last test, with some preparation you will be ready to face it with confidence and knowing a lot more about this country. We are talking about a 25 question test, in which 60% should be the pass rate.
One of the most important subjects is the one referring to the Spanish Constitution of 1978. This document is the maximum law in Spain and establishes the fundamental principles on which Spanish society is based upon. Each year, a festivity honouring this document is celebrated on the 6th of December, commemorating the day that the Spanish citizens approved the text by popular referendum.
Don’t be afraid to take this exam. With due preparation, a bit of curiosity and studying, you’ll pass it and will end up learning a lot about our beautiful country.
Phone: +34 951 775 762 / +34 673 768 610
By Chris Weller
Since 2008, Cornell University, INSEAD business school, and the World Intellectual Property Organization have released the annual Global Innovation Index. It’s essentially a ranking of the most innovative countries in the world. This year’s winners are no strangers to the top of the list, dominating in seven general categories: research, infrastructure, institutions, market and business sophistication, and a commitment to knowledge and creativity. The most innovative countries teach creatively, enforce progressive laws, do business intelligently, and live on the cutting edge.
16. Hong Kong — The region has dipped nine spots since 2013 and is falling every year, due mostly to waning patent filings and education scores. However, the report finds Hong Kong still plays a major a role in the global economy, particularly because of its infrastructure and how robust its market has become due to investment and trade opportunities.
15. France — Up three places from 2016, France’s greatest strengths lie in the market sophistication category, specifically with venture capital deals, the report finds. It also places near the top in research and development.
Christophe Ena/AP Images
13. Iceland — As the country bounces back from financial woes, it’s making storage of the world’s internet data its primary goal. Iceland has been ranked 13th three years in a row.
12. Luxembourg — The tiny country’s latest ranking comes from high scores in creative outputs, such as feature films and printed books.
11. Republic of Korea — According to the Index, South Korea’s greatest asset is its education sector. The country has also seen tremendous growth in research and development.
10. Ireland — Down three places in the ranking since 2016, Ireland is still recognized for its infrastructure and creative outputs, like its thriving design culture.
9. Germany — The country ranks at the top of the list’s measurement of patent creation, and has strong technology output, especially in automobile technology.
8. Finland — Though it hovered in the top five for the last several years, Finland has fallen slightly this year due to declining rankings in technology and research. It still ranks first overall in education, though.
7. Singapore — One of the most consistently highly ranked countries, Singapore stands out for its political environment and ecological sustainability.
6. Denmark — Denmark leads for its efficient system of government, large quantity of researchers, and quality of education. It’s moved up two spots since 2016.
5. United Kingdom — The UK’s success in infrastructure, such as the London Crossrail, buoy it near the top. But the country has lower scores in education and productivity.
4. United States — The US held steady in its fourth-place ranking since 2016, most notably due to the strength of its global-facing markets, the value of its stock trades, and its widespread implementation of internet technology.
3. Netherlands — With a high volume of patents filed, the Netherlands leads the survey’s business sophistication rankings. The country also falls near the top in the categories of knowledge and technology outputs, which include things like inventions and trademarks.
Cris Toala Olivares/Reuters
2. Sweden — Well-designed universities and high-achieving graduates have kept Sweden in the top three for the last six years.
1. Switzerland — The country has been number one since 2011 because of its knowledge-based economy and ability to turn innovative thinking into lucrative projects. For example, local bank UBS is now using virtual reality to project investment portfolios to its clients.
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