Expat Life

What life in Canada can teach us?

Living abroad is an extremely magnificent experience. It can teach an expat a lot. Not only about a new place, new culture and its people. It gives a lot of knowledge a lot about oneself, too. In a way, it helps to increase a self-awareness, mostly because the majority of human beings have to leave their comfort zone and build everything from the beginning in a new place. In this article we will try to get to know what Canada can teach a newcomer.   Nature is important  Canada has an extremely wonderful nature. It has it all: mountains, volcanoes, prairies, oceans, rivers, lakes, Arctic tundra’s, glaciers, rain forests, deserts, islands, vineyards, valleys, ravines, cliffs, hills, pastoral land, etc. The wildlife is also extraordinary here. Well, it’s second largest country in the world, s...

Foreigners’ habits that Spaniards find weird to see in their culture

Spain is home to millions of foreigners, so a multicultural environment doesn’t surprise anyone. However, newcomers should understand that their native customs may surprise locals, since the Spanish culture is quite particular in many senses.  Here is an article about the most standard situations that provoke awkward experiences with Spanish people.   Know how to greet a Spanish person  When Spanish people meet, they greet each other with kisses on the cheek. No matter if you are foreigner and they see you for the very first time, they will give you those two kisses. So, it is better if you could control your instinct to give a handshake, anyway it will not help you to avoid the double kiss.  Know what to wear  In the south the weather is very pleasant all year round comparing it with nort...

The workation phenomenon

Work doesn’t look the same as it looked in the past, even if we are talking about previous 10 years. However, there still are many companies that are trying to stick to the old-fashioned way of working: strict working hours and a disapproval of remote work. On the contrary, forward-looking companies and usually startups, often run by millennials, appreciate a flexible working environment. The contemporary mindset of running a business allows their employees to travel and not to lose their vacation time. Workation meaning Very simply, workation stands for vacation time while still working. Modern employees support this choice because they believe it paybacks in productivity and creativity: a temporary escape of day to day stresses in the office. Moreover, it helps to please employees, becau...

How to parent like the Japanese

Japanese children are known for their good behavior. They are often described as having a mature attitude, being calmer and obedient. This is especially so when it comes into comparison with Western kids and parenting styles. So, what does the Japanese parenting style look like? Proximal parenting style prevails in Japan There are two main parenting strategies: proximal and distal. Proximal parenting has regular and extended body contact between the mother and child. Meanwhile, distal parenting focuses on eye contact, face expressions and verbal communication, mostly common in Western countries. It’s the proximal parenting style dominates in Japan. So,  close mother-and-child contact is the norm there. Moreover, Japanese mothers prioritize their child among anything else. One survey ...

How to Survive a Swedish Crayfish Party

It’s August, and in Sweden that means it’s crayfish party time. If you’re new to the country or just haven’t had enough practice with crayfish etiquette, an invite can bring on some anxiety. This handy guide will help you survive the ordeal. 1. Hope for a demonstration Crayfish are tasty little creatures but figuring out how to eat them can be challenging. One needs to get behind the pesky shell to get at the meat and good stuff. And, different people have different methods of getting into it. An easy way to begin is by twisting each of the claws clockwise at the base of the arms so they break off. Do this before sucking the juices out from them and removing the small pieces of meat inside. Next, it’s time for the body itself. This is where most methods tend to diff...

The decrease in Swiss citizenship applications

Switzerland brought in a new requirement for foreigners who want to apply for citizenship. From now on, foreigners must complete a formal test of one of four national languages in order to prove to be a suitable level. It is expected that this new rule will result in  quite a dramatic decrease of applications in the first six months after becoming effective. One more indicator is simply naturalization, which allows the foreign spouses and children of Swiss citizens to receive the citizenship much easier, which has dropped by a third in the last two last years. Moreover, the number of applicants was extremely low in French-speaking regions like Geneva and Vaud. New citizenship rules This year, the Swiss government approved new regulations that made the citizenship process even more complica...

The Danish unemployment rate is the lowest since 2009

The unemployment rate in Denmark is falling. The number of people who receive social welfare support diminished by 1,400 in June.  Statistics Officially, there are 107,300 people who aren’t working currently and who receive government support. According to the statistics department, the unemployment level is the lowest since 2009 taking into account both the percentage of people who aren’t working and the number of individuals in full-time positions. Even though there has been a steady decrease since 2009 there were some insignificant increases of unemployment in 2016 and 2017. Moreover, the number of people, who are suitable to work but aren’t employed yet, reach 152,000. Meanwhile, it was 148,000 in March last year. So, as we can see, not all numbers are looking better. The labour market...

Why Valencia?

If anyone ever asks you the question, “Why Valencia?” after you’ve explained you have just relocated there, the simple answer is, “Why not?” Safely tucked away out of the hurley burley between Madrid and Barcelona, Valencia is comfortable in its own skin. And what a skin that is. Valencia is an effortlessly livable city, a haven for foodies, culture-vultures and night owls. Valencia has never looked back since it courageously diverted its avowedly flood-prone river around to its outskirts and converted the now dry riverbed into an illustrious verdant park twining its way through the city. On it, Valencia unleashed innovative architectural designs such as the futuristic Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias. Just as critical to Valencia’s enduring attractiveness to residents, visitors and expa...

Current social media demographics

4.021 billion people use an internet on a daily basis. This number grows 7% annually. 42% of the world’s population, which is 3.196 billion people, are social media users. Since last year, this number grew 13%. As we can see, social media is inherent in our lifestyle in this century. For this reason, the top 5 social networks and their demographics are revealed in this article. Keep reading it, since there is a great chance that you are a part of these statistics. The list is made according to Spredfast data. Top 5 social networks The first five positions that contain the biggest number of active social networks’ users don’t change much from year-to-year. In fact, they will not surprise you at all. However, the most popular social media sites vary a lot by level of usage in different...

Why the four-day work week is good for business

A company in New Zealand decided to test if the four-day work week was beneficial to business. Everything stayed the same, including salary, except employees were working one day less. The experiment lasted for eight weeks and proved that the work-life balance had increased from 54 percent to 78 percent. Stress levels had declined, and most importantly, the job performance wasn’t affected. In fact, it became mildly better.  After two months of trial, the company will be scheduling the four-day week permanently.  Productivity lasts less than 3 hours a day The CEO of the company, Andrew Barnes, was reading about a research project which revealed that employees are only productive for 2.5 hours a day. This is what made him consider a four-day week as an option. Andrew claimed that it was an e...

Why do Swedes have the longest vacation time?

Vacation in Sweden is something phenomenal. Local residents have 41 paid days annually. The country takes the lead on a global scale. Nearly two months of the year in total For many employed workers around the world 41 paid vacation days may sound glorious, but it is only a humble minimum for Swedes. In fact, legally they can be out of office around 2 months of the year. It is calculated with possible absences regarding personal matters, grief leave, public holidays and even a day off when you’re moving house.   However, the country keeps breaking down the standards: after taking the first 20 holiday days, Swedes are allowed to save remaining time up to five years. In addition, employers are responsible to inform their employees about their vacation situation in order to use it before thos...

Why people seem so mean as they age?

The differences between each living generation are based on diverse experiences that accordingly shape different approaches and can create barriers of communication or even provoke the inability to listen to each other. But this doesn’t necessarily need to be the case.  The latest studies show that the generation gap might not be relevant when it comes to the question why older people seem to be so mean. The aging process shrinks certain parts of our brain and that affects people’s embarrassment level.  This causes people to become less worried about what they are saying. It might mean that older people express their opinion that would normally keep only for themselves. Moreover, it is possible that people have always been this way, and aging simply reveals ones’ true character...