Expats Life

My Expats World | 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...

My Expats World | Danes lead the way to food waste reduction

Food waste is a great problem all over the world. And Denmark is the number one example in food waste reduction.  According to official data, Danes have reduced their food waste by 25% since 2012.   During these years many things have changed for the better: new food waste reductions initiatives and startups started appearing on a regular basis. Local influencers and awareness campaigns encourage the fight against food excess and have created food waste supermarkets, food waste cooking schools and many more great changes that positively affect society’s behavior and habits. In short, the world has a role model.   How did the Danes do it?  A strong leader  In fact, everything started because of Selina Juul. This woman emigrated from Russia during her teenager years and was astonished with t...

My Expats World | New French courses period in Autumn

Alliance Française Amsterdam New French courses period – September-December 2018 We offer you French language courses for every age, level and occupation. Our strengths: Dynamic and innovative teaching methods; Qualified native teachers; Oral-based courses; Latest online learning tools From only €12.50 / hour The worldwide AF label stands for quality, expertise and unique linguistic and (inter)cultural experience.   OPEN DAY  Our team welcomes you on Saturday, September 1st at Centrale OBA’s ground floor to present you the new 2018/2019 French courses and cultural offer. Programme: Discussions with our staff and teachers, Free placement tests, Children workshops, French books sale – everything for €1, 10% discount on all our courses and our membership offer. EXCLUSIV...

My Expats World | 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 ...

Eastern vs Western Medicine

The controversial discussion about two main medical fields, Eastern and Western, is trying to answer which method is superior. There are many opinions of what is better, but before making any further judgments, let’s have a deeper look at their differences. In short, the main difference comes from short-term versus long-term action planning. Western medicine is driven by science and is criticized for its “one size fits all” approach: in most cases patients with certain symptoms are treated alike. Meanwhile, Eastern medicine focuses on individual cases considering the bond between mind, body and spirit. Western medicine Western medicine aims its attention at physical systems and body functions. Doctors are used to emphasizing a specific part of the body, which gets damaged. Accordingly, Wes...

What do Spaniards Find Surprising About Living in the UK?

There are many British people living in Spain. And many of them have opinions – often contradictory – about daily life and work in the country. But we don’t stop to think of the reverse very often, if at all. So, what is it that Spaniards find surprising about living in the UK? Wearing long socks, carpeted rooms and potato crisps inside sandwiches are just some of the things Spaniards living in London have been perplexed about. Almost a quarter of a million Spaniards living in the UK There are 240,934 Spanish people currently living in the United Kingdom, according to the National Institute of Statistics (INE). To obtain their impressions on UK life, two groups of London living Spanish expats on Facebook were surveyed. These groups have over 90,000 members and they were asked what surprise...

Individualistic vs. Collectivistic Cultures

Cultures are dynamic manifestations of a society’s value choices. They reflect a society’s preferences and approaches to problem-solving together with its citizen’s source of inspiration and motivation. In the world of psychology, cultures are often classified into two camps. Firstly, there are those cultures that are innately collectivist. Secondly, there are those cultures that are that are inclined to be more individualist in their philosophy. The Individualist – Collectivist Divide Individualist cultures, usually represented by Western cultures such as Western Europe and the United States, stress individual fulfilment without regard for their potential impact on collective group goals. This produces a robust framework of competition within a society. Collectivist cultures, often repres...

Why do we tend to forget people’s names?

Everyone knows that embarassing feeling when you are standing in front of a person and can’t remember his or her name a few minutes later after the introduction. It seems this is a trait that all human beings have in common. Here are the main reasons why it is so easy to forget people’s names. The next-in-line effect If there is a group of people and everyone has to introduce ones’ self, it is hard to concentrate and listen properly. Usually the concentration is devoted to our future performance, when we will need to say our name. Thus, there is not enough of capacity to memorize new names when the brain power is focused on ones’ self. The interest is not there Having interest is key. Some sociologists claim that more socially aware people tend to learn other person name much f...

US birth rate at all-time low

America faces a record low fertility rate for the second year in a row. The research had blamed the latest recession. But even after the economic recovery, the numbers do not look any better. The reason why Americans have fewer babies mainly hides behind financial insecurity. Also, it may be bounded with woman rights and the gender equality movement. Many related concerns like the immigration situation, education, housing, the labor market, and the governmental fund, affect Americans’ decision to have larger families. Besides that, young adults prefer to have more spare time for themselves and personal freedom; some of them are still single or not sure if they want to commit to this “challenge”; others are stopped because of the child-care costs. Below you can see a bar chart with th...

Swearing is Healthy

It is a paradox. A swearing vocabulary meant to be used for expression of strong anger or frustration. Well, usually these words shouldn’t be communicated in any verbal or non-verbal ways. However, our society calls these words as bad, impolite and inappropriate language. Meanwhile, the science justifies it: swearing is healthy. Keep reading to know how a “forbidden language” can actually benefit us. Benefits of swearing The author of the book Swearing Is Good For You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language, Emma Byrne claims that swearing helps with stress management, pain, even team building. It also helps decreasing the level of aggression and physical violence. It’s important to point it out that swearing can easily provoke a laugh. Of course, it is related with expressing and camouflagin...

Why Relocating To Dublin Might Be A Smart Decision?

Dublin is a truly bewitching city of old-world cobbled streets, hedonistic pubs, medieval castles and soaring cathedrals contrasted to a vibrant cultural scene bursting with thriving art galleries and dynamic nightlife. With an economy beginning to rebound again, a magnificent architectural heritage and broad expanses of greenery coupled with some of the friendliest people on the face of the planet makes living in Dublin Ireland one of the most attractive places to call home. Relocating To Dublin Most expats in Dublin who live in Ireland will cheerfully expound on the manifest joys of living in this tumultuous city. From its Georgian architectural legacy to its determinedly cosmopolitan outlook, the last decade has seen Dublin unashamedly embrace diversity and multiculturalism. Here, as we...

Weird Italian Sayings, and What They Mean

Are you living in Italy and not sure what your Italian friends are going on about, even after a frantic search in your dictionary? You’re not alone.   There are some bizarre sayings in Italy that baffle even long-term expats. Here’s our guide to the best of the weird Italian sayings and what they mean. Avere le braccine corte | To have short arms There’s no need to take offence if an Italian acquaintance tells you your arms are short.  It may be a good idea to offer to buy them a drink though.  This is the saying Italians use when referring to stingy or cheap people (who seemingly are unable to reach their pockets to pay for anything). Hai voluto la bicicletta? E adesso pedala! | You wanted the bike? Now ride it! In English we use a similar expression, “you’ve made your b...