A City Guide To Vancouver

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For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Vancouver is a coastal sea port on Canada’s south west coast on the mainland of British Columbia. It has over 600,000 residents and is the largest city in British Columbia.

Weather:

Vancouver has one of the warmest climates in the country. You’ll find relatively mild winters – with temperatures staying above freezing and a distinct lack of snow, and in the summer the heady highs will be around the mid 20s. That said, you haven’t found a weather nirvana. It rains, and rains a lot, in Vancouver It will rain for 17 days a month through the winter, so you’ll need a raincoat! Due to its location it may also be quote foggy and windy. Given the fact that much of Canada is under inches of snow, you’ll get off lightly in Vancouver.

Housing:

The most recent reports show that house prices in Vancouver are going down. The average home price is $1.1 million (£656,767), which is a 24.5% on the three months prior to the survey. This might still be quite steep in terms of costings for many Brits so it’s worth thinking about this before you move. Due to its location, locked in by mountains and sea, much of the accommodation is high rise apartments. There are great suburbs of Burnaby, Langley and Surrey. Renting is always an option. Check out both options on online.

Schools:

There is a good array of co-ed free schools in Vancouver. To find out more about the school system, see here. All districts have catchment areas for certain schools so it’s worth considering this if you definitely want your child to go to a particular one. Your child cannot attend school unless you have a Confirmation of Landing or Permanent Residency. The school year runs from September – June and if you’re moving within these months, it’s worth remembering you may not get a place in your favourite school.

Parks:

Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest park, covering 400-hectares of the natural West Coast rainforest as well as wonderful views, mountains and historical landmarks. There’s an aquarium, swimming pool, the Stanley Park train, tour buses and plenty of walking and cycling tracks. Not to be missed are the First Nations art at the Brockton Point Visitor Centre and the nine Totem poles. A true oasis in the heart of the city.

Museums:

There are a large number of public art trails around Vancouver and more information can be found here. The Museum of Vancouver and Vancouver Art Gallery has a wide range of exhibitions and family event. Also, look out for Science World British Columbia, UBC Museum of Anthropology and the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

Restaurants and Bars:

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy really good, fresh and sustainable food in Vancouver. Everything from five-star cuisine to food trucks offer great options to diners. Wild salmon, spot prawns and mussels are just some of the delicious ingredients available. Be prepared for international cuisine with chefs taking their influences from places such as Japan, Germany and India. If you want to find out more about where to eat and what to eat and when, see here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image: Coal Harbor, Vancouver by tdlucas5000 published under creative commons: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

 

How To Celebrate Your First Christmas Abroad

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Heath Cajandig, Only Chance of a White Christmas

Heath Cajandig, Only Chance of a White Christmas

At a time when most of us are used to being surrounded by family and friends, celebrating Christmas many miles away from the familiar traditions, can be one of the hardest times of the year.

If you usually celebrate December with turkey and all the trimmings, finding yourself in a country that has its festivities on Christmas Eve (Sweden and Denmark) or in 100’ degree heat (Australia) might all be a little strange. You may even be somewhere where December 25th is not recognised as a national holiday.

The key to surviving the holiday season is embracing the new whilst keeping one eye on the past. Here we’ve put together a survival guide for those facing their first Christmas in a new country. Our eight point plan should keep you busy.

* Keep up with the folks back home: Time differences aside, there’s no reason why you can’t wish your nearest and dearest a Happy Christmas. Book in a FaceTime or Skype slot and make sure you’ve got those Christmas jumpers on.

* Decide which traditions are important to you. The weather may be different but there will be no harm in keeping to those themes that you’ve followed every year. The kids will appreciate a familiar set-up, as will you.

* Say ‘yes’ to a festive invite. You may not have your family around so if someone invites you over for drinks or even lunch, agree. This will give you a chance to meet new friends * and also see how those who live in the country celebrate.

* Cook the meal that’s important to you. If there really is no option but having turkey followed by Christmas pudding, just go with it. Sitting down as a family and eating familiar food will make you feel closer to home than ever.

* Invite your family over to stay with you. What better time to have guests over than Christmas. If you’ve moved to colder climates, the chance to see snow, or maybe go skiing may be a great draw. Everyone dreams of a white Christmas after all.

* Encourage friends and family to send pictures and letters from home, detailing their year. You may have seen this all on Facebook before but new pictures and gossip from back home can certainly put a smile on your face.

* Over the festive period, keep busy. Plan to go to the cinema, out for dinner, to the beach or invite the neighbours around. There will be nothing worse than a quiet time, when you’re missing those you left behind.

* Embrace the new. You’ve made a big move so enjoy it. There’s something exciting about the unknown so go with the flow. You may enjoy it more than you thought.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

What Can I Expect From The Swedish Childcare System?

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

Shauna Hawkins, Family Fun

Shauna Hawkins, Family Fun

Managing childcare around parental work responsibilities is for a many an expensive juggle of office hours, nursery costs and limited availability. But in Sweden there seems the almost enviable situation of having great employment opportunities for working mothers, supported by flexible working hours and leave for both parents.

No wonder it often ranks highly as one of the best countries to bring up children. A survey in 2015 rated it third in the world for availability of childcare and education, cost of childcare and education, quality of education and family well-being. It was only beaten by Austria and Finland.

Sweden’s childcare principles are based around the idea that family life is very important. In order to support that family life, the state provide excellent facilities for children, so both parents can earn a salary. Women are actively encouraged to return to work and for the most part, many of them do.

In 2014, 73.1% of women were employed in Sweden, which was close to that of men, which is 76.5%. In fact, measured in 2014 again the employment rate of mothers with children under the age of 6, stood at 79.2% is the third highest in the EU.

The childcare benefits kick in as soon as the baby is born. Swedish parents are offered long, paid parental leave when a child is born or adopted. In fact, parents are given 480 paid leave of which 390 days allow for 80% of salary being given. The remaining days are paid at a flat rate. Parents are also allowed to ask for flexible working rights and can legally work shorter hours. Men and women can share the parental leave in whatever way they feel most suitable.

In the UK the rights are very different. Women are entitled to a maximum of 52 weeks (365 days) statuary maternity leave. Rates are dependent upon separate employment contracts. See here for more information.

After a year, parents can send their children to preschool, where all children are offered and guaranteed a place. The preschools are open from 6.30am-6.30pm and can also function around shifts, nights and weekend roles. When children reach the ages of 3-6 years, childcare provision is free for up to 15 hours a week. Before this time, costs are based upon a parent’s income and can be up to 3% of their salary. The Swedish government also provides a monthly child allowance which many parents offset against childcare fees. To see how much your Swedish income affords you in terms of benefits check here.

Schooling continues to be free for children from the ages of 6-19, with free school lunches added to the mix. University is also free to Swedish residents and those from the EU.

Of course, there is a price to be paid for all of this free or heavily subsidzed childcare. The Swedes can pay up to 30% of income tax on their salaries. Those that earn over 591,600 Krona (around £52,000) pay the top rate. In contrast with many countries, Swedes almost welcome – or tolerate – high taxes as they see them helping the society in which they live. If you want to find out more about living in Sweden, and whether you drink as much coffee as the average population, see here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Doing Business in UAE

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

Kamel Lebtahi, Dubai by night, Dubai as seen from the tallest building in the world

Kamel Lebtahi, Dubai by night, Dubai as seen from the tallest building in the world

A recent government report showed that there are over 5,000 British companies operating in the UAE. BP, Shell and Rolls Royce are all successful clients of the area. The good news for those wishing to do business in the UAE is that it is a country that welcomes new trade, and is also familiar with expatriates. In fact, the majority of the UAE population is made up of expatriates, with around 120,000 from the UK.

The UK government has also listed the benefits of doing business in the UAE:

- diverse economy continually growing and expanding

- proximity to other Gulf markets – acts as an entry route to other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries

- important market for re-export into other countries

- no taxation on personal income and capital gains

- English is widely spoken and accepted as the language of business

The World Bank  has also listed the UAE as 26th overall for ease of doing business in 2017 (up from 34th in 2016). The criteria included in this poll includes everything from dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, paying taxes and trading across borders.

However, even in a region much used to expats there are of course cultural differences that it’s important to observe. Here are more details provided by the UAE embassy.

Working hours: The official UAE weekend is Friday and Saturday. Hours of business vary and during Ramadan, working hours are changeable.

Language: English is widely spoken but it is considered good practice to produce any printed material in both Arabic and English.

Cultural Norms: Politeness is highly prized in the UAE. Arrive on time for meetings but be aware that you maybe kept waiting. This is not a sign of rudeness. Greet the most senior person in the room first and always accept a drink when offered to you. Once you have agreed on business, this verbal agreement is seen as a bond and you will not be expected to go back on your word. Be aware that you shouldn’t schedule meetings during Muslim holidays or prayer times.

Dress Code: Be conservative. Men should wear suits and women outfits that cover arms and legs.

Finally, there are always lessons to be learnt from working with clients across the world. See here to find out which ones to avoid in the UAE.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

 

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

The PSS Guide To The Customs System

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

 

HolidayExtras customers in an airport lounge. Credit: Professional Images

HolidayExtras customers in an airport lounge. Credit: Professional Images

Anyone who travels abroad knows that going through ‘customs’ is just one of the many rules and regulations you have to adhere to. Duties or taxes might also be added onto exported products once they’ve been checked over by a custom’s officer.

When moving your entire belongings to another country, clearing customs can be a lengthy process. Knowing what you can, and can’t transport, into a particular country is something that the experts know very well. A trusted removals company such as PSS International Removals make transportation as pain-free as possible.

Initially, when considering your move it is worth doing some research into the country you are moving to, working out what you can take (or may have to leave behind).

In Australia, for example, there are restrictions on plants, meat and furs as well as tight controls on substances such as painkillers and even cosmetics. A full list of custom requirements can be found here: http://www.customs.gov.au/

New Zealand also offers a similar website where you’ll find a summary of the documentation you need to transport your goods. A handy guide can also be found here. You’ll be surprised to see that novelty erasers can be banned in New Zealand!

Canada also has tight custom rules around the importation of certain products into the country. Children’s play pens, baby car seats and hockey helmets and face protectors are restricted in their importation into Canada, so it’s worth checking out the regulatory requirements before you attempt to move them to your new home. It may be necessary to buy them once you arrive.

When moving to America there are a number of foods and raw meats that cannot be bought into the country, along with wine and spirit limitations. Take a look at the list here.

The good news is that if you employ a reliable international removals company such as PSS they will be able to advise you every step of the way and make sure important documentation such as an inventory of your belongings, essential for clearing customs, is all there. The length of time it takes your belongings to be released from customs will depend on which country you have arrived in and what you have. PSS International Removals will be able to advise on the estimated timings.

For a full list of countries and custom requirements, see here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

The PSS Guide To Expat Blogs

 For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile.

Business Baby Pointing www.visioncreation.co.uk

Business Baby Pointing www.visioncreation.co.uk

So you’re considering a move abroad? It’s certainly a big step and one that requires some careful research, thought and planning to help you decide whether the move is really for you. Leaving friends, family, school and work can be a daunting prospect, but there are many resources out there to make your journey to expat life a little easier.

A total of five million Brits live abroad, with an estimated 1.2 million UK-born residents living in EU countries including Spain, Ireland, Germany, the Channel Islands and France. Outside the EU, Australia, Canada, the USA and New Zealand are the most popular places to reside. The British expat community continues to rise around the world: in September 2015, over than 40,000 British nationals left the UK to live abroad, more than the number of expats who came back to the country.

One of the major factors influencing a move abroad is the search for a better quality of life. Around 45% of Brits cite weather and climate when considering a relocation and 80% of expats are generally happy with their life abroad. According to figures released by The Telegraph in 2015, the top 10 destinations for Britons are (in ascending order):

Channel Islands: 73,030

Germany: 96,938

France: 172,806

Ireland: 253,605

South Africa: 305,660

New Zealand: 313,850

Spain: 381,025

Canada: 674,371

USA: 758,919

Australia: 1,277,474

Every potential expat has similar questions that need answering: what are house rentals and values like in the country you’re thinking of moving to, where are the best schools, what’s the social scene like, is the local language easy to learn, will you enjoy a better quality of life in your chosen country, where are the best places to meet like-minded expats, how many expats live in the region? It’s only once you know the answers to some of these questions that you can start to make an informed choice about your future.

To help make the decision a little easier, we’ve researched the best expat blogs out there so you don’t have to. There’s a whole host of information at your fingertips that will help you feel reassured, informed and perhaps, most importantly, confident that you’re making the right decision. Start your expat journey today by taking a look at these:

Telegraph Expats – this comprehensive blog gives you the lowdown on everything from health and property to education and sound financial advice. The ‘Ask the Expert’ section is up to date and informative, offering useful tips and practical advice for those considering a move abroad.

WSJ Expats – from Singapore to Spain, Berlin to Brazil, Finland to France, this international blog is a great resource for finding out more about the ups and downs of expat living. Whether you’re interested in start-ups abroad, want to learn more about recycling rules in Germany, discover the world’s most expensive cities to live in or simply need a checklist for moving abroad, this one’s for you.

Expat Arrivals – With a comprehensive list of country guides in Asia, Australasia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, America and more, Expat Arrivals uses a wide range of local, on-the-ground expats based all over the world to give readers topical and accurate first-hand advice about life in a different country. This easy-to-navigate blog has an international angle and is well worth a look.

Transitions Abroad – whether you’re moving abroad to work, teach, study or volunteer, Transitions Abroad provides readers with county-specific advice on a range of subjects. There is also a jobs board that lists current vacancies worldwide. Perfect if you have a severe case of wanderlust and want to spread your wings and discover what else the world has to offer, away from the familiar four walls of your resident country.

Inter Nations – this blog aims to ‘Connect Global Minds’ in 390 cities and 166 countries worldwide. It also lists events and meet-ups in different countries, giving you the opportunity to get to know people in a similar situation. Plus, there are area guides, tips and information, all aimed at making your transition to a new life stress-free.

Expat Info Desk – Created by a team of expats who have all relocated themselves, this informative blog is a great resource for people considering a move abroad. The international relocation guides contain unbiased, factual information and the ‘Expat’s Manual’ section lists a whole host of questions that every expat will have asked at some point on their journey. With a network of on-the-ground expats in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Americas and Middle East, this is a good starting point for would-be expats.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Working Your Way Through A Gap Year

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For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

Taking a year off from studying is a popular choice for young adults looking to spread their wings before returning home to start university or a job. UCAS, a UK body which helps connect young adults to higher education, said in 2015 5.4% of accepted applicants deferred a year (28,805 of 532, 265). Clearly they won’t all be seeking world travel, but for those that did the options of how to spend the time off are vast.

Choosing a destination is the first decision most students have to make. Rough Guide has listed the most popular places gap year students visit with Thailand, Australia and USA taking the top three slots.

For many, the focus of the gap year will be to travel and experience different cultures.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to spend a year doing something valuable and rewarding:

Volunteering on a conservation and environment project: Protecting the rainforest in Peru, rehabilitating an injured falcon in Mexico or working with giant pandas in China are just some of the activities you can partake in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Companies such as www.projects-abroad.co.uk are good places to start for ideas.

-   Running an American summer camp: A nine week placement at an American summer camp will offer up all sorts of exciting possibilities. As either a kids counsellor or someone helping to run the camp, companies such as Camp America help you find the best spot. After camp you can travel around the US for 30 days and Camp America even arrange their own treks around tourist hot spots such as the Grand Canyon. The perfect payback for all that hard work.

Helping build local communities Living in a country, whilst helping to improve people’s access to safe water and sanitation or support a local business are two of the ways, volunteering can make a real difference. Raleigh’s International Citizen Service (ICS), which is run by the VSO and funded by the UK government, takes students abroad for 10-12 weeks to help contribute to the lives of those living in poverty.

Working your way around Australia: As one of the most popular destinations, Australia is well set up for gap years. Once you’ve applied for your Working Holiday Visa (WHV) you’re able to work and travel in Australia for a year. There are some great career opportunities including being a dive instructor on the Great Barrier Reef, teaching sports at a Perth college or pouring drinks in a Melbourne bar. The choice is yours. To find out more about the Working Holiday Visa, see here.

Finally, as with all travel, there is an element of risk involved and the UK government has pulled together a checklist of what you need to do before signing up to any new experience. The document pinpoints the highs and the lows of gap year travel and recommends you are fully aware of what you are entering into. For more information, see here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Image Courtesy: Zach Dischner (www.flickr.com/photos/zachd1_618/15207970946), Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Flickr

What You Need To Know About Living In Norway

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Graeme Maclean, fjord & flag, Taken during a day cruise

Graeme Maclean, fjord & flag, Taken during a day cruise

 

Norway is sovereign country bordered by fellow Scandinavian countries Finland and Sweden, as well as Russia. The North Atlantic coastline batters its western rim. Spread out over 385,252 kms, Norway has a population of just over five million residents. The majority live in the south of the country with capital Oslo boasting nearly 650,000 people. Other key cities include Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim.

Norway is a relatively wealthy country, thanks much in part to its success in oil production.

Whilst it too has been hit by economic uncertainty, unemployment is just 4.6% (low by international standards) making it a good country to seek relocation. In 2015 Norway was ranked number 1 in the United Nations report on Human Development Indicators which looked at areas such as health, education and income across a variety of countries and rated them accordingly. So if you fancy a career in a country famed for its fjords and Vikings, here are some Norwegian facts and figures.

Language:  The official language is Norwegian but much of the country also speaks good English. You will however be expected to speak the native language, or at least another Scandinavian one, if you are serious about employment.

Currency: The Norwegian Krona (NOK) is the official currency of Norway. Currently you’ll get £1 for every 10 Kronas.  The personal income tax rate is around 39% so it’s worth taking this into account when negotiating salaries.

Accommodation: Most expats will initially look for somewhere to rent in Norway. You can expect a high level of rental properties that are well furnished, although there is a lot of competition and it may be some time before you pin down your new home. Rented accommodation can be found in a local newspaper or online at the Finn lifestyle website. Estate agents (eiendomsmeglere) and larger banks both sell and let properties.

Healthcare: Thanks to the high taxes, healthcare in Norway is available to all those who are registered as long-term citizens. There are both public and private medical services and facilities. There is a Norwegian National Insurance Scheme (NIS) which guarantees everybody a basic level of welfare and covers regular medical consultation, although some nominal costs apply.

Employment:  The average Norwegian working week is 40 hours and anything over this is classed as overtime. Industries currently seeing a boom are IT and communications. Other major industries include petroleum and gas, fishing, shipbuilding, metals, chemicals, mining, wood pulp and paper, food processing. For more information about finding a job in Norway visit the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration’s (NAV) website, or online Finn lifestyle website. Major companies will also post vacancies on their websites.

Climate: You can expect very cold winters, we’re talking -40’C but it’s not all doom and gloom. The summers can have temperatures of 30’C.

Education: Children are required to go to barneskolen, from ages 6-13 and ungdomsskolen, from 13-16. Afterwards further education, at a videregaende, is available followed by university and polytechnic options. They are international schools in Norway and more information can be found here.

Transport: There is a well established travel system in Norway with a large network of buses, ferries, trains and planes. Driving in Norway is on the right-hand side. There are strict speed limits, which are variable across residential and built-up areas. You’ll also need to keep your headlights dipped at all times as it’s the law. There are strict drink driving laws in Norway too. You’ll be required to carry a variety of legal documents which you can check out here.

If you are considering a move abroad PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Would the New Zealand School System Be Better For My Kids?

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile 

students-in-class-with-teacher-reading www.ilmicrofono.it

students-in-class-with-teacher-reading www.ilmicrofono.it

Making sure your children are in a good school is a key objective of most parents. When the whole family is moved abroad this becomes even more important – if the kids aren’t settled, how can you be?

In August 2016, 39,600 people arrived in New Zealand with work visas. Most of those came from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Australia. For Brits, New Zealand is the fifth most popular country for them to take up residence.

New Zealand sells itself as a great country to move to thanks to the great opportunities it offers for lifestyle, job opportunities and quality of life. But what about education? Would your children be better off learning their ABCs in a New Zealand school?

The Leaning Curve report by Pearson Education ranked the UK sixth in terms of countries which have the best schools. New Zealand is ranked 16th. But other rankings based on maths and science, at the age of 15 were also collated and showed that New Zealand stood at number 17 in the world, with the UK coming in at number 20.

Making the grade it seems is a complicated process and there are plenty of facts and figures that support both countries as good places to educate your children.

The Pearson Education report also showed that the UK spends 12.72% of public expenditure on education as % of total government expenditure whilst in New Zealand it’s 18.67%. Could it be that the New Zealand system is more efficient and more modern? You could reasonably deduce that in New Zealand education is more valued than in the UK but is that the real story?

The school system in New Zealand is in some respects similar to the UK one. Students in New Zealand must attend education between the ages of 6-16, although most enroll on and around their fifth birthday. Children work their way through primary and secondary school before moving onto further education. In both countries this can be vocational or tertiary education. There are obviously variations in the schooling and curriculum but the general flow of education would be familiar to expats.

In fact, it’s within tertiary education that New Zealand really stands out. A report called Education At A Glance 2015 produced by the OECD showed that New Zealand students were a third more likely to go onto gain a degree than those in the UK. In fact, over 90% of the New Zealand school population have gone onto the gain a masters, whereas in the UK this figure is below 60%. To add fuel to the fire, all of New Zealand’s eight universities were ranked within the top 500 QS World University Rankings for 2015/16.

The decisions around where and how to educate your children is a complicated and personal business. New Zealand offers many opportunities in terms of scholarly attainment coupled with opportunities across a broad base of lifestyle choices which for nearly 40,000 people a year is a huge draw. But is it the right choice for you?

If you are considering a move to New Zealand PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receives a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 34 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance of ensuring our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote form.

Where in the world are you taxed most as an expat?

For useful articles and tips on moving to other countries and life as an expat, please like the PSS International Removals Facebook page and follow the Twitter profile

 

Numbers And Financewww.SeniorLiving.Org

Numbers And Financewww.SeniorLiving.Org

This is according to new research from the Molinari Institute. Each year the Institute works out each country’s Tax Liberation Day. This involves them assessing the tax, social charges and VAT each worker pays to the state compared to what they earn in average. They then work out how many days of that year it will take the person to pay it.

In France, it takes until the 29 July for each worker to pay their due, making them the highest taxers in Europe. The study found that in France 57.67% of the cost of the salary goes to the government. This year France has displaced Belgium, who held last year’s tax crown, with their Tax Liberation Day standing at July 27th. Belgians pay 56.9% of their salary to the government, which is a decrease from 59.47% last year. That said, as the report also points out that an increase in taxes on fuel, electricity and other essential services means that Belgians won’t see a real increase in their income.

Good news in Austria has cut its personal income tax rates in 2015, to save the country’s residents from being the most taxed in Europe, which has a huge impact on their Tax Liberation Day. Austria’s day is now July 19th, an incredible 15 days less than the year before.

In debt ridden Greece, it’s no surprise that their Tax Liberation Day has increased by 24 days since 2010. They currently stand at July 7th, having been at June 13 six years prior. With an increase in tax, and a decrease in salaries, their take home pay has dropped by 20% in the same period.

So where is the good news? Well, their are plenty of countries where living as an expat may be a bonus. Cyprus has the lowest income tax rates, at typically 1.5% of gross salary, making it the country with the lowest Tax Freedom Day. Live there and you will have paid back the tax by March 29th.

Malta (April 18), Ireland (April 30th), UK (May 9) and Bulgaria (May 19th) also top the poll. Countries such as Denmark, Luxembourg, Estonia and Spain follow close behind.

Interestingly, in euros, the report found that gross salaries ranged from 5,049€ (Bulgaria) to 54,560€ (Luxembourg). The average gross salary among the 28 states was 26,594€.

The report’s key findings across Europe included:

1. As a single economic entity, typical workers across the European Union saw their average “real tax rate” dip slightly this year, from 45.2% to 45.0%. Since 2010, this figure has risen by 1.0%, due mostly to VAT increases in 20 of the 28 states.

2. 44.4% of all payroll taxes collected in the EU countries – employer contributions to social security paid on top of gross salaries – are largely invisible to employees.

3. More than half (54.9%) of EU citizens are not in the labour force – a figure that is worsening as Europe’s population grows older : Since 2010, the proportion of Europeans outside the labour force has grown by 1 %.

Living overseas is never an easy decision but if you’re hoping to earn a good salary, it might be worth looking at the list in full to see exactly where your Tax Liberation Day may be. For a full list visit this website.

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