Tag Archives: moving to Spain

Which of the top 8 British expat countries is best for you?

Dave See, CharNick

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.

There’s not many decisions bigger than deciding where to move yourself and your family, especially if that means relocating abroad. The world really is your oyster in terms of where to go, but that can be can slightly overwhelming when trying to narrow down your choices. To help narrow down your search criteria and pick the perfect expat location, here’s a taster of some of the top destinations for Brits.

1. Australia – Over one million Brits have already chosen to live Down Under and it’s no surprise thanks to the allure of an outdoor lifestyle and sunnier climes (in many of the Gold Coast resorts). The fact that it’s a multicultural society (43% of Australians were born overseas or have a parent who was born overseas) means that any new arrivals won’t be treated as an oddity. The simple fact that the country itself is so vast – with only 6.4 people per square mile – and has 500 national parks means the great outdoors really is on your doorstep.

2. USA – The sheer size of America (3.8 million square miles) means it offers expats a huge range of choices in terms of jobs, locations and lifestyles. If you find yourself a job in one of the big cities such New York you’ll be exposed to the best cuisine, housing and culture you can expect. You’ll also find some of the most expensive property in the world (a three bedroom flat in the Financial District will cost upwards of £7 million pounds). In other areas though you’ll find the average house setting you back around £144,000 which is apparently a small castle if you move to Detroit.

3. Canada – A top notch education and healthcare systems are a big draw to the 607,377 expats that already live in Canada. The Canadian teaching system was recently ranked as 9th in the world, with above average scores in reading, mathematics and science. To put this in context the UK was 28th. All Canadian residents have reasonable access to healthcare without paying out-of-pocket. Canada also offers a relatively easy emigration process and expats are allowed to apply for residency within three years of arriving there.

4. Spain – While the Brexit-effect may loom large over much of Europe, Spain still proves itself to be the most popular country in the region, with 308,000 expats living there (France, Ireland, Germany and Italy all have considerably less expat Brits). In fact, a recent survey showed that the number of Britons living in Spain over the age of 65 has doubled in the past 10 years. Settling predominantly on the Costa Blanca on Spain’s east coast or the Costa del Sol in the south, the warm weather, a cheap standard of living and the sheer number of Brits living there, makes it a home from home for many. The British PM Theresa May has already made pledges to continue to support pensions and healthcare benefits to those expats living in Spain, although this has yet to be finalised.

5. New Zealand – If you’re looking for more sunshine, why not consider New Zealand. Three major Kiwi cities get 2,000 hours a year, compared to the South East of England which has just 1,750. Obviously there’s more to the country than the weather, the great vast open spaces mean you’re never far from a fjord, native forest or mountain. In a recent HSBC survey New Zealand was voted as 14th in the world overall when compared economically, but first in terms of experience, ranking highly for healthcare, finance and quality of life.

6. South Africa – With pristine beaches, cultural experiences and a relatively low cost of living South Africa has some 318,000 British expats residing in its cities and surrounding areas. The 2016 Mercer Cost of living survey ranked Johannesburg and Cape Town as two of the cheapest cities in which to reside, at numbers 205 and 208 in the world rankings. Luckily most available jobs for expats will be in these two cities and thanks to a solid temporary visa situation you should be able to work as long as you possess the correct skills. Top jobs are currently within the automotive industry, IT and communications, mining, banking and the services sector.

7. Ireland – Doing business in Ireland is easy and that’s official. The World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey for 2017, ranked 18th out of 190 economies. It ranked particularly highly in paying taxes and starting a business – great news for budding entrepreneurs. You’ll also find good, free schools if you are looking to relocate your family. Healthcare is some of the best in the world too, and expats are able to receive free or subsidised public health services.

8. France – Just a short hop over the channel means France has always pulled in plenty of British expats, with 185,000 of us currently residing there. A number of negative connotations have been drawn around areas such as ‘Dordogneshire’, which is home to a vast number of Brits, but that shouldn’t put you off. The slower pace of life in the varying regions, coupled with new cultural experiences proves a big draw. The most popular regions include Poitou-Charentes, Aquitaine, Brittany and Rhone Alps.PSS International Removals can shop your goods to all of these countries. For more information see here.

If you are considering moving abroad, PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention. Contact us now for a free estimator’s survey, or simply fill in our online moving or baggage quote.

Doing Business in Barcelona

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.

Barcelona by Bert Kaufmann

Barcelona by Bert Kaufmann

Barcelona has an irresistible attraction for many British expats. With the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains close by, this vibrant, cosmopolitan city is also brimming with history and culture. But what possibilities does the city hold for expats that want to do business there?

Spain as a whole remains a relatively easy place in which to do business. This may explain why it was positioned 33 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Survey for 2016. Spain ranked well in factors such as trading across borders (earning first place), resolving insolvency (25th), and protecting minority investors (29th).

Perhaps due to its diversity, with Spanish nationals and international expats living and working closely together, there are excellent business prospects for expatriates in Barcelona. However, to make the most of business opportunities, fluency in the Spanish language and, ideally, a basic grasp of Catalan, is an enormous benefit.

When you get past the language, what is different about doing business in Barcelona? Well, there’s a different timetable for starters. Business isn’t typically 9 ‘til 5. Instead, it starts somewhere between 9 and 10am, breaks for lunch around 1pm, and resumes from about 3pm until evening. There isn’t quite a siesta, but a long lunch is quite normal.

That break in the middle of the day isn’t all about feasting and snoozing, however, as business is often carried out over lunch. Spaniards and Catalans love eating and it is very common to spend time in restaurants combining delicious food with business.

One of the characteristics of doing business in Barcelona, is that relationships tend to be formed between people, rather than companies. As a result, once you have established a connection, it will be unaffected when you, or the other party, change companies. Trust, therefore, is very important, and demonstrating reliability and strong business ethics is key.

You must also show due respect to those senior to you, as Spanish businesses are hierarchical. Even though you may be depending on a decision from a senior executive, it would be bad form to attempt to set up an initial meeting with anyone above your own rank.

On the subject of etiquette, dealing with associates in their own language is another essential, not just verbally but in all your materials. Offering presentations in both English and Spanish shows that you appreciate the opportunity to take your business to their country.

Some customs in Spanish businesses may seem strange, even rude. For instance, it’s quite normal for people around the meeting table to interrupt one another, and even talk over each other. This should not be misinterpreted as impoliteness, although it can make it difficult to follow the conversation, especially when it is in a foreign tongue.

Once you navigate around a few cultural differences, you will find that doing business in Barcelona can be a pleasurable experience. Spaniards are generally friendly and cheerful, and those in Barcelona are no exception. It’s likely that you will find the business community warm and genuinely interested in you and what you can offer through your business.

If you are setting out on a business venture in Spain, it is advisable to consult with a solicitor and accountant to ensure that all your dealings adhere to Spanish law and tax regulations. You may be considering setting up a company in Barcelona – a Sociedad Limitada. In which case, you will need assistance with this and with setting up an overseas bank account.

If you are considering moving to Barcelona, PSS International removals can help. We are a family run company, which has specialised in international removals for over 35 years. We are committed to providing a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move for all our customers. Whether you’re sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle, we will ensure that you receive the highest level of care and attention.

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

 

Tips For Finding the Perfect Country To Relocate To

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

 

Kevin Stanchfield  Downtown LA skyline. Just after sunset.

Kevin Stanchfield
Downtown LA skyline. Just after sunset.

With advancements in travel the world has become a much smaller place. With over 5 million Brits living abroad, emigration is certainly an attractive proposition to many. But where to start? Many people will have a rough idea of the kind of job they want to pursue or even the climate they want to live in. But other key factors such as language, proximity to home and living standards can have a major influence on choosing a suitable destination.

With so much at stake, we’ve put together some tips to help you choose the right country:

1. Do your research. You may fancy life Down Under but if you don’t meet their strict immigration criteria you won’t get in. New Zealand too draws up a list of careers eligible for a visa, so make sure you read up on all the details. Those careers currently in demand are medicine, engineering and IT. The good news however is if you’re currently moving within the EU things are much easier.

2. Fancy learning a new language? There are plenty of places in the world where you can stick to speaking your native language. In fact, all countries have large expat communities so you’ll never be too far from a familiar conversation. However, you may want to be more adventurous. In countries such as Denmark learning the language is imperative. It’s easy to find courses through your local council who are obliged to offer courses to all foreign residents.

3. Read about the country in all its glory. You may have read A Year In Provence but does it really reflect what life is currently like in southeastern France? It’s unlikely. If you have a family, you’ll need to look into the school system and childcare facilities. Take some time to research housing and social welfare provision and different towns and cities within your chosen country. Expat Forums can give you interesting insights.

4. Look into the weather. Living in a warmer country is often a reason many people (especially Brits) choose to move to a new country. Sunny days may be great for a holiday but can you see yourself working and living in 40’ heat, which you might face if you move to UAE. Just like the UK the weather can be totally different around the country so when choosing a location, make sure you check thoroughly. Los Angeles may be gloriously sunny all year, but New York certainly isn’t.

5. Choose your lifestyle. What kind of life do you want in your new location? Beach barbecues? Balanced working hours? A busy social life? A large salary? Everyone will want something different but it’s important to be clear about what your priorities are. Working in Asian Pacific countries pays an expat on average $126,000 (£95,000) dollars, compared with the global average of $104,000 (£79,000).

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.

Helping Your Children Settle 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 

 

Kelsey_MG_4812  Kids playing in the Youth Rugby Exhibition match.

Kelsey_MG_4812
Kids playing in the Youth Rugby Exhibition match.

                                                                                                                                                                                

Along with huge excitement and opportunities, moving abroad with a family can also throw up issues, especially if there are children in tow.

The ease with which your child settles into their new life will be down in part to their age. Small babies and toddlers will certainly feel the change in terms of the practical aspects of moving house but they are unlikely to feel any emotional wrenches. In this respect they are the easiest to deal with.

 

The older the child gets however, the more complicated the move. Most school-age children will have made friends and formed relationships with relatives. Before they hit the teens though, you will probably find them to be adaptable. They are most likely to seek reassurance from parents that the move is going to be OK. Teenagers on the other hand will have strong feelings about the decision. With a strong network of friends the thought of moving miles away, may not go down well.

The key to coping with the situation is preparation, preparation, preparation. Regardless of the age of the child, if they have a clear idea of what is happening and where they are going to be living, the transition should be easier.

Before you leave talk to your child about the country you are moving to. Show them the house you are going to be living in and the school will be attending. The more involved they are in the process the less scary it will be for them to understand. Give them a chance to talk through their concerns and if you don’t know the answer to something, promise to help sort it out. Allowing them to say goodbye to their friends and family is also a great thing to do. Throw a party, or give them a chance to make a photographic record of their life at home. This will help them, not only move on, but feel that they have been listened to.

Some experts recommend that you read stories to your children so that they can understand what is happening.

Some particular favourites include:

For babies and toddlers: The Bernstain Bears’ Moving Day, Stan and Jan Bernstain

For 9+ Allie Finkle’s Rules For Girls: Moving Day, Meg Cabot

For 13 + Club Expat: A Teenager’s Guide To Moving Overseas, Aniker & Akash Shah

Once in you new overseas home much of what you initially need to do practically will be similar to moving house in the UK. Making sure the children’s rooms are set up and ready quickly will help them settle in more easily. If you have older children getting WiFi installed will be essential as they will be keen to keep talking to their friends.

Over the following weeks and months, as the children start to establish new routines, especially if they are going to school, more challenges will arise for parents. Take charge of younger children’s social lives and invite the neighbour and her kids around for a play date. Find a local nursery school or playgroup so both you and your child can meet new people.

Keep to routines that were firmly established at home. If Sunday, was ‘dog walk and lunch day’ make sure you continue this once in your new country. More family time may be the key to success in settling expat children as they are bound to need more of your guidance. Teenagers in particular may find the initial settlement period very difficult so it’s important to talk to them about how they are feeling and be respectful that they may not have wanted this move as much as you. Encourage them to join clubs, such as sporting activities, if that is what they were into before, and to keep in touch with old friends. Expat communities are all over the world and talking to someone who’s been in the same position as them will help them offload their woes.

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.

Should You Learn a Foreign Language?

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

 

Jonas Foyn Therkelsen, Their moment

Jonas Foyn Therkelsen,
Their moment

 

 

Whether you’re migrating for business or for pleasure, learning the language of your new destination may be something you’ve added to your extensive list of ‘things to do’. Even with the best intentions in the world, the complications of an international move could be enough to be getting on with and it could be that you hope to get by with a few choice phrases and comments.

If you’re heading to somewhere like America, Australia or New Zealand and your first language is English, there will be very few situations when you need to think of talking in a foreign tongue. However, if you’re relocating to France, Spain, Hong Kong or any number of international areas, it may be necessary to swot up on something more than greetings, food ordering and the odd directional phrase.

Obviously certain areas and regions are particularly popular with expats and it could be that you’re placing yourself within an area where on a day-to-day basis, your native language is enough. For example, some regions in France are known to be particularly popular to the Brits and have been given names such as ‘Dordogneshire’ as a reflection of their inhabitants. It is also well known that Spain’s Costa Blanca has a large expat community, many of whom are retired, so learning the language could seem an unnecessary hassle.

But what if you’re planning to work in your new home or send your children to a school where they WILL have to speak the native language, it may be that you have no choice but to fully integrate yourself into society.

In countries such as Hong Kong, it’s almost essential that you learn either Cantonese or Mandarin if you’re planning to live there for any length of time.  In Denmark too, whilst English is spoken widely, anyone who wants to reach the top in their chosen career needs some Danish under their belt.

Learning a language will however take some preparation and perseverance. There is a school of thought that says you can only truly learn a language, once you are fully immersed in the new culture. That said, there are plenty of ways tolearn a new language either online, with an App or simply by signing up with your local college. Doing this before you leave will give you a head start on arrival.

If you don’t have the time or the inclination to crack on with the language, before you depart, there will be no harm in signing up for a course, online, or otherwise once you arrive. In countries such as Spain there are a number of courses run for people to learn the language while living there. See herefor more information.

Whether you learn a language or not will almost always be dependent on what you are hoping to get out of your new location. The benefits of communicating with your neighbours, work colleagues or local newsagent in their native language can be fun and bring a sense of purpose to your new life. You’ll also be surprised at how much you pick once you have no choice but to try and understand what someone is saying to you.

A new language may not be a necessity if you’re surrounded by those who speak exactly the same dialect as you. But with all the latest scientific thinking highlighting the fact that learning a foreign language can boost your brain power it could be just the ticket for making friends and influencing people. What’s not to like about that?

For more information about how PSS International can help you make your move abroad visit https://www.pssremovals.com

PSS International Removals is a family run company and our desire is to ensure your family receive a friendly, professional and stress free overseas move. We have specialised in international removals for over 33 years, so whether you are planning on sending a full or part household removal, excess baggage or a vehicle we recognise the importance in ensuring that our customers receive the same level of care and attention that we would expect ourselves.

Planning Your Perfect Move

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

 

 

Shadowman39, Lego House

Shadowman39, Lego House

 

The responsibility of moving your life and household belongings to the other side of the world can seem overwhelming, but with careful planning and the right international removals company by your side, it doesn’t have to be as bad as you first feared.

So how do you go about planning the perfect move? Giving yourself plenty of time, if the move allows, is one way to make it a little smoother. Even before you’ve got your visas confirmed, at PSS International Removals we recommend using our free, no obligation, removal quote service. We can also send one of our experienced estimators to visit you free of charge, ideally between 3 to 6 months before your intended departure. It’s quick and simple to organise, with either a free online international removals quote or a free estimators appointment.

If you’re planning to send either part or all of your household contents overseas, this is classified as a removal. This can range from just one wardrobe and 20 cartons, a lounge suite and 40 cartons, right up to a full household move including all your furniture and effects such as beds, tables and chairs, curtains etc. Consolidating the household contents and your car inside one container is also classed as a removal.

At PSS we can help you pack or you can do this yourself. Either way, once you’ve agreed to the quote, we will assign you a move coordinator who has extensive knowledge of the international removals business, and will be able to help you every step of the way. They’ll draw up a list of goods that you are taking with you and base your quote and the move on this list. It’s not fixed and you can change your mind along the way, but it gives everyone something to work with.

No move is without risks, but at PSS we adhere to the highest international standards. These include, FAIM Accreditation, which is only independent Quality Assurance standard for the International Moving Industry; Membership of the FIDI Global Alliance, which sets a quality benchmark for its members; Membership of the British Association of Removers Overseas Group. BAR OVERSEAS is covered by the I.M.M.I. Advance payment guarantee scheme for your financial protection.

As the moving date looms you’ll probably have plenty of questions and at PSS we can help with these too. If you want to know about putting your pet into quarantine or what you can and can’t take with you, we’ll be able to point you in the right direction. We’ll also be on hand if you’re concerned about what documentation you need for customs checks or how to arrange shipment protection. If you’ve thought about it, PSS probably have too. If we don’t know, we will find out.

If you’ve agreed to pack your own goods, PSS will send over everything you need to make sure your belongings are carefully stored for the duration of the journey. You’ll be given boxes, cartons and protective wrap. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to pack as it always takes longer than you think. Finish one room at a time, giving yourself deadlines along the way. There is nothing worse than throwing everything in at the last minute. Careful planning means you’ll minimise the stress of the removals lorry arriving while you’re still organising boxes.

On removals day, PSS will arrive at an agreed time and begin to put your belongings onto the container. If we are doing the packing, a team will arrive to carefully wrap and store everything correctly. Once the removal is complete you’ll be given a list of what’s gone and then the container will return to the depot or onto the demarkation port. This will be the last you see of your belongings until they arrive at your new destination.

Hopefully by using PSS International Removals the process will have been as stress free as possible. Bon Voyage!

If you are considering a move overseas 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 32 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.