Friday, 10 January 2014

The Expat Year

Like the migration of swallows, the journeys of expats around the world can be predicted and charted according to the season. As 2014 kicks off, we look at the top times of year to make the move by analysing different groups and their timing motivations:

The parents: Wannabe expats with kids are well-advised to consider the structure of the academic year when considering uprooting their families. In most of Europe and the USA the school year kicks off in September, so the summer months may be the time to take the plunge, but check out application dates for schools ahead of time to ensure you don’t miss out on enrolment! Parents should also be aware that other countries differ in the academic year’s structure and start date. In Australia, South Africa and Malaysia the school year starts in January. In the Philippines it’s the end of March. In India – April. So do your research and plan ahead for a seamless start to your family’s new life.

Image Source: Creative Common/ajari

The students: Again, this goes hand in hand with the different conventions of academic life, as university language students  head off to prime their language skills as their course dictates. There’s not much of an element of choice here, students, but beware becoming too close to fellow expats studying two languages – six months in, they’re likely to be on the move again!

The partiers: These are people like the friends who never flag on a night out, perpetual partiers who want to holiday for a season – not a week. They flock where and when the sun shines and may even choose to stay abroad to prolong the season and adventure.

Image Source: Creative Common/Kelly.ibiza
The retirees: The retired have the greatest freedom when considering the perfect time to move. Things to consider include:

The climate in your destination country - moving when the weather is most distinct from what you’re used to at home could be uncomfortable.

Financial considerations – if you’re selling your home, it may be best to be guided by your finances.
Farewells – If it’s important to you to hold a goodbye bash, consider family and friends’ commitments ahead of time.

Flight prices – Booking flights far in advance may help the budget for your move. Also consider moving at a time of year when traffic to the country will be lighter, especially if you’re choosing to retire to a popular tourist destination!

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