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The Ultimate Guide to Expat Mental Health (Video)

Maintaining good mental health abroad
Feb 0

Posted by in Skilled Immigration

There are now over 66.2 million expats worldwide and this is expected to reach 87.5 million by the year 2021. Research has found that expats are 2.5 times more likely to experience anxiety and/or depression than domestic workers. So why is this?

What Are the Top Expat Stressors?

In 2015, Internations conducted a major international survey which identified the top expat stressors:

  • 52% said they miss their personal support network
  • 40% worry about their future finances
  • 26% struggle making new friends
  • 26% struggle with the language barrier
  • 22% suffer from culture shock
  • 15% say their loved ones are unhappy with the move
  • The most common expat problems - infographic

    How to Maintain Good Mental Health While Living & Working Abroad

    Expats work an average of 13.4 more hours than people doing similar jobs at home. Try to avoid overworking and prevent burn-out by switching off the “24-7 business mentality.” Establish a clear work-life balance by not bringing your work phone home and by not checking your email on weekends. Instead, use your free time to socialise and to participate in healthy activities.

    Working abroad can be isolating, so be sure to dedicate time to making friends. Don’t shy away work events and network groups. Try out apps such as MeetUp to connect with new people.

    Make sure to schedule in time for chatting with your loved ones who still live in your home country. Take the lead on communicating with home and plan regular one-to-one interactions through Skype, social media or on the phone.

    In addition to all of the above, don’t forget to look after your mental health. You can do this by limiting alcohol consumption, getting 8 hours sleep every night and by exercising and eating healthily. What’s more, learn how to recognise the signs of stress and work hard on developing stress management skills.

    Male professional with stressed expression looking at laptop and charts

    Preparing to Move Abroad

    Just 6% of expats are concerned about mental health before relocating. However, taking some simple preparatory steps before you set off can make a big difference to your mental health down the line.

    Research can really help to ease the relocation process. While reading up on your new home, don’t forget to look into ways of making friends, the work & social culture, methods of contacting home and potential stress outlets.

    It’s also important to check in with yourself and know your limits. Keep a journal to help record and recognise your stressors. Get educated by familiarising yourself with the warning signs of stress, anxiety and depression.

    Finding Support Services Abroad

    The number of mental health workers per 100,000 persons ranges from less than 1 in low-income countries to over 50 in high-income countries. It can be even more difficult to find a counsellor that speaks your language. One excellent resource is the International Therapists Directory which contains contact details for English-speaking therapists, counsellors, psychologists, and psychiatrists in more than 50 different countries. Alternatively, you could ask for a referral from your embassy, HR Department or even other expatriates (particularly medical professionals).

    If a face-to-face service is not an option, you may want to consider e-counselling. These are online services that allow you to connect with specialists in your home country via video-chat. Just be sure to check that the counsellor is licensed and look into the services’ privacy policies.

    Video: The Ultimate Guide to Expat Mental Health

    To learn more about how to look after your mental health during a move abroad, take a look at our video below.

    The Most Peaceful Countries in the World (Infographic)

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    Jan 0

    Posted by in Uncategorized

    Our latest infographic lists the top ten most peaceful countries in the world.

    Personal safety and security are two of the most important considerations you will need to make when moving abroad. When researching your destination, you will need to factor in the overall peacefulness of the country. Our infographic lists the top ten safest, most secure destinations across the world according to the latest Global Peace Index.

    What is the Global Peace Index?

    Analysing 99.7% of the world’s population, The Global Peace Index (GPI) is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. It is compiled by the Institute for Economics and Peace who use 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators to measure the state of peace in each country according to three key criteria:

    1. Societal safety and security
    2. Ongoing domestic and international conflict
    3. Degree of militarisation

    What are the Top 5 Most Peaceful Countries in the World?

    According to the 2018 Global Peace Index, the top five safest countries in the world are:

    5. Denmark

    Consistently voted as one of the happiest places in the world, the Scandinavian country of Denmark was placed fifth in the 2018 GPI. Danes enjoy low crime, excellent income equality and a deep respect for human rights.

    4. Austria

    The landlocked European nation of Austria has long boasted a top place in the GPI. This is due to its a low crime and homicide rate and positive performance in many areas of wellbeing.

    3. Portugal

    The pretty European country of Portugal has made enormous strides in the area of peacefulness over the past few decades. Portugal was ranked 3rd in the 2018 GPI due to its extremely low rate of crime and external conflict.

    2. New Zealand

    Scoring well across all three categories, New Zealand has maintained a top position in the GPI for many years. The country is renowned for its low crime rate and safe cities, and is an ideal location for those seeking a beacon of peace.

    1. Iceland

    The GPI has placed Iceland as the most peaceful country in the world since 2008. It’s not hard to see why Iceland has stayed top dog all these years, when you consider that its crime rate is close to zero, there is no military and the fact that the police force is unarmed. What’s more, Iceland also boasts a high level of gender equality, a low incarceration rate and a top-quality free education system.

    See The Full List Of The World’s Most Peaceful Countries In The Infographic Below.

    Liked this? Why not take a look at our infographic guide on the most cultural cities in the world?

    The Most Cultural Cities in the World (Infographic)

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    Nov 0

    Posted by in Uncategorized

    Are you an artist or creative professional thinking about moving abroad? If so, you may want to check out our latest infographic which lays out the world’s top ten cultural capitals.

    How Moving Abroad Enhances Your Creativity

    It’s no secret that emigrating can be enormously beneficial for aspiring artists of all types. The right city can help provide the inspiration and opportunity that’s needed to kickstart a successful career in the arts. In fact, many of the world’s most celebrated artists, musicians, writers and filmmakers – Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Eddie Van Halen and Alfred Hitchcock to name just a few – were expatriates.

    What’s more, scientific research has proven the positive correlation between creativity and immigration. A study from 2009 by psychologists William Maddux and Adam Galinsky discovered that when it comes to creative problem-solving, immigrants consistently outperform native populations. Galinsky reasons that this is because:

    “There is some sort of psychological transformation that needs to occur when people are living in a foreign country in order to enhance creativity. This may happen when people work to adapt themselves to a new culture.”

    The Top 5 Most Creative Cities in the World

    5. Paris, France

    The City of Lights has long been associated with expatriate artists; prompting the famed German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche to quip that “An artist has no home in Europe except in Paris.” Ranked 39th in the world for quality of life, Paris is well-known for its laid-back lifestyle, diverse cultural offerings and rich culinary scene (in fact the city is home to an impressive 100 Michelin star restaurants). What’s more, with its 245 theatres, the French Capital is also an ideal choice for budding actors, playwrights and directors.

    4. Miami, US

    Home to the world’s largest collection of art deco architecture, Miami in Florida is a top choice for artists and creatives seeking to immigrate into the US. In addition to its 72 theatres, the “Magic City” also boasts 27 art galleries and 18 museums.

    3. Prague, Czech Republic

    With a low cost of living of just $640 per month, Prague in the Czech Republic is an attractive option for artists who are just starting out. The Lonely Planet has sung the city’s praises as an underrated gem, saying “Prague is the equal of Paris in terms of beauty. Its history goes back a millennium. And the beer? The best in Europe.” Prague is a particularly good choice for professionals who work in the visual arts, as it has 201 art galleries and a lively arts scene.

    2. Dublin, Ireland

    Ranked 34th in the world for quality of life, the vibrant and welcoming city of Dublin in Ireland is a great option for artists thinking of relocating. Over the years, Ireland’s Fair City has built a reputation for literary excellence as it has been home to some of the world’s most famous novelists and playwrights (e.g. James Joyce, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett for example). The city is also renowned for its lively music scene and as such is a great choice for aspiring musicians. As the LA Times put it, “Even a short stay in Dublin is like walking into literary history, accompanied by music”.

    1. Amsterdam, Netherlands

    Listed as 12th in the world for quality of life, Amsterdam in the Netherlands is the top destination for artists wishing to emigrate. With 96 theatres, 81 museums, 54 art galleries and 43 Michelin-starred restaurants; there is clearly plenty of inspiration to be found. What’s more, the city boasts a thriving creative scene which presents plenty of opportunities for aspiring artists of all types.

    See the full list in our infographic below.

    Everything You Need to Know about Finding a Job Abroad (Infographic)

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    Oct 0

    Posted by in Skilled Immigration

    As the famous journalist, Charles Kuralt once quipped: “If you really want to learn about a country, work there.” Working abroad is a wonderful opportunity to truly immerse yourself in a different culture. However for most people, finding employment can be one of the most daunting parts about moving abroad.

    Without the connections, local knowledge and language, it can be difficult for migrants to navigate the tricky waters of job-hunting and the corporate world. Fortunately, advancements in technology mean that it has never been easier to find work overseas. In our latest infographic, we provide practical tips on how to use the internet and word of mouth to find your next dream job abroad.

    If you are researching from home, your first port of call should be an international job search engine. Some good examples include: Indeed, SimplyHired and CareerJet. These global databases have listings for jobs in many countries and usually include a variety of language options.

    America, the original “Land of Opportunity” is easily the most popular choice for Canadians seeking a move abroad. Those planning to immigrate into the United States may want to consider using one of the jobs sites specific to the country. Some popular options include Career Builder, Careers.org and HotJobs.

    Word of mouth is also a powerful tool for jobseekers. If possible, take advantage of your professional network to discover connections who may be able to help you find a position. Alternatively, leverage virtual word of mouth by joining a professional online network such as LinkedIn or whatever the preferred platform is in the region. This will enable you to contact companies and recruiters and to build your general understanding of the local jobs market.

    Read the infographic below to learn more about how to find a job abroad.

    What Makes Immigrants More Entrepreneurial? (Infographic)

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    Jul 0

    Posted by in Uncategorized

    What do Max Levchin (founder of Yelp), Elon Musk (Tesla), Arianna Huffington (The Huffington Post), Dietrich Mateschitz (Red Bull), and Sergey Brin (Google) have in common? At some point in their lives, each of these extraordinarily impressive people made the decision to leave their home country and start anew abroad, each of them going on to build enormously successful corporate empires.

    Their stories of immigrant success in business are hardly unique however. Did you know that in the US, immigrants represent 27.5 percent of entrepreneurs? This is incredible given the fact that they only make up around 13 percent of the overall population. In fact, research conducted in many countries across the world have found that immigrants are many times more likely to start a business than the native population. This prompts us to ask, what lies behind this strong connection between immigration and entrepreneurship?

    It seems that there is something inherently entrepreneurial about leaving your home to start a new life in another country. Having made the move from one country to another, means that many immigrants boast a particular set of qualities and skills which can be of enormous benefit when building up a new business.

    In our latest infographic we investigate the reasons why immigrants are so entrepreneurial. Check out the complete infographic below to learn more about immigrants who came to America and found success.

    The Best Places to Live as a Digital Nomad (Infographic)

    Best Places to Live as a Digital Nomad
    Jun 0

    Posted by in Uncategorized

    What is a Digital Nomad?

    Defined as “individuals that leverage wireless digital technologies to perform their work duties, and more generally conduct their lifestyle in a nomadic manner,” digital nomads are becoming increasingly more common in today’s tech-driven world.

    Armed with just a laptop and a passport, this new vanguard of freelance workers represents the office-less workplace of the future. For these ‘citizens of the world,’ an office can be anything from a beachside hut in Barbados to a café in Cairo.

    How Can Digital Nomad Workers Find a Destination Suiting their Unique Needs?

    If you are considering digital nomadism, you will need to find locations that cater to your needs both as a freelance worker and as a traveller. Therefore, before setting off you will need to identify destinations that offer excellent access to technology and work spaces as well as excitement and adventure. The best locations seamlessly combine aspects that appeal to both the worker and the adventurer in you.

    So how can you find a place that provides all of this? The first step would be to check out our latest infographic on the Best Places to Live as a Digital Nomad. We at Hansen & Company are fascinated by new immigration trends such as digital nomadism. In this infographic we break down the top digital nomad destinations in the world. We also examine just what it is that makes them ideal prospects for digital nomads. Listing wonderful cities from across the continents; it offers a global perspective on digital nomadism.

    Read the below infographic now for more information!

    The Most Employable Cities in America (Infographic)

    Jun 0

    Posted by in Uncategorized

    The Most Employable Cities in America (Infographic)

    Planning to emigrate to the US? Depending on where you choose to live, your job prospects can vary quite a lot. For the majority of migrants, job availability is a huge factor – if not a primary concern – when moving abroad. Therefore, it is absolutely key to factor this into your research when planning a move to the States.

    May 2018 saw good news for job hunters in the US, with the unemployment rate falling to just 3.8 percent – the lowest level since 1969. With that in mind, we have created an infographic based on the findings of the personal finance site WalletHub regarding the most employable cities in the US. This list compares the 150 most populous US cities based on 17 metrics across two metrics – job market and socioeconomic environment. In our latest infographic, we look at the top ten most employable cities to highlight the cities where you stand the best chance of finding a job.

    One state with particularly good prospects is Texas. This state dominates the list with three cities featuring in the top five. Historically well-known for its good employment opportunities, cities in the Lone Star state boast excellent median incomes and consistently positive employment growth rates.

    While the US labour market has improved remarkably in recent years, employment levels in many cities have yet to fully return to pre-recession levels. For example, job hunters may want to steer clear of the likes of Newark in New Jersey and San Bernardino in California due to their very high unemployment rates. Our infographic features useful information about the US cities in which you will find the most difficulty in finding work.

    If you are interested in moving to the US and would like to discover more about the most employable cities in the US, why not check out our infographic below.

    The Most Employable Cities In America

    Immigrants Who Became Successful in America (infographic)

    Mar 0

    Posted by in Uncategorized

    People who aren’t born in America but work hard to get here are more successful than the average American. This infographic looks at six amazing stories of people who came to America with nothing and were incredibly driven to find success. Read more now!
    Immigrants Who Became Successful in America

    The Complete Story of Donald Trump’s Immigration Policies

    Feb 0

    Posted by in Uncategorized

    The immigration policies of Donald Trump have been the cause of much controversy. He has enacted three immigration policies since becoming president, but it was the ‘travel ban’ that caused the most debate. Learn about all of Donald Trump’s policies on immigration in the infographic now.

    How to Get a Job with a Criminal Record [Infographic]

    Dec 0

    Posted by in Uncategorized

    It can be hard enough to get a job at the best of times but having a criminal record can make it even harder. However, don’t give up hope just yet as there are things you can do to make employers look past a criminal record. It’s important to remember that we all make mistakes and if you show an employer that you have worked hard since your conviction, many of them will be willing to give you a second chance.

    Know Your Rights: Disclosing Criminal Record To Employers

    Before starting your job search, take some time to research your rights. In some cases, you are not obliged to tell a potential employer about your criminal history. Some examples include:

    • If you have erased your offense by obtaining a certificate of rehabilitation.
    • If you were convicted by a juvenile court and are now an adult.
    • If an arrest is not currently pending or doesn’t result in conviction.

    What’s more, it’s illegal for most employers to immediately disqualify any candidates with a conviction or arrest record. Employers must first demonstrate that the conviction is “job-related” as well as the amount of time that has passed since the conviction.

    Professional man in a blue suit giving a thumbs up

    Maximising Your Chances of Landing a Job with a Criminal Record

    There are a number of actions you can take to increase your attractiveness to employers. For example, you can build skills and reputation by volunteering at a non-profit organisation. It may also be a good idea to look into specialised courses that can help you develop new skills. And don’t forget to emphasise your existing skills and qualifications while applying for jobs.

    When it comes to job applications, honesty is usually the best policy. Offering extra context can be helpful, so provide a detailed explanation about the circumstances of the crime as well as your rehabilitation efforts. Don’t forget as well to submit excellent personal and professional references.

    Presenting Your Past in A Positive Light

    If an employer knows of your criminal record, that doesn’t always mean you don’t stand a chance of getting the job. If you show them that you have worked hard since your conviction, many will be willing to give you a second chance. Some other factors you should mention that may help them to see you in a more positive light include:

    • Your criminal record is very old.
    • You offended the crime when you were young and has since gained responsibilities.
    • The crime isn’t relevant to the job you’re applying for.
    • If the crime sounds more serious than it is.
    • You pleaded guilty to the crime.

    How to Get a Job with a Criminal Record [Infographic]

    If you have a criminal record and are interested in learning more about how to find employment, take a look at our infographic guide below which also offers some handy pointers on résumés and interviews.

    Making Employers Look Behind Criminal Records