Contents

Research and contact with expatriate employees leads me to believe that the requirements that are needed to ensure success do differ according to the stage of expatriation. Being aware of these needs allows you to be able to prepare for a happy and successful international appointment.

International Assignments - Identifying Expatriation Needs

International Assignments - Identifying Expatriation NeedsAccording to the research I have done, it is fair to say that the success rate of expatriate assignments is dependant on the expatriate assignee and the spouse and/or family being happy. When people are happy they are effective and this is no different in the case of expatriates. Yet, a surprising outcome of the research more than suggests that the success rate of company expatriate assignments leaves much room for improvement. To avoid failure and unhappiness while working and living abroad it is important to examine each stage of the international assignment for both the assigned expatriate employee and the spouse. One must be able to identify the needs in order to help reduce stress.Research and contact with expatriate employees leads me to believe that the requirements that are needed to ensure success do differ according to the stage of expatriation. Being aware of these needs allows you to be able to prepare for a happy and successful international appointment.In the pre-departure stage you, your partner and family will need to be able to: * Be Informed in advance * Express concerns you may have * Establish contact with the host country * Understand general expectations in the host countryIn the initial stage in the host country your family will need to be able to: * Overcome stereotypes * Pinpoint daily living reference tips * Learn how to communicate * Understand behaviour patterns * Relax, start re-living your lives * Familiarize yourselves with the cultureIn the established stage in the host country your needs will include being able to: * Belong * Make connections with the local culture * Work on personal growthIn the final stage in the host country you will want to: * Prepare to go home * Evaluate your experiences * Share your success of the assignmentBy using this information, you can look into various possibilities to help equip yourself for culture shock. Develop strategies for helping your partner find a new job in the host country by helping him/her identify their strengths, talents and resources available to them. Attempt to organize living arrangements before your plane lands, look into schools in the area for your children, find out banking rules, check your financial status and live within your means.I cannot stress it enough, prepare, prepare, prepare before departure! Take advantage of any training you may need, develop tools for success and surround yourself with a network of supportive groups and friends. By involving yourself whole-heartedly in your process of cross-cultural adjustment, you will increase the possibilities of making it a happy, productive and successful experience for you and your family on both a career and personal level.Quote of the weekSuccess depends on previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure. Confucius

Thai Visas for American Citizens

Thai Visas for American Citizens

Visa on ArrivalUS Citizens carrying a diplomatic, official or tourist passport and in possession of an onward or return airline ticket do not require a visa to enter Thailand. Upon entry, Thai immigration officials will place an immigration stamp in the passport permitting a 30-day stay in Thailand. This airport permit may be extended for an additional 10 days with the permission of the Thai Immigration Bureau.Tourist VisasIf an individual wishes to remain in country for more than 30 days, he/she may wish to obtain a tourist visa at the Royal Thai Embassy or Consulate in the United States, prior to arriving in Thailand. The tourist visa is valid for 60 days. After arrival in Thailand, a tourist visa may be extended only twice. On the first occasion, immigration officials may extend the visa for an additional 30 days. There is a 1,900 Baht fee for each extension. Interested Americans should contact the Thai Immigration Bureau located at 507 Soi Suan Plu, South Sathon Road in Bangkok. The phone number is (66) (2) 287-3111. Thai immigration offices are also located in most major tourist cities around the country.American citizens who wish to remain in Thailand for longer than 90 days during any six-month period will be required to obtain a valid Thai visa from a Thai Embassy or Consulate that is authorized to issue visas. The U.S. Embassy advises all American citizens who wish to obtain a Thai visa to contact the Thai Immigration Bureau for exact visa requirements and regulations. Persons who do not comply with the new visa regulations risk being denied reentry to Thailand at the border.Work VisasAll foreigners interested in obtaining a work visa must first obtain a work permit. In order to receive a "work permit" , a company, foreign government, or organization in Thailand must file an application on the behalf of the work visa applicant. Once obtained, the work visa is valid for one year.Retirement VisasRetirement visas are available to foreigners 50 years of age or older. These visas are valid for only one year and according to Thai immigration, applicants must meet the following qualifications:Applicant must be a foreigner residing in Thailand;Applicant must not be working in Thailand;Applicant must be able to provide proof of a pension or other regular income from a source outside of Thailand;Applicants pension must be no less than the equivalent of 65,000 Baht per month;It is also recommended that applicants have a local Thai bank account with a minimum amount of 800,000 Baht. (Applicants will need to show that they have 800,000 Baht in savings each year when they renew their visa.)Any applicant with a Thai spouse must show 800,000 Baht in bank deposits and a 65,000 Baht monthly income to prove that he/she can provide adequate support.

Some Good To Know Camping Tips

Some Good To Know Camping Tips

Going camping at last and trying to leave all the work back home. Nothing else but fun moments ahead of you. This is the dream of everyone working hard and who does not have any time for friends and relaxing. Even if only for a week-end, a camping trip can work wonders on your mind . But before getting into the car with your friends, make sure that you dont forget to bring along any useful things, as they cannot be of any use left back home. You must think ahead and imagine any possible situation that can occur ... after all , camping places can sometimes be very remote, and there is no neighbour you can ask for a spare pillow!All campers should bring their own lanterns, batteries, as these are very important on a camping trip. Backup batteries are always an excellent idea, because at least someone always gets short of batteries. And, most importantly, make sure they are fresh. Stools with a canvas seat are quite smart for taking on a tent camping week-end. They can be easily folded and put in the car. Folding lawn chairs are always welcome.At least one of the campers must remember to pack a rainfly. Otherwise , you may end up having dinner in pouring rain. The rainfly must be properly installed, so that it will never cause problems during storms or string winds. Wet clothes should be hung on a clothesline, tied between two trees. The sleeping bag must also be hung in order to air out. Never forget to bring axes, as you wont be able to light a fire without one. And never forget to take toilet paper with you. It can get very hard to find some at the camping places, as they are sometimes quite far from other populated places. That is the whole idea of going camping: getting away from the people you see everyday and coming home in a better mood.This is about all that a camper must bring along on a camping trip. The rest is fun, sun and relaxing. Nothing can go wrong if you have everything you may ever need on the camping place.

disney vacation with kids

disney vacation with kids

The one dream that parents in America have, is to take their children for a trip to the Disney World in Florida. The vacation at times proves very difficult on the parents as they need to save through the year to be able to spend on the trip to the resort and then there are the expenses during the stay that need to be calculated as well. But they are willing to go to any lengths, so they can show their children the joys offered within the walls of the Castle like Disney World.The cheapest Disney World vacations are about cutting corners and pinching pennies, which is what parents become experts in by the time they are ready to pack and leave for the fun rides. There are some points to be kept in mind so one can make the most of their cheapest Disney World vacations and yet have a good time.Decide on what your budget is - It is important to plan ahead of time as to how much money you can afford to spend on your holiday and work towards it. Once you have determined this figure, you can plan your trip around the same. It does not make sense to go over board during your trip using your credit card and then come back to a pile of debt. Allocate funds to different aspects of the trip, so you can cover all the basics and use the leftover for the occasional splurging.While booking flights, check for those offers and dont wait for the last minute to book your tickets. Or if Orlando is only a couple of hours away, see if you can take your SUV and drive it down, this way you save flight tickets and have a vehicle to go around Disney World.Accommodation and food - A major part of our cheapest Disney World vacations is where to stay and how much the various options cost. If you are not very particular about the place, you can stay at a private home or cottage, which is very comfortable and cozy. This way, you can save money but keep in mind the cost incurred going to and from to the Disney World theme parks. Book your stay well in advance to get the early bird offers and various discounts that come up.Since most of those who want an affordable and stress free Walt Disney World vacation and a visit to the various theme parks, especially to Magic Kingdom and The Tree Of Life, you need to allot at least 4 days. This means, that much more expenditure on your place of stay and food, and requires immense amount of self control to not give into those temptations at the park. Make sure to have food brought in from home or cooked at the cottage you are staying in to save money. If by taking a bit of extra effort, you can provide your children with a chance to enjoy the rides and the adventures, then why not?

Who Needs a Passport?

A U.S. citizen needs a passport to depart or enter the United States and to enter and depart most foreign countries. Exceptions include short-term travel between the United States and Mexico, Canada, and some countries in the Caribbean, where a U.S. birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship may be accepted.Your travel agent or airline can tell you if you need a passport for the country that you plan to visit. The embassy or consulate of the country where you plan to travel can also advise you about its entry requirements. Please Remember! Even if you are not required to have a passport to visit a foreign country, U.S. Immigration requires you to prove your U.S. citizenship and identity to reenter the United States. Make certain that you take with you adequate documentation to pass through U.S. Immigration upon your return. A U.S. passport is the best proof of U.S. citizenship.Other documents to prove U.S. citizenship include an expired U.S. passport, a certified copy of your U.S. "birth certificate" , a Certificate of Naturalization, a Certificate of Citizenship, or a Report of Birth Abroad of a Citizen of the United States. To prove your identity, either a valid driver's license or a government identification card that includes a photo or a physical description is adequate. Check for the latest requirements.With the number of international child custody cases on the rise, several countries have instituted passport requirements to help prevent child abductions. For example, Mexico has a law that requires a child traveling alone, or with only one parent, or in someone else's custody, to carry written, notarized consent from the absent parent or parents. No authorization is needed, if the child travels alone and is in possession of a U.S. passport. A child traveling alone with a birth certificate requires written, notarized authorization from both parents.Beware of a Passport That Is About to Expire!Certain countries will not permit you to enter and will not place a visa in your passport, if the remaining validity is less than 6 months.All U.S. Citizens Must Have Their Own Passport.Since January 1981, family members are not permitted to be included in each other's passports. Even newborn babies need their own passports to travel.When to ApplyEvery year, demand for passports becomes heavy in January and declines in August. You can help reduce U.S. Government expense and avoid delays by applying between September and December. However, even during those months, periods of high demand for passports can occur. Apply several months in advance of your planned departure, whenever possible. If you need visas, allow additional time - approximately two weeks per visa.

Travel: How to Make it Easier with Children

When you have kids, traveling by car can become a difficult part of your holiday. The most often heard "Are we there yet mum?" can drive you mad when asked for the five hundredth time in as many seconds. The reason they keep asking is because they don't really have a fully developed sense of time. They might be genuinely afraid you are going to keep them in that car bored and tugging at their little sister forever. It might help to explain to them how long the whole trip will take by dividing the trip into sections. Add in that you are 20 minutes away from stopping at that place with the ducks and donkeys. Little milestones will make the journey and the concept of how far they need to go still - easier to digest.The time in which you choose to drive can be carefully chosen to optimize sleeping time in the car. You can try leaving before sunrise and you will manage several hours of quiet driving time before they wake up and want entertainment. Some folks travel at night because everybody is sleeping. Not only do you get a peice of mind but you also save on the food budget. Plan the trip not to coincide with any major traffic surrounding holiday season at least to minimize time spent in the car. Take your food breaks during work traffic. People go to lunch around noon and get off of work between 4-5 pm. Plan to take your lunch and dinner breaks around this time since spending time in large amounts of traffic will obviously take longer to get to your destination.There are some things you can do to make the ride a bit smoother and more fun for everyone. It's important to plan ahead when deciding to take a long car journey with your kids. Make sure the car is comfortably packed; keep the backseat clear so they have more space. Here are 5 surefire ways to keep your long car ride fun for kids:1. Pack a goodie bag for each child filled with simple cheap toys that you think can keep them amused. Depending on their ages there some creative and inexpensive items that will keep them quiet and happy. Browse through the cheaper isle of the toy store. 2. Another good buy, speaking of inexpensive items, is a deck of cards (if you do not already own any). This is a great investment not only for the car ride but for the destination as well. 3. There are all kinds of listening materials available. You could buy some, borrow some from your local library or look around on the internet. Radio-productions and taped books can be a wonderful way to pass the time together in the car and enjoy a book together as a family.4. The classic car journey activity is singing. And for a good reason too. Try to choose a CD that everyone will enjoy. 5. Coloring books, puzzles, crosswords and sticker books can be included in another goodie bag along with crayons to create hours of fun and more importantly quiet. There are also all kinds of electronic portable gaming devices which are a fun way to pass the time. If you have a DVD player in your car you can stock up on a new DVD to keep them entertained and quiet. Remember the journey is part of the holiday so make it fun. Stop along the way and appreciate the sights. Use the opportunity to explore new places. Regular breaks will make the long trip easier on everyone. Pack a picnic and let your kids release their pent up energy. The most important thing is to keep your activities varied. Alternate 30 minutes of card playing with some singing and then some coloring in. With some planning and creativeness you can make you car ride enjoyable for the whole family - and that's what vacations are about after all!

Summary

Research and contact with expatriate employees leads me to believe that the requirements that are needed to ensure success do differ according to the stage of expatriation. Being aware of these needs allows you to be able to prepare for a happy and successful international appointment.