People filling bottles and drinking at a public water fountain in Paris, France.

Life in Paris: Air and Water Quality

Parisians deal daily with high levels of air pollution thanks to a number of factors, a population favoring diesel cars included. In the spring of 2015, Paris briefly topped the world charts for air pollution, putting it above regular offenders such as Delhi and Peking. On the ground, a national pastime of cigarette smoking and lime buildup in water are two issues newcomers face.

A staircase leads up to the Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu temple, which is set against a blue sky.

Religion in London

According to a recent census, the United Kingdom as a whole is a fairly religious place, with believers outnumbering nonbelievers. The dominant religion is Christianity, with the Protestant Church of England the most common, followed by Roman Catholics. Other significant religions include Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Judaism.

A row of kneeling statues with their hands in the wai pose.

Conduct and Etiquette in Thailand

Thais are generally an extremely friendly, social, and curious people. A mai pen rai attitude, which loosely translates as “no worries,” pervades casual social interactions. That said, failing to observe certain key social customs may offend. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the wai, daily conduct and etiquette, and how to properly address everyone from coworkers to shop clerks.

A typical small town house in rural New Zealand. Photo © Gina Smith/123rf.

Buying Property in New Zealand

Buying property in New Zealand is a big investment. While the process itself isn’t much more or less complicated than elsewhere, there are a handful of unique considerations to be made. Here are explanations of leaky liability, cross-leases, and common terms used in reference to housing and real estate.

Shops at Alésia in the 14th arrondissement - Paris.

A Paris Expat Experience: Living in the 14th

If you’ve got questions about what life is like in a Paris neighborhood for an expat, the best source to go to are fellow expats with a few years of experience in their new country under their belt. Expert author Aurelia d’Andrea sat down for a chat with Dan Smith, age 62, about his life in the 14th arrondissement.

A woman sells meatballs and sausages on sticks in a bag with sauce in Phuket market, Thailand.

Enjoying Meals in Thailand

Thailand is having a love affair with food, which ensures that you can generally eat whenever you want to without worrying about offending anyone (the one place you can’t eat, however, is on the Bangkok subway or Skytrain). Learn about common meal times in the region and what to expect from Thai cuisine.

Horses on pasture. Photo © Michelle Waitzman.

Why Move to New Zealand?

Why New Zealand? That’s the question author Michelle Waitzman was asked most often as she prepared to move there from her home in Toronto. Here she talks about the reasons why she chose New Zealand, reasons why others might make the same choice, and what she loves about her new home.

View of the Seine river through Paris from the Eiffel Tower.

Navigating Paris: Départements, Arrondissements, and More

Metropolitan France, or what the locals refer to as La Métropole, is carved into 22 culturally distinct regions, which are further divided into départements. In the manner of Russian dolls, each department contains arrondissements, cantons, and communes. For the day-to-day practical purposes of the expat, knowing your regions and departments is what matters most.

CCTV cameras adorn an iron stand in France.

Staying Safe in France

It isn’t very likely you’ll become a crime statistic if you live in France, but if you do run into trouble, the police can help with matters as varied as finding a lost animal to giving you directions to helping you when your pocket is picked on the Paris Métro. Here’s who to contact and what you need to know.

Rugby and beer are a winning combination in New Zealand. Photo © by David Blaiki, licensed Creative Commons usage.

The New Zealand Lifestyle

What will life be like for you in New Zealand? That answer is as individual as you are. Whether you’re off to become a banker in Auckland, a student in Southland, or a farmer in Marlborough, there is a good chance you can find a lifestyle that suits you.