Being an expat is one of the most amazing opportunities. You get to live in exotic places, learn new cultures and languages, see amazing sites, be the intriguing foreigner, travel the world… What’s not to drool over? However, anyone who’s ever stepped into expat shoes will tell you it is also one of the biggest challenges you will ever face: living in strange places, being immersed in new cultures and languages, picking up and moving at someone else’s bidding, leaving everything and everyone you knew behind.
There are many reasons for joining the ranks of the expat community, the main ones being love, work, your love’s work, study, or just for the experience of it all. But once you’ve “sold your soul,” so to speak, there is a plethora of questions that arise. Where do the kids go to school? Where do I find a doctor? A dentist? What paperwork do I need? Will people speak my native language? Should I learn the language of my new country? How long will we be there? Can we bring the family pet? How and where can I make new friends?
This transition can be particularly hard on women. Whether going along for the ride willingly or being dragged along kicking and screaming, it’s easy to think that you are alone in your situation and that there’s no one out there who understands. Cue Expat Women.
Expat Women was developed in 2007 by good friends Andrea Martins and Jill Lengre. Both of these women have “walked the walk” when it comes to the expat experience. They’ve seen the highs, lows, tears, and laughter, and wished to extend a friendly and helpful hand to other women living abroad. Expat Women is a site, a blog, a newsletter, and more dedicated to helping all women living overseas.
Over 150 countries are covered on the website and Andrea and Jill have consulted experts, volunteers, and fellow expat women in each one of them to offer tips, advice, and the occasional pick-me-up to expats around the world. Some brilliant and remarkable lady expats share their experiences in interviews and stories and the site includes a comprehensive expat blog directory organized by country. Other features include resources, self-development columns, links, and various information for students, travelers, volunteers, partners, mothers, professionals, and free spirits embarking on, in the midst of, or just finishing their expat journeys. This site even offers assistance to researchers, HR or Relocation Professionals looking for expat resources, [and those] just dreaming of expat living…
For everything they couldn’t fit on the website (and here I thought they’d already said it all!), the blog was created. Posts range from notable expats and ways to get involved, to Expat Women and world news, to information and tips for expats no matter where in the world they may find themselves. The blog is always up-to-date and new posts can be found at least once a day. And don’t forget to follow Andrea on Twitter for the most recent news and happenings!
Membership and Newsletter
In addition to all the amazing things Expat Women has to offer, those who sign up for the membership (which is free, by the way) receive a copy of the e-book Winning Stories as well as chances to win cool stuff such as a complete set of Explorer Mini-Guides! And, of course, you will receive Expat Women‘s monthly newsletter.
Each newsletter features an expat Success Story, a Business Idea, Social Media, the latest articles to the website, an Expat Confession, Happiness Abroad, a Winning Story, and any other breaking news as far as Expat Women and the expat community goes. Only headlines are featured with the option to click the link below it to read the full story. This way you can sift through everything easily and quickly, choosing those aspects of the newsletter of particular interest to you.
Happy Birthday, Expat Women!
On 16 January, 2010, Expat Women will be celebrating it’s third birthday. That’s right – three years of stellar service! If you had not yet heard of Expat Women nor taken a peak at the smorgasbord they offer, this milestone is certainly as good a time as any to check it out. So, join me in wishing a Happy Birthday to Expat Women and be sure to drop by the blog or Twitter account to congratulate them yourself.
Expat Women, you certainly do! The very happiest of birthdays to you and here’s to many many more!
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