In my expatriate experience, there were not many websites dedicated to helping one relocate overseas. However, in recent years this has greatly changed for the better. In fact, these expatriate websites have become a wonderful platform for those who were wary about the idea of taking international opportunities to seriously consider moving abroad. Here are some of the best websites that I have found that cater to a wide range of prospective expats and their needs while being stationed abroad, owned by expats in all regions of Australia:
Best Expat Website Awards
1) Dave’s ESL Cafe: www.daveseslcafe.com Dave’s ESL Cafe will always have a soft spot in my heart because it is how I was able to work in South Korea for the first time with no professional connections. Although no one knows who Dave really is, he is a legend among the international teaching community. These jobs are great for a fresh university graduate who is a native English speaker who wants to make money while seeing the world. As a result of Dave’s ESL Cafe I was able to pay off a student loan and backpack through Southeast Asia before starting law school. Many of my friends had similar luck given that the site has jobs in Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe.
2) Expat Focus: www.expatfocus.com This website is a great resource for expats who are trying to find out information about the logistics of moving themselves or their families abroad. Here one can find information on movers, schools, local supermarket locations, cell phone service providers, and much more. Expats have used this site as a great preliminary research starting point to see which international locales provide them with the most attractive living options for their families. Essentially, this allows expats to streamline their process and organize themselves more efficiently in their process of relocating overseas.
3) Global Tax Help: www.globaltaxhelp.com This website is targeted at U.S. citizens who are contemplating working abroad. The U.S. has one of the most complicated international taxation systems in the world, which is why this website helps the prospective expat ascertain how much they need to pay in taxes in order to avoid problems with the IRS. Additionally, this website provides taxation tables that show the prospective expat see a glimpse of what countries have better international taxation relations with the United States for purposes of wiring money back home. A great resource I would say!
4) Xpatulator: www.xpatulator.com With the great success of the “Big Mac Index,” many expats have wondered what much more than their “Big Mac” will cost abroad? This website is a unique resource that can show expats a glimpse of what the cost of living will be in a wide variety of countries and even includes the developing world. This website is essentially designed for the expat who is considering taking opportunities in multiple locales. With the resources provided on this site, the prospective expat can narrow down which locales are fiscally worthwhile for the various professional options that have been presented to them.
5) MeetUp: www.meetup.com This website is targeted for both the young and old. Meet Up is stationed in cities all over the world and is designed to connect both expats and travelers alike who have similar interests. I personally participated in these groups in Santiago, Chile and met some very nice people who wanted to practice speaking Spanish with me. Meet Up typically charges a small fee to a happy hour and then you can network for both business and personal friends there. Additionally, this site links you to local clubs that include soccer leagues, etc. It is a great asset to start making connections in a new city.
6) Newcomers Club: www.newcomersclub.com This website is generally targeted at a family who is moving abroad for an extended period of time. This website seeks to create a neighborhood environment for expats by pairing prospective expat families that possess common interests and family values. The idea is to design activities for like-minded families who happen to be living in the same global city. Many families have greatly enjoyed the unique bonds that they make from this website and have raved about the long-term friendships they have made. Newcomers Club is growing extensively and can be found in most large expat professional destinations abroad.
7) Tales from a Small Planet: www.talesfromasmallplanet.com This website is ideal for the prospective expat who wants to get a job abroad and doesn’t want to wait for their domestic boss to promote them to the “overseas department.” This website provides a platform of global contacts that are posting jobs that are looking for specific skills overseas. What makes this website an asset is that it makes sure your language and prior international experience is known. With this website, you are more likely to be paired with the right decision-maker who needs your skillset and is willing to put you on a plane as soon as possible to start your global career adventure.
8) Booking.com: www.booking.com Booking.com is an unexpected choice on this list; however, it is an important asset to expat life. Those expats who want to take advantage of their location and travel should be aware of booking.com’s “genius” option. If you use their site enough, you get 10% off of every hotel you book. Additionally, you get last minute deals on suites and resorts around the globe that can save you up to 80%. This is precisely why I had an oceanfront suite in Cancun last month for 80% off and a penthouse apartment in the most posh district of Buenos Aires for 75% percent off last weekend. Thus, I will surely be forever loyal to this website!
9) UpWork.com: www.upwork.com UpWork is an important asset to expats when it comes to making a salary in another country. At times, you will need to wire money home and it can be very expensive to do so every month. By doing freelancing work on UpWork, you can make enough income to cover expenses back home and then wire your foreign salary when you feel the exchange rate is more in your favor. What is neat about UpWork is that you can make money anywhere in the world that has reliable Internet connection. Additionally, through using UpWork you can make international connections that you never thought possible that will help you boost your career goals beyond your current work position.
10) AirBnb: www.airbnb.com While AirBnb is truly becoming an international name, it presents prospective expats with three opportunities for success. The first is that the expat considering working abroad can rent their current apartment out in their home city to net a profit while working abroad. Additionally, the expat who is given a housing allowance can find many viable options that are far less than their budget in unique parts of their new city. Lastly, the expat who is traveling for the weekend can also find great deals on this site that will both save them a great deal of money and provide them with a unique traveling experience.
11) Affordabletours.com: www.affordabletours.com This website highlights the aspect of the expat wanting to maximize what they see while they are on their international assignment. This website has unique tours over the world that range from backpacker to first class. When I was working in Europe, I was able to go on a Safari in South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe for one week for $500 USD including all meals and transportation. Affordabletours.com has many deals such as this that allow the prospective expat to make the most of their international travel opportunity. Currently, Affordabletours.com has tours in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and many more for the expat wanderer to explore.
12) What’sApp: www.whatsapp.com Even though What’sApp is arguably not an informative website, it is an essential resource for the prospective expat for a wide variety of reasons. Being an expat, you are going to make friends from all over the world who decide to keep mobile numbers from their home countries. What’sApp allows you to only invest in a data plan abroad and be able to call, text or send photo/video to anyone in the world. Another great feature of What’sApp is that it allows you to send your location to someone when you are lost in a new city. For anyone considering moving abroad this App is a must that will facilitate both your move and staying in touch with your loved ones a smooth transition.
13) XE: www.xe.com One aspect that expat life that is often overlooked is the necessity of knowing what your local currency is worth. I cannot tell you how many times I have pulled up the calculator on my iPhone to see what I was spending around the globe. One of the best ideas is to download an App from any of the major currency converters or to check the rates from a site like XE to know what you are spending. Doing this will avoid any unfortunate financial surprises that you hope to avoid while traveling. Additionally, doing this can enable you to be sure that you are not being given false rates by local currency exchange shops.
14) InterNations: www.internations.org This website is an excellent forum for expats around the globe. What is unique about this site is that it provides informative content but also hosts global events all over the world to connect expats living abroad. The events are catered to a specific interest and are aimed at connecting people. By making members pay dues, InterNations allows their clients to have more personalized events all over the world. Additionally, members can create unique events that they decide to host, which generates further interest. Whether it is Chilean wine tasting or international politics in the Hague, InterNations has a great deal to offer their expat clients. InterNations has become a great success and is rapidly growing daily.
15) AngloINFO: www.angloinfo.com Given that English is the official business language of the world, it is no surprise that there is a networking website for English speaking expats. AngloINFO has actually become a resource for both native English speakers and non-native English speakers alike. What distinguishes AngloINFO is that is combines both professional and personal networking on a reliable and informative platform for expat users to browse and enjoy. AngloINFO has become quite well known for their innovative networking events that seek to educate expats while they are abroad in local topics specific to the locale in English. As a result of this, AngloINFO has attracted a diverse professional and personal audience that keeps growing.
16) Send My Bag: www.sendmybag.com This website is greatly helpful for the expat who is moving abroad with limited resources. Moving is difficult especially when you have to fit your life into the two-bag international suitcase restriction. “Send My Bag” allows you to choose from a great deal of package options in order to find the option that best suits your needs whether it is to Asia or Canada. By using “Send My Bag,” you can save a great deal and have your bags arrive to your new international locale directly without hauling them throughout your entire journey. Additionally, you can avoid the risk of baggage theft when traveling to developing countries.
17) International Real Estate Directory: www.internationalrealestatedirectory.com This site is ideal for the expat who is looking to invest in real estate abroad. The site will provide you with both local listings and local contacts that will enable you to have guidance through the process of purchasing your dream property abroad. Additionally, this site will allow you to avoid common pitfalls of real estate taxation and contractual agreements that could vary from your home jurisdiction. Furthermore, this real estate website will provide language guidance where necessary if you are contemplating purchasing in a jurisdiction that has a completely different language. All in all, this website is fantastic for bridging the gap that expats commonly face when considering investing in real estate abroad.
18) Project Visa: www.projectvisa.com This website aims to ensure that travelers are never without the proper entry documents again. Since visa requirements change on a regular basis, this website provides a great resource to expats who are looking for both work and tourist visa requirements all over the world. By using this site, the expat will save a great deal of time on researching information on various government sites and consulates from developing countries. In order to ensure that you have met all the entry and/or work visa requirements, consider this excellent resource for your travel needs. Additionally, be sure that you provide ample time to obtain any travel documents that you need since consulates tend to fluctuate on their visa processing times.
19) Currencies Direct Sending money home is an enormous burden for expats. In fact, the majority of expats do not do their proper research to avoid paying many unnecessary fees for their transactions.Currencies Direct has developed a medium to send money between foreign bank accounts without paying the enormous wiring surcharges. While this site does not completely cut the cost of converting between currencies, it does take some of the burden off and provides for a great deal financial relief to expats trying to send money from abroad. Consider using Currencies Direct if you are being paid into a foreign bank account because it will be a great resource to your finances.
20) Time and Date: www.timeanddate.com Time and date changes cause many errors in international business. Surprisingly enough, many people have trouble distinguishing what day and time it is when they are both working at home or internationally. Time and Date is a great resource for scheduling global conferences, coordinating when to keep in touch with family and friends, anticipating seasonal time changes, and for calculating flight times. If you are unsure of a time difference, this is a great and quick way to calculate what you need to know for your professional and personal needs.