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Get clued up on current affairs

Amy Baker

As much as it can be easy to forget about current affairs when you move to a country and your only concerns are getting to know your new town or village or playing a casual game of golf every once in a while, it is important that you stay up-to-date on current affairs for a variety of reasons…

There are many factors that can impact upon your new life in a country whether that is tax increases, interest rates or political reform, to name but a few. As these can change the lifestyle that you have become accustomed to or that you have spent years planning to enjoy, it is worth making sure that you are aware of these types of newsworthy events. Today we outline a few ways that we would suggest going about this…

Before you go…
If you can tear your eyes away from those property websites, try and conduct a little research into the political and historical background of your new country. It’s important that you understand who runs the country, what laws you will have to abide by and so on – you can’t just assume that all will be the same as back home – even if you are just a short distance away.

It’s also worth chatting to any expats that you know who have already made the move – is there anything that you should be aware of? Is there anything going on that should concern you or that could affect your plans? I’m sure that the majority of you do it already but if not, keep a close eye on the news back home for mentions of your new country. You can even set up Google alerts so that every time your planned destination comes up in a news story – you get an alert straight to your inbox. How’s that for minimal effort!

There are some great expat websites out there which regularly post news on those issues expats are facing. It might be worth signing up to a few of these so that you can read the current stories making waves in the expat community. These websites also often have forums where you can chat to other expats and ask questions – this is a good way to get informed and make a few friendly acquaintances at the same time. 

Upon arrival…
In the majority of destinations you will find that there are a range of expat news websites, magazines and newspapers – many of which are free. Not only are these a fantastic way of keeping abreast of the news but they also often advertise events that it would be good for you to attend to meet people or services that you require but that you didn’t know where to find. As well as being a good source of news, these types of publications are just a great source of information in general and are definitely worth keeping an eye out for. 

Other people are another source of information on current affairs – and, let’s be honest, it’s a conversation starter! Don’t be afraid to ask people about things that you are unsure of or feel that you shouldn’t ask them to explain what something means – the majority of people will be more than happy to answer your questions and who knows, before you know it you could have moved on from politics and instead be sharing life stories over a nice glass of wine. 

Keeping informed on current affairs in your new country is just as important as it is back home – you wouldn’t ignore the news previously, so why would you suddenly chose to do so just because you are surrounded by new and exciting things? 


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