How to find friends while living abroad?

How to find friends while living abroad?

Loneliness kills, and life is way better with friends. But how do you find friends in a new city or even in a foreign country? Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think! Here are some advices which will help you finding contacts in a new environment.

Consequences to the Brexit for the EU and the Erasmus program

Colleagues

The first people you’ll get to know while doing your internship abroad, will be your coworkers. Try to be as communicative as possible. Don’t be shy! If you talk to them first, they’ll think of you more positive and open. Try to ask them for their plans and maybe they’ll invite you for a beer after work or a party at their house on the weekend.

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups with the name “Nationality in XXX”. If you are interested in meeting people from your home country, who have been through the same changes, feelings and troubles like you, this is a good way to get connected. Also, this groups are great if you need advice about how things work in the new country, where to find a flat or where you can eat your home countries food, if you miss it.  
If you went abroad to not meet your fellow country(wo)men, then there are International groups like “Expats in XXX” or “Erasmus in XXX”. Just be creative in your search and I’m sure you’ll find the right group. And if not, just open one yourself!

Language exchange

You just arrived in your new country and you’re not very fluent yet in the local language? Don’t worry! You can find new friends, while improving your language skills. There are probably hundreds of people in your new city who are willing to help you. The easiest way to find them is to offer that you teach them your own mother tongue. Because you’ll always find people, who are learning German, French, Italian etc. in other countries. What if you speak such an unknown language like Estonian or Welsh as your first language? Don’t worry, most people are also happy to improve their English skills by having conversations in this language.
To encounter this kind of people, the internet – again – is a good tool for that. Facebook events or groups like “language exchange in XXX” can help you. There are also some websites who dedicate themselves on bringing people together as “tandem partners”. Or just go to a local language school and ask there, if someone is interested to get some extra practice.

Clubs

A very good way to get to know new people is a membership in a club. It can be a sports club, a theater club, a choir or a reading circle. You won’t just get to know tons of new people, but also be able to pursue your hobby while living abroad. Just google your city and your hobby and I’m sure you’ll find the right club for you, where you get to know people with the same interests as you.

Volunteer

Commit yourself in local aid organizations. In every town you can find them and the people you’re going to meet there are the best kind of. If you are a religious person, you can reach out to the local community and ask where they need help. But also outside of church organizations there is plenty helping hands needed: You can ask in homes for asylum-seekers, animal shelters, orphanages, hospitals or elderly homes. It is probably the best way to get to know locals and help the community of your new home. A very big extra plus is that social commitment looks great in your CV and shows the recruiters you care about others.

Couchsurfing

Maybe you already heard of that website. For those of you who haven’t: the aim of couchsurfing is to connect travelers all over the globe. Whenever you are in a new city and try to find a place to sleep you can write locals, who offer their couch (or bed) for you to stay. What do they expect in return? Nothing but good vibes, nice conversations and maybe friendships all over the world.
The couchsurfers have a profile with pictures, descriptions about themselves etc. and there is also a reference-section, where other surfers or hosts left a comment about their experience with this specific person. So, it’s not as unsafe as one thinks at the beginning, cause you can read up the experiences from other people, also, most of the profiles are verified by a Facebook profile or payment.
But how does this website help you, as you are not in the need of a place to stay in your new city? Well, you can also use the platform to connect with the locals to meet for a beer or a coffee in town. There are groups where you can ask questions. And it offers the possibility to start local events. In many big cities there are regularly (weekly or monthly) Couchsurfer Meetings in local bars where you could join.

Just try it! You have literally nothing to lose by meeting new people!

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How to find an accommodation in London before your trip?

How to find an accommodation in London before your trip?

Your dream has always been to do an internship in London? and finally, after months of search, you have finally found the right one. Congratulations! Now, the only thing that awaits is to find an accommodation… You don’t know where to start? We got your back! ?

How to certainly find an accommodation in the city center within 5 days?

We often start with the thought that it is hard nowadays to find an accommodation in London. But why is that? First of all, it is quite an expensive city, more than Paris or Munich on average, even if the real estate prices have dropped since Brexit was announced. On average, it is difficult to find an accommodation in the main cities of the United Kingdom but it is even harder when you are looking for a place to stay from abroad. Usually, the further you are from the city center, the lower the rent will be. Yet, due to public transportation fees in London being quite expensive, you should find the right balance.

How to find an accommodation in London within record time?

How to find an accommodation in London within record time?

If you are tired of going through adverts all day long, then stop wasting your time on Facebook or any classified online adverts. Most of those are actually published by real estate agents anyways, so why wouldn’t you talk with them directly? We recommend you to contact these real estate agencies, as they are professionals who know well the market of London.

Since 2014, House London Trip supports those adventurers who are preparing their stay in London and they have already conquered the housing market in the capital. The company will propose you a flat which fits your needs within a short time period and you could even reserve it before arriving in London. They provide a personalized service allowing you to travel in complete serenity by avoiding all the administrative traps of what London could hide. The agency takes care of each of its customer on a case-by-case basis and allows you to move in less than 5 days. House London Trip has now launched a new service specialized in “short trips”, ideal for a 2 to 6 months long internship for instance.

The founder, Chakir Zahid I met some time ago, this French citizen had a first-hand experience of how hard it is to find a place to live. He decided to begin his own start-up located in Great Britain to help people who are in the same situation as he was. He realized the need for help, that how hard it can be to get by in a new city, where you barely know anyone.

How does this personalized service works to find your accommodation?

    1. 1. Defining your needs (localization, budget, trip duration) with a dedicated expert.
    1. 2. Visiting selected properties either on-site or through video.
    1. 3. Signing the lease agreement and moving into your new place.

“I do not regret calling House London Trip for a room. They helped me a lot. By entrusting them with the mission of looking for accommodation I was able to arrive in London and settle down calmly without worrying about anything. Team very serious since there is a first telephone contact to identify the needs and the visits begin upon arrival in London.”

- Lamina

What service to choose for an accommodation adapted to your needs

House London Trip offers 3 different personalized services to help you when looking for your new home. After sending the form to register, you will have to choose between 3 packages:

The ready-to-move

Once arrived in London, HLT can organize an unlimited number of visits per day according to your criteria. A dedicated team member will help you with the whole process until you have signed the lease agreement of the chosen place.

Visiting properties remotely

It is a unique possibility to visit properties through Skype or FaceTime from your home country. A team member will contact you 2 hours before to check on your availabilities. You will just have to sign the lease after your arrival!

Premium service

As soon as you arrive in London, a team member will welcome you at the King’s Cross tube station, then he will guide you directly to the Generator Hostel London to check you in. Afterwards, the 3 days of unlimited visit will start, according to your attainabilities.

All these packages also include administrative help with your relocation:

  • Creation of your Oyster Card (public transportation card).
  • A sim card from the provider Giffgaff (with a 5£ deposit).
  • Scheduling your appointment for your NIN (National Insurance Number). Essential document in order to have a job in England.
  • Helping with opening your bank account.
  • Registering you to the NHS service (National Health Service).

Once you are in London, enjoy the House London Trip expatriates’ network, make new friends and take the most of your new life abroad! Not to mention that they propose, once a month, an after-work event in one of the city center pubs.

Contact Chakir ZAHID

Website: http://www.houselondontrip.com/

Mail : info@houselondontrip.com

Phone : +44 (0) 7 985 751 770

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The 4 stages of culture shock and how to deal with it

The 4 stages of culture shock and how to deal with it

Doing your internship abroad can be an exhilarating experience. Most people experience different stages of feelings after leaving their home culture. This so-called culture shock has 4 stages. This report will outline the different phases and give recommendations on how to deal with it.

The 5 stages of culture shock and how to deal with it.

Honeymoon Phase

During this time everything is great, exciting and new. You will experience the differences, meet new people, taste new foods and visit some sights. The trip seems like the greatest decision ever made. This phase can last days, weeks or month. On short trips or internships, this phase might be the only one.

Rejection Phase/ Culture Shock

The realities can become overwhelming. Differences are noticed but not in a good way. Besides that, you start missing things from back home such as the food. You are tired of not understanding signs, gestures or the language. You start to appreciate things at home and feel sad, angry or confused. It is normal to feel a bit homesick or depressed when staying a long time abroad.

Adjustment Phase

You meet new people and begin to feel more familiar and comfortable with the culture. You have a more positive feeling and get comfortable with the food, people and the language.

Reverse Culture Shock

As soon as you arrive back home, you will have to get used to the culture back home again. Once you have been accustomed by the way things are done in another country, you can go through the same series of the culture shock again.

How can I deal with it?

  1. Learn about your new location or country before you go. Inform yourself about the climate, time zone, foods, political system etc.
  2. It is beneficial to keep open-minded. You could for instance learn a few words in the native language.
  3. Try to avoid comparisons with your home country.
  4. Travel within your new country. Experience the variety of landscapes and sights. Attend cultural events or festivals and perhaps visit museums. It is a once in a life time experience and you should enjoy it! It will also make you appreciate your new home country.
  5. Meet the right kind of people abroad and build new friendships. With right kind of people, we mean positive-minded people. It helps to share your feelings with somebody. Besides that, loneliness can kill!
  6. Keep in touch with friends and family from back home. It makes you feel more comfortable and helps to minimize your reverse culture shock.

Don’t be scared! Keep in mind that it is normal to experience a culture shock when living abroad! We hope that we could help you to understand your feelings and how to overcome the shock. As always, we wish you all the best for your future!

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7 reasons of doing your internship in Germany

7 reasons of doing your internship in Germany

Internships are a great opportunity to gain valuable international working skills and experience a different culture. Some countries are more popular for internships than others. For anyone who would like to live in a culture-rich European country, here are 7 benefits of working in Germany.

7 benefits of working in Germany.

Growing economy and low unemployment rate

Germany is the world’s second largest exporter and its economy is ranked number one in Europe and number four worldwide. The country offers great possibilities for you as it is the home of myriad international corporations. Besides that, the unemployment rate is at a low of 3.9 %, compared to 9,6 % in France, 18,4 % in Spain and 4,7 % in the US. Isn’t that a great precondition to start your professional career?

Life Quality

Would you expect one of the world’s main economic powers to have hard working conditions? Wrong! Firstly, internships in Germany are paid better than internships in other countries such as Spain or Greece. Secondly, Germans work averagely 35 hours per week. Thirdly, every full-time worker is entitled to 20 days of holidays plus 9 public holidays. This ensures that employees are well-rested and enjoy some leisure time. Fourthly, it is not allowed to work more than 8 hours a day from Monday to Saturday. By law, Sundays and certain holidays must be work-free. Another rule is that after one shift, workers must have a break of at least 11 hours before starting the next shift.

The Language

Let us be honest, German language is difficult to learn (Why was it Einstein’s native language?). One has to mention that German has the largest number of native speaker in the European Union. But if you are a foreigner that struggles with the language, no worries! Most Germans are proficient in English. Especially, global organizations use English as their office language. Nevertheless, most of our internships require some German skills, so it is your chance to learn and improve your language skills!

Encouraged Office drinking

Have you come over job descriptions in Germany where companies offer a Beer Friday at work? Do not be surprised, office drinking is allowed and even encouraged! Therefore, some companies offer their employees to drink beer on Fridays in the office or to held a party together after work hours.

Innovation

Germany is innovative. It is Europe’s number one location for Research. Companies spend billions of euros on Research and Development. Thus, Germany is also Europe’s leading patent applicant and the leading global force in high-tech solutions.

Celebrations and Festivals

During your internship, you will have the opportunity to attend some good celebrations! Many German towns and cities have several events such as the Oktoberfest, Karneval or the wine festivals. Work hard and play hard!

Public Transportation

It is so easy to get around in Germany. Public transportation is cheap and effective. Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich have been noted to have some of the best transportation systems in the world. This is due to the minimal disruptions and reasonably priced tickets such as 1.70 Euros for a short journey on the U-Bahn. There is also many buses and trains that can take you to the neighbor countries or further.
During your working hours, the focus is solely on work. That is what enables Germans to be so much more productive than other countries in a shorter period of time. However, all mentioned benefits sum up an excellent quality of life!

Did this blog caught your interest? Check out our internships in Germany!

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How to learn a foreign language ?

How to learn a foreign language ?

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world” said British philosopher, mathematician and linguist Ludwig Wittgenstain. When it comes to learning new languages have you ever considered this as overcoming some sort of limit in your life? Have you ever thought about starting to learn a completely new language and become bilingual, trilingual or maybe even a polyglot? If you have doubts that it may be too late for you or if you think that people who can speak foreign languages are simply talented you must know, that it is scientifically proven that the human brain is capable of learning new languages no matter what age you are. It doesn’t matter if it’s a child, student or retired person.

Methods to learn a new language.

A few interesting facts which can be useful before you will start?

The most widely spoken Romance languages are Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian and Romanian. As an example, for someone who can speak Spanish it will be easier, almost effortless, to learn a new language from this group, i.e. Portuguese or Italian. The same principle could be applied to the Slavic group of languages which are: Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Slovak, and the South Slavic languages. In this case if you can speak i.e. Russian, learning Croatian, Bulgarian, Czech or any other language from the Slavic family should not be a problem for you. Furthermore, the knowledge of the Arabic language is making the whole process of learning new languages easier. If we can master the Arabic language we will acquire a big amount of the vocabulary, which will help while learning any other language. In light of the above, the question arises whether in case of the knowledge of many languages, let’s pretend 10, if we are really able to speak fluently in each one of them? The answer is, yes, we can be fluent in a few languages at the same time if we have the chance to use all of them in our daily life or at least very often. This can be i.e. at work, during our internship abroad, while traveling etc.

Can we learn a new foreign language alone?

The answer is… Yes, of course we can! Hereby, when learning a new language by our own, it is more important how much time we invest to learn the language, rather than the organisation of this time. Studying a language for 1 hour by ourselves means utilizing the most efficient way to grasp the language, as during this time we are learning in the most active and focused way possible.
When attending a language course or class with a group, we are easily distracted or interrupted by many things and the teacher is not able to perpetually pay the attention only to us. Briefly, this time which is supposed to be spent for acquiring a new language is not as effective as it would be while learning by our own. On the other hand, studying as a group has many positive aspects. While working with other students, we have the chance to engage more stimulus and emotions which also makes learning easier. The conclusion is clear. The best results will be reached by combining these two methods of studying. Of course, it is worth to attend a language course together with other students, but it is also very important to work independently, search for the materials that inspire us to study and to enhance our knowledge and skills.

Do we need to have a great gift for languages?

Some people assume that in order to learn foreign languages we must be talented or that having an excellent musical hearing as well is necessary, because languages and music have a lot in common. It is proved that in pursuance of learning at least one foreign language we don’t need any special talents. Each of us learnt our mother tongue, which shows that we already own all the necessary skills. All we need to remember, while learning a new language, is to properly use our potential which we already have and to find our own way to acquire lots of new grammar rules and vocabulary.

Three basic tricks which will help you to learn a new language faster.

  1. Learn the language in a passive as well as active way.
    Active language learning means that we are learning the grammar rules and practicing the pronunciation as well. The passive way of learning a language is nothing more than watching movies with subtitles and listening to the music in a foreign language while doing some other activities like eating breakfast or having morning coffee etc.
  2. Organise yourself so as to ensure that you are constantly in touch with the language which you want to learn.
    While you are busy in your daily life it will be worth the effort if you will try to surround yourself with the foreign language in every possible way i.e. listen to the podcasts, music, audiobooks, read the books in this language while traveling by public transportation, and at work at the university read the cards with the words of the day.
  3. Learn the language wherever and whenever you can.
    “Thanks to modern technology you don’t have to be spending hours in the book, you can get an application and then with its help you can learn a new language, so even if it’s something for 10-15 minutes a day or in the morning and then later in the evening” Matthew Youlden – one of the most recognisable polyglots in the world.

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The ultimate check list for going abroad

The ultimate check list for going abroad

Are you excited to go abroad? We are thinking about you. Thus, we will provide you with a short checklist for your next long-distance journey.

To ensure that your stay abroad is a success, it should be well-planned. Living in a different country is an adventure. Therefore, it should be organized in advance. Many students might think that organization is only buying the flight tickets, but this is not the case! At least, one should consider legal, health, safety and financial aspects before leaving home.

We will provide you with a ultimate checklist for going abroad.

Basic language

If you are reading this right now, your English is probably at a good level. However, you can never be certain that this is not always enough to get around easily. For instance, local people in Mexico or Panama do not necessarily understand English well.
Who does not appreciate if people visiting their home country speak some words in their native language? Think about all the misunderstandings that you can avoid by learning a few simple words. Local people will greatly appreciate your effort and you will have less problems to get around. Nobody has to invest in expensive books or audios, there are plenty of free apps.

Legal documents

In order to avoid strange situations at the airport or after your arrival, please make sure that you are legal! One of the things you should definitely check first is your passport. Is it valid 6 months after your departure? If not, it is recommended to apply for a new one.
Are you ensured during your stay abroad? Most European students have an insurance card that works perfectly fine within Europe. If that is not the case, please contract an international insurance.
Did you take care of your civil liability? Most people are not aware of this, but companies require this. It could be possible that your university takes care of it or your parents insurance. If none of this applies, you can contract one online or even when booking your flight.
If you needed a visa to enter the country, please make sure that you have all the necessary documents. Some countries such as China also require you to bring a few passport pictures or show the internship agreement.

Health

Do not travel when you are sick. Besides that, please obtain proper medical advice for instance from your local doctor regarding vaccinations.

Accommodation

It is convenient that all internships in the hospitality field offer an accommodation. If you are doing a business internships at a firm that does not offer an accommodation, here is one basic tip: search in social media to make social contacts and discover groups such as “rooms in …”. This could be beneficial for searching flat mates or for seeking advice abroad. Regarding flats, make sure that it is easy accessible by public transportation.

Phone

Not every airport has a working wi-fi connection. If you would like to stay connected, we can recommend to buy a sim card at the airport, if possible. They are usually affordable and already come with some free minutes and internet.

Currency

Moving to a country that does not have the same currency as yours? Change some cash in advance because some places do not accept credit cards or offer ATMs. It is always beneficial to have some cash for instance if you have to pay fees at the airport or need a taxi ride.
Also get familiar with the monetary conversion and make sure your credit card will work. Look beforehand if it makes sense to open a bank account or how high the fees for taking out cash from the ATM are.

Small details

There are a few other details that travelers value. One of them is to make sure that your memory card is big enough. The other one is a portable charger that ensures a sufficient battery of camera or phone. Other aspects could include to pack an extra set of clothes in the carry-on bag to be prepared in case your luggage may get lost. Take a look at the airline regulations so you can prepare to bring the right amount of checked and carried luggage for your trip. Finally, you should consider apps such as CityMaps2go or Mapsme that enable GPS without using up battery life or roaming data.

All in all, we understand that everybody has their own personal checklist depending on their needs. Nevertheless, we hope that this blog helps you to prepare for your next stay abroad. Stay safe and have fun!

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