Guide to Work, Study, Travel and Living Abroad    

Focus on Living and Working Abroad and the 2009 Expatriate Writing Contest Winners

 Featured TAzine Articles
 Columns by Experts
The Anxiety of Otherness
Expatriate Life in Italy
by Linda Lappin

Winner of the 2009 Transitions Abroad Expatriate Writing Contest
Living in a village in Tuscia, Italy
7:45 on a Monday morning finds me waiting for the bus in the square outside the medieval gateway of a village in Central Italy, where I live part of the week. Waiting with me are cleaning ladies, farmhands, workmen, and a few older locals on their way to town. I make a point of saying good morning. Some reply; others don't, but they all know who I am: La straniera. One of a handful of foreigners who have moved into their territory, buying up old houses nobody wanted at prices nobody local would pay. Attitudes towards foreigners, especially Americans, are always in flux in a village like this one, where the word itself "straniero" is interpreted in the narrowest sense. Even people from the village a mile down the road are considered as "outsiders." Read more
Living in Calcata, Italy
“Calcata,” yelled the bus driver as we came around the bend. He hardly needed to make the announcement. Besides being the only one on the oversized blue bus, this village of 100 people, rising 450 feet above a verdant valley, has a way of announcing itself. It sits like a cupcake atop a mound of volcanic tufo stone; the rickety-looking houses are made from the same material from which they sit, giving the appearance that the structures had simply sprouted from the rock during some ancient magical age we are now far removed from... Read More
Teaching in Italy
Things are rarely black and white in Italy. From Botticelli to Berlusconi, Italians are famous for muddling their palettes and coloring outside the lines to serve their personal vision. The result is a chaotic cultural canvas where creativity can circumvent bureaucracy for those dreaming of transitions abroad... Read More
A Different Pace of Life
Living, Learning and Teaching in Korea
by Lindsay Nash

2nd Place Winner of the 2009 Transitions Abroad Expatriate Writing Contest
Living in Korea
When my husband and I first thought about living abroad, we looked at the usual hotspot destinations: Thailand, South America, and Japan. We were looking for anywhere for something other than an American 9-to-5 desk job. We needed something more: Adventure. Spice. Strange souvenirs we could hang on the wall. Stories to pass down to generations of grandchildren. And more than that, we needed perspective to better understand our own country and our own place in the world... Read More
Traditional Culture in Korea
The snow's been late coming this winter, but now it is here and it is relentless. Still a long way from developing my snow legs, I am determined that nobody see just how unsteady I am on the icy roads. Everything is on a hill here, and I take tiny shuffles down the slope. Korea is the land of hills and nobody is moving too quickly... Read More
Bicycle taxi in China
There are two countries in the world whose culture has the historical depth, confidence, and population spread to make them hold-outs in a world that is increasingly homogenous, and those are India and China. Both are attractive in different ways for Westerners seeking experience living and working in a different culture. China, the subject of this article, attracts foreigners by its past and present profile: an old eastern culture that is rapidly rising to take its place among the world's greatest modern civilizations, a stature that is all the more intriguing given the way it is blazing its own path in terms of the social contract... Read More
Living in India
We struggle down the airport ramp and into the sensory overload of India. Even though we are returning from vacation rather than arriving for the first time, it is still a shock. But then this land never fails to surprise... Read More
Enoshima cliffs near Tokyo
The vast metropolis that is Tokyo offers an intense jolt to your system-a fabulous initial ride but one that can and will cause you to crash if you are not prepared. Within the confines of the city are millions of people, the latest technological advancements, downright bizarre contradictions, and enough neon to make Las Vegas hang its head in defeat. For these very reasons, there is little wonder why culture shock is so endemic among tourists and expatriates alike... Read More
I Always Knew I Would Return
Living and Working in Argentina
by R. Wade Alexander

3rd Place Winner of the 2009 Transitions Abroad Expatriate Writing Contest
Living in Argentina
Following an exhausting week of final exams, my first year of college had come to an end. Just a few weeks later, in the summer of 1999, I would board a plane and head to South America. I was not going on vacation. I was not pursuing an international internship. Instead, I was going to serve a volunteer mission in northern Argentina.for two years. I literally said goodbye to family, friends, and comforts as I ventured into the unknown... Read More
Shaking Up the Routine
From Corporate Cubicle to Casual Colonial in Brazil
by Jenny Miller

3rd Place Winner of the 2009 Transitions Abroad Expatriate Writing Contest
Living in Brazil
Nearly a year after moving, alone, to the southern Brazilian capital city of Porto Alegre, I find that I have started to take some of the refreshments (my word for all those seemingly-mundane details that attracted me to this place), for granted. So when I detected a tug of impatience while waiting for the bus yesterday, I reminded myself that the extra minutes were a gift. Courtesy of a new and hard-won lifestyle, spare moments bring a chance to admire the bizarre leaves and twisty branches on the trees, a pause to appreciate the pink and yellow hues that explode around me... Read More
Start a New LIfe in the Czech Republic by Pearl Harris
3rd Place Winner of the 2009 Transitions Abroad Expatriate Writing Contest
Living in the Czech Republic
The view from my study is one of golden fields, with the occasional deer out grazing, a lake in the foreground, forests and mountains in the distance. At times I have to pinch myself to realize that it is not all merely a dream

Six years ago, my husband and I emigrated to the Czech Republic, where our best friends had settled and where, during a visit to them, we fell in love with the land. The peace, security and lack of crime—sadly absent in our homeland—were what we craved most of all... Read More

Living in Russia
Opening the Door of Possibility
by Natalie Ridler
3rd Place Winner of the 2009 Transitions Abroad Expatriate Writing Contest
Living in Russia
I step out of my grimy, Soviet-era apartment block and spy the perennially-smiling, toothless babushka (granny) from the flat below mine, feeding fish scraps to the neighborhood's stray cats. She clicks her tongue theatrically, predicting my imminent demise because I am without a hat (it is September). Then, taking pity on me, she invites me into her minuscule kitchen-with its panorama of Orthodox icons-for a shot of vodka, because I "look like a sweet girl." It is 11 a.m. And I think to myself, this is Russia.and I live here! Read More
A Year Living and Working in New Zealand by Lydia Horrex
3rd Place Winner of the 2009 Transitions Abroad Expatriate Writing Contest
Living in New Zealand
At this time two years ago, I would not have been able to tell you a great deal about New Zealand. In fact, I had never really given the place a second thought until the day I discovered it was the only westernized country where my partner and I could both legally live and work. We had both just finished our degrees in America and my student visa was up-it was time to go back to the U.K. With neither of us having any work experience (therefore unlikely to be sponsored in each others countries) it seemed our fates were sealed. Either we went our separate ways, or we found a country that would welcome both of us-and that country was New Zealand... Read More
Fruit Picking in New Zealand
Whether you are already traveling and in need of replenishing your funds, or you are trapped by unemployment with only daydreams of escaping on a trip, one option is to look towards the international countryside as a refreshing change of scenery in order to ride out the global recession.

New Zealand is a great place to start... Read More
Sailing Around the World
...Traveling the world by sailboat is a dream shared by many but experienced by few-more often than not thrown to the wind and destroyed by careers, commitments, and shore-side attachments. But for those who make the commitment to the sea, the life is incredibly rewarding-universal living, simple in its routines yet profoundly real... Read More
Moving Overseas
Getting caught up in the excitement and romance of moving to a new country is easy, but if you are expecting a smooth transition to an idyllic new life you might be disappointed. Relocation is hard work, and there are plenty of potential complications to trip you up along the way. The good news is some of them can be avoided. Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make when moving overseas, and how to avoid them... Read More
The decision has been made. It may be for pleasure. It may be for a mixture of reasons. But one thing is for sure. Moving abroad creates a labyrinth of checklists that need to be checked off before you set sail to the new place you will be calling home. One of the top items on that mile-long list is how to deliver your beloved belongings to the foreign land of choice.

The following is a list of must-do's to guarantee a successful, worry-free, reasonably-priced move:... Read More
Preparing for a Nomadic Life
Long-Term Traveler Columnist Friedel Rother
Friedel Rother
It is hard to exude an aura of wealth when you have been traveling for a long time, yet somehow we manage to carry it off. 

“Must be nice to be rich,” people quip time and time again when they learn my husband and I have been on the road for nearly three years... Read More

Beth Whitman
When I arrived in Australia, it was not my intention to become an expat. Rather, it was a necessity borne out of lack of funds that grounded me in Sydney. My mother was coming to visit from the U.S. a few months later and so I had to scrape together a way to live (and spending money for her visit) until she arrived... Read More
Kick Start Your Resume by Working Abroad
Professional Hobo Columnist Nora Dunn
Nora Dunn
Anyone coming out of college right now-or even recently-unfortunately has their work cut out for them in the figurative but not literal sense. With a dim economic outlook and the current recession dramatically impacting the United States as well as other countries in an increasingly global economy, many companies are looking to lay off employees rather than hire new ones. For a graduate with little to no work experience this is a pretty unfavorable environment in which to start building a career... Read More
Home Exchanges Enrich Travel Experiences
Cultural Immersion Columnist Shelley Seale
Shelley Seale
For those who love to travel abroad, frequently or for extended periods of time, the biggest expense aside from airfare is typically accommodations. Although many different options for traveling cheaply and saving money on hotels are available, one of the best ways to arrange completely free accommodations is through home exchanges. If you have never considered or tried a home exchange, now might be just the time. With a worldwide economic recession, die-hard travelers are loath to give up their wanderings, yet interest in saving travel dollars has never been greater... Read More
Ask the Expat Q&A
Taking A Fact-Finding Trip Before Moving Abroad
by a Living Abroad Contributing Editor Volker Poelzl
Volker Poelzl
Moving to another country is a big step that should not be taken lightly. There are many issues to consider. Much research must be done in order to ensure that you are making the right decisions. The most important decision is your choice of where to move. There are many unknown factors and questions about living abroad that cannot be answered by research alone, no matter how much time you spend gathering facts and information. The best way to assure that you are choosing the right destination for your overseas move is to take a fact-finding trip to the country that most interests you... Read More
Book Reviews
Moon Living Abroad in Japan
Moon Living Abroad in Japan, 2nd Edition, by Ruthy Kanagy

A few years ago Avalon Publishing introduced a new series of books about living abroad. The series is rapidly growing with a few new titles being published each year. Living Abroad in Japan was part of the first installment of books intended to help expatriates move overseas and adapt to life in a foreign country. The new second edition of Living Abroad in Japan has a slightly different format, including an introduction in full color, but the essential material and style remain unchanged... Read more
TAzine Editorial
We are proud to publish TAzine as a monthly Webzine which continues the 31-year tradition started by Transitions Abroad magazine. TAzine features many of the same columnists who wrote for the magazine, a growing group of new columnists, while featuring many freelance writers who wish to share their experiences and expertise within the context of our trailblazing coverage of work, study, travel, and living abroad.

Founded in 1977 by Dr. Clayton Allen Hubbs, Transitions Abroad magazine was the only print publication dedicated to work, study, living, volunteering, and immersion travel abroad. Its purpose—in print and now as a Webzine—is the dissemination of practical information leading to a greater understanding of other cultures through direct participation in the daily life of the host community.

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Living and Working Abroad
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Narrative Travel Writing and Cultural Travel
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