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01. What is your name?
02. What is your age group?
03. Where are you originally from?
Jersey, in the Channel Islands.
04. In which country are you now living?
05. How long have you lived here and how long are you planning to stay?
About ten years; and maybe ten more.
06. Are you living alone or with your family?
With an English partner.
07. Why did you move?
To be in a larger society with more access to entertainment, cultural events and professional music. (Jersey is very small!)
08. How did you find the transition to living in a foreign country?
A culture shock in subconscious ways that werent easily predicted, as Jersey is part of the British Isles and has many British systems and attitudes, as well as the same currency and a similar legal system. However, I found the overcrowding of London and the sheer numbers of people hard to cope with, and the ethnic diversity was a surprise. I still cant deal with huge supermarkets and certainly believe that nobody needs to drive at over the Jersey speed limit of 40 miles an hour!
09. Was it easy making friends and meeting people; do you mainly socialise with other expats?
Very easy: I made lots of local friends at casual jazz events in pubs, for example. I dont really know any other expats, although most people in Hastings, where I now live, seem to come from somewhere else in England.
10. Was it hard to get a visa or a work permit?
The Channel Islands are an unusual case, being part of the British Isles, but not of the United Kingdom, nor the European Union. So a visa wasn't necessary, but obtaining a National Insurance number was complicated.
11. Was it difficult for you to get medical insurance before you went there or when you first arrived?
12. How do you make your living in the country? Do you have any type of income generated?
I was in merchant banking at home and Im now diversifying from accountancy into HR.
13. Do you speak the language and do you think it's important to speak the local language?
I already spoke English, but I would always learn the local language wherever I went, both to show and earn respect.
14. Please add your thoughts on local customs and whether it's important for expats to respect/observe local customs.
As far as possible, its crucial to do so. However, my previous experience as an expat in Thailand highlighted the impossibility of always observing local customs. If I had, Id be a marital slave with six children by now. Respect local customs to a degree, be polite where possible, but always be true to yourself.
15. Do you miss home and family sometimes?
Of course: I return to see family frequently. Ones heart always stays in ones homeland. I have never seen more beautiful beaches than those in Jersey.
16. Do you have other plans for the future?
Life is what happens whilst you're making plans.
17. What about housing, have you bought, or are you renting a home?
18. What is the cost of living in your new country?
Much cheaper than at home.
19. What do you think about the local people?
Being British, they are generally similar to the society in which I grew up.
20. What are the positive and negative aspects of living here?
More culture, space, freedom / More crime, grime, poverty.
21. Do you have any tips for our readers about moving to, or living in the country?
Question not answered
22. What is the worst experience you have had as an expat?
Too many horrors to relate in Thailand, whereas England is much more civilised, so being teased by university friends pretending that I'd arrived by helicopter is the sort of high-class problem you can expect.
23. Do you have any favorite websites or blogs about the country?
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