Got a question?

How much time do you spend answering international assignees’ questions?
At ERC last fall, we shared a luncheon table with global mobility specialists who recounted stories of their most memorable queries. They ranged from one family’s request to move their horses abroad to complicated immigration issues.
We at Living Abroad handle a similar list of queries. Did you know that our International Relocation Center (IRC) features a Help Desk that connects subscribing employees directly to our content experts? Just think of the time you could be saving by taking advantage of this benefit.
How often are you faced with questions like these? (Some have been edited for length.)

•    We are moving from Turkey to Switzerland. My daughter will be 6 years old in September. She was going to start primary school in Turkey. How can we arrange a school for her in Lausanne? Do I have to pay for school? As we will come in October the schools in Switzerland starts in September is it going to be a problem?•    We are moving to Scotland for two years.  I would like to know more about what food stuffs is safe to bring in.  If you have a website I could check that would be great.  We are entitled to an air and sea shipment.

•    Hi, currently I stay in Dusseldorf, Germany. Would like to know the nearest eye check up centres and specialists for an appointment. We already have UHC health card, but not sure how much is the consultation fee here.

•    Hello, could you inform me about the tax system in Switzerland?

•    What are the major banking societies in south Indonesia? As an expat can I open a local bank account? What are the requirements?

•    How do we find out about colleges and college admission for expats from the U.S. to England?

•    I am working on H1B visa in USA and am starting a new project and will need to work remotely from my Base Location in the U.S. for a client in Canada. I need to visit Canada for business purposes. Is it possible to get a business visa?

•    Would you please send information on St. Kitts/Nevis? I am relocating there with my company.

•    I am a U.S. citizen going to Canada on an expatriate assignment on a work permit. I’m looking for information on how to get my vehicles across the border properly.  Since I plan to use the vehicles for personal use only, will not sell, modify, or dispose of them while in Canada, and will bring them back with me when I return to the U.S., it is my understanding that I do not need to go through the formal Canadian importation process (per the RIV website, I meet an exemption criteria).  Can you help confirm?

Even before they engage us via the Help Desk, IRC users have found answers to their questions on airport transportation options, visa requirements, banking services, mobile phone networks, schools, types of housing, and more.  Of course, the answers to these questions are provided above and beyond the incredibly comprehensive information we deliver in every destination report.
In addition, consider the knowledge that sets us apart from other sources and which speaks to the very reason for the assignment: understanding how to conduct yourself in the host environment. Our ‘Business Practices’ and ‘Social’ sections illuminate and educate IRC users on – for example — how to hold a meeting, interpret a foreign host’s communication style, negotiate with the right person, wear appropriate attire, and entertain in a variety of settings.

So the next time your company asks “How do we serve our globally mobile employees and help HR at the same time?”, the answer is the IRC.

For more information on the International Relocation Center, or any of Living Abroad’s suite of other services, click here to contact us.  

Written by Ellen Harris, GMS, International Product Director