I am from Toronto and have lived in NY, Mauritius (which is my favourite place on earth!) and am on my way to Nepal to volunteer for 10 months.
My time in Mauritius was made incredible partially thanks to the people I met on expat blog!
This is going to sound silly, but I am moving to Swaziland, unsure yet of the city, and I am curious about beauty parlours. Only because I am currently in Asia where I have been spoiled with cheap waxing and threading available on every street. I know hair removal isn't quite as important in Africa as it tends to be in South Asia, based on general hairiness standards but, as a South Asian moving to Swaziland for a half a year, I'd like to know how easy it is to come across such essentials or if I need to pack a load of my own wax, etc. when coming?
I've just arrived in Nepal and will be moving to Patan/Lalitpur in a few weeks but am in Kathmandu for the time being. I'm interested in doing regular (cheap) meditation. Any places you can recommend for meditation that is not a retreat, meaning I can go for an hour or so then leave, not going away for a few days at a time?
Hi guys, thanks for the help. Well, I'm coming to volunteer with a fair trade organization on a full time basis so not sure if it would even be possible to get part time work. But I will definitely check around once I'm there. I'll be getting a stipend anyway that should be enough to cover my expenses there, but teaching English on a part time basis would be cool to get a feel for it (I thought about doing it in Korea but haven't yet).
Thanks. I have actually been taking a look numerous times on your blog but am unable to access the e-book you are working on. Well I don't know how easy it is to get around there...but the organization I will be working with is located in Lalitpur, so I assume it is around there that I will be looking for a place, but I have no idea how easy it is to get to other towns.
In terms of packing, as I am going for nearly a year...should I bother bringing a winter jacket, duvet, etc. or get that all there? It's the packing that I am most concerned about as I have no clue what to bring and to leave.
I am coming to Nepal from Canada for 10 months and will be volunteering and living in Lalitpur. I am interested in teaching English part-time around the area. How realistic is that? I don't have teaching experience but I do have a degree from Canada, and I've heard in many places that is sufficient.
Any help on how to find an opportunity would be great!
I am moving from Toronto to Lalipatur, Nepal for 10 months. I have no idea what to expect. I'll be there to volunteer but will have a stipend to live on. I have to find my own accomodations.
How is internet access there? How cheap is it to live? What should I expect to pay for rent? Is it safe? Are there gyms? I can't imagine jogging outdoors there... Are there a lot of expats there, or mostly in Kathmandu? Cell phone service? Travel within the city?
For some reason I never got an email saying there were responses to this post till today. Thank you all for your insight, it actually helps a lot, especially as applications have just opened.
Dang!! That kind of scares me and sounds awful. Yes, perhaps you had worse luck than I would based on your skin colour, but I happen to have a very, VERY Muslim name despite many people thinking I look Italian or Portugese (which is wrong). So, that could cause some problems for me, as well.
And I have gotten so used to knowing where to go for cheap things in Toronto, so an expensive city that doesn't speak English sounds quite terrifying to live in.
Was the education level good? Was it just the social experience that you didn't like, or did you find it all very hard?
I have been looking into going to Korea to teach English for some time now, but the one year agreement is what has made me nervous.
Is it at all heard of to find less than on year? I know in Canada, and elsewhere, school terms go on for 8-10 months, so it would be conceivable that there should be contracts lasting the duration of the school term and not the entire year.
But from what I've seen, they are all a year contract minimum. I even asked a recruiter who was emailing me, and she said less than a year doesn't exist, but I'd like to hear it from someone else.
I am going to be applying to University of Helsinki for a master's program for next year because it's free for foreigners and happens to have the program I want that no schools in Canada have.
More to the point: I've heard very little about Scandinavia aside from my ex-partner who moved to Sweden for his Maters who said that there were, in fact, many different ethnicities there...especially amongst the student population. I do believe it, but colour me ignorant, I know nothing about Finland except that it is absolutely freezing (this coming from a Canadian) and there are a lot of blondes
Someone please shed some light on this issue. I know that Helsinki is likely to have a bigger diverse population than the smaller cities, obviously, but how diverse is it, really? And what about the Finnish? Are they generally very warm and friendly (towards foreigners) or not so much?
What about working? I hear Helsinki is quite expensive. Even though tuition is free, I would want to work part-time while studying. How realistic is that given that I don't speak Finnish??
Public Transit in Ontario varies. The most 'sophisticated' transit system is in Toronto, but absolutely any Torontonian will tell you: it sucks...bad.
The subway only has 3 lines. For the rest of the city you need to take a bus or streetcar (like a tram). The subway closes at 1:20 am every day and on Sundays doesn't even begin running till 9 am (inexcusable in a place like this). There are 24 hour bus routes but they don't come often and therefore tend to be absolutely packed.
Here's a pic of a TTC Streetcar...
*Side note* If our current mayor has his way, the funding for the TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) will be cut further and will suck even more.
A day doesn't go by where the subway doesn't stop either for medical, criminal, or mechanical reasons. The buses are extremely unreliable in that they are rarely on point with the schedule. The streetcars are better...but still hardly reliable. In the heart of the city there are lines where the streetcars or buses come much more frequently than on the lines that are out of the downtown core. For someone travelling across the city (which is many, many people) you would have to transfer generally at least 2 or three times (which in the winter, can be a real bi*ch).
For the rest of Ontario, there are the GO Trains which go around the GTA (Greater Toronto Area-meaning the suburbs and less important cities within an hour or two distance) and then there are other options to get further away, which are generally the same as getting anywhere else in Canada.
You can take the VIA Rail, which is the train, that has trains going all over the country. There's Greyhound Bus, MegaBus and Coach Canada, which go from the main cities several times a day and, if booked in advance online, can be quite cheap. There's Porter Airlines, which is a wee tiny airline that only operates from certain cities within Canada and the US and tends to be cheaper, and is nice because it is located right in downtown Toronto, instead of the suburbs like Pearson International.
For the smaller cities in Ontario, such as Ottawa, London, Waterloo, etc. there are generally local public transportation systems, but they operate, for the most part, less frequently, and for shorter hours, than does the public transportation system in Toronto.
We are quite "green" here though (ish). So, many people own cars BUT for people who either can't afford them or are too eco-conscious to buy them...they can join the many others in the province that somehow manage using only public transport.
I haven't actually been to Amman, but I know Canadians who went there for an internship and stayed. I think it has a lot to do with where you are from (which state, for example), what kind of lifestyle you are used to and what kind of lifestyle you are willing to live, and of course if you marry a wealthy man, anywhere, it will be much easier...just sayin' ;-)
I say, go for it! Life is short! You can always go back if things don't work out. Moving to Jordan doesn't mean you have to give up your American citizenship.
Great to hear from you and thanks-your message made me smile widely
I will bookmark those sites but I have been on them several times since moving back and...as I said, I find them quite sad. But I like your positivism and won't give up just yet!
To answer your questions:
I was in Mauritius doing an internship in the PR department of MITD (former IVTB) in Phoenix...I won't go into details in a public forum (as I have first-hand experience in knowing just how small that island is-and how gossipy!) but let's just say my experience in Mauritius was...more positive on a personal and social level than it was on a career level...and we'll leave it at that for now!
That was definitely a one-time thing though, as it was a program through the Canadian government that sent myself and the other intern and you are only allowed to participate in the program once.
I have my undergrad in International Studies and French and a post-graduate certificate in Corporate Communications and Public Relations, both from schools here in Toronto.
Work-wise, I tend to stick to non-profit organizations which I know is a huge limitation in Mauritius but I'm quite open to exploring the 'corporate' world, as well...whatever will get me "home" Currently I'm starting up the communications in a really cool social and community agency in the "ghetto" of Toronto, and this contract ends in December at which point...I want to leave Canada again! Maybe to Mauritius?
This seems far fetched but it can't hurt to try. I am Canadian and was living in Mauritius for half a year last year to this Spring. I'm now back in Canada and I sincerely regret coming back. My time in Mauritius was the best time of my life-literally everything about it.
I know many Mauritians want to come to Canada but me...I want to go to Mauritius. Those of you that live there likely understand exactly what I mean.
The big problem is that its difficult to find a job there and Im not sure how smart it would be to buy a $2000 plane ticket and just go there hoping to find a job knowing how unrealistic that is. I speak English, French and, when I get the opportunity, try to speak Creole...mo essai pratiker kan mo trouv en Moricien...hehe
Anyway...I know there are all sorts of rules and regulations regarding a work permit, etc. so that's yet another reason I can't pack up my stuff here and just hop on a plane to Mauritius with no plan...not to mention the salaries are quite low unless you are super super qualified (one day I will be but at this point in my life...I'm still young :p)
I'vs checked out all the job sites, I remember certain job forums, etc. that I saw on billboards driving around the island and I've seen them all-very disheartening. I'm on the verge on giving up my dream of going back to Paradise but I thought I'd throw out my last line on expat blog because...when I was living there, I met some of the most incredible people through this site. Let's see if there's any other luck to be found.
Technically Im not Mauritian, but I used to live in Quatre Bornes and I LOVE MAURITIUS and Mauritians, and consider myself an honourary Mauritian and also, since Ive been back, have been looking to make Mauritian friends and have been trying to...bring Mauritius here.
Its been hard, but there are quite a number of Mauritians around the city. I would love to meet you. What are you doing here? Studying? Where in Mauritius are you from? Would you be willing to let me pratiker mo kreol? LOL...Im terrible, but...trying!