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Adapting for Special Needs Overseas - Call for Essays

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Real Post Reports are an invaluable source of unofficial information from real expats like you. If you are an expat we urge you to submit your own report about a city that you are familiar with. We have first person Real Post Reports on more than 350 cities, and we are adding reports regularly.

Also, we love photos! If you have any images you can send us, we would love to include them. Please send all images to reports@talesmag.com. Be sure to specify the city or country your images pertain to.

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Was this post your first expatriate experience? If not, what other cities have you lived in as an expat?


What is your home city/country? How long is the trip to post from there, with what connections?


How long have you lived here?


What brought you to this city (e.g. diplomatic mission, business, NGO, teaching, retirement, etc.)?


What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?


How would you describe the availability and cost of groceries and household supplies relative to your home country?


What household or grocery items do you wish you had shipped to post?


What typical restaurants, food delivery services, and/or takeout options are popular among expatriates?


How do you send and receive your letters and package mail? Are local postal facilities adequate?


What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?


What kinds of gyms or other sports/workout facilities are available? Are they expensive?


Is high-speed home Internet access available? How long does it typically take to install it after arrival?


Do you have any recommendations regarding mobile phones? Did you keep your home-country plan or use a local provider?


Are credit cards widely accepted and safe to use locally? Are ATMs common and do you recommend using them? Are they safe to use?


Are qualified veterinarians and/or good kennel services available? Do animals need to be quarantined upon entry to the country? Are there other considerations regarding pets that are particular to this country?


What English-language religious services are available locally?


Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?


What kind of car do you recommend bringing to post, given the terrain, availability of parts, burglary/carjacking risks, etc.? What kind of car do you advise not to bring?


What types of jobs do most expatriate spouses/partners have? Locally based or telecommuting? Full-time or part-time? Can you comment on local salary scales?


What volunteer opportunities are available locally?


What is the typical dress code at work and in public places? Is formal dress ever required?


Are there personal security concerns to be aware of at this post? Please describe.


Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?


What is the air quality like at post (good/moderate/bad)? Are there seasonal air quality issues? Does the air quality have an impact on health?


What do people who suffer from environmental or food allergies need to know?


Are there any particular mental health issues that tend to crop up at post, such as Seasonal Affective Disorder (winter blues)?


Are there any unusual problems with insects or other infestations in housing?


What is the overall climate: is it extremely hot or cold, wet or dry, at any time of year, for example?


What is the availability of international schools? What has been your general experience with them, if any?

If you have a lot to say about a particular school, please consider filling out a Real School Report as well.

What accommodations do schools make for special-needs kids?


Are preschools available? Day care? Are these expensive? What has been your experience with them, if any? Do the schools provide before- and/or after-school care?


Are local sports classes and/or activities available for kids?


How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?


What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?


What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?


Is this a good city for single people? For couples? For families? Why or why not?


Is this a good city for LGBT expatriates? Why or why not?


Are there problems with ethnic or religious prejudices? Gender equality?


Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?


What have been the highlights of your time in this country? Best trips or experiences?


What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?


Is this a "shopping post"? Are there interesting handicrafts, artwork, antiques, or other items that people typically buy there?


What are the particular advantages of living in this city?


What do you wish you had known about this particular city/country before moving there?


Knowing what you know now, would you still move to this city?


If you move here, you can leave behind your:


But don't forget your:


Do you recommend any books or movies about this city/country for those who are interested in learning more?


Do you have any other comments?