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The world’s most expensive cities for expats 2016

Moving to a new country is one of the most expensive endeavours one can undertake. Enter Mercer’s 2016 Cost of Living ranking, a survey of the most expensive cities for expats.

With the UK recently voting in favour of Brexit, we at Atlas & Boots are reassessing our future. Prior to the result, we fully expected to return to France after our next big trip. Now we may have to look further afield. Whatever we decide, one useful way to choose where our future lies is to compare the cost of living in our new city compared to our old, currently London. Continue reading

Hardest language to learn: Japanese script

What are the hardest languages to learn?

We’ve written before about the best language to learn based on a number of different criteria. The verdict was French which, as a Romance language, is relatively easy for English speakers. (We stress the word ‘relatively’ because all language learning takes effort.)

Some of the most interesting data in the article comes from the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) at the US Department of State. The FSI trains diplomats in language learning and maintains an internal ranking of language difficulty (specifically, how long it would take a native English speaker to reach proficiency). Here, we examine 10 of the hardest languages to learn based on FSI rankings. Continue reading

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The biggest buildings in the world

Modern architecture has made relentless and remarkable progress over the past century, and with construction of the world’s tallest and first one 1km high building beginning this week in Saudi Arabia, it doesn’t look to be slowing any time soon. The biggest buildings in the world continue to grow and not just higher into the sky. On the ground they are expanding in all directions too.

Architects continue to overcome structural hurdles and make history with innovative and groundbreaking designs. Here are some of their biggest and grandest: the biggest buildings in the world. Continue reading

10 best countries for expats

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Over the last year, we’ve seen several ‘best places for expat living’ type lists. More often than not, these have been based on HSBC’s Expat Explorer study (e.g. WSJ, Business Insider, HuffPo). Rather predictably for a bank, it seems to value economic strength extremely highly: Switzerland, Singapore, China, Germany and Bahrain take the top five places in its overall list.

Now we’re not saying that these countries aren’t full of colour, flavour, passion and soul* but they’re not the first ones that come to mind when you think of the je ne sais quoi that attracts creative people and fosters a thriving community. And, so, we turned to Nomad List, a super-informative, crowdsourced list of the best countries for expats in which to live and work remotely. Continue reading