News & Media

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Anyone who has ever worn a Halloween costume before, please raise your hand...

Okay, anyone who has ever dressed their kids up in Halloween costumes before, please raise your hand....

Finally, anyone who has ever dressed their pet up in a Halloween costume before, please raise your hand....Anyone? Anyone? Come on....

Halloween is not just for humans anymore. Every year, more and more pet owners dress their dogs in holiday themed get-up. Don't believe me? Take a look at this site for some cuddly examples.

So what do you think of this phenomenon? Take our unofficial poll:

It's a little to late to dress up your Fido this year, but you can always plan for next year. SpoiledRottenDoggies has quite an extensive collection of costumes for your critters.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Expat Welcome Fairs and Conferences

Each year, Clements travels to expatriate fairs and conferences around the globe to learn more about this unique community, and how we can better cater our services to you. So as we look foward to our travel schedule for 2009, we ask you for your opinion. What are your favorite expatriate fairs and conferences? It doesn't matter where or when, just tell us why it's your favorite. Leave a comment with your suggestions.

As our thanks to you, I'll list of few of our personal favorites in an upcoming post.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

New RPCV Community Forms at State Department

Joining the Peace Corps is a great way to make a difference in the world, and some Returned Peace Corps Volunteers choose to continue providing service for a lifetime by accepting positions at the U.S. Department of State. Are you one of these admirable people? Then keep reading...

Tyler Sparks and Erik Schnotala of the U.S. Embassy in San Jose are both RPCVs, and could see a clear connection between their lives in the Peace Corps and their work at the State Department. So in order to communicate and network with fellow RPCVs, they formed RPCVs @ State.

Tyler says the main goals of this community are:
1) to publish information and news about development issues and other issues of interest to the returned Peace Corps community within the State Department.
2) to generate and stimulate discussions about development issues and other issues of interest to the returned Peace Corps community within the State Department.
3) to develop and strengthen the network of returned Peace Corps volunteers within the State Department.

Additionally, he hopes to encourage more RPCVs to join the Foreign Service, promote Peace Corps as an excellent service opportunity, and support PCV projects through the Peace Corps Partnership program.

If you are a current State Department employee, you can find out more about the community here.
Brilliant, right? Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?!

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Expat hotspot: UAE

If you have been paying attention to international news in the last few years, you have seen the United Arab Emirates’ cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai literally rise out of the desert (including Burj Dubai,above, designed to be the tallest man-made structure in the world when complete).

The original infrastructure of the region was created with petrodollars but the economy has been diversified to become the region’s base for finance, technology and soon entertainment and media.

According to an article the International Herald Tribune, media companies are looking to setup shop in Abu Dhabi including CNN, The Financial Times, the BBC and publishers Random House and HarperCollins.

The influx of foreigners creates a bit of cultural conflict within the Arab nation, since the native population doesn’t want to lose their identity among the growing number of expats. Plus newcomers, not familiar with laws in the UAE may find themselves in violation.

"I am not a tourist" Movie

Following the successful "I am not a tourist" welcome fair in Amsterdam, two organizations have developed short videos covering the event. Both organizations focus on providing local information to expatriates moving to the Netherlands.

The first was produced by XM magazine, a monthly magazine published in English that focuses current events and culture.

The second video is produced by, an unique website that provides English spoken videos and practical information on a wide range of topics that all expats and family members must deal with in their move to the Netherlands.



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Monday, October 20, 2008

Wi-Fi in the Sky

On an increasing number of international flights (and some domestic U.S. flights) airlines are offering in-flight broadband internet service.

For roughly $10- depending on the airline and length of flight- travelers can logon to their email, Myspace account or whatever to pass the time on flights but don’t think you’ll be able to use a VoIP service like Skype as a loophole around the cell phone use restriction to place calls to ground people.

It turns out that using your cell phone on a flight will not disrupt the flight controls and cause the plane to go into a flat spin at 30,000 feet, but it does annoy your fellow passengers who are sharing close quarters for extended periods of time. For that reason, in-air service providers block voice over internet programs, confining your conversations to instant messaging only.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Who has the best chocolate in Belgium?

As Michael and I prepare to travel to Belgium, there are two things I am very excited about: 1) meeting all of the expats at the Welcome Fair (of course! You are the reason I do what I do!) and 2) trying all the chocolate!

In preparation for the trip, I've been researching where to find the best, most indulgent chocolate in Belgium, and it seems like there are hundreds of options. Leonidas, Neuhaus, Godiva... the list goes on and on. So help me out -- where can I find the best chocolate in Belgium? Comment with your top choices, and when I return, I'll let you know who satified my sweet tooth.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Expatica Welcome Fair 2008 Pictures

Although Emilie and I will not be back in the U.S. for a few days, I thought I would share some photos courtesy of Expatica. This year's fair in Amsterdam was a great success. It seemed the word is spreading about Expatica being a strong resource for expat the Netherlands. We promise to share our own interviews and photos when we return, enjoy...

Expatica Amsterdam 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Female Expats Unite at

If you're a woman living in a new country, be sure to bookmark The site has tips, success stories, and more on everything from finding a job in your new country to being a trailing spouse to having a baby far from home.

In our recent issue of GlobalInsight, we profiled the co-founder of, Andrea Martins, who is no stranger to the expat lifestyle. Having lived in several locations as a trailing spouse, she saw a need for a women-focused online community, and was able to turn at idea into reality.

And anytime we see a great idea, we support it -- Clements International is a proud sponsor of

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Monday, October 13, 2008

U.S. Spec vs. non-U.S. Spec Cars

When you are in the process of obtaining international auto insurance, you will be asked whether or not the car has been built to U.S. specifications.

What's the difference?
Besides recording miles or kilometers the main differences are emissions and safety regulations, but for insurance purposes, the value of the vehicle is main consideration. A car purchased in a different market has been priced differently than a similar car in the U.S.

If your car is U.S. spec, Clements uses the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Guide to determine the value of the vehicle. If it is non-U.S. spec, Clements takes the purchase price then calculates annual depreciation of the vehicle’s value.

Find the value of your car at


Friday, October 10, 2008

All Aboard!

By the time you read this, Michael and I will be fastening our seat belts, making sure our tray tables are in the upright and locked position, and winging our way to The Netherlands. To make sure we get the opportunity to meet you, here's a final review of where we'll be and when:

October 12 - Expatica "I'm Not a Tourist" Fair, Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam
October 16 - U.S. Embassy -Berlin, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
October 18 - 19 - Belgium Welcome Fair, Autoworld in Brussels

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

U.S. Embassy - Berlin, Here We Come!

Michael and I will be making a stop in Berlin between our expat fairs in Amsterdam and Brussels. If you work at the U.S. Embassy, we will be visiting on October 16 from 10:00 am - 12:00 pm. During this time, feel free to come by and ask any questions you may have about your policy or international insurance - we're here to help!

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Fall 2008 Newsletter published online

The latest issue of the our quarterly newsletter is now available online at

Features include:
  • 8 International attractions you have never seen
  • Interview with director, Andrea Martins
  • A spotlight on travel medical insurance and more

Friday, October 3, 2008

How much is your nose worth?

We've all heard the tales of how Frank Sinatra's vocal cords were insured, and how Tina Turner's legs have a million dollar policy. Urban legends right?

Actually no. Lloyd's of London recently had the pleasure of writing a policy for a wine producer's nose. Ilja Gort, a dutch oenophile insists his sense of smell is vital to his work... so much so that he requires a $7.8 million policy for it. Lloyd's says it's not unusal for perfumers to also purchase similiar policies.

If you are in the market for some nose insurance, Lloyd's will be happy to help you. However, the premium is a bit higher than your average personal property policy...Gort's schnoz costs him over $23k annually.

So what's the most expensive body part Lloyd's has ever insured? America Ferrera's smile for a cool $10 mil. That's right - America Ferrera, the star of hit comedy show "Ugly Betty."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I googled you...

Have you ever "Googled" someone? If you were to “google” me, you'd get a pretty good snapshot of my life... a profile on Linked In, a Facebook page, my wedding website, a profile about my apartment on a local Washingtonian website... so I decided, perhaps I could! Well perhaps not "you" specifically, but the term Expatriate.

The first website that popped up was Wikipedia; a definition was a good place to start.


An expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing or legal residence. The word comes from the Latin ex (out of) and patria (country, fatherland).

This definition wasn’t a big surprise. It was close to how I would define an expatriate, after all I'm in the business of working with expatriates and I meet a lot of you when I travel to your local community, embassy, clubs, etc... However, it did give me pause... what do you think about the word "expatriate"? Do you identify with this term? Expatriate is largely a western term. Wikipedia asked me if I'd like to search additional related terms such as:

Alien (law)
Ethnic enclave
Canadians of convenience
Third Culture Kids

I've heard most of them before (or thought some of them to be strange related terms), but the best one by far, the one that I just HAD to see more about was: Cosmopolitanism

Cosmopolitanism is the idea that all of humanity belongs to a single moral community. This is contrasted with communitarian theories, in particular the ideologies of patriotism and nationalism. Cosmopolitanism may or may not entail some sort of world government or it may simply refer to more inclusive moral, economic, and/or political relationships between nations or individuals of different nations [citation needed]. A person who adheres to the idea of cosmopolitanism in any of its forms is called a cosmopolite.

Perhaps if expatriate isn't working for you, you could give cosmopolite a try... sounds cool at least.