International Living & Travel With Pets

Tips for Expats Airline Travel Abroad With Their Dogs or Cats

Most simply say goodbye to Buddy or Tabby. Some even choose not to accept that great job or adventure overseas.

At least one carrier, though, has learned how to make a profit with owners of small dogs. Dr. Berge Yacoub, a re-knowned veterinarian in Cairo, Egypt, tells his clients, “Lufthansa is the best. They take very good care of your pets. Also, they were the first airline to let small dogs ride in the cabin with their owners.”

Smaller Dogs and Cats Ride in the Cabin With Their Owners

Lufthansa and members of their Star Alliance (United Air Lines is one member) permit pets in small carriers, with a gross weight not exceeding 20 Lbs (8 Kg), to ride in the cabin with their owner provided the

  • pet has a reservation (arrange for this when booking a flight)
  • pet is well-behaved
  • owner takes full responsibility
  • pet has a current rabies vaccination & health certificate
  • pet has a computer chip or, in some cases, a tattoo
  • owner pays the fee determined according to destination and
  • pet stays within carrier and the carrier will fit under the seat in front of the pet’s owner

If the pet with carrier is more than 20 lbs the pet will be transported in the cargo section dedicated for animals.

Whether taken in the cabin or in the cargo section, the cost remains the same. Traveling from the US to North Africa recently cost about $200. To other African countries the charge was $255, for example.

Quarantines, Health Certificates, Vaccinations, Computer Chips

When the pet travels with the owner and has the required vaccinations, health certificates and the computer chip, there is no quarantine.

Many stateside vets seem to be confused the first time someone approaches them regarding international pet travel. They often will be familiar only with transport regulations that seem to be more applicable for the individual who is sending an animal to someone, instead of the traveler who will accompany his or her best friend.

Therefore, it is common that the vet or technician will be wrongly oriented. No panic. Simply ask that they phone the state health department and explain precisely what is going on. In some states, such as North Dakota, it will be necessary that the health certificate be stamped by a state health official, then mailed back to the examining doctor. In other states, such as Oregon, there ordinarily is no such practice. Interview with Lake Region Veterinary Service Dr. Nathan Zieman, Devil’s Lake, ND July 14, 2009.

Generally, however, the pet will be required to have, in addition to proof of rabies vaccination and the health certificate, a computer chip. This machine-readable probe is inserted just beneath the animal’s skin by a vet using a hypodermic needle. When the serialized chip is purchased, it comes with several self-adhesive numbered strips. Following each health check-up, the vet will affix one of these stickers at the appropriate spot on the health certificate and the pet’s health record pouch. [See illustration]

The Health Certificate needs to be dated within the 10 to 14 days (or less) preceding the flight. This requirement applies whether leaving from or returning to America.

Food Water & Heat Exhaustion or Environmental Protection

Except in hot weather there is usually no need provide water for the trip unless traveling in the luggage or cargo area. Even then, Dr. Yacoub claims, “Dogs and cats do better without food and water. They can easily go for 24 hours with neither. Especially regarding food, because they can get motion sickness when flying if they have eaten.”

Consult the airline regarding cold weather transport if the pet is going to travel in other than the cabin.

Rarely, a pet might require a calming sedative. Administer these directly or mixed in food only when necessary, because many dogs will become fearful and nervous due to the effects of the medication.

Planning Preparation & Organization Provide Adventures for Pet Owners & Their Best Friends

The 21st Century is wide open for vagabonds who wish to travel overseas accompanied by their loved pets, whether for work or play. The minimal effort and moderate cost in getting vaccinations, health certificates, chips or tattoos and an acceptable carrier, plus finding a travel agent and a willing airline will pay big dividends.

Many people might agree with Dr Yacoub, “I cannot understand how anyone can think to travel while leaving behind the one who loves them unconditionally.”



Pros & Cons of Moving Abroad & Working Overseas

Evaluating Cost Benefit Ratio of International Employment

One often will find better opportunity for promotion and increased salary by seeking employment as an expatriate. Indeed, during a recession, working abroad may well be the only viable means of paying the mortgage.

Or, perhaps, seeking work in other countries may be seen as the quick route to building a nest egg for retirement, a college education for the children, or to garner enough cash to start a new business venture.

Adventure in other lands, among other societies is often reward enough. Getting paid big salaries while touring the world’s exotic vacation destinations intrigues many. This point is of special importance to volunteers considering charity work abroad.

Living, Working Abroad Requires Sacrifice for People Working Overseas

Before plunging in head first, prospective expats need to evaluate their ability to:

  • endure long durations of separation from the spouse and family
  • adjust to an environment wherein special care or medication may not be available
  • adapt to different lifestyles and culture and even different languages
  • alter his or her routine for sleep, entertainment and work
  • accommodate him or her self to their new role as a supervisor or manager
  • change eating and drinking habits
  • possibly having to cease alcohol consumption altogether
  • get along with others whose lifestyle or religious practices greatly differ

Admittedly, the world seemingly grows smaller every year. Thus, through the miracle of cell phones, hi-speed Internet and VOIP there are fewer places on the globe that require so stark a sacrifice as 20 years ago. Still, the adjustment to a new lifestyle is not easily made. Satellite TV, I Phones and Kindles are smoothing the transition from living in in comfort in Silicon Valley or in the remote African bush. I Pads will soon further ease the shift for many American expatriates.

Living, Working Abroad Brings Great Pay, Friendship, Adventure for American Expats

Sacrifices noted above are somewhat evened out by:

  • salaries that often pay double the stateside salary and are usually tax exempt
  • lasting friendships (both with other expats and with people of the host country)
  • adventure to exotic lands that people pay thousands to see for only a week
  • opportunities to build stock photo portfolios or daily logs for use in writing

Expat American Engineers in Demand and Earn Big Pay Working Abroad

Construction projects, funded by or for oil and energy, continue throughout much of the Middle East and North Africa. Mammoth projects such as the world’s tallest structure, Burj Dubai, erected by a subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries, has completed. So, too, has the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest mall.

American Expat Safety Engineers, QC Professionals Well Paid for Working Abroad

A number of international companies involved in power generation, oil and gas or petrochemical, or in construction are in constant demand to recruit qualified managers, supervisors and technicians so they can meet stringent international standards cost-effectively.

International Standards Organization (ISO) specifications are being applied to most internationally-funded construction and also are being used for food and medical industries, as well as many service-oriented businesses. This is resulting in the need to recruit and employ Westerners, particularly Europeans and American personnel with experience as quality or safety professionals.

Membership in ASSE, American Society of Safety Engineers, is a definite plus for Health, Safety and Environmental (HSE) employment by international corporations.

Trade associations within the United States of America have, or are linked and networked with testing and certifying agencies recognized internationally and are highly recommended for prospective American expatriates seeking work abroad as HSE or QC engineers:

Many American Expats Feel Pros Outweigh Cons of Living Working Abroad

Challenges posed by living in unfamiliar surroundings, often in weather or unsavory environmental conditions. Dreaded “Culture shock” also can spoil that first attempt to get assimilated into societies practicing other religions or customs where the nearly-sacred no longer Bill of Rights reigns.

If it is determined that the pay and benefits of moving abroad and working overseas is worth the cost, a grand adventure beckons.


The Big Guide to Living And Working Overseas, by Jean-Marc Hachey, (4th edition revised 2007) published by Intercultural Systems Systemes Interculturels, ISSI, was consulted in preparing this report and provides a wealth of information in its 1,000-plus pages. This “Bible” includes a wealth of information regarding charity work abroad and volunteer work abroad.

Finding a Job Overseas

With Determination, Snagging an International Job Could Happen

Each year, more American expats leave the country in search of something new and exciting. Sometimes they’re looking for an extended vacation and other times for a door to living in another country long-term. By following these strategies and options, you can make your dream of living and working abroad a reality.

Bridge the Gap with an Internship

Internships aren’t nearly as hard to snag as full-time jobs, but the downside is that they usually don’t pay. If you can afford to suck it up for a couple of months, though, an internship can pave the way for a full-time job abroad.

If you’re still in college, take advantage of the career services department to ask about international internships where you’d like to work. Some international companies have special arrangements with certain colleges, and that may be a way in.

If you’re not in college, finding an internship can be a little tougher, but start by figuring out where you want to go and then research companies you’d like to work for in that area. Contact a human resources representative to start contact about a potential internship.

Once a company knows you and has worked with you, they’ll be much more likely to spend company resources to secure your visa and bring you on as a full-time employee.

Take Advantage of Transfers

While it doesn’t always furnish an immediate opportunity to move and work abroad, it’s often a good idea to start for a multi-national company that would allow transfer opportunities in the future. While you may have to sweat it out for a couple of years, these companies often have the resources to pay for your move and possibly even your housing in your new home while you work there.

If you pursue this option, you may even have the chance to live and work in several foreign countries for the same company over your career, all while not worrying about a steady paycheck.

Line it up Before you Leave

There are lots of web sites and books that are full of resources for international job-seekers that you could search out from home while you save money and plan your trip. If you’re determined, you should leave no stone unturned. Reading individual countries’ immigration sites can often provide information about the kinds of workers those countries need at the present time, which can help you target an industry where you’re more likely to find an opening and a company willing to sponsor your immigration process.

Profit from Your Youth

If you’re under 30, there are several countries, like New Zealand and Australia, that will offer you a working holiday visa to stay for several months and work while you’re in the country to fund your travel. Ask at the college career services office or search online for working holiday programs to find out about eligibility and participating countries.

Go and Cross your Fingers

The last option, if you’re not having any luck, is to save your money and take the plunge, hoping to find a job once you’re in your new country. Make sure you have enough money to last at least a month while you job hunt, and be sure you have enough money to get back home if your plans fall through. Then knock on anyone’s door who will listen, and work on achieving that dream of being the international worker and traveler.

Overall, immigration to a new country where you want to live and work in the 21st century is tough, but not impossible. Take heart, have patience and remember to explore all your options in order to end up in your dream place, working your dream job!

French and English, Canada’s Official Languages

Two of the Many Tongues Spoken in a Country of Many Nations

The languages of a country can tell a great deal about its history, culture, and people, especially when those languages are legally designated as the official tongues for government and schools. Many countries have only one official language despite the many other languages that might be in everyday use in homes and schools.

Other countries, like Switzerland, have four or five official tongues. In Canada, the historic struggle between the French and the English to possess the northern colonies of the New World resulted in the establishment of two official languages. Although they now compete for use with many other languages, they still remain the two dominant languages of the country.

The Official Languages of Canada

The official designation of French and English as Canada’s official languages only hints at the country’s linguistic diversity. The Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) lists 86 living languages in use among the 32, 271,000 people in the 2001 Canadian census, with English used by 20,000,000 and French by 6,700,000. One of the main dialects of English is spoken in Newfoundland, where the speech patterns and accent resemble the dialect of Ireland. Canadian French, in contrast, has four main dialects, which include Québécois, Franco-Ontarien, Acadian (Acadien), and Shippagan.

Each dialect has its own unique terminology and usage which might cause moments of confusion for visitors from other parts of the country. In British Columbia, for example, a telephone line within an organization is called a “local,” while in many other parts of the country, it is an “extension.” Similarly, the term “dainties” to designate small cakes and cookies eaten at special events in Manitoba is largely unknown in the rest of the country. Besides these regional differences are the many Canadians who speak foreign languages such as Welsh, Polish, Bulgarian, and Arabic or indigenous languages such as Algonquin, Cree, and Micmac.

Official Languages in Government and Daily Life

Despite having two official languages for Government of Canada documents and services, most of the provinces are officially unilingual. According to the Government of Canada website, English is the most commonly used tongue except in Quebec, where French is the official language. Only New Brunswick, with a large French population among the English speakers, is officially bilingual.

Having two official languages has affected daily life in Canada, with instruction manuals and food labels printed in both languages, French language classes available in many schools, and many bilingual services in government offices. Although languages such as German and Ukrainian are commonly used in some parts of the country, people almost everywhere in Canada will understand at least one of the official languages.

With two official languages and many other tongues spoken throughout the country, Canada has many ways for its people to communicate.