Managing your international payments

PensionThis is a guest post by Cathryn Evans.

In the current economical difficulties, people are now seeking better value for their money. They are looking for simple, uncomplicated processes to transfer money abroad. There are many options for consumers who are buying property abroad or paying for additional services, these range from bank transfers, credit or debit card, currency bought in their home country and cash withdrawals from Multi-banco when in country. All of these methods imply poor rates of exchange, additional charges and fees, as well as commissions in many cases.

Another option is a Foreign exchange company, they can look at offering you a higher exchange rate than your bank many with no fees or charges, they should be regulated by HM Customs and Excise and from May 2011 the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

As soon as you make that decision to buy a property abroad, whether it is to emigrate or a holiday home – this is the key time to talk with a Foreign exchange company, they can give you the best advise on the rates and discuss timescales with you – this then gives you your budget for viewing properties.

At Premier FX what we can do listen to your needs. We can then go through the options to secure the best rates for you, as we know its all well and good while the rate is in your favour, but what happens if you have a large sum or regular payments you need to transfer and the rate is against you?

When this happens there is solutions for you, Premier FX can offer fixed rates for up to 2 years and we can look at fixing rates for regular payments on a monthly basis, this can protect you against the fluctuating exchange rate and give you piece of mind. Of course we can still offer the spot rate – which is the rate on the day, our online system gives you access to the latest rates 24/7.

Whether you are looking at moving to Sweden or to Portugal your Foreign exchange company will be able to help you every step of the way, from the initial purchase of a property to making regular transfers.

We are here to make your currency transactions stress free and simple.

Premier FX is authorised by the FCA (530712) and regulated by HMRC.

Cathryn Evans
Tel: + 351 289 358 511

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Woohoo! Over a 1000 Twitter followers :)

MMA on TwitterOK, so a 1000 Twitter followers isn’t particularly astounding in the great scheme of things but it’s a great milestone for us to have reached – onwards and upwards as they say!

It’s nice to see so many users sharing great photos which is perfect for blogs on travelling or living abroad.

We’ve started a new Friday guess the profile pic – see if you know where it is:

Here’s a clue: it’s in beautiful Portugal.

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Love Surfing? Try the top spots in Portugal

Here’s a handy infographic by the guys at Momondo showing the top surfing spots in Portugal. Portugal not only has some of the best beaches in Europe it also has some of the best waves. With spots for all levels – why not check them out? I used to live near Arrifana which is a beautiful spot and great for all levels of surfer. One word of warning though – it does get very busy in summer!

View the original and full article here: 10 unmissable spots that make Portugal a surfer’s paradise


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Study Abroad Scholarship with Pimsleur (US readers only, sorry!)

Pimsleur Approach’s 2014 Study Abroad Scholarship


Students with the most thought-provoking and well-reasoned essay, as judged by a panel of Internet Order LLC staff members, will win one of the three top prizes:

  • 1st $1000 + Pimsleur Approach system of your choice
  • 2nd $500 + Pimsleur Approach system of your choice
  • 3rd Pimsleur Approach system of your choice

* Be sure to read the rules and submission details carefully before entering. No purchase necessary and no fees are required to enter.

About the Pimsleur Approach Scholarship:

This scholarship is in honor of renowned linguist and language educator, Dr. Paul Pimsleur. In honor of his commitment to language-study research, this award will help make language and culture more accessible to American college students.

Pimsleur believed in cultural exploration as a lifetime pursuit and that effective communication needn’t be cost-prohibitive. This scholarship opportunity can help provide an immersive experience consistent with Pimsleur’s mission to take language learning out of the classroom and into the world.

For more information please check out the full scholarship details and sorry folks this is for US students only!

Note: we have no affiliation with Pimsleur nor do we know anything about the Pimsleur Approach, we received an email directly from them about this scholarship opportunity so if you wish to proceed please be sure to check it out thoroughly. If you are interested in learning about Pimsleur, you may find this review helpful: Pimsleur Approach Review – An Honest Look

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Moving to Italy? Here’s 7 blogs to check out …

Thinking of moving to Italy? Then here’s some blogs from expats who have already made that move. Read all about their lives in Italy and the fun and frustration they have in their new lives.

runRunbritchickrun –
I love to blog about life in Roma, my running & fitness and food.

umbriaAmericans in Umbria –
Our experiences retiring to a small town in Umbria

oilMixing Oil and Water –
Exploring little-known corners of Italy in the regions of Abruzzo, Molise and Puglia

englishmanEnglishman in Italy –
An Englishman, his Sicilian wife and an English – Italian dictionary.

petinitalyA Blog on Pets in Italy –
Blog and resource for people with pets in Italy – cats, dogs, horses, geesem, you name it! Brought to you by British writer Fiona Tankard – resident in Italy since 1994

greenholidayGreen Holiday Italy –
I am a freelance journalist living in a stunning corner of Italy. This blog is your guide to responsible travel in Italy. Slow food, off-the-beaten-track destinations, walking, trekking, cycling, ecotourism, nature.

parmamiaParma Mia! –
Parma Mia! is a blog written by two expats offering advice, tips and personal recommendations to help you best take advantage of your time in Parma. Our blog introduces you to the highlights of Italian bureaucracy, assists you in finding English speaking doctors, kids activities, shops, keeps you up to date on local events and venues, and more!

For more blogs to read, check out the Italian list from ExpatBlog and also from ExpatWomen

For some basic facts about Italy, please view our Moving to Italy page.

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National Days in the EU

EU flags

Today is St David’s Day, the national day of Wales. So, I thought it’d be fitting to provide a list of all national days for the current EU countries. I’ve also included any dependencies that are also located in Europe and as United Kingdom does not have a recognised national day the four constituent nations of the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) all have their own Saint’s Day so they are included:

Austria 26 October (The Neutrality Constitution of 1955)
Belgium 21 July (Belgian National Day and 14 July in Liège, commemorates Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld taking the oath as first king of the Belgians in 1831). 14 July
Bulgaria 3 March (Liberation Day, signature of the Preliminary Peace Treaty of San Stefano between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire in 1878)
Croatia 25 June (Statehood Day, declaration of independence from Yugoslavia 1991)
Cyprus 1 October (Independence Day (from the UK) 1960)
Czech Republic 28 October (Independence from Austria-Hungary (as Czechoslovakia) 1918)
Denmark (no official National Day) 5 June (Constitution of 1849)
Estonia 24 February (Independence Day, declaration of independence from Russia 1918)
Finland 6 December (Independence Day, declaration of independence from Russia 1917)
France 14 July (Bastille Day, 14 July 1789)
Germany 3 October (German Unity Day, unification of West Germany and East Germany 1990)
Greece 25 March (Start of War of Independence from Ottoman Empire 1821), 28 October (Ohi Day, rejection of the Italian ultimatum 1940)
Hungary 15 March (1848 Revolution memorial day), 20 August (St. Stephen’s day), 23 October (1956 Revolution memorial day)
Ireland 17 March (St. Patrick’s Day, patron saint of Ireland)
Italy 2 June (Festa della Repubblica, Italy became a republic in 1946 – Giuseppe Garibaldi died on this date in 1882)
Latvia 18 November (Declaration of independence from Russia 1918)
Lithuania 16 February (Lithuanian State Reestablishment Day, declaration of independence from Russia and Germany 1918); 6 July (Statehood Day, establishment of the medieval Lithuanian kingdom by Mindaugas in 1253.)
Luxembourg 23 June (the Monarch’s birthday)
Malta 31 March (Freedom Day, withdrawal of British troops from Malta 1979), 7 June (Sette Giugno, bread riot of 1919 where 4 Maltese men died), 8 September (Victory Day, victory over the Ottoman Empire in the Great Siege of Malta 1565; Italian government publicly announced agreement to an armistice with the WWII Allies, therefore ending the attacks on Malta by the Italians 1943) 21 September (Independence Day, independence from the United Kingdom 1964), 13 December (Republic Day, republican constitution of 1974, therefore becoming a republic).
Netherlands (country) 27 April (King’s Day, King Willem-Alexander’s birthday), 5 May (Liberation Day, from Nazi Germany in 1945)
Poland 3 May (Święto Konstytucji 3 Maja, Constitution Day, 1791), 11 November, (Święto Niepodległości, Independence Day, restoration of independence from Austro-Hungary, Prussia, and Russia in 1918)
Portugal 10 June (Portugal Day, “Day of Portugal, Camões, and the Portuguese Communities”, National Poet Luís de Camões dies in 1580)
Romania 1 December (Union Day, unification with Transylvania 1918)
Slovakia 29 August (Slovak National Uprising Day, start of a Slovak uprising against Nazi Germany 1944), 1 September (Constitution Day, independence from Czechoslovakia 1993)
Slovenia 25 June (Statehood Day, declaration of independence from Yugoslavia 1991)
Spain 12 October (Fiesta Nacional de España, Columbus discovery of America 1492)
Sweden 6 June (Gustav Vasa is elected King of Sweden 1523, the constitutions of 1809 and 1974)

Catalonia (Spain) 11 September (Catalonia loses its nominal independence and constitutions after the fall of Barcelona 1714)
England, United Kingdom 23 April (St George’s Day, patron saint of England, not a bank holiday)
Gibraltar, United Kingdom 10 September (Gibraltar National Day, people of Gibraltar vote to reject Spanish sovereignty or association 1967)
Isle of Man, British Islands (usually) 5 July (Tynwald Day, Tynwald (parliament) annual meeting)
Jersey, British Islands 9 May (Liberation Day, the end of the German Occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II 1945)
Guernsey and Dependencies, British Islands 9 May (Liberation Day, the end of the German Occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II 1945)
Madeira Day 1 July (Autonomy from Portugal)
Minorca, Spain 17 January (Alfonso III of Aragon took the island from Muslims, 1287)
Kingdom of the Netherlands 15 December (Kingdom day, signing of the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands 1954)
Northern Ireland, United Kingdom 17 March (St. Patrick’s Day), 12 July (Battle of the Boyne Day)
Sark, Guernsey, British Islands 9 May (Liberation Day on 10 May, the end of the German Occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II 1945)
Scotland, United Kingdom 30 November (St. Andrew’s Day, patron saint of Scotland, now a bank holiday)
Wales 1 March (St. David’s Day, patron saint)

All information courtesy of Wikipedia. Image courtesy of Matt Banks /

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