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The Road to Ending Human Trafficking

Travelling is usually synonymous with vacation, holiday, relaxation, and good times. We encourage travelling to relieve stress, boost mental health, broaden the mind, give you new experiences to remember for a lifetime, and learn about other cultures and improve your understanding of the world.On the other hand, travelling can also expose you to some of the negative parts of the world we live in, like human trafficking. Human trafficking is the act of holding another person hostage and controlling them through threats or coercion to exploit them for forced labor and/or sex– and it is more common than you think. FACTSHuman trafficking is a multi-billion dollar business and one of the fastest-growing illegal industries in the world. It operates within countries and across international borders. And it relies on the travel industry to operate.We believe it is vitally important for travellers to be aware that human trafficking can happen anywhere– and…

More Brits Stranded, Victims of Airline Cancellations

The stunning collapse of UK’s giant tour operator Thomas Cook, which left more than 600,000 holidayers stranded in some 18 countries (150,000 from Britain alone) shows just how vulnerable travellers have become to circumstances beyond their control. That’s almost twice the number of travellers stranded when Monarch airlines went under in 2017, and an additional million more that lost their future bookings. The liquidation of the 178-year old tour company whose logo has become a familiar sight worldwide propelled the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to mobilize its “biggest peacetime repatriation” since the second world war to get its holidayers home—within the next two weeks and free of charge. The repatriation is being funded largely by the government-run Air Travel Organizer’s Licence (ATOL) system which requires travel companies who sell air holiday packages to meet certain licensing requirements and contribute to a trust fund protecting travellers in case one of…

SUNx & Ingle International Announce SDG-17 Climate Resilience Partnership

KATOWICE, Poland and TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2018 /CNW/ – A Climate Resilience partnership, focussed on creating 100,000 Strong Climate Champions by 2030 was announced today at COP 24 in Katowice, Poland. The partnership, which was made in the spirit of SDG-17, is between leading Canadian-based global travel risk management and travel insurance provider Ingle International Inc., and SUNx (Strong Universal Network), which focusses on Climate Friendly Travel. The partnership is founded on a shared commitment to develop the Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarship Program, with Ingle International as its first global sponsor. Speaking from COP 24 – the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Professor Geoffrey Lipman, Co-founder of SUNx, said: “We are honoured to announce our partnership with Ingle International to launch the global rollout of the Maurice Strong Legacy Scholarship Program. This will create 100,000 “Strong Climate Champions” by 2030, in every UN State, to help to drive the behavioural change and influence the fundamental government and industry actions needed to tackle Climate…

“Back to School” Low Season Travels

As “regular hours” resume and it’s back to school for students and families, low season starts where there will be less crowds, still great temperatures, and cheaper travel packages. Here are the best spots to visit in September: Take in the sights of Asia’s third-largest country on the Deccan Odyssey luxury train. This train travels the Maharashtra route through the southern part of the country, stopping at both popular and off-the-beaten path locations such as World Heritage Sites and palaces. Take this luxury train on one of six possible itineraries to different destinations. All meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, and excursions including entrance fees and camera permits are included. Each cabin also provides a private butler, an in-suite bathroom and closet and even HDTV. If you prefer to venture on your own without a set itinerary, stay at the Hilton Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa in India to indulge in an…

Thinking about your Fall and Winter travel plans as Summer closes in? Know your rights!

Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance – and make sure you pack the right one! We have a dedicated team to help you choose the perfect plan fit for your travels. MSH Americas is dedicated to honoring our leading position in the travel insurance industry by providing exceptional service, up-to-date news, and support for our clients. Whether you are going abroad for leisure, to study, or to work, we want you to be able to travel with confidence. As part of our ongoing commitment to you, we promise to adhere to the newly updated THIA Traveler’s Bill of Rights. The Traveler’s Bill of Rights reads: The Travel Insurance Bill of Rights and Responsibilities builds upon the following key elements of travel health insurance: • Understand your travel insurance policy – Insurance providers have staff available to answer any questions related to policies.• Know your health and consult a health…

Family Vacation Destinations

Looking for the perfect family vacation for summer break? Make the most of your yearly trip with these family-friendly destinations – perfect for all ages, with fun activities for everyone in your group! Although Las Vegas may be known as an adult playground, there is a large mix of activities available for families with children as well. Picking a family-friendly hotel will be the make-or-break decision, as some hotels cater to children: For example, Mandalay Bay boasts a giant Shark Reef aquarium and multiple pools with a lazy river and an actual sandy beach. The Circus Circus hotel, true to its name, includes an actual circus with world-class jugglers and a variety of performers—as well as indoor roller coaster rides, a 50 foot waterslide tower with 3 slides, and a Splash Pad with waterfalls. Other must-see attractions you and your children will love include M&M World where they have different…

Stay Alert: Flesh-Eating Disease Expands through Warming Beach Waters

With the summer vacation season in full swing, news reports of bacterial disease in the warming waters of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico up to the east coast of Chesapeake Bay are becoming too frequent to ignore. We’ll note right off the top: this has nothing to do with the infamous red or green tides that have blemished Florida’s western shores the past couple of years. The disease—necrotizing fasciitis, also known as “flesh-eating disease”—has been claiming increasing  numbers in these areas, and Florida’s Department of Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued advisories warning of risks primarily to the elderly with compromised immune conditions, chronic kidney disease, or cancer; people of any age with cuts, scrapes, burns, insect bites, skin punctures or surgical wounds; and—most sadly—perfectly healthy kids with scraped or bruised toes or knees just playing in the ocean. Vicious and virulent In Florida,…

10 Things I have Learned About Human Trafficking Since Launching Our Task Force

In the run up to 30 July – World Day against Trafficked Persons, which is calling for governments to take more stringent action to fight Human Trafficking, I took the opportunity to reflect on what I have learned about the issue since WTTC launched its Human Trafficking Task Force at the 2019 Global Summit in Seville, April this year. Human Trafficking is a big money ‘business’. According to the International Labour Organization, Human Trafficking is an illicit industry worth more than $150 billion annually, which is equivalent to the entire tourism economy of Brazil ($152.5 billion). 2. Human Trafficking affects everyone, everywhere. Victims of Human Trafficking are men, women and children, and they can be found in every country in the world. An estimated 24.9 million people are trapped in forced labour: 16 million of which are exploited in the private sector, 4.8 million in forced sexual exploitation, and 4…

Ingle & MSH join task force to halt human trafficking

We are proud to team up with the WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council) to bring awareness and work towards halting the spread of human trafficking around the globe. Our industry has a unique opportunity to educate our partners and clients on activities that can make a real difference. For immediate release… To mark World Day Against Trafficking in Persons (July 30th), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today calls on governments across the globe to adopt more stringent measures in the fight against human trafficking, and specifically to support Travel & Tourism initiatives that aim to curb this illicit activity. Human trafficking generates an estimated $150 billion in illegal profits annually. In comparative terms, that’s the equivalent of the entire tourism economy of Brazil ($152.5bn). Trafficking relies on the travel industry to operate – not only across borders, but also within – using legitimate operations to illegally move…

Best Places to Travel to Escape the Heat!

Can’t stand melting at 40°C? Need an escape from the scorching sun? Travel with us to cooler climates and enjoy a break from the soaring temperatures. 8 great places to visit comfortably this summer! If you want to visit Canada in the summer, Alberta is one of the best provinces to explore. With the most daily sunshine hours of the year and comfortable weather at a high of 24°C, you can trek the mountains, visit historical sites and museums, enjoy restaurants and do shopping. What brings most visitors to Alberta is nature: the jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains and other beautiful national parks are sights to behold. Travel to Dinosaur Provincial Park near Drumheller to see the Alberta Badlands and visit the Tyrell Museum to see real dinosaur skeletons up close. For those who are extremely fit and active, head to the Rockies and hike the challenging Cory Pass – it’s one…

StudyInsured: Your One-Stop Shop for International Student Insurance

Looking for the best travel insurance coverage for your international student(s)? Look no further – StudyInsured has it all! From protecting a student’s medical needs, to the accessibility of 24/7 multilingual emergency assistance services, and even a Stay Healthy at School Program. Read our latest press release on why StudyInsured is your one-stop shop for International Student Insurance. Are you an international student? Let us help you feel at home while you study abroad. We cover all your health insurance needs, give you easily accessible resources for navigating the healthcare systems, provide physical and mental wellness support through the Stay Healthy at School program, 24/7 claim services should you need assistance, and much more. For more information, visit https://www.inglestudents.com/studyinsured/, call us at 1-855-649-4182 or email us at studentteam@studyinsured.com.

Recent News in the Dominican Republic Calls For Extra Precaution When Travelling At All Times

It was the shooting of baseball legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz outside a bar in Santo Domingo that brought the issue of mysterious deaths in the Dominican Republic to worldwide attention, but it remains the recent spate of mostly-unsolved and unexplained deaths of American tourists at popular resort hotels that has tourism officials worried about what comes next. (Big Papi is recovering well in a Boston hospital) Though the issue has not captured much attention of Canadian media—which is mystifying as Canadians provide the second largest pool of tourism to the DR next to Americans—print and broadcast media in the US have been asking tough questions about what local tourism officials have characterized as a series of unfortunate coincidences. In one published report, however, the DR’s attorney general Jean Alain Rodriguez told local journalists that the nation is “secure but definitely has many challenges.” Indeed it has. So far this…

MSH International Boosts Its Global Expansion With New Health and Travel Insurance Products and Services

MSH International (Americas) is accelerating its international expansion and services to meet the growing demand for its comprehensive, global health insurance products. Adding to the company’s great products and services a new suite of offerings addresses up-to-the-minute needs of leisure and business travelers alike and includes: LivExpat, a new generation of flexible and cost-efficient international health insurance plans MSH Navigator, a mobile application, with geo-tracking capabilities, security warnings, travel and city guides, two-way communication and single-touch access to emergency and provider networks MSH ASSISTANCE, a comprehensive product offering with round-the-clock multilingual medical assistance, emergency evacuation, repatriation and risk management to travellers, worldwide. Born of a 2017 merger between MSH International and Ingle International, a supplier of international insurance solutions for travellers, students and expatriates since 1946, MSH International continues to experience rapid international growth. Together with its continuous product innovation, tailored facilities, global capabilities, customized web and mobile sales/information portals…

How to Prepare for Emergency Situations at Home or Abroad

In April 2018, Toronto was shaken after an attack with a rented van in the North York area has left 10 dead and 15 others wounded. In a city that is generally known to be safe, this tragic event feels particularly jarring. It’s difficult to predict senseless attacks such as this. And while Toronto is in mourning today, one horrific act of violence will not alter the character of the city: at large, Toronto is still a safe place. For travellers heading to Toronto or anywhere else around the globe, it’s important not to let events like this deter you from getting out there and exploring the world. Rather than avoid making plans, the best thing that you can do is be prepared in the event you encounter an emergency at home or abroad. Measures for keeping safe Be prepared: If you are heading abroad, make sure to remain…

Mental Health: Where can students find support?

Hundreds of students from the University of Waterloo walked out of their class to demand better mental health services on campus. Holding placards and chanting, the students each took it in turns to speak about their experiences with the university’s mental health services. Some spoke of long wait times to see a counsellor, while others said they felt “unheard” after meeting them. The protest, organized by the students themselves, was in response to the recent suicide death of a 22-year-old student who took his life at the university’s student residence at the beginning of March. It’s clear that there is a need for increased mental health support, and that applies to all walks of life – not just schools. School can be a difficult time for anyone, especially those travelling abroad to study. A young person is forced out of their comfort zone, away from their home comforts, with the…

Travellers’ Alerts Raised for Measles Outbreaks in Europe and the USA

If you’re heading for Europe this summer, and especially if you’re travelling with children who have not been vaccinated for measles, see your doctor or a travel health clinic immediately and have yourselves and your children properly immunized against this dangerous and potentially deadly disease. Most of us thought measles had been eliminated many years ago. But the epidemic raging across Europe shows just how resilient this highly contagious disease can really be. According to Canada’s Travel Health website, as of the end of May 2019, large measles outbreaks (exceeding 1,000 cases) are currently ongoing in Albania, France, Georgia, Italy, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine; and since the beginning of 2019, serious outbreaks have also been reported in virtually all other European nations, including such highly developed countries as Germany, the UK, Spain, and Switzerland. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC), 35,000 cases of measles…

Dark Tourism – Do You Dare?

What Is Dark Tourism? Travel to places historically associated with death and tragedy. Morbid right? But here’s the reasons tourists visit Dark Tourism sites 1 – Curiosity 2 – Step back into history & feel the impact of the events 3 – Understand what happened first-hand 4 – Pay respects & visit memorials 5 – Experience the creation of reflective memories 6 – Remember what it is to be human People go for many reasons, but ultimately, it just means you are interested in learning about life and history. If you dare to go…here are some of the top Dark Tourism destinations & most Haunted places in the world Bran Castle, Romania The home of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” seems to be based on this Romanian castle on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. The former seat of the infamous Vlad the Impaler, Bran Castle is now a museum for…

Tour Canada From Coast to Coast – Part 2

If you haven’t seen Part 1 of our Coast to Coast Tour, click here! Now is the perfect time to visit the Great White North! Ready to dive in and find your next Canadian destination? Home to Toronto, Canada’s largest and most populated city and main economic hub, Ontario not only has a vibrant city life, but many outdoor beauties to see including the world-famous Niagara Falls, a multitude of provincial parks, and the Great Lakes. With popular landmarks like the CN Tower and Canada’s parliament buildings, Ontario is Canada’ most visited province, and offers a panoply of multicultural foods and festivals for your delight. Quebec is where you will find the descendants of French settlers known as French Canadians. Besides the French language, you can find European influences in the local culture, food, and architecture, all of which combine with historic charm. Iconic landmarks like the Chateau Frontenac, Notre…

Is Relief in Sight for Medical Student Debt?

For many of Canada’s best and brightest, the prospect of a career in medicine is dampened by the reality of mounting student debt, into the six figures in many cases. And it’s not just obtaining the MD that’s challenging: it’s the years beyond, working toward the specialty accreditation that generates the fees needed to pay off that debt—a need that often diverts graduates away from lesser-paying fields like family medicine. It’s a vicious cycle. But a recent announcement from New York University School of Medicine that it will begin offering free tuition to all current and future students—regardless of need—sparks some hope that new ways of funding medical education may be taking root. NYU, one of America’s top 10 medical schools (where the average annual cost is $55,018 USD), is taking the step thanks to an endowment from private sources that is currently valued at $450 million and is aiming…

Tour Canada From Coast to Coast – Part 1

Now is the perfect time to visit the Great White North! It may be heating up everywhere else in the world, but in Canada, the weather is just warming up, offering the most comfortable temperatures for you to explore the jaw-dropping wilderness or bask in the city multicultural city life. Low season lasts until late June and offers great pricing options for travellers. July and August are high season, but if you book at least 3 weeks before your departure, you can still find below-average pricing for your getaway! Dive in and find your next Canadian destination! Armed with miles of picturesque coastlines, British Columbia offers the popular Stanley Park seawall where you can go for a scenic leisure walk or try cycling for a good workout. Challenging hikes up the Rocky Mountains are perfect if you crave adventure. The Capilano Suspension Bridge also offers great photo ops and an…

超级签证保险:常见问题

如果您的父母或祖父母希望长期(每次最长 2 年时间)留加,而您是加拿大永久居民或加拿大公民,超级签证是最好的选择。但是别忘了您需要为您的父母或祖父母购买超级签证保险来为他们在加拿大停留期间提供保障。 以下是关于超级签证保险的常见问题解答: 我需要的最低保额是多少? 您至少需要 10 万加元的保额 — 我们所有的保险计划都可以提供。 是否有年龄限制? 一些保险计划有限制,但是我们有适合任何年龄的保险计划。 我需要投保多长时间? 您必须投保一年。 如果我的签证被拒该怎么办? 提供拒签证明即可获得全额退款。(如果没有提供拒签证明,您可能会被收取最高 250 加元的手续费用) 如果我的签证通过了,但旅行日期变了该怎么办? 您可以在保险生效前联系您的代理来更改您的投保日期。 如果我只在加拿大停留 1 个月,我可以只购买一个月的超级签证保险吗? 您必须购买一年的保险才有资格申请超级签证逗留加拿大。回国后您可以申请部分退款(需提供您提前回国的证明和无保险索赔申请)。大多数保险公司会收取小额费用,通常为 25 加元。 如果我在一年期满前离开加拿大,我能获得退款吗? 回国后您可以申请部分退款(需提供您提前回国的证明和无保险索赔申请)。大多数保险公司会收取小额费用,通常为 25 加元。 如果我打算在加拿大逗留两年,我可以购买两年的保险吗? 不可以,保单一年一签。但是,在您临近第一年结束时我们可以为您更新保险计划。 如果我顺路去其他国家旅行,我的超级签证保险能提供保障吗? 加拿大访客保险计划允许顺路游,前提是至少 51% 的投保日期是在加拿大度过的。旅行的起止地点都必须在加拿大。 是否覆盖投保前已存在的疾病? 是的,只要符合一定的稳定性要求,年龄在 79 岁以下的游客的大多数已存在疾病都可以得到保障。对于 80 岁及以上的游客,经详细的医疗问卷调查和保险公司批准后,可带病投保。 如何付款? 信用卡或借记卡。 我可以按月付款吗? 不行,必须提前支付全部保费。 有没有办法降低我的保费? 有!您可以利用免赔额来降低您的保费。欢迎随时联系我们了解此选项的更多信息。 加拿大访客 加拿大是世界上面积第二大的国家。您可以无忧无虑地探索这个多元文化国家。无论是徒步探索阿尔伯塔省的落基山脉,还是在多伦多的加拿大国家电视塔体验世界上最高的免手扶边缘漫步,我们都可为您提供保障。 了解更多信息,请访问 https://www.ingleinternational.com/en/travel-insurance/visitors-to-canada,或致电 1-800-360-3234 或发送电邮至 helpline@ingleinternational.com.agent@ingleinternational.com

Welcome to Canada – A Traveller’s Guide to Staying Safe and Healthy While Visiting Canada

Whether visiting family or friends for a short period, touring the country, or planning to immigrate, visitors to Canada are vulnerable to the costs of the Canadian health care system. According to the Canadian Tourism Commission, Canada receives over 17 million visitors each year, and each one of them should have travel health insurance to protect them against the high costs of health care in Canada. Health Care in Canada is not free! Visitors need to know that foreign insurance plans may not cover Canadian medical costs and most government health insurance plans in countries around the world will not cover accidents or medical emergencies incurred by their residents while travelling in Canada. Canadian provincial health insurance does not cover non-resident visitors, even if they are visiting family – uninsured visitors are expected to pay in full for medical bills incurred in Canada. Also, provincial health care in Canada can…

As Drinking Laws Relax, You Need to Stay Alert when Travelling

To many foreign visitors, Ontario’s drinking laws have long been a source of bemusement, and some frustration. I have often heard from friends and colleagues that, as much as they enjoyed what Canada has to offer, they were somewhat confused—or even embarrassed—when a waiter or hotel worker told them it was too early in the day for a Bloody Mary with their brunch. Or that if they wanted a beer or wine, they could only be served in some dark and enclosed location, not here on a sunlit patio. But with the impending relaxation of alcohol consumption laws, just announced, visitors to Ontario should find it somewhat friendlier and less intimidating to order their favourite beverage in a pleasant outdoor location, open to the sky. Times have certainly changed, and there will still be many people who decry the easing availability of alcohol in daily life. But for travellers leaving…

Tips for Annual-Plan Holders

A client calls to say: “Hi, we are heading across the border next week. Do I have to call you every time I plan a trip?” if they are annual-plan holders, the short answer is “no”. But you can save them (and yourself!) some time by passing along a few tips at the time of the original sale! 1 – Short trips: you need not notify anyone about a short trip any time during the term of your annual plan – provided you have not experienced a change in your health. 2 – Change in health status: call us if your health situation changes. We can then check whether you will be in danger of limiting or eliminating your coverage, and we can discuss other coverage options. 3 – Days per trip: there is a limit to the number of days you may travel per trip and still be able…

10 Ways to Save on Travel Insurance

Are you or your clients concerned about the costs of travel insurance? What’s better than saving money and spending it elsewhere on your travels? Here’s 10 ways to save on travel insurance while getting comprehensive coverage! 1 – The more often you travel, the better the deal. Consider a multi-trip annual plan! They end up being significantly cheaper (and more convenient) than single-trip plans if you travel more than once a year. 2 – Travel in twos? Make sure to take advantage of your companion discounts! Your travelling companion does not need to be a family member – as long as your travel arrangements and trip dates are the same, you can save a few bucks. 3 – Travelling with family? Get family rates! They are cheaper than individual rates for families of 3 or more. Typically, rates are only 2 times the price of the oldest family member’s policy…

Ontario Terminate All Out-of-Country Medical Payments

The Ontario government’s announced intention to terminate all coverage of unexpected medical emergencies for residents travelling out of the country as of October 1, 2019 appears to be a clear violation of the Canada Health Act. But that has not prevented the Ontario government, and all other provinces and territories, from short changing their own travellers for years by paying foreign hospitals absurdly low reimbursements for taking care of them when they travel out of the country. Ontario has been paying up to $200 CAD per day per patient in a standard room, $400 in intensive care, and $50 CAD for an outpatient visit—leaving it to private travel insurers to pay the great bulk of remaining costs (usually well north of 90 percent). And though the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MHLTC) contends that the termination of the OOC program will have no impact on 99.5 percent of…

Hungry for Food Travels?

Among the best reasons to travel is indulging in all sorts of traditional, cultural and exotic foods available around the world. Let us take you on this food journey—we guarantee you’ll want to book your next flight! Home to many Michelin starred restaurants and “Jiro Dreams of Sushi”, you will find that food in Japan is an art form. Authentic handmade udon and ramen will change your perspective on noodle soup forever, and carefully crafted Japanese sushi is an experience unto itself. Even shopping at the grocery store is fun in Japan, with unique packaging and creatively designed food making each trip a novelty. Tokyo is the eating capital of Japan, with over 160,000 restaurants to choose from—but since restaurants don’t open until 11am, it’s better to space your meals out during the day. Don’t forget to check out the fish markets early in the morning for a new food…

Who Pays When Airlines Ground Your Flight?

Disruptions caused by the grounding of 737 Max fleets worldwide have caused many thousands of travellers to dig into their travel insurance policies to see who pays for their delays, re-routings, unanticipated airport meals, extra nights in vacation locations, taxis back and forth between airports and hotels, rebooking airline fees, and on and on. These unexpected costs can add up, especially if you’re travelling in family groups. Already, one large US travel insurance aggregator has noted that simply “fear” of flying on a 737 isn’t enough for an insurer to pay for any rebooking fees, and most airlines are not obligated to do so. National regulations on such payments vary a lot from country to country. What is clear, though, is that if an airline does agree to pay for rebooking, or other out-of-pocket personal charges caused by the disruption, or if the airline offers vouchers for future flights, your…

New Product Launch: LivExpat. Customizable Benefits That Will Save Your Clients Money.

MSH AMERICAS announces the launch of LivExpat – A flexible, affordable international health insurance plan for 1 – 150 lives. LivExpat is the beginning of a new generation of flexible, cost efficient and innovative international health insurance plans. Designed to meet the needs of the ever-changing global traveler and SME’s. LivExpat fully insured plans give you choice; Emergency medical only coverage or Comprehensive medical coverage with optional Disability, Life and AD&D. These plans provide insurance protection with several duration options and mix and match benefits to best suit you and or your employees. Medical including hospitalization, routine and vision care, and prescription drugs, and optional dental care; Evacuation including transportation, hospitalization and repatriation; Employee Assistance Program Life & Disability, including Life, Long-Term Disability, Temporary & Permanent Total Disability, and Accidental Death & Dismemberment benefits. LiveExpat includes access to MSH‘s exclusive Provider Network of more than a million healthcare professionals around…

無論您是在國外工作還是留學,都要在春節期間保持傳統過新年!- Whether You Are Working Or Studying Abroad, Keep The Tradition Alive During Chinese New Year!

新年快樂 – Happy Chinese New Year! Or in Hong Kong and other Cantonese regions, 恭喜發財 – it means congratulations on the fortune. A Little History Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, has taken prominence and is celebrated all over the world. This New Year celebration is actually the longest Chinese holiday of the year (lasting 15-16 days) and is celebrated on a different day every year. Why? Because it follows the lunar calendar – the movement of the moon. This tradition has been around for almost 4000 years since the Han Dynasty in 202 BC-220 AD.  The Emperor commanded the use of the lunar calendar and it has been put into practice ever since. 2019, Year of the Pig Every year is represented by a different Chinese zodiac sign. 2019 is the year of the pig – a year of fortune and luck! A pig represents wealth, honesty,…

Relocation Series – Moving to Shanghai, China

Welcome to our Relocation Series! Looking for better opportunities? Want to make a big life change? Finally found the dream destination you want to move to? Our Relocation Series consists of the most popular destination choices for expatriates to relocate to. We will include all the details you need to know on each country and factors to determine if it would be the perfect fit for you! Let us make your life easier for this next big step you are taking. A comprehensive guide for moving to and living in Shanghai Languages The language most widely spoken in China is Mandarin. In Shanghai, residents also have their own dialect called Wu Chinese. English is not widely spoken or understood in this area. Money The Chinese Yuan Renminbi (CNY) is used here. There are ATMs in big cities and towns but China is still largely a cash culture so do…

Relocation Series—Moving to Paris, France

Welcome to our Relocation Series! Looking for better opportunities? Want to make a big life change? Finally found the dream destination you want to move to? Our Relocation Series consists of the most popular destination choices for expatriates to relocate to. We will include all the details on what you need to know on each country and factors to determine if it would be the perfect fit for you! Let us make your life easier for this next big step you are taking. A comprehensive guide for moving to and living in Paris Languages The official language is French. English and Spanish are the next most common languages spoken in Paris. Money The Euro (EUR) is used and credit cards are accepted in a large number of shops, hotels, and restaurants. Safety Paris has an overall medium risk to safety: while generally not dangerous, it is…

Relocation Series—Moving to Mexico City, Mexico

Welcome to our Relocation Series! Looking for better opportunities? Want to make a big life change? Finally found the dream destination you want to move to? Our Relocation Series consists of the most popular destination choices for expatriates to relocate to. We will include all the details on what you need to know on each country and factors to determine if it would be the perfect fit for you! Let us make your life easier for this next big step you are taking. A comprehensive guide for moving to and living in Mexico City Languages The common languages are Spanish, Nahuatl, Maya, and Mixtec. English is also becoming more widely spoken. Money The Mexican Peso (MXN) is used. Credit cards are widely accepted and the country has an extensive network of ATMs. Safety Mexico has an overall medium risk regarding safety. Stay in the tourist zones to…

Warnings on Virtual Kidnapping Targeting Chinese Students

A warning to international students, brought to you by StudyInsured. A new (but old) scam is underway, specifically targeting Chinese international students: virtual kidnapping. It sounds bizarre when you first hear the words—how do you kidnap someone virtually? Doesn’t kidnapping require a person to be… physically there? Apparently not. Scam artists have had to up their game and get more creative with their schemes over the years as security measures have been tightening up and the general population has become more aware of when someone is trying to defraud them. In comes virtual kidnapping. While Canada is overall a safe destination for international students, travelling such a long distance away can naturally cause anxiety for students’ parents and loved ones left back home. This scam seeks to play on those fears by inventing a danger to the student that isn’t actually there. The history It started as a…

New Canadian Biometric Requirements in Place for International Students and Other Visa Holders

As of July 31, 2018, international students applying for Canadian student visas from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are required to provide biometric facial photos and fingerprint data to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) officers when entering the country. The requirements will also apply to applicants for visitor, work, permanent residency, or refugee asylum visas. Applicants already in Canada are temporarily exempt from the requirements pending the establishment of biometric application processing centres in Canada starting in 2019. Canada’s Biometric Initiative program, which is designed to ease legitimate travel to Canada while protecting national security and preventing identify fraud, will be extended to applicants from Asia, Asia- Pacific, and the Americas starting December 31, 2018. Canada already collects biometric data from refugee applicants from 30 countries. Tourists from visa-exempt countries with valid Electronic Travel Authorizations (eTA) are exempt from the requirement, as are: Canadian citizens US nationals Citizenship…

Relocation Series—Moving to Toronto, Canada

Welcome to our Relocation Series Launch! Looking for better opportunities? Want to make a big life change? Finally found the dream destination you want to move to? Our Relocation Series consists of the most popular destination choices for expatriates to relocate to. We will include all the details you need to know on each country and factors to determine if it would be the perfect fit for you! Let us make your life easier for this next big step you are taking.   A comprehensive guide for moving to and living in Toronto Languages The official languages spoken are English and French. Chinese and Punjabi are the next most commonly spoken languages. Money The Canadian dollar (CAD) is used and credit and debit cards are accepted countrywide. It is recommended to use one of the most prominent banks that have ATMS scattered across the city. Safety Toronto…