Chicago – Feb 11 2016

Photos Credits: Lorchique Photography

Happy New Year everyone!

We can NOT express how excited we are about this event- not only is it our annual Valentine’s day mixer (we get to play Cupid!) but we’re hosting it at the amazing IO Urban Roofscape at the Godfrey Hotel- and we have it all to ourselves! If you haven’t yet been to IO, don’t miss this chance to check out one of the coolest rooftop lounges in the city!

In addition to this most amazing venue, we will have a special group of “Co-Cupids” to help us do some mixing and matching!
***Special thanks to GERY Gencheva, NANCY Veloo, ELIZABETH Bublich and ANDRE Wrighte for helping us sharpen our bows and arrows!

Wear RED if you want to be a target! We’ll be aiming for you!

Featuring DJ John Grammatis!!
***Drink specials TBD


PS. Gery has also launched her own accounting business ( and I can personally vouch for what a great accountant she is!) which offers a full range of general business services and supports the accounting, tax, and financial management concerns of individuals and businesses throughout the Chicago area, as well as across the entire US.
Good to know just in time for tax season too!!

How do the US Corporate Expatriates choose their European HQ

Bermuda always used to be one of the top destinations for US companies shifting their headquarters abroad for tax purposes.

Bermuda is a British Overseas Territory in the Atlantic Ocean. Its nearest landmass is Cape Hatteras, United States, about 1,030 kilometres (640 miles) to the west-northwest. It is about 1,239 kilometres (770 mi) south of Cape Sable Island, Canada, and 1,538 kilometres (956 mi) north of Puerto Rico.

The Emerald Island’s Appeal

However, Dublin has become the new destination of choice for US corporate expatriates.
The corporate tax rate is just 12.5 percent. Not to mention you have a highly skilled English-speaking workforce. If you want to compare to France – their corporate tax rate is whopping 33.3 percent while the UK ‘s stands at 21 percent. If you think all the US companies went to Ireland to drink great Guinness, play golf and celebrate the Irish heritage – think again.

The tax rate is the reason why many tech companies, pharmaceutical gorillas and management consultancies have moved their headquarters from the US to Ireland (per Bloomberg report).

Infographic: The World Capitals For US Corporate Expatriates | Statista

Our Osaka Blog – How Does a Finnish Associate Professor of Psycholinguistics Like Living in Japan?

I am an associate professor of Psycholinguistics. I work as the Director of a language teaching and research institute at a University in Osaka, Japan. The institute’s aim is to teach English Language and Linguistics, test innovative methods of foreign language teaching, and conduct research into processes that are involved when children learn their native language and when adult foreign language learners learn their second language.

I am originally from Finland, but before moving to Japan in March 2014 I lived in the UK for 14 years.

Amongst other things, those 14 years saw me do an undergraduate degree in English Language at Sussex University in Brighton, a PhD in Language Acquisition (Psychology) at the University of Manchester, work as a researcher at the University of Manchester, teach Finnish to bilingual Finnish-English children at a Saturday school in Brighton, marry a British man and have two wonderful children.

Because I have lived a huge chunk of my life in England, I consider England ‘home’ in a very similar way as I consider my native country, Finland, as ‘home’.

My husband is a partner in a law firm in England and thus our lives are currently divided between Japan, England and Finland.

So, where exactly do you live?

In Japan, we live on the 24th floor of an apartment building in Osaka, Japan’s second largest city. Osaka is known as the ‘Kitchen of Japan’. The reason for Osaka’s foodie nickname is down to the huge number of restaurants in the city and it’s inhabitants’ love affair with food.

In England, we live in an old terraced house (built in the 1880s) in the suburbs of the wonderfully bohemian city of Brighton.

Our children and I are based in Osaka whilst my husband travels between England and Japan so that he spends roughly 6 months in both per year. We are very lucky that we have been able to juggle the logistics of our slightly unconventional living arrangements, and it would have been impossible to do it had my husband’s work colleagues not been so supportive about our work and family-life balance.

 Did you always want to move to Osaka?

No. We didn’t plan or have a desire to move to Osaka, or even Japan. We loved Brighton and were not actively looking to move anywhere, but then I heard that a university in Osaka was opening a new language institute, and the job sounded interesting. So, out of curiosity really, I applied for the post thinking that I probably wouldn’t get it – but got it. We then found ourselves in a weird situation where we changed our settled life in Brighton for a less settled, but a new and different life in a country with a culture that we knew very little about.

Half of our friends and family saw us moving to Japan as an act of complete insanity and the other half as a definite sign of mid-life crisis – and to be honest, our move to Japan was probably a combination of both of those.

Was it the right decision?

We’ve lived in Japan for a year and a half now and I can say:

Yes, it was the right decision.

What are the reasons for you saying that it was the right decision?

Overall: Japan is a great place to live in: It’s safe and clean; people are extremely polite and helpful; the food is amazing; it’s modern but has a lot of history; it has big cities but also a lot of natural beauty; the culture is very different from Western culture and thus we think that Japan is a fascinating place to live in.

Work-wise: I have been very happy working at my University – the students are enthusiastic and the department is supportive. Although, due to workplace and cultural differences between Japan and Europe, it took me while to figure out how decision-making works in Japanese organizations, and in fact I am still learning how to behave in meetings and other organizational contexts.

Would you ever move back to England?

Yes. And we will. Even though we love Japan, we will not stay in Japan forever. Our home is in England.

What do you miss from England?

I really miss pubs and quirky coffee shops in which I used to regularly meet up with my friends. And of course I miss those friends.

What about Finland?

From Finland I miss my family and the couple of friends that I still have back there. I also miss my family’s summer cottage near Mikkeli, and going wild mushroom picking and devouring the creamy mushroom sauce with boiled potatoes afterwards.

What is the funniest experience you have had in Japan?

There have been so many, given that we (still) constantly find ourselves in a bit of a pickle…but one of the most memorable ones was when I went to the hairdressers for the first time and the hairdresser gave me a gown and escorted me to a changing room. There I was standing in the cubicle wondering as to whether I was supposed to strip and wear only the gown for the appointment or not. Luckily I didn’t.

What is the scariest situation you have found yourself in Japan?

Japan is one of the safest countries in the World to live in. You are very unlucky if you experience theft or violence in Japan – even if you walk down the back alleys of big cities on your own at night. And so, the only scary situation we have experienced was when we nearly got arrested for accidently opening a bag of soybeans in a convenience store and my 4-year old eating a couple of pods from it before we had paid for it. In Japan the police can arrest you for 30 days without charging you – it would have been horrific to spend 30 days in jail for some soybeans.

You write a blog. Why?

There are three reasons.

First, I am fascinated by cultural differences and want to understand how people from different cultures see the world, behave and communicate. For instance, why is it not acceptable in some cultures (for women) to show their teeth when laughing and in other cultures you can laugh out loud so hard that your friends can practically count the number of fillings you have got. Or why a 10 second silence in conversation in a first date will make a Brit think that the date was a complete disaster while a date with a 10 minute silence might be perceived as a great success on a Finnish or Japanese date. If these types of cross-cultural differences interest you, my blog might be your cup of tea.

Second, like most expat bloggers, I also want to keep in contact with my family and friends back home, and writing a blog creates a window for them (and anyone interested) in our life in Japan.

Third, in 30 years time when my memories of our time in Japan will not be as fresh and vivid as they are now, I will be able to read my blog posts and chuckle at the situations we found ourselves in.

What do you write about?

My blog is about our experience of life and people in Japan, and the faux pas we make and what awkward situations we find ourselves in because we don’t know the language or the Japanese way to behave. And how peculiar or comical many Japanese (and Finnish and English) people and customs can be to a person who does not know the culture of those countries.

You haven’t told us your name – what is it?

I use the pen name Brightoneagle.

How to connect with you?

Blog website:

Twitter: @OurOsakaBlog

Houston – Jan 20 2016

It’s time to celebrate EuroCircle’s (as an organization) 17th Anniversary. Our first event took place on on Jan 11 1999 in New York City. We welcome all European groups to join us at Cru Wine Bar.

We are thrilled that Cru Wine Bar will be hosting us – with an extended happy hour from 6 pm to 8 pm for our members (ends usually at 6.30 pm).

If you are not a member yet, please sign up on: — it is FREE.
Facebook has restricted access to a larger audience, thus, we highly recommend you sign up at our website. You can use your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn login to register as a new member (only need to add Houston as your EuroCircle city and the country where you are from originally)

Your support is always appreciated. Please help spread the word among your connections.
Your hosts:

Shahla, Juliana and Venere
EuroCircle Houston Facebook Group
EuroCircle Houston Page at our website. Meet the team, check out our past event photos and more.

About Cru Wine Bar:
CRÚ — the first wine bars in Texas to offer 30 wines by the glass, 300 splendid bottles from all over the world. They pair the wine with Napa style foods.
They aim to demystify the world of wine, keep it cool, and make hundreds of wines accessible to you in an elegant, casually hip environment. So forget stodge. Forget pretense. Come to CRÚ and they’ll direct you through their stunning assortment of wines to help you pick just the right one for the occasion and your pocketbook.

“Beer is made by men, wine by God!” Martin Luther

Austin – Jan 24 2016

It’s time to celebrate EuroCircle’s (as an organization) 17th Anniversary. Our first event took place on on Jan 11 1999 in New York City. We welcome all international groups to join us for this memorable evening.

In addition to extending their regular business hours to 9pm, they have tailored a wonderful menu for our group! Here is a glimpse of the snacks and cocktails:

Emmer Johnny Cakes, Pork Belly, Fermented Cabbage, Deer Creek Cheddar, Crème Fraiche (6)
White Sonoran Empanada, Braised Pork, Chilis, Crème Fraiche, Chimichurri (4)
Our Chips, Buttermilk Dip (4)
Buratta Toast, Straciatella, Winter Greens, Black Butter (6)

Fresh Squeezed Texas Orange Mimosa
Housemade Bloody Mary, Dripping Springs Texas Vodka
Amberjacket, Rye Whiskey, Yellow Chartreuse, Honey, Soda
***3 featured wines and beers are also included.

Looks pretty great! This will also give you an opportunity to try a new happening restaurant in town! We will have the bar area, and the patio will be heated.

DINNER RESERVATIONS: keep in mind this is a SUPER popular venue. SO…in case you think you’d like to sit down let’s say at 6.30 pm and have dinner we strongly recommend you make the reservation now. You can always cancel when there – and you have changed your mind. OK? Phone is 512-366-5530.

Austin Polish Society will help us to host this event.

Find out with this QUIZ: How Much Do You Really Know About Poland

EuroCircle Team

Members, please LOG IN with your email and password to sign up and find more details. If you are not a member yet, REGISTER HERE — it is FREE. Please note that you create your member profile at EuroCircle with your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn login.


Kevin Fink’s Emmer Rye serves contemporary American dishes. They focus on seasonal and local ingredients.

The space has a chef’s table and private dining room. In-progress sauces, fermented, and pickled goods are on display tagged in jars. Outside this corner restaurant is the wood-paneled patio with the restaurant’s garden.

Infographic: The EU’s Gender Pay Gap Visualised

Gender inequalities in terms of pay vary widely among the European Union member countries (EU) and among groups of employees according to data compiled by Eurostat.
The unadjusted gender pay pap (GPG) is an indicator used within the European employment strategy (EES) to monitor imbalances in wages between men and women.
It is defined as the difference between the average gross hourly earnings of men and women expressed as a percentage of the average gross hourly earnings of men.

Women’s gross hourly earnings were on average 16.4 percent below those of men in 2013.
The most pronounced gap is in Estonia where there was a 30 percent difference in what men and women make per hour!! This was a real surprise to me.
Spain, the United Kingdom and Germany are also at the wrong end of the table. Slovenia has the narrowest gender gap when it comes to pay at just 3.2 percent.

Let’s just have a quick glance at some facts.

Gender pay gap levels
The gender pay gap varies significantly across EU Member States

By working profile (part-time versus full-time)
Pay gaps can also be analysed from the perspective of part-time or full-time employment. Information at this level of detail is not available, however, for all EU Member States (Figure 2). In 2013, the gender pay gap for part-time workers varied from -8.2 % in Malta to 33.7 % in Spain. A negative gender pay gap means that on average women’s gross hourly earnings are higher than those of men. For full-time workers, pay gaps varied also widely in the EU Member States, ranging from 1.9 % in Italy to 20.3 % in Hungry.

By age
The gender pay gap is generally much lower for young employees

By economic activity
The gender pay gap in the financial and insurance activities is higher than in the business economy as a whole

Pay gaps and economic control
In 2013, the majority of the EU countries (for which data are available) recorded a higher gender pay gap in the private sector than in the public sector.

Infographic: The EU's Gender Pay Gap Visualised | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista