Need an Expat Orientation? The wait is over!

If you’ve been following Life in the Bay for a while, you know that we’ve covered topics from finding the right school, renting a new home, exploring the Bay Area, and more, but there’s a gap, and we are well aware of it. You want advice on Health Insurance, Finances, Taxes, Real Estate and Immigration matters. While an exceptional team of writers are behind Life in the Bay, we don’t happen to be experts or professionals in these areas. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t help…We are always expanding our network, and connecting with more and more local organizations with the common goal of supporting expats. You can check out some of our partners here.

A couple of weeks ago two different people told me about this upcoming event being offered by the British Benevolent Society. ‘Have you heard of this organization’, they asked. ‘It’s right up your alley.’ I reached out to Annabel Green-Lavielle, the CEO, and organizer for this amazing event, and we quickly realized that we should have been talking to each other weeks ago! Just in the nick of time, we have connected, which means I get to share a fantastic opportunity with all of you.

British Benevolent Society

‘Orientation Day 2016: An expat’s guide to living in the Bay Area’ is being hosted at USF on Saturday October 15th.  You won’t want to miss this all-day event. It’s open to ALL newly arrived expats (not just  Brits), in need of some advice, support, and guidance. Space is limited, but you can sign up quickly here.

This is the kind of event, the Life in the Bay have been dreaming about putting on for the last year or so. Besides offering an opportunity for expats to connect with each other, you will have the chance to learn about some very important topics. Orientation Day will include breakfast and lunch (giving you time to chat and mingle) as well as presentations by local experts on Schooling, US Health Insurance, Real Estate, US Taxation, US Immigration, Banking and much more. A public event like this, is the first of its kind to take place in the Bay Area. Bringing together all of these experts has been a huge task, so thank you BBS! It would take you weeks, if not months to research all these topics on your own.


Executive Director, Annabel Green-Lavielle

Specifically thank you Annabel! In January of this year, Annabel was tasked with rejuvenating the 150 year old organization. The mission was to transform the British Benevolent Society into a larger and more active non-profit organization, and by all accounts, she’s well on her way to achieving this. Annabel isn’t a newcomer to providing expat support. Besides having lived the expat life here in the US for more than a decade; Annabel has led profit and non-profit organizations for a number of years in the US and Europe. She even managed her own relocation company in France, which was dedicated to the support of the expat community there.

We are so pleased to be partnering with the BBS for this great event, I promise you won’t want to miss this! Sign up today. We will of course be attending this great event too – so come see us. We look forward to meeting you!


The British Benevolent Society (BBS) is a 501C3 charity with a mission to build and nurture our diverse community through advice support and relief when needed in the United States.  Based in San Francisco our mission is to protect support, prepare, and connect.’

  • Protect: Emotional and Financial relief in times of need
  • Support: Transition support and education for new arrivals
  • Prepare: Essential information to thrive including earthquake and disaster readiness
  • Connect: Create connections and advancing British cultural education and interests


About Michelle Laker

A California native; I spent 10 years living, studying, working, (and falling in love) in the United Kingdom. I returned to the Bay Area in 2011, with my British husband in tow. I am re-adjusting to life in the bay, feeling more like an expat than a local. I have spent my career working with international student & families. I love learning about other cultures, languages, and traditions. My desire to welcome newcomers, and help you make the most of your new life in the Bay Area comes from the unforgettable memories (and mistakes) I made during my time in the United Kingdom. If you've just arrived, and don't know where to start, email me ( I am happy to help!

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