So you have your own definition, but a popular one is this
Expats are wealthy WHITE persons who choose to move abroad for a temporary period of time, this fits the image that springs to mind when asked.
What does expat mean?
An expatriate is a person who lives outside of his or her home country, usually temporarily. Such people are often skilled workers, artists, or professionals, and are usually employed by or chose to live in the country they have chosen. However, expatriates may also be exiles. In this article, we’ll explore the meaning of the word expat and what it means to you. And, of course, there’s a lot more to it than that!
the term expatriate connoted the lifestyle and habits of westerners living abroad. The word expatriate was commonly associated with high wages, generous packages, and exclusive schooling. In those days, wealthy expatriates expected the locals to conform to their culture. But today, this term is used to describe both migrants and corporate CEOs who are working long-term overseas assignments. Expatriates may prefer to use the term “expat” for self-image and political correctness reasons.
An immigrant is someone who can rarely return to a place outside of their home country and typically comes once they have left their country. Conversely, an expatriate is someone who leaves their native country in order to work in a foreign location for an extended amount of time.
Who would you describe as an Expat?
My argument is that The Economic status of any worker moving abroad is not relevant
Expat is a term that seems to exist only so that people can fain moral outrage at its use, calling yourself an Expat or having the gall to refer to any expat in this way is asking for moral outrage especially online. You can have your fellow social media users going from minding their own business to outraged in about 1 second (Outrage tends to fade pretty fast too) if you have the arrogance to call yourself an Expat! YOU ARE A MIGRANT and god help you if you are a white male using this expression, you are the worst kind of person…
What other words are there?
So many, remember that your job status as in the type of job you do is irrelevant to what terms apply, it does not matter at all if a male investment banker and a female cleaner move from the same city to the same new city, they are both open to being defined in the same way.
So I would not call the cleaner a foreign worker or migrant due to her job status, nor would the Investment banker be called this, I would call them both Expats. If you try and split them based on their job status or income this is just displaying a prejudice or disdain for certain jobs that people do.
If i call you a Migrant are you offended?
Talk about a loaded word, some people leap on it like an unexploded Moral High ground grenade, these internet Heroes get a whiff of potential moral high ground and instantly they are on it quicker than a German dropping their towel on the Beach Loungers at 6am.
Having taken the hit and expressed their offence they TELL YOU OFTEN IN BLOCK CAPITALS WHY THEY CALL THEMSELVES MIGRANTS and you should too, you Elitist pig, to which my internal response (External today as this is being published tends to be) wow you are a moral hero, I bet you do loads of stuff to help people and do not just express outrage online for the benefit of your friends.
If you are like me (You may not be) and the huge majority of Media you consume is Western Media, the image you must surely have when you hear the word Migrants is of large groups of men coming from the African continent in search of a better life, perhaps on foot or even on some horrendous version of a boat. I instinctively call those people Migrants.
Now it is not a term meant to demean, it is simply a term that is accurate, those people are Migrating.
I cannot see how anyone would think this to be odd, if you were in the position they were, would you make the trek? Lets consider it this way, Birds are smart enough to Migrate in winter for a better life, so when Humans do it we should not be surprised, in my mind MIGRATION means groups of people (What does it mean to you?)…. anyway would YOU be offended if I called you a Migrant?
A WHITE MAN IN SPAIN
So you are a white man in Spain and I say you are a Migrant, did you get offended and say NO i am Expat? If you did my simple definition is coming but before this let me tell you why I am publishing this.
As I created an ExPat network I figured it is important to know this stuff so I have been reading several Phds theories on the various definitions and their connotations, all that I could gather from their many, many pages was that if you want a fast and easy reply or definition
Do not ask someone with a PHd!
(My suspicion is that they have had to hit so many word counts in their lives it is now just a habit) so without wanting to go all PHd on you ..
…here is my definition..
it should help you avoid being offended or negate the need for you to leap on to the Un Exploded Moral Grenades like some kind of Online Fast Typing Internet Hero
Expat or Migrant?
You are both!
..and you always will be
What you call yourself is always irrelevant, I speak to a person that calls themselves a MARKETING GURU, that is fine, it is on their Linkedin and all their social profiles, but I am mostly just going to call them an idiot if they are not actually very good.
The thing is, what you call yourself in any aspect of your life makes no difference to anything or anyone.
Anyone can arrive in a new country and announce to their friends HEY GUYS LIVING THE EXPAT LIFE, no problem..
The people whose country you arrived in will still call you an immigrant
So do not be offended when someone uses one term over the other or try and make an argument about whether you are an Expat or an Immigrant, you are always going to be called both and what you are called means nothing, what you do means everything.
Needed to share this, hope you can share it too!
Many expatriates seek out other expatriates. They find friends and socialize with people of similar nationality. They form communities of their own, with schools and shopping options. Anglo-American communities are usually English-speaking. There are also several enclaves of people of British nationality. Expatriates in these areas often have their own identities and have a sense of community. The term expatriate can also be used to describe people who emigrated from the United States.
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