people are different, so are expats. According to research about managers who are living abroad following an international assignment several different types of expats seem to exist, depending on how they define their position between their native country and their host country. Everyone finds her/his own specific way to deal with the intercultural challenges of an international assignment, and finds her/his balance between their country of origin and the host country.
Literature mentions four types of expats:
There are the “home-country-centered”, those who “leave their heart at home”, do not form close links to the host country, and keep strong roots in their home country.
Then there are the “host-country-centered”, who strive to get deeply involved with their host country. They identify themselves with the host country to which they develop are rather close relationship. At the same time, they develop an emotional distance to their home country.
There are also “double-citizens”, who leave in a balance of closeness and distance to both their home country and the host country
And last not least there are those who develop neither close relations to their host country, nor are they preserving strong bonds to their home country. Those so called “global nomads” focus on the mission they are assigned to accomplish, rather than on the country they happen to work in.
which type of expat are you?
Identifying which type of expat you are may help you to succeed in your mission.