What is an Expat?

One common question we come across is, “what is an expat?”

The word expat is a contraction of expatriate, which derives from the Latin word expatriatus. In medieval times, an expatriatus was someone who had left his or her home country to live somewhere else. So in today’s culture an expatriate is exactly that; someone who lives in a different location than that which they were born and brought up. In general expatriates are considered to be people who are residing in their host country temporarily, with the ultimate intention of returning home at a later date. However, in recent times, more and more expatriates have left their home country and found that they can experience a higher standard of living and a better of quality of life abroad and, for this reason, many of them never return home.

Becoming an Expat

There are many reasons why people become expatriates. For some it is due to work reasons, others fall in love with a person or a place, and others still seek a different life from that which they have been accustomed by living overseas. It is important to note, however, that expatriates will differ enormously from one another and although they are often referred to as a homogenous group, the reality is that within that group people will differ enormously from one another and should therefore be treated as individuals. Whatever your reasons for becoming an expat, this expat guide contains everything you need to know when moving overseas.

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