7 Types of Expats – Which Group Are You In?

According to the UN’s report, the number of people living abroad in 2019 reaches 272 million, approximately 3.5% of the world’s population. Although people move abroad for different reasons, there are certain types of expats that you’ll meet. 

1. The career expats

Career expats see the local economy as a benefit. They move for better job opportunities or look for a permanent change. 

Like starting a new job anywhere else globally, research your destination and make sure you tick all the right boxes.

I recommend learning the local culture and language to avoid culture shock and better adapt to your new life. 

travel luggage

2. The students

Students make up a large group of people who are living abroad. They may live in the host country for a couple of months or a few years, and this experience gives them a deeper understanding of the country than visiting as a tourist.

The continued growth in international students studying abroad for higher education had a significant positive economic impact on the host country.

For example, international students contributed $45 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018, the IIE report says, citing the U.S. Department of Commerce.


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  • Expat insurance: Life abroad has its surprises; make sure you’re covered with expat insurance.

3. The retirer

Many people are tempted to have a carefree life in Asian countries, with affordable living expenses, delicious food, and exotic cultures. 

Some best countries in Asia to retire are Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. 

Bai Xep beach Quy Nhon Vietnam

If you’re planning a retired life abroad, visit and spend a few months in your selected locations. Don’t pack your back before you test the water.

Also, many Asian countries may require a valid income statement for a long-term visa to be approved, so research first before moving. 

4. The digital nomads

Working online and traveling the world, doesn’t it sound promising?

With the remote working trend, we see more people opt to live out of suitcases or backpacks. They work from home, at cafes, or anywhere in the world that has the internet. 

working from home tips

They’re maybe stock-traders, copy-writers, programmers, or freelancers working on their client’s projects. They may move after a period to explore other countries on their bucket list.

If you plan to live and work abroad, you should research visa requirements carefully. 

5. The romantic

The romantic partners are living abroad simply because of love. They believe in love without borders. They fell in love and joined their partners in their home country.

Depending on their situations, their expat lives can be happy ever after or potentially become a nightmare. Being away from home, from their family and friend support, they surely have difficulty adjusting to their new life. 

6. The travelers

The tourist expats typically visit a country for a few months with their tourist visas while maintaining their home address somewhere else. 

They love to travel the world, seek out to experience the local culture, and experience new things. Tourist expats visit for once-in-a-lifetime experience research in the host country before a bigger move.

7. The I-hate-it-here expats

This group of people makes us wonder why they are even living abroad. You can spot them in several forums and groups, bad-mouthing their host country.

Nothing will ever be as good in their current country compared to where they come from. They find faults in several things, from the government to the medical system to the culture.

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