Expats: Exciting adventure or lonely isolation?

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Etcetera

Senior Member
Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
Hi Auryn,
it seems to me that none of us was speaking about spending thе whole life in the same place - it's rather boring indeed and seems to be the opposite extreme.
And your observation about the two kinds of expats is entirely reasonable.

Natasha must be right, it all depends on the person in question.
 
  • natasha2000

    Senior Member
    djchak said:
    I think I agree with you (and others) on most of these issues.

    While I see the sadness of the Serbian community having to immigrate...it's a PLUS for Americans, so we see it more as a positive thing. Perhaps it isn't obvious to most Serbs.... I don't know, only a Serbian could answer that. Ditto for all other nationalities.
    (Well, I'm glad to hear this from an average American, since judging by the level of difficulty to get the US (and any other) visa for us, I would rather say that we are "persona non-grata" almost anywhere...:D

    Homesickness ..... does it boil down to that? I think that is what Cece observed. It's easy for a lot of us to judge "expats"...but some of the new expats that are having trouble have often never experienced this...and it hits them like a BRICK TO THE HEAD.

    And of course, in some isolated cases, the events that are going on in the world can negatively affect the Expat and his family. Check out this intresting situation:

    " Would she like to be another nationality right now? "Yes!" she replied instantly."

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2003/05/24/rwar_ed3_.php#
    Unfortunately, nobody can understand this better than myself.:)
     

    djchak

    Senior Member
    USA English
    natasha2000 said:
    Unfortunately, nobody can understand this better than myself.:)
    Don't EVEN go there with the whole immigration/melting pot thing. Don't you remember my debut posts?

    The reasons it's hard to get a "Visa" to the US are numerous (I think you mean Green Card though).

    But a lot of them have to do with 2 factors:

    1: Our legal immigration system is slow, expensive, and bureacratic. It SUCKS.
    2: there is a high rate of illegal immigration, and the laws don't get ENFORCED for various reasons.
     

    natasha2000

    Senior Member
    djchak
    Don't EVEN go there with the whole immigration/melting pot thing. Don't you remember my debut posts?
    I knew it! :D :idea: When you mentioned you bought a car from a Serbian, it sounded so familiar to me...:)
    No, this what I said has nothing to do with the "melting pot". I said I can understand how it feels to be hated because of something your Gouvernment does, and you, as an average citizen, have nothing to do with it, or at least, cannot make any difference you alone... Because, this text is speaking about American expats which can be resumed in this sentence:

    "In this multinational setting, it isn't always comfortable to be American, the students say, especially for those whose families support the U.S.-led war in Iraq."
    The reasons it's hard to get a "Visa" to the US are numerous (I think you mean Green Card though).
    No, I was reffering to touristic visa as well... But this is another story.


    Now, back to your article.I do feel sorry for these American children living abroad, who are for sure expats' children, because they are exposed to some prejudices they don't even know about. This is for sure a hard life especially for children,and the younger, the worse. I think this is additional burden for American expats, which only they drag with themselves, wheter they like it or not. It is unfair, but... It's reality. I did not read the whole text, but what I read tells me enough about how these children feel...
    This is what I thought when I said that unfortunately, I understand this very well, and the same sentence this girl says....

    " Would she like to be another nationality right now? "Yes!" she replied instantly."
    ....occurred me more than once... Of course, it happens rarely and only in bad moments, but I wouln't go further in explaining it, since I wouldn't like to go off-topic.

    Hope I explained myself better than the last time.:p ;)
     

    djchak

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I pretty much agree with what you are saying.

    Being a single expat can be easy and carefree, exciting..... But for married couples and/or with a family it can be uncomfortable at times, no matter how positive their own attitude is.

    Not all the time, just sometimes, in certain isolated situations.

    Having to conceal your nation ality and accent while trying to fit into another culture and learn about it..... can be a dire situation. So I empathize with people sensitive to the plight of immigrants, and think we (all countries) could do more...the problem is, there is no majority consensus. Maybe here (at this forum)...but in the real rest of the world...not really. Austria is NOT going to approch it like Canada would.

    So is getting a tourist visa to Canada any easier?
     

    natasha2000

    Senior Member
    djchak said:
    I pretty much agree with what you are saying.

    Being a single expat can be easy and carefree, exciting..... But for married couples and/or with a family it can be uncomfortable at times, no matter how positive their own attitude is.

    Not all the time, just sometimes, in certain isolated situations.

    Having to conceal your nation ality and accent while trying to fit into another culture and learn about it..... can be a dire situation. So I empathize with people sensitive to the plight of immigrants, and think we (all countries) could do more...the problem is, there is no majority consensus. Maybe here (at this forum)...but in the real rest of the world...not really. Austria is NOT going to approch it like Canada would.

    So is getting a tourist visa to Canada any easier?
    Well, if you have a master degree in informatics, then yes...;) They are more than welcome to Canada.. I have some friends that went there some years ago and they are doing fine... But then... Would they be considered then expats or immigrants, since they were called by Canadian firms to work there, and everything was arranged by these Canadian firms? Australia is also another destination where some certain specialties have a green light, like medical staff, nureses and laboratory technicians, designers, too... I also have some friends there...:) As a matter of fact, I have friends and acquaintances (???) everywhere... You just name it...:) For some time I had some friends in South Africa, too...

    Well, it is hard, but people manage to leave the country, mostly high educated people.

    As far as the touristic visas are concerned... The things are pretty rough for any country in the world, I'm afraid...:(
     

    djchak

    Senior Member
    USA English
    natasha2000 said:
    Well, if you have a master degree in informatics, then yes...;) They are more than welcome to Canada.. I have some friends that went there some years ago and they are doing fine... But then... Would they be considered then expats or immigrants, since they were called by Canadian firms to work there, and everything was arranged by these Canadian firms? Australia is also another destination where some certain specialties have a green light, like medical staff, nureses and laboratory technicians, designers, too... I also have some friends there...:) As a matter of fact, I have friends and acquaintances (???) everywhere... You just name it...:) For some time I had some friends in South Africa, too...

    Well, it is hard, but people manage to leave the country, mostly high educated people.

    As far as the touristic visas are concerned... The things are pretty rough for any country in the world, I'm afraid...:(
    I assume you mean information technology by "informatics"?

    I am not familiar with that word.. :confused:

    But, with Canada and Australia....

    People there would consider them not as "expats", But "potential immigrant citizens". IE they hope they would stay and sign on as citizens. Obviously the USA and New Zealand are the same way.

    the word "expats" typically refers to foreign national working jobs in Europe, Asia, Russia, Middle East and Africa. The majority of Americans have no idea what an "Expat" is. They would say "Oh, he /she is an "immigrant" or "visiting worker". :)

    It's all relative. Back to what Auyrn said...it's always better if it's their choice.
     

    moirag

    Senior Member
    English, England
    I don´t know whether I´d consider "ex-pat" a fair term to brand me with( well, it DOES sound negative...oh, come ON...!) but that´s what I am. Moreover, I´ve lived most of my adult life abroad. I´ve lived 9 years in Germany and 13 years in Spain. Both were very different experiences for me. I arrived in Germany a student (studying German) for one year, aged 20. I arrived in Spain aged 35, unmarried, 7 months pregnant, with good German and English, and the contributions you´d expect - but the European Union obviously wasn´t expecting ME....so gave me no benefits. In fact, I didn´t exist. It wasn´t the best time of my life, I admit.
     

    Auryn

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Etcetera said:
    Hi Auryn,
    it seems to me that none of us was speaking about spending thе whole life in the same place - it's rather boring indeed and seems to be the opposite extreme.
    I only said that because other people on this thread mentioned feeling sorry for those of us who are "from nowhere". There's no need, really ;)

    Besides, not everyone finds spending their whole life in the same place boring - I have many relatives who wouldn't dream of leaving the region where they were born (as for leaving the country, they'd rather die!). Again, some people's comfort zone is very small...
     

    Etcetera

    Senior Member
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Yes, Auryn, I know such people too:). And there's also people who wouldn't like to leave their home for ever, but enjoy staying abroad for a year or two...
    For me, it seems to be the best possible variant:).
     

    LMorland

    Senior Member
    American English
    My definition is the following: "Expats" are professionals or mid/high-level government officials who take a foreign assignment or a job abroad.

    Another category that could (or could not) be included in my definition are for example the various NATO military service members serving abroad with their families (not deployed to war zones, I mean).

    These people don't perceive themselves as “immigrants” because originally they left their home country on a temporary assignment (that could or could not be prolonged), and also because they did not leave their country for political or poverty-related reasons. They already had a good job there, but asked to be transferred abroad in order to improve their income or their career prospects (e.g. an American engineer in Italy, an Italian manager in India, etc.).
    Hmmm ... that's not exactly the definition given by Merriam-Webster, nor is it how it's referred to (as far as I know) in France.

    To me, an expat* is (in addition to those on a job or military assignment) someone who "did not leave their country for political or poverty-related reasons." That is, someone who chose to leave their home country out of preference. France and Spain are full of us!


     
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