Monday, October 15, 2012

Is being called an "Expat" a negative thing?

Recently the word expat (expatriate) has been bothering me.  I know the word is not met to be negative, but I still do not like to refer to myself in that way.  When I think of an "expat" I think of someone who comes to live in an country without caring anything about if and trying to pretend like they never left their own country.  For example, I mean:
  • Only is friends with other "expats"
  • Knows nothing about the local history/culture
  • Makes no attempt to learn the local language
  • Gets everything paid for by their company (aka not living like a real person)

 This is not something that I want to be like and I feel like that I have gone out of my way to make sure that I don't fit into any of those stereotypes above.  Recently, an organizer of a group that I am part of started referring to everyone who was not Dutch as an "expat" and I don't know, there is just something about that word that I don't like to be associated with, so I cringe every time I read it in the invited.

So what do you think?  Is it just me being crazy or do you think there are also negative connotations with being called an "expat."  Would love to hear some other opinions on this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


If you were a US Gov. employee working abroad, you wouldn't have that label. What's the difference other than being paid by a company vs. paid by the US taxpayers?