Expat Types

Which expat type are you?

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Expat Types

The reasons for becoming an expat are various: some move abroad for their own or their partner’s job, while others search for a better life or an adventure. Which expat type are you?

On a global scale, there are about 50 to 60 million people whom we identify as expats. While their reasons for moving abroad and their lifestyles are very different, they still share some similarities. Based on the data from our new Expat Insider 2018 survey, we have identified the 7 most common expat types: 86 percent of all expats fall into one of these groups!

For Work, Love, or an Adventure?

While the Go-Getter and the Foreign Assignee move abroad for work-related reasons and dedicate lots of time to their job, Optimizers often simply search for a better life abroad. They value a good work-life balance and find it easy to settle in. Settling down and making local friends also seems to be quite easy for the Explorer and the Romantic. The former moves abroad looking for an adventure, while the latter expat type wants to be close to their significant other.

While the Traveling Spouse also moves abroad to be with their partner, they often struggle to feel at home abroad. Additionally, they often face poor career prospects, and many are looking forward to returning home. Lastly, Students are highly-educated and move abroad for school or university. They’re likely to speak the local language very well.

Short Methodology

For the Expat Typology 2018, InterNations identified the 7 most common expat types across the world as well as among British, French, Germans, Italians, and US Americans abroad. The typology is based on the expats’ primary motivation for moving abroad. More than 18,000 survey respondents representing 178 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories revealed their reasons by choosing one out of 19 possible answer options, including one open-text field. For a nationality to be featured in the Expat Typology, a sample size of at least 31 survey participants per type and nationality was necessary. However, for most of the featured nationalities, the sample size per type exceeded 100 participants.

Pascal Fermier
"Join InterNations and you will meet great people from various backgrounds. I am especially happy with data security in this network."
Carla Echevarria
"Unlike other meet-ups around here, InterNations offers quite a few high-quality members and regular offline events in Guangzhou."

Our Global Partners

Global Expat Guide Topics