American expats and other expats

This forum is to learn about foreign cultures and habits, because language skills are not everything you need as a world citizen...

Moderator: Forum Administrators

User avatar
WallOfStuff
Posts: 619
Joined: 2011-09-20, 0:33
Gender: male
Country: US United States (United States)

American expats and other expats

Postby WallOfStuff » 2015-09-14, 2:17

A while back (last year sometime I think), I noticed a lot of American expats on here. Like, their location flag said one country, but I clicked their profile and it said they were originally American.

Just curious, what was your reason for leaving? Did you fall in love with your current home country? Were you sick of this place? Or just wanted a change for a while? Or did you for some reason have to move (such as witness protection)?

And for any other expats too, I'm curious for your reasons.

I've never even traveled to another country and I'm almost 23. I've never even been in another U.S. time zone. =\ Low on money at the moment and traveling isn't my top priority anyway. Plus I'd be a bit scared >.< much less to move somewhere else. And my family wouldn't want me to honestly. Not that I have to do everything they say but yeah.

User avatar
razlem
Posts: 2266
Joined: 2011-01-10, 3:28
Real Name: Ben
Gender: male
Location: San Francisco
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby razlem » 2015-09-14, 2:24

Maybe it doesn't count, but I feel like an expat moving from Louisiana to California. Vastly different cultures. I just felt like I needed a change, wanted to explore my horizons a bit without leaving my comfort zone too much. But moving across country is definitely a stepping stone for moving abroad, and I'd like to eventually settle in Europe :)
American English (en-us)::German (de)::Standard Spanish (es) Swedish (sv) Mandarin (zh)::Choctaw (cho) Finnish (fi) Irish (ir) Arabic (ar)
Image wia wi nehas-kolwatos lae angos! Check out my IAL Angos
Image Contributor to the Houma Language Project
I have a YouTube channel! I talk about languages and stuff: Ben DuMonde

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 24200
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-09-14, 3:00

I'm not an expat, but my parents are and don't visit India all that often (because most of those who used to be there have either moved elsewhere or died by now, and the voyage is long and expensive), so I'll try to speak for them as much as I can. My grandfather left India to get a PhD at Boston University, IIRC, and my dad and uncle went with him. I don't really remember why they went, too; I think their mom made them go. Maybe she wanted the house all to herself or something, idk. (She certainly did on Sundays, when she made everyone else go to church!). And FWIR, once my grandfather got his degree, he went back to India, but his sons stayed on, I guess so they could go to college in the US. Several years later, my dad went back to India just to marry my mom and then brought her back with him to the US.

User avatar
linguoboy
Posts: 23284
Joined: 2009-08-25, 15:11
Real Name: Da
Location: Chicago
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby linguoboy » 2015-09-15, 16:58

I'm wondering, what do you see as the distinction between "expat" and terms like "(im)migrant" and "refugee"? In practice, I only see "expat" used to describe Europeans, Americans, and better-off Latin Americans. My understanding has long been that "expat" describes a temporary condition but, for instance, the Turkish workers brought to Germany in 60s intended to return home and yet I've never once seen them called "expats". On the other hand, T.S. Eliot is regularly referred to as an "expat" even though he immigrated to the UK at age 25 and lived there the remaining two-thirds of his life (renouncing his US citizenship at age 39).
"Richmond is a real scholar; Owen just learns languages because he can't bear not to know what other people are saying."--Margaret Lattimore on her two sons

User avatar
Tenebrarum
Posts: 6616
Joined: 2006-06-22, 17:02
Real Name: Duy
Gender: male

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby Tenebrarum » 2015-09-15, 19:15

Immigrants = people from poor countries who stay
Expats = people from rich countries who stay
Refugees = the dirty terrorists/illegal labourers who should be called immigrants instead, if not for the bleeding heart liberals/Gutmenschen who are too chicken/pussy/gay to tell the truth (who, by the way, hate America/freedom/European values)

Simple.
!Chalice! Communion wafer of the tabernacle

User avatar
WallOfStuff
Posts: 619
Joined: 2011-09-20, 0:33
Gender: male
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby WallOfStuff » 2015-09-16, 5:31

Tenebrarum wrote:Immigrants = people from poor countries who stay
Expats = people from rich countries who stay
Refugees = the dirty terrorists/illegal labourers who should be called immigrants instead, if not for the bleeding heart liberals/Gutmenschen who are too chicken/pussy/gay to tell the truth (who, by the way, hate America/freedom/European values)

Simple.


o_o

User avatar
Varislintu
Posts: 15330
Joined: 2004-02-09, 13:32
Real Name: M.
Gender: female
Location: Helsinki
Country: FI Finland (Suomi)

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby Varislintu » 2015-09-16, 7:17

linguoboy wrote:I'm wondering, what do you see as the distinction between "expat" and terms like "(im)migrant" and "refugee"? In practice, I only see "expat" used to describe Europeans, Americans, and better-off Latin Americans. My understanding has long been that "expat" describes a temporary condition but, for instance, the Turkish workers brought to Germany in 60s intended to return home and yet I've never once seen them called "expats". On the other hand, T.S. Eliot is regularly referred to as an "expat" even though he immigrated to the UK at age 25 and lived there the remaining two-thirds of his life (renouncing his US citizenship at age 39).


I don't see a difference with expat/migrant, those could be used about the same person. But I think refugee is a separate bureaucratical category*. I looked how the Finnish Immigration Office site defines them, and it's (my underlining):

Finnish expatriot
fin Ulkosuomalainen
swe Utomlands bosatta finländare / utlandsfinländare

A former or current Finnish citizen who resides abroad, and his or her descendant who regards him- or herself as a Finn.


Migrant
fin Siirtolainen
swe Migrant, In-/utvandrare

A person who moves from one country to another in order to build a new life in a new country. Emigrant or immigrant.


Refugee
fin Pakolainen
swe Flykting

An alien, who has well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of origin, religion, nationality,
membership of a social group or political opinion. Refugee status is granted to a person who is granted asylum by a state or who is defined to be a refugee by UNHCR.


* This is why the refugee crisis in Europe at the moment is to a large part actually an "asylum-seeker crisis", but I realise that general language and bureaucratical language are two different things. I also call them refugees in general language, even though most of them are asylum-seekers.
Det finns ingen
tröst. Därför
behöver du den inte
(Gösta Ågren)

vijayjohn
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 24200
Joined: 2013-01-10, 8:49
Real Name: Vijay John
Gender: male
Location: Austin
Country: US United States (United States)

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-09-16, 17:19

linguoboy wrote:I'm wondering, what do you see as the distinction between "expat" and terms like "(im)migrant" and "refugee"?

For me, terms like "(im/e)migrant" and "refugee" can include temporary migrants, whereas I think of "expats" as being people who don't expect to go back to the country they migrated from at any particular time. (Maybe that's because I'm used to thinking of Indian "expats," and few of the Indian immigrants I've personally known went back to India at any point. Some don't even have the slightest intention of visiting, even if they don't speak English all that well).

User avatar
Johanna
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 6552
Joined: 2006-09-17, 18:05
Real Name: Johanna
Gender: female
Location: Lidköping, Westrogothia
Country: SE Sweden (Sverige)

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby Johanna » 2015-09-16, 18:17

vijayjohn wrote:
linguoboy wrote:I'm wondering, what do you see as the distinction between "expat" and terms like "(im)migrant" and "refugee"?

For me, terms like "(im/e)migrant" and "refugee" can include temporary migrants, whereas I think of "expats" as being people who don't expect to go back to the country they migrated from at any particular time. (Maybe that's because I'm used to thinking of Indian "expats," ananything elsed few of the Indian immigrants I've personally known went back to India at any point. Some don't even have the slightest intention of visiting, even if they don't speak English all that well).

To me it's sort of the opposite, an immigrant is someone who moves to another country planning to stay there for a very long time, possibly for the rest of their lives, and the goal is often to become a citizen and adopting the identity of their new country to some degree. An expat on the other hand is someone who still identifies with their own country and culture and who plans to return home after a few years or decades (even if it never happens in many cases), and citizenship is mostly a matter of convenience.

This is for people who have a choice, add refugees into the mix and it becomes more complicated since how the terms are used here they might never adopt the identity of their new country, nor plan to, but they are still seen as a subset of immigrants and not expats.
Swedish (sv) native; English (en) good; Norwegian (no) read fluently, understand well, speak badly; Danish (dk) read fluently, understand badly, can't speak; Faroese (fo) read some, understand a bit, speak a few sentences; German (de) French (fr) Spanish (es) forgetting; heritage language, want to understand and speak but can't.

User avatar
OldBoring
Language Forum Moderator
Posts: 5917
Joined: 2012-12-08, 7:19
Real Name: Francesco
Gender: male
Location: Milan
Country: IT Italy (Italia)
Contact:

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby OldBoring » 2015-09-17, 11:08

Tenebrarum wrote:Immigrants = people from poor countries who stay
Expats = people from rich countries who stay

Once i heard that expat is just a "luxurious" immigrant.

And... people going TO poor countries are often called expats. In China it seems that everyone immigrated here is an expat (i.e. supposedly privileged people compared to locals).
I guess the same could apply for Vietnam right?

User avatar
JackFrost
Forum Administrator
Posts: 16240
Joined: 2004-11-08, 21:00
Real Name: Jack Frost
Gender: male
Location: Montréal, Québec
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby JackFrost » 2015-09-19, 0:51

A somewhat complicated story. Met someone, moved here, went to university, and even if my ass was dumped seven years ago... I stayed put ever since. First to finish school and I wasn't exactly interested going back to my hometown that lacked opportunities for me (not to forget to mention I'd have no car). And relocating to somewhere else in the US is not cheap, which is another reason that I stayed put as I was already well established here.

Oh yeah, I've been living here for ten years now.

Besides, it's not exactly hard and a major leap for Americans to adapt to the Canadian lifestyle anyway.
Neferuj paħujkij!

User avatar
Saaropean
Posts: 8808
Joined: 2002-06-21, 10:24
Real Name: Rolf S.
Gender: male
Location: Montréal
Country: CA Canada (Canada)

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby Saaropean » 2015-09-19, 1:47

I'm a German living in Québec. I have been here before, as an exchange student in 2001/2002 (the year I discovered UniLang). Three years ago, an opportunity to come back suddenly presented itself, and I took it. I like it here, but I can't tell where I'll live 5 years from now.

Mutusen
Posts: 1126
Joined: 2007-10-17, 19:12
Gender: male
Country: SK Slovakia (Slovensko)
Contact:

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby Mutusen » 2015-09-20, 9:36

Two years ago I had no idea what to do with my life after finishing university, because I really hated my last internship. Then I found out by chance about the European Voluntary Service and I came to Slovakia for one year. The organization where I worked was satisfied with my job and they needed someone with IT skills, so they decided to hire me and I stayed. Now I have a job I like, I learn a cool language, I meet people from various countries, I travel a lot (I don't think I've ever spent three months in Slovakia in a row) and a day when I use three languages is a normal day. The only drawback is that I have a Slovak salary, but not thinking every night "I don't want to go to work tomorrow" is worth it. And I live in a quiet small town, I go everywhere by foot or by bicycle and I really don't miss the Paris metro.
„Koľko jazykov vieš, toľkokrát si človekom.“

User avatar
Tenebrarum
Posts: 6616
Joined: 2006-06-22, 17:02
Real Name: Duy
Gender: male

Re: American expats and other expats

Postby Tenebrarum » 2015-09-20, 10:52

Youngfun wrote:And... people going TO poor countries are often called expats. In China it seems that everyone immigrated here is an expat (i.e. supposedly privileged people compared to locals).
I guess the same could apply for Vietnam right?

I believe it's the same for all developing countries. If people from rich countries relocate to somewhere else, they're "expats", but when we do the same, we're "immigrants."

Our lives have less worth than theirs, in general.

But when we bring that up, prepare to witness a crowd of first-worlders coming up with all types of reason why they have it just as bad as we do.
!Chalice! Communion wafer of the tabernacle


Return to “Culture”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest