Twelve types of expats


From my perspective of living as an expatriate for so many years, I have been able to identify some of the enormous varieties of the species globus expatriatus. Well, there are at least twelve that I can think of right now… surely there are more. I have found these types in various parts of the world.

Here goes:
1. The Choleric: This person is always outraged at the behavior of the natives. He/she is continually complaining about inefficiencies he/she observes. Often speaks about how things are so much better organized at home. Can’t understand why the natives don’t adopt the superior ways of his/her own country. A particular sore point is behavior in lines at government agencies.

2. The Alien: This person still believes that he/she is still living in his/her native country and therefore behaves exactly as they would at home. Americans are often accused of this. However, this type may actually come from another planet.

3. The Monk: Totally isolated in the society because he/she does not speak a word of the language and doesn’t intend to learn any.

4. The Foodie: This person is always complaining about the food because it just doesn’t taste like it does at home. This person may have violent cravings for a food native to his/her original country. Can’t wait to have New York pizza or vegemite.

5. The know-it-all: This person is expert in everything relating to the host country. In fact, wants to tell you all about the host country, but doesn’t want anyone else horning in on his/her act. This type is often found in embassies.

6. The Pseudo Native: Wears the clothing of the indigenous population, tries to eat what the locals consume, often with disastrous results, and would love to live in a grass hut, but doesn’t because it lacks comforts.

7. The Elitist: This person lives in the wealthiest sector of the capital city, only associates with the upper crust and only goes to the finest restaurants. He/she is skimming the cream.

8. The Dilettante: Mainly stays with friends from original culture, but once in a while dips toe into native culture. He/she quickly withdraws when it gets even a little uncomfortable. Often is the spouse of someone who has come to the host country for work.

9. The Missionary: Wants to bring God to the heathen, no matter where they are. In fact, the more remote, the better.

10. The Microbe Hunter: Terrified of disease, this person is always talking about the possibility of contracting some exotic malady. He/she continually focuses on sanitation, in and out of the house.

11. The Do-gooder: Bless them. They are moved by the plight of others. He/she is dedicated to helping poor people, especially in remote areas.

12. The Escape Artist: On the run from the law, debt collectors, former spouses…. you name it.

Does the shoe fit?

Larry is the author of the Learn English for Business Success website. You can also hear him read his stories at