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The 10 Types of Expats (Reasons Why People Move Abroad) shares the best travel insights, facts, and photos. When you use our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

Ever wonder why people move abroad? It’s easy to think of workers and retirees, but what about the rest of us? What are the different types of expats?

Expat types

10 Types of Expats

In this detailed infographic (by Internations), you’ll learn about the ten types of expats. (See the full inforgraphic below.)

Here is the full breakdown of ten types of expats.

10 Reasons People Move Abroad

  1. The Foreign Assignee: Typically sent to a specific country (often India, Senegal, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Nigeria) by their employers and works a solid 46+ hours per week.
  2. The Career Expat: Often move to countries such as Bahrain, Belgium, Kenya, Luxembourg, or Oman with work contracts they found on their own.
  3. The Foreign Recruitee: Recruited by local employers from countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman or Bahrain, these expats see their income improve more than other foreign workers.
  4. The (Ex-)Student: These expats generally speak the local language better than other types of expats. They often live in countries such as Greece, Sweden, Argentina, Ireland or Norway.
  5. The Traveling Spouse: Primarily women, this group of expats follow their partner’s job or education and often live in Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Switzerland or Kazakhstan.
  6. The Romantic: Moving for love to Greece, Sweden, Argentina, Ireland or Norway.
  7. The Family Expat: Us! We moved to enjoy life abroad and see a new way of life. We are coming up on six years as a happy expat family. Of course, this can also include moving to be closer to your spouses family. These expats often live in countries such as Greece, Kuwait, Canada or New Zealand. See also #9.
  8. The “Single Destination” Expat: This type of expat chooses a country and builds a new life there. They are quite likely to settle into the local culture.
  9. The “Greener Pastures” Expat: Many expats move for a better life. There are hundreds of these expats here in Ecuador. (We are some of them.) Sometimes the better life comes from the lower cost of living – but other times it’s just the different culture and way of life. Among the countries mentioned, Ecuador, Thailand, and Costa Rica are mentioned.
  10. The Globetrotter: Many of these expats are just slow-moving world-travelers. And I can see the attraction. Backpacking the world is one thing – but staying a few months/years in each place sounds much better. You could really get a taste of the place.

So there you have it: 10 Types of Expats. Am I missing any? Please share your thoughts in the comments below the infographic.


Infographic courtesy of Internations


Your Turn

What type of expat are you? Please join the conversation in the comments below.

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