Since ever, there have been expatriates in all countries and cultures. However, it is in our century, the time of globalization and the Digital Era where we can see an increase of the Expatriate Experience. Different to migrants – though the limit among both concepts might be thin – expatriates refer to skillful persons doing a job or service in foreign nations. It applies to persons contracted by a company to do a specif work, volunteers in humanitarian organizations, personnel in consulates and embassies, travelers willing to settle in a country or region and many others.
Expatriates tend to meet others in the country they are residing as a natural way to share with those who are in same conditions. Being a foreigner is, certainly, a vulnerable position and one way to get support comes from making groups. The first groups are obviously those coming from the same nation. The second are those from the same language or culture (English, French, Spanish, Chinese speaking). The third group is made by those who just come from anywhere but are, as you, expatriates.
In this sense, the Internet helps to meet our peers.
I participate myself in a very good network of expatriates that is becoming a global reference for those living or doing a service outside. Recently, it reached its 7th anniversary by the hand of French Expatriate Julien Faliu, living abroad since 2003 and now based in Mauritius islands.
He said to me by email today:
‘When I created expat-blog.com 7 years ago, my idea was to gather all expats’ blogs around the world on one unique platform. As the years went by, I have added more participative features to the website such as a forum, participative guides, albums, and a business directory.
The idea to create a network of global Expatriates is developing and offering even services like jobs announcements and housing sections for expatriates in the different countries.
‘The idea is to get access to job offers everywhere in the world, wherever you are. In the jobs in Cambodia section, you can have access to job offers, per job category and job contract. You can also create a mini resume and contact potential employers,’ explains Julien.
By another part, the housing in Cambodia section enables you to look for or to offer an accommodation: rental, sale, flat share, flat, house… ‘it’s up to you! You can see pictures of the apartment and get in touch with the person via Expat blog.’
Initiatives like the one of Julien and his Expat network is a great contribution to open spaces of interaction of the expatriates and the opportunity to share useful information that can strength their vulnerability.