What is an expat?

Hi. I just arrived to Taiwan two months ago and will be teaching at a local bushiban. I recently learned the word ‘expat’ and am still not sure what it is. Someone told me that it means anyone who lives in Taiwan as a foreigner. Someone else told me it means a foreign senior executive who is temporarily stationed overseas for high pay. Anybody know? Would I be considered an expat?

Anyone who has taken up residence outside his or her home country can be described as an expat.

Surely this topic is a troll.

Never much cared for the term myself (troll or expat)

Seems to imply a removal of allegiance and a separation from one’s core values. Seems fitting for the Brits, though. (Both terms)

Big salary paid in dollars usually… lives in an apartment 40K + but wants to move into one with a better games room or swimming pool…kids go to Taipei American School… can’t speak Chinese…expects everybody to speak english to them…drinks wine and talks business with friends on the weekend and talks about the next foreign social event on the calendar while playing a game of tennis in the American Club in Taiwan.

Has a girlfriend in Taiwan, and a wife and three kids in his home country… …going to go get a divorce very soon…if she is here… she is totally pissed off and finds it difficult to live here… is probabily in the foreign women’s club… which is comparable to the foreign girlfriend league… you know how all Chinese girls with foreign boyfriends no eachother or know of eachother…he comes home late at night after sweeping the floors of the nightclub for a quicky with the flashing of his business card or the wallet

Thinks Taiwan sucks but is in it for the money…and the nightlife… going to places like Tickle My Fantasy and that ridiculous club in Warner Village… often is seen around Sogo on Saturday with the dazzling white legs and bad casual clothing sense…drives a big car like a BMW very catiuosly in traffic… doesn’t have the Taiwanese driver edge… three words of Chinese “hello” “Thank you” and “how much?”

Is going to go home next business trip…and is going to get the divorce then as well…probabily lived in Asia before… doesn’t really know when he/she is going to leave as the job is so challenging… and cause his secretary is such a naughty girl…won’t go to 45 as it is too low class. maybe if a customer was over…they might… to go and check the ***** there or to get toally plastered and not get recognized by anyone…probabily figure themselves experts on taiwan culture as they have ‘lived’ here and read several books on the matter… couldn’t care if taiwan fell into the pacific as long as they were getting a transfer or getting enough head off the secretary…

Well these are my expat friends…

PS English teachers are not expats… most of them are drifters… and I said MOST not ALL… most of them are here for some fun and a shag… when they bore of this they are gone…some are here cause they actually do care about teaching…majority of them are afraid of the real world…and before we get the bitches screaming about my comments…TAIWAN is not the real world…if it was you wouldn’t be here…

Dear NewKidOnBlock,

Try your dictionary next time. Or are you a troll?

BTW–what happened to Donnie Wahlberg and all the rest of the group? Boy bands are in again–you could try a comeback.

Main Entry: 1ex.pa.tri.ate
Pronunciation: ek-'spA-trE-"At
Function: verb
Etymology: Medieval Latin expatriatus, past participle of expatriare to leave one’s own country, from Latin ex- + patria native country, from feminine of patrius of a father, from patr-, pater father – more at FATHER
transitive senses
1 : to withdraw (oneself) from residence in or allegiance to one’s native country
intransitive senses : to leave one’s native country to live elsewhere; also : to renounce allegiance to one’s native country

  • ex.pa.tri.ate /-"At, -&t/ noun
  • ex.pa.tri.a.tion /(")ek-"spA-trE-'A-sh&n/ noun

Function: adjective
: living in a foreign land

Hey, , how do you know so much about me? Are you with some kind of intelligence agency?

Why would someone say that Taiwan is not the real world? Is it less real than the US or UK?

I find Taiwan and its people (their motivations and desires and wish to lead meaningful lives, like anyone else in the world) to be very real.

But is a foreigner in a foreign land just faking his way through life in this UNREAL place called Taiwan?

If Taiwan is not real to you, why are you here?

Why would someone say that Taiwan is not the real world? Is it less real than the US or UK?

Yes in many ways, maybe it is the same dance but the tune is a little slower

I find Taiwan and its people (their motivations and desires and wish to lead meaningful lives, like anyone else in the world) to be very real.

But is a foreigner in a foreign land just faking his way through life in this UNREAL place called Taiwan?
It depends on their motavations to be here… if they are just hanging out indefinetly then yes they are faking it…

If Taiwan is not real to you, why are you here?

Money… job…

describes some form of life here in Taiwan, (accurately I might add) but I am not sure if expat is it. Under the dictionary definition, I am an expat and have been one for many years. I do not, however, resemble 's description very closely.
And I agree, this isn’t the real world unless you are a born and bred Taiwan Chinese. That should open a can of worms…

Are the Afghans living in Pakistan at the monment… is the Dali Lama an expat?


Don’t follow exactly what you have in the dictionary…maybe alot of EXILES live in Taiwan…or fugitives…but EXPATS have money and usually lots of it and they come for a purpose and are not trying to leave somewhere else

Anybody remember the Fugitive series with David Janssen…well I liek this analogy between some people and Dr Richard Kimble in the intro in that series…can anyone rememeber it?

The Fugitive

A Taiwan Production
Starring Loser Mac Idiot as Happy Go Lucky

An innocent victim of the ugly reject stick
Falsely banished for being himself
Reprieved by faith when he discovered Taiwan on an atlas
Freed him to hide in a new destination
To assume a new identity to toll at many teaching jobs

Freed him to search for that one night stand, he say in his memory wank dreams
Freed him to run from the real world that he hates so much

Da…deh…Da …da

So what is the term for someone who does not pull down the mega-bucks, has lived here over 15 years, does not teach English and can speak conversational Chinese?
Don’t say “basket-case,” I’ve already considered that…

Well, wolfe, eliminating “basket case” as a possible reponse certainly shut everyone up.

Seriously though, it sounds like you’re just living your life somewhere other than the country you were born. According to my dictionary you’re an expatriate (one who has taken up residence in a foreign country), regardless of what Expat has to say about it. The equation of “expat” with money is ludicrous. Plenty of not-so-rich foreigners in Taipei are here with a purpose, and are not exiles or refugees either literally or figuratively.

I do admit that the term has a taken on a different connotation among many foreigners in Taiwan, who tend to associate it with being here on an “expat package”, being rich, and remaining detatched from local culture and society. And not spending too much time at 45.

And, Expat, what does “hanging out indefinitely” mean? Sounds like life to me.

It means thinking" I think I will stay here for one more year and see after that". The after one year"I think I will stay here for one more year and see after that"

Suddenly you staying another year in taiwan turns to more than a couple. And since you were always going to stay just one more year, you become disillusioned with the time you have wasted in not planning something.

This is what happened to some of my friends. It is not saying that people should make a 5year plan or anything. Its just if you are here, you should plan either for a year or something longer. That way you will accomplish something…instead of just extending your time after a year and really accomplishing nothing…
And accomplishing something is important…it doesn’t matter what it is…it helps to keep you in positive spirits and stops disillusionmnet

I’m an expat. I’ve been here for 15 years after originally deciding to come for 6 months, then a year, then 2, then… I have a good job with pretty high pay. I haven’t accomplished anything of note that I couldn’t have accomplished anywhere else and have no idea why this should make me disillusioned. I’m actually very happy, except when I read asinine generalized claptrap by someone with a giant chip on their shoulder.

Frankly, I am amazed.
I saw the initial question and Sandman’s subsequent answer and thought, “Well, that’s the end of this. Nothing more to say.”
Goes to show that you can wag your tongue at any 'ol topic ad nauseum.

So like, there are different types right? The exile on mainstreet, the displaced executive or diplomat at a hardship post, the foreign student, the domestic slave, and many other types.

But in fact, I think the main type of white expat in Taiwan is the so-called English teacher. The main qualifications being white skin and native speaking ability, in that order.

This kind of expatriat can also be defined as: Fresh off the boat, constantly dissing the local people and customs, feel superior because everyone is crazy about western things of which I am an native expert, eat a McDonalds for comfort food, just a regular goof who would be flippin’burgers or pumpin gas back home but prefers the position of Master here in Taiwan/Korea/Japan kinda dweeb.

This definition has just been published in a magazine in Seoul, so does that not make it kinda official?

Just trying to help!

So what? The MARKET is responsible for your definition of the “English Teacher”. A “fresh off the boat” “dweeb” (that would, no less, be flipping burgers back home) can come to Taiwan and make a very decent living. All the Chinese employees that work with this person complain that it’s completely unfair that they should be paid three times as much as their Chinese counterparts, and even the adminstrators inflict guilt upon them at every passing.

But, hey…the market DEMANDS this. It demands a white face, and a native tongue. That’s all there is to it. In fact, these English schools couldn’t even exist without them. So why do people shreik about how unfair it is, and yet continue to utterly embrace this phenomenon? That’s easy…they make a shit load of cash. It’s an incredibly profitable business. I’ll tell you one thing…if ample experience and credentials were required for teaching jobs in Taiwan, the pool would shrink by about 90%. It’s too bad that the few good and legitimate English teachers here are so misrepresented and tarnished by the losers that are freeloading off of the system. But what can you do? The same person who wrote that article probably has their kids enrolled in an English school. And they probably never checked to what kind of credentials their kids’ teachers have.

Joe, you’re a wanker.

These freeloaders are working for their pay. Salaries for teaching are high because there aren’t enough native English speakers to go around, not because certified teachers have created such a high standard.

If I was a local with a kid I wouldn’t care much if the goofy, unshaven foreign dog with strange shoes had teaching credentials. The goal is to get the kids to speak English and if the white chap can do that, then he’s doing his job.

Doesn’t really matter what sort of degenerate you are, they’d all love to speak English like you.

PlacardJoe, maybe you should enroll in one of those English schools, because apparently you didn’t understand what I said. Please point out where I said certified teachers created the high salaries? I said the MARKET did. It’s all about supply and demand, and as the supply increases (which it will), that pay/salary is going to decrease. It already has, in several areas of Taipei.

As for what you said about these teachers working for their pay, that’s the biggest load of bullshit I’ve ever heard. I’ve seen those slackers, and they do as little as possible, while their Chinese counterparts are cleaning up vomit, shit, piss and everything else the foreigner DOESN’T have to do. Guess how much they get paid for that? Usually less than 1/3 of the pay. If you ever tried talking to some of these teachers about what they think of this, you’ll find you’re the only wanker around here. Go get a real job! (Like a pimp!)