International OHS: Two types of expatriates

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Because of work I have traveled a lot lately, and on these trips I have spent many hours living along with consultants and experts in health and safety, that for one reason or another, have left their country to find new opportunities elsewhere, mainly in Latin America due to the language.


A few conversations, lunch and dinner are sufficient to clearly identify   two types of expats:

Let your adventurous spirit push you to go ahead and discover the world that surrounds you with its quirks and its wonders. Discovering it is loving it – Kahlil Gibran

Those who have come to stay, who have learned the jargon of the place right away, who know their customs and respect them, and think about key growth in the country (theirs, which is new).

Those who are used to travelling know that it is always necessary to leave one day – Paulo Coelho

And those who have come to see what (or how) they can take, although they have spent more than a year in the location they are still talking in Spain Spanish, who tend to not leave the residential area rather than to work, who don’t know most of the customs or are interested in them, and who think only about themselves: They are quite clear that once they have squeezed everything they can, they will quickly leave.

Interestingly, it was hard for me to find middle ground: either I found the first or the second. If I may, I shall refer to the latter as ‘temporaries’ and the first ‘impatriates’ because outside their homeland they have sought to be in a new one.

The impatriates exude humility and respect for the host country. The temporaries tend to be arrogant and pedantic. They come to teach the people how to work (those who certainly do not come from very successful experiences in Spain).

Frankly I was surprised and saddened at the same time by this dual type of Spanish people throughout the world.

Fortunately, I met more impatriates, all excellent professionals who are losing or gaining their host country.




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