The German language adopted the word expatriate from the English language; which itself is derived from the Latin words ex (out of) and patria (fatherland), the abbreviated form is expat. In the global economy thus are called multinational companies’ executive and specialised personnel that is working temporarily, normally for 1 to 3 years, for one of the companies’ branches abroad.
According to experience figures about German expatriates can be described in simple terms as follows:
Out of 100 employees who agree in principal to work abroad for some years almost the half cancels this idea after having an intensive discussion with partner, family or friends. Approximately one fourth of the willing persons refrain from the contract if they and their partners had the possibility to go on a familiarisation trip to the county of destination. And from those expatriates who started their work in a foreign country less the half prematurely returns to its home country for different reasons, mostly after one year. The remaining persons meet all the agreements, and among them some extend their residing abroad for a further time of some months up to two years. But only a few are “repeat offenders“ who after returning home again go abroad. “Multiple repeat offenders“ who move from assignment to assignment and from country to county represent an absolute exception.
Reintegration of expatriates
One problem for expatriates is the reintegration in their home countries. Assignments in a foreign country, especially outside the European cultural area, are associated with extraordinary strains that partially may cause changes in the employees’ daily life and behaviour. Persons who here hold an executive position in the middle management of a local company in our society live without any advantages or privileges.
But if they should act in the interest of their company as a “door opener”, e.g. in Asian countries, they have to be provided with adequate privileges to be accepted there as an equal partner. That is why the companies’ representatives live according to the local social status in a villa and have a driver, gardener, domestic help and nanny. After they have finished their assignment for many of them it is difficult to acclimatise to the daily life in their home country.
As a professional relocation agency REALDOMUS sets emphasis on this special returning aspect already during the planning phase.
Expatriates in Germany
Due to global economy more and more executive and specialised personnel, especially from Asian countries, is on the way to Europe. It may be that their cultural values being absolutely normal in their home countries cannot be implemented in Germany, or only with difficulty.
Responsible and professional relocation agencies politely emphasise the facts of legal situation and cultural values in Germany .
The initial challenges for expatriates from Eastern Europe are almost a thing of the past. Especially in Central Germany business contacts and the ensuing establishment of representative offices will increase in the near future.