Summary of The Expert Expatriate

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  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Melissa Brayer Hess and Patricia Linderman’s indispensable book covers all the practical aspects of adjusting to life in a foreign country. They pay particular attention to factors that can help or hinder an expatriot’s adjustment. Every chapter includes short, personal sidebars recounting the experiences of those who’ve lived and worked abroad, an addition which brings the book to life with insightful, useful and often hilarious detail. recommends this book to anyone who is considering relocation to another country. To be at home anywhere on the globe, supplement it with a couple of books about the specific country where you are going. Pay attention to the advice about planning ahead, then get your shots, tuck your passport in your pocket and head for the airport. (Don’t forget to pack this book; you may need it for re-entry.)

About the Authors

Melissa Brayer Hess developed Foreign Service Lifelines, the website of the Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide. An English professor and nurse, she taught in Europe, Africa and the U.S. Patricia Linderman, a freelance writer, editor and translator, is contributing editor of the nonprofit expatriate website Tales from a Small Planet. A language teacher, foreign student program director and U.S. Embassy community liaison co-ordinator, she worked in Trinidad, Chile, Cuba and Germany.



Now You’re an Expat

An expatriate, also called an "expat," is someone who lives in another country, not their own, either permanently or temporarily. Life abroad can be quite an adventure, but the more you prepare for it, the better an experience it will be. Before you go, learn about your host country and create practical plans for moving, settling in and making cultural adjustments.

Getting Started

If your company or organization is sending you abroad, it will most likely give you some preparation and transition support. Ask about the extent of your employer’s involvement in your move so you’ll know what you’re expected to do and what assistance you will get. To start planning your relocation, you need:

  • Information regarding passports, visas and other required documents.
  • A plan for moving your belongings.
  • A head start on learning the language and culture of your host country.
  • Any pertinent work-related information.
  • Information about overseas housing and support in obtaining it.
  • Specific information on living conditions, schools and spouse employment.
  • Tax, financial and insurance information.
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