The expat guide: 10 types of expatriates in Bulgaria

Written by on June 13, 2017 in Leisure - Comments Off on The expat guide: 10 types of expatriates in Bulgaria

Not just from the perspective of Bulgaria, there are quite a few types of expats. Some expats do not like to be called expats, even though they are. An expat is a person who lives outside of his or her home country, or birth country, or passport country. Some are being sent, others just needed to get out of there. Some are looking for opportunities, others for lower living costs, for warmer weather, or for love. Expatriates have things in common, since we all need to settle in, to learn, and to adapt. At the same time we are as different as our fellow countrymen are, who still live at home. These are the 10 types of expatriates we could think of.

1. Choice expats

These expatriates came to Bulgaria, or other foreign countries, because they found something there which they did not find at home: lower living costs, great weather, the sea, the food, the night life, or the opportunities in the country of choice. The latter are usually job or business opportunities. Choice expats come alone, in couples, families or teams. In Bulgaria, they are mostly Western European.

2. Rotation expats

Here, there are some subcategories as well. Diplomats are usually rotation expats. They are usually the ones who prepare properly, by torturing themselves in intensive language classes, by studying the new country’s history and by taking a look at cultural differences between their people and the one in their new country. Diplomats often do not have a choice. Their foreign minister might have his or her own ideas regarding the right country. “Brazil? Sorry, it’s taken. How about Bulgaria? It starts with a “B” as well.” Of course, there are rotation expats who are not diplomats, but employees of international companies. Those poor fellows sometimes have to go through many moves to many different countries.

3. Lovebirds

Well, love is “all you need”, according to Lennon and McCartney. That is why lovebirds follow their love to his or her home country. Sometimes, they live in one lovebird’s country first, and in the other one later. Lovebirds are known to even cross oceans, in order to be with their love. Children, which are the product of international relationships of this kind, will have at least two home countries, and ideally speak both native languages. It’s great to be a lovebird. And it might be even better to have lovebird parents, because of the choice later in life.

4. Bad expats

There are people who become expats in order to implement obscure intentions. Those include scary people like terrorists or criminals. Some expatriates live in their country of choice since they are so bad that they can’t return home.

5. Good expats

These are the kind of expatriates who do good. Sometimes they just move to their destination country with that purpose. They help refugees, minorities, animals, they save the environment, or organise demonstrations. Hell, good expats are incredibly good. They are the best. Believe me.

6. Complaining expats

They are the ones who know everything better than the locals. At least they think they do. And they do complain a lot, about the service, all the noise, the culture, the language, the potholes, the driving style, the education system, the corruption, anything really. Food is a great subject to complain about too. Some complainers do have a point now and then. Others are just annoying, especially to the locals.

7. Refugees

No matter whether they are escaping war, persecution or poverty, refugees mostly have very good reasons to leave their home countries. Usually, their main goal is to get out of there. Once they reached that goal, of course they will look for a country in which life will likely be better. Refugees need a successful relocation more than any other category in this list. And they mostly need help. To refugees, Bulgaria is usually not a country of choice, but rather a transit country.

8. Migrants

This can be another word for expats. Or it might be the right word for people who move to a foreign country in order to find a decent job with better pay. The word migrants is often being used for refugees. The problem is that this word just means a person lives in a foreign country, while the word refugee implicates the person had a good reason to flee and might need help. It is good to pay attention to our wording.

9. Bulgarian expats

There are one million Bulgarians who live abroad. They are all over England, Spain, Germany, North America, Australia and other countries. And they could be put into the same subcategories as expats in Bulgaria (see all of the above). Bulgarians are avid travellers (those who can afford it), but many want a decent salary for their work. This is something most Bulgarians can not get in their home country.

10. Bulgarians who are expats in Bulgaria

Yes, there are Bulgarian kids whose parents never taught them Bulgarian and who will not be able to talk to “baba and diado”. Also there are Bulgarians who have lived abroad for so long that they need a lot of time to adapt, when they return. And there are those who managed to flee from communist Bulgaria. When they return, they find a country which is very different.

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus, the founder of foreignersandfriends.com, is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe.