Expatriation has become a very large trend in the ever-globalizing world that we live in today. Due to this phenomenon, there has been a plethora of businesses and expatriate forums that have developed all over the world to cater to their local expats. This is particularly the case in countries where the language is vastly different than English. It is through these groups and communities that expats are able to get acclimated, making long lasting friendships, and ultimately, stay abroad.
Agencies Devoted to Helping Expats Acclimate
When expats move abroad they typically have to do a lot of the leg work on their own to get situated. That being said, there are many organizations and forums that have been created to help local expats find out about local events and get integrated into their new culture. Some great examples from China are resources such as: Amazing Beijing (amazingbeijing.info) and The Beijinger (thebeijinger.com).
In addition to expat periodicals and forums, there are also businesses dedicated to the practical aspect of expats moving abroad in relation to real estate and education. Furthermore, there are companies that specialize in overall expat services to promote efficiency relating to money transfer services, acquiring the necessary visa services, bank account registration, and linguistic abilities. Many foreigners do take advantage of these services in order to get their assets to their new destination successfully. In fact, there is a particular demand for the foreign exchange service of currency trade.
Has Technology Helped or Hindered These Businesses?
There has been a great deal of debate about how technology has impacted these businesses relating to expats. For example, in the real estate business for expats, it has been stated that technology has changed their business rather than hindered it. Real estate agents from around the globe argue that technology has given them access to more clients rather than the traditional “word of mouth method” that was previously used among expats.
Relating to expat newspapers, technology has arguably changed the nature of their business as well because now, they are available to more expats. This allows the content of their periodical to be better, which is due to the fact that the periodical is now found on the Internet rather than in the local expat coffee shop.
In regards to companies that specialize in consultancy services for new arrivals, there absolutely still is a market for these sort of services; however, the nature of their business has also changed. What has changed is that now the expats that are arriving are better informed. This makes consulting firms have an easier time of helping expats in getting settled, which arguably does not hurt profit margins.
Similarly, expats are able to find these consulting services far easier due to blogs and Internet search engines, which actually increases the amount of expats that a prospective consultant firm is assisting. Take our blog for example, and you can witness how much information is readily available for free online.
Is Expatriation on the Rise?
The trend of expatriation is absolutely on the rise. In fact, there has been a drastic increase in Americans that are leaving to pursue expatriate opportunities. For example, between the years of 2010 to 2013 alone, the amount of native born Americans living abroad increased by 200,000, according to the Federalist. Other surprising statistics include that the United States loses roughly 34,000 native born citizens per year to Mexico. There are many speculations as to why native born Americans are leaving; however, one theme remains the same, they can live better elsewhere in the world with their United States Dollars.
One fascinating trend in the expatriation scale is the amount of both Europeans and North Americans that have made their way to Asia. This is due to the markets that were previously closed off experiencing a great deal of foreign direct investment. Through this foreign direct investment has opened up a plethora of opportunities for foreigners to come, get hired, live well, and live fascinating expatriate lifestyles.
Two particular examples of this within Asia are South Korea and China. Due to the disparity in the cost of living, foreigners can come and be paid at the standard of living in Europe or North America and get ahead quickly. It is for this reason that many young foreigners are coming to take these opportunities and save a lot of capital quickly.
In the coming years, it will not be surprising to see more North American and European immigrants migrating to both Asia and South America. The key to this is that foreigners are able to acquire real estate much younger, have access to the education of acclaimed international schools for their children, enjoy a higher quality of life than they can in their home countries and easier access to expat resources from where they can get all the info they need.
Lastly, foreigners also enjoy a level of safety in both Asia and South America that cannot be had in other parts of the world. For the foregoing reasons, expatriation is absolutely on the rise and as globalization continues to evolve, it is highly probable that there will be an increase in expatriation in the long term.
Expat oriented services are absolutely still relevant in the market. The reason for this is that many of these businesses have allowed their business model to adapt to technological advances.
It is through this mindset that we see real estate agents doubling their expat clients and English language periodicals thriving in Asian countries. Due to the increase in expatriation, it is highly likely that we will see even more expat oriented businesses emerge in the years to come.