I HATE the word expat. Just say immigrant like, what.
More specifically, I hate white people using the word expat, bcs they're literally going to say "immigrant" for poc and "expat" for white people. Yikes.
I correct people whenever they call me an expat like no sir, that ain't me.
Ofc if poc want to use expat for themselves I understand it's more complex, but in general I would just scrap that word away entirely, make people uncomfortable & just say immigrant all the time & watch them squirm.

@lokenstein In my brain (not saying it's right or anything by any means)

"immigrants" is all encompassing, where expats are a type of immigrant, but there are others (such as forced migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, etc.) so all expats are immigrants but not all immigrants are expats.

Also, idk if this is correct, but I see expats as people who have no intention of returning as well where some other types of immigrants are only there for study or hope to return home when things are safer etc

@guerrillarain That's very interesting! Because if you look at the words themselves, immigrant and expat mean exactly the same thing (out of birth country, basically).
So what type of immigrant is expat then for you, as you say it's "a type"?
I wonder if it's a European vs US thing, but for me it would be more the opposite, like immigrant is more long term vs expat is more diplomats & their family aka more short term.
This is so messy 😅

@lokenstein Oh my gosh hahahahahaha yeah then it's all messy.

I wouldn't classify diplomats as expats in my brain because it's so short term and it's still very attached to their country of citizenship

whereas I'd classify myself as an expat (whenever I arrive) because I have no intention on moving back, and, other than my family, I keep no ties.

words don't do humans justice

@guerrillarain Ahh that's fascinating tbh!
Idk if it's a European or French thing, but for instance esp when white people go to live in Asian countries there's this whole "expat" culture that they basically only stay in the expat neighbourhood and meet other expats and never really "integrate" or even try to learn much about the local culture.
So at least this adds to my idea that expat is more temporary. But do you have this dimension in the US?
Note: English is not my native language so yeah


@lokenstein @guerrillarain now I'm wondering if this of a non English thing too, because to my understanding, an immigrant is someone that cuts ties to their home land and leaves for good for a new life integrated into a new country while an expat is someone who left the country because of a job or retirement and may or may not return, but expats are an insular community that don't integrate or try to become locals. It's like small scale colonies

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@popstar @lokenstein @guerrillarain

The way I always understood the terms, is that immigrants leave their country out of economic necessity and expats because of lifestyle choices, intra-company transfers, etc.

But I guess it can be hard to draw that line.

@VoidDrone @popstar @guerrillarain That's very vague, like if you think about it, isn't an intra company transfer an economic necessity in itself?
I left France to live with my fiancée and when I arrived I had to find a job. I'm called an expat too often. The exact same thing happened to my Sri Lankan friend, who came to live here with her Finnish husband, but she's called an immigrant :thonking:

@lokenstein @VoidDrone @popstar I shall report back on my immigration as a very visibly black person...

from the US. I suspect I'll be labeled an expat because of where I was born and raised and English being my first language.

@guerrillarain @lokenstein @VoidDrone yeah, i think outside the US the breakdown becomes even more obscure? English speaking, higher education, economic status, interracial relationships, from the USA, job history, also gets factored in along with complexion 🤔

@popstar @guerrillarain @VoidDrone Yeah. I'm expecting future colleagues might call them an expat but strangers might call them an immigrant? Really hard to know.
We did say this was messy 😂

@lokenstein @popstar @VoidDrone Well, I'm not an EU citizen so I have to do all the shitty immigration hoops so I'm an immigrant now.

(changing my definition based on all that's been said here ✨ )

@guerrillarain @VoidDrone @popstar Yes I'm quite curious which way it will go 🤔
Idk if someone warned you of this before, but one weird thing that might happen to you in Finland is that people will most likely talk to you in English directly because they will assume you can't be black and native Finnish 🙄 Guess it'll be practical for you but I hate that they do that.

@lokenstein @VoidDrone @popstar I actually had a mix when I was there. Even at the airport when we were flying to Stockholm from Helsinki, they started speaking to me in Finnish first. It was really surprising.

@guerrillarain @VoidDrone @popstar ah that's nice to hear! Maybe it's changing a bit too, hopefully ❤
Always feels extremely awkward when I need to ask something from a poc in here & I'm in total cringe knowing they think I speak to them in English because I think they don't speak Finnish, when actually I'm the one who doesn't speak Finnish. Ahhh. Always try to say "kiitos" with my worst accent possible at the end to make it clear 😂

@lokenstein I would argue that an intra-company transfer is actually a privilege and not a economic necessity as workers who are transfered are as far as I know very good compensated for their transfer. Most transfers are also for a limited time.
You are certainly right that I did not think about people leaving for another country because of their partners and that's where I think it is harder to draw that line, but I still think you could draw it somewhere. It would be pretty much arguing semantics though.

I naturally will not argue with you that the common perception of what people think you have to be when you work in another country is pretty much informed by racism and perceived class most of the time.

@popstar @guerrillarain Exactly!! That's the exact definition of what comes to my mind when I hear the term expat. Thanks for writing it this way.

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