Inpats are the new expats
Move over expats, ‘inpats’ are the new breed of mobile professionals, according to an article published by Italian English language news resource TheLocal.it. But what’s the difference? And why are inpats becoming so desirable in many major cities around the world?
Expats versus inpats
The label ‘expat’ has gathered a great many connotations over the years, not all which are wholly positive. Firstly, it has long been used to describe one who has chosen to leave their home country and work abroad, temporarily settling in a new land. Yet the stereotype that accompanies the word can hardly be applied to all those living overseas – an image of a character who prefers to indulge in the food, language and company of their own culture with no inclination to embrace the customs of their host country. Furthermore, the term ‘expat’ with regard to those in employment has also become associated with those that are sent abroad by their companies, posted overseas to live in an ‘expat bubble’, unable or unwilling to integrate fully into their new destination.
So, how do the new inpats differ? According to TheLocal.it, the inpat is a new type of immigrant, one who wants to integrate into their home country and feel a real and strong affinity with their chosen destination. It’s a way of life that appreciates the culture of a country, be it getting to know local people and customs, learning about the history of a destination and embracing more than just the sunshine. In short, inpats are not defined by their place of origin, they are defined by where they choose to settle – and they rarely book a return ticket.
The key reason for people moving overseas these days is for the experience and quality of life, rather than exclusively being about career and earning a high salary – although that’s a nice bonus, of course. Instead of being simply sent away on a business contract, the inpat chooses where they want to go and often makes the move using their own resources. Just take a look at the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey which demonstrated that eight out of ten respondents in Sweden are employed on local contracts, indicating those that moved to Swedish shores have not merely done so for a generous expat package and are keen to integrate into local culture instead of living in a cocoon offered by a hiring company.
Additionally, the survey indicates a link between the countries rated higher by respondents on the experience league table and those that were rated highly in the category of ease of integration with the local community. Julika Lamberth, project manager at Stockholm Business Region, agrees, saying that workers from overseas are avoiding getting stuck in the expat bubble, citing as evidence the fact that when an expat network was suggested, it was turned down in favour of meeting local Stockholmers.
Inpats have a tendency to be determined, talented individuals who see where they want to be and take control of their destiny to get there. The growth of the inpat rather than the expat may well prove a rising trend over the coming years.
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Information correct at time of publication.