Here is the UN’s 2015 International Migration Infographic, which claims that there are 4 million “North Americans” (which would include Canada) living abroad.
Meanwhile, AARO’s estimate is 8 MILLION Americans (from the United States), twice as many as the United Nations has reported for both the United States and Canada. According to their website, they got this figure from the U.S. State Department.
I just spent a month in Paris and have the DL on how to meet other expats living in the city.
When I arrived to Paris I didn’t know anyone and didn’t really have any kind of plan. I didn’t know how I was going to meet people, or practice my French, or even what I was going to do with my time. So, as soon as I arrived, I went online and googled a few keywords such as “French conversation groups in Paris” and “meeting expats in Paris”. Here’s what happened….
1. Meetup.com Continue reading
In terms of finding cheap or affordable ways to practice your French in Paris, Meetup.com has good options.
When you live abroad, you inevitably end up dating and having relationships with people from other cultures, which comes naturally to the existential migrant since they are xenophiles that are inherently more attracted to what is “different” and “unfamiliar” anyway.
However, although many existential migrants actively seek out foreign partners, this decision can bring on a whole new set of problems and challenges….as if dating and relationships weren’t hard enough! Not only do you have to get to know each other and integrate your unique personalities like any other couple, you have to do this while trying to transcend linguistic and cultural barriers. On the other hand, these differences can also be the main driving force behind cross-cultural relationships that do work. Meaning, what can tear you apart can also keep you together.
Based on my experience and that of other expats, I’m breaking down cross-cultural dating by examining a few of the stand-out influential factors affecting these connections.
1. We have no system for greeting or saying goodbye
Unlike many countries that have clear systems (such as an air kiss on the cheek, or an air kiss on both cheeks) the U.S. has no system for greeting and saying goodbye. Do you hug? Shake hands? Kiss? Do nothing? There are no clear rules. Well, if you’re meeting someone for the first time, you shake hands, and if you’re seeing someone you haven’t seen for a while, you hug. But what about all of the situations in between? Meeting friends for lunch, arriving at a party, coming home from work, dropping in on a neighbor? Confusing.
2. We are conservative
My experience with cat calling before arriving to Buenos Aires (in the United States, Europe, and other parts of Latin America) was as follows: men in teams or groups, yelling or speaking loudly, sometimes using vulgar or offensive language, sometimes accompanied by whistling or gesturing, which generally would go on for a bit too long (until I was out of sight), possibly because they were attempting to get a reaction out of me. Because this type of cat-calling is always quite public, and men are not on their own when they do it, it almost seems like it has more to do with impressing other men rather than actually wanting to call attention to the woman’s appearance.
Cat calling in Buenos Aires is a very different experience. For me, this type of cat calling is private, quick, complimentary, and totally free of expectations. Men, as they’re walking past me on the street (or driving by me in their cars) will make a quick and quiet (almost whispered) comment to me about my appearance. The most common remarks I hear are “Que linda que sos!” (How pretty you are!), “Que hermosa que sos!” (“How gorgeous you are!”), and finally, my personal favorite, “Que Belleza!” (“What beauty!”). This type of cat calling is generally (in no way do I want to claim that it always happens this way as I can only speak about my own experience) quick and private, done in passing, meant for my ears only, using complimentary and non-vulgar language, and with no expectation of a reaction or other interaction to follow. It’s as if they just want to quickly compliment me, and for us both to continue on with the day. So, what’s bad about that? To be honest, it doesn’t bother me personally, but when I think about it, I do recognize that cat calling, in any form, proliferates the importance that society places on female appearance, delaying the strides we are making towards gender equality.
Today, the urban destinations of American expats are numerous, and expanding. In addition to the more traditional destinations (Mexico, Canada, Israel, Australia and many countries in Europe), in recent years we’ve seen new currents of American migration, especially towards Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. They tend to choose these destinations for a combination of personal, cultural, linguistic, educational, professional and economic reasons. It’s also important to mention that many Americans are also heavily influenced by their family and social networks, and often choose their host country, and city, accordingly.
Above all, the trend of American expatriation to urban destinations is the most notable, especially to “global cities” where they find international lifestyles, cultural opportunities, diversity, excitement, and of course growing urban expat communities.
Emerging urban expat destinations