Older expatriates: When maturity becomes an advantage

Common sense would suggest that these days, younger people are more globally minded than before. It is argued that Generation X and Y employees are much more open to living abroad, more adventurous and internationally oriented compared to previous generations. Thus, when considering international assignments as ‘going global’ experiences, shouldn’t younger expatriates be more suitable and successful in terms of cross-cultural adjustment and communication than older professionals?


Does the accompanying partner have a negative or a positive impact on the expatriate’s own experience?

About 80% of expatriates are accompanied by their partners during the assignment. Usually partners give up their jobs and go through their own relocation challenges, which naturally inlfuence also the assignee. However, despite these ‘extra’ problems for the expatriate him/herself, the majority still prefers to relocate with their partner. Why so?


Expatriate adjustment: Is there always a ‘honeymoon’?

Speaking about expatriates’ adjustment, one of the most cited, the classic U-curve cross-cultural adjustment model, describes adjustment as a process over time, starting with the honeymoon stage, followed by ‘culture shock’ (the lowest point of the ‘U’), adaptation and finally evolving into the mastery stage. However, the universality of the model can be questioned.
Is there always a honeymoon?