The JGM BitBlog: How Host Country Education and Professional Experience Impact Repatriation

Journal of Global Mobility

Jason Ryan, California State University, San Bernardino, USA

University degrees and international experience are often perceived as “universal lubricants” that enable frictionless movement between countries. This study examines whether this preconception holds up under scrutiny. It specifically assesses whether the transferability and recognition of host country professional experience and educational credentials impact the repatriation prospects and intentions of long-term self-initiated expatriates (SIEs). To that end, the author interviews a sample of American-educated French long-term SIEs in the United States to assess how both their higher education and professional experience influence their social identity in their home country, France and their perceived repatriation opportunities.
This study applies social identity theory to the examination of the combined impact of higher education and work experience abroad on the repatriation expectations of long-term SIEs. As noted, the author interviewed twenty-one French SIEs who attended universities in the US and remained there afterward to begin their careers. He found that the repatriation intentions of long-term SIEs are strongly influenced by concerns about the ability to maintain their host country standard of living in their home country. It also finds that foreign educational credentials and professional experience can constrain the ability of long-term SIEs to repatriate easily and gain acceptance. To overcome this, long-term SIEs often feel that they must embrace alternative repatriation strategies to maintain the lifestyle that they enjoyed while abroad when returning back home. This study contributes to the body of knowledge on the context of self-initiated expatriation by examining the influence of host-country educational credentials and work experience on the repatriation intentions of long-term SIEs.

To read this article, please see the Journal of Global Mobility publication:
Ryan, J. (2023), "The influence of host country education and professional experience on repatriation intentions: an examination of French long-term self-initiated expatriates in the United States", Journal of Global Mobility, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 513-529.