What is an Expat (or Intercultural) Coach?

An expat coach typically helps individuals who are living or working abroad navigate the challenges and opportunities associated with expatriate life. Their role can involve various aspects:

1. Cultural Adjustment: They assist expatriates in understanding and adapting to the culture, customs, and social norms of their new location. This may involve providing cultural training, language lessons, or advice on how to interact effectively in different cultural contexts.

2. Career Development: Expatriate coaches often help their clients advance their careers while living abroad. This might include guidance on job search strategies, networking in a new country, or understanding local workplace dynamics.

3. Emotional Support: Moving to a new country can be emotionally challenging. An expat coach provides a supportive environment for their clients to discuss their concerns, homesickness, or any other issues they may be facing, helping them to cope with the stresses of expatriate life.

4. Family Support: Expatriate coaches may also work with families who are relocating abroad, helping them navigate the unique challenges of family life in a foreign country, such as finding schools for children, managing family relationships, and adjusting to a new way of life.

5. Goal Setting and Personal Growth: They assist expatriates in setting goals for their time abroad and support them in achieving those goals. This could involve personal development, skill-building, or pursuing new opportunities that arise from living in a different cultural environment.

6. Inclusive Leadership: Some coaches are also inclusive leadership coaches focussing on psychological safety in Global Virtual Teams (GVT) and working with global leaders.

Overall, an expat coach serves as a guide and mentor, helping individuals make the most of their expatriate experience and overcome any obstacles they encounter along the way. Sometimes expat coaches are expats or have had a nomadic life in the past. BUT. Being an expat should not be their main qualifications. It takes years to become a good coach and number of coaching hours and clients as well as reviews give a good indication of experience level. You also need to check certifications. Not every life coach is automatically a good expat coach. Check if they meet these criteria for you:


Expat Experience
“The higher purpose of Global Mobility professionals is to help expat couples discover themselves, guide them through the challenges, and be there for them when they go through the valley of tears.”

1 – Understand Your Expat Experience – A Necessity for an Expat Coach

Living and working as an expat is an experience like no other. It offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture, learn new languages, and broaden your horizons. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges. From homesickness and cultural differences to professional uncertainties, navigating the expat life can sometimes feel overwhelming. This is where an expat coach can make all the difference.

An expat coach understands the unique challenges and opportunities of living abroad. They have firsthand experience and expertise in helping individuals like you navigate the complexities of expat life. Working with an expat coach gives you a valuable ally who can provide guidance, support, and a roadmap to success. Whether you are a seasoned expat or just starting your journey, an expat coach can help you make the most of your international experience.

Enhancing the Expat Experience

Enhancing the Expat Experience

2 – Set Your Career Goals and Create a Learning Plan

One of the first steps to unleashing your expat potential is setting clear goals and creating a customized plan. An expat coach will work with you to understand your aspirations, whether they are personal, professional, or both. They will help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas of focus and then develop a tailored plan to help you achieve your goals.

Through a series of coaching sessions, an expat coach will guide you in setting realistic and achievable objectives. They will help you break down your goals into actionable steps and provide you with the tools and strategies needed to overcome any obstacles that may arise along the way. With a clear plan, you will have a roadmap to success and a sense of direction in your expat journey.

Through the Global Competency Model and the RockMeApp, we help our clients set three career goals and a learning plan.

You need to develop your Global Competency

You need to develop your Global Competency

Abu Dhabi Mosque
Abu Dhabi Mosque



3 – Develop Cultural Intelligence

Adapting to a new culture and environment is a key aspect of the expat experience. It requires a certain level of cultural intelligence and navigating unfamiliar territories. An expat coach can help you develop these essential skills and ensure a smooth transition into your new life abroad.

Cultural intelligence refers to understanding, appreciating, and effectively interacting with people from diverse cultures. An expat coach will provide insights and strategies to enhance your cultural intelligence. They will help you understand the nuances of the local culture, customs, and social norms, enabling you to adapt and avoid cultural faux pas quickly.

Additionally, an expat coach can support you in building resilience and flexibility, essential qualities for thriving in new environments. They will help you develop strategies to manage culture shock, homesickness, and expat life’s inevitable ups and downs. Working with an expat coach will give you the skills and mindset to embrace new cultures and make the most of your international experience.


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Flavia Augusta de Almeida
Flavia Augusta de Almeida

4 – Overcome Language Barriers and Communication Challenges

Language barriers and communication challenges are common hurdles for expats. Effective communication is crucial for personal and professional success abroad, whether it’s the local language or English as a second language. An expat coach can help you overcome these challenges and become a confident communicator.

An expat coach will provide language learning strategies tailored to your needs. They will help you develop your language skills, improve pronunciation, and build vocabulary. Additionally, they can guide you in understanding cultural nuances in communication styles, enabling you to navigate conversations easily.

Moreover, an expat coach can also guide non-verbal communication and help you develop cross-cultural communication skills. These skills are vital for building strong relationships and making a positive impression in your new environment. With the support of an expat coach, you will gain the confidence to communicate effectively and connect with others on a deeper level.



5 – Build a Support Network and Find a Community

Building a support network and finding community is crucial for a fulfilling expat experience. Feeling connected and supported by like-minded individuals can make all the difference in your overall well-being and success abroad. An expat coach can help you build a support network and find your community in your new home.

An experienced expat coach will guide you in developing networking strategies and introducing you to relevant groups and communities. They can help you identify professional associations, social clubs, and expat networks that align with your interests and goals. An expat coach can help you establish meaningful relationships and create a sense of belonging in your new environment by connecting you with other expats and locals.

Additionally, an expat coach can help you navigate the emotional challenges of being away from your home country and loved ones. They can guide managing homesickness, loneliness, and expat life’s inevitable ups and downs. Having a support system in place will make you feel more confident and empowered to navigate the challenges of expat life.

Join our Global People Club

The Global People Club Sandwich

Five Safety Stops for Expatriate Health and Wellbeing

Five Safety Stops for Expatriate Health and Wellbeing

How an Expat (or Intercultural) Coach Should Help You Navigate the Challenges

An expat coach is your ultimate partner in navigating the challenges and uncertainties of expat life. They provide invaluable support, guidance, and expertise to help you make the most of your international experience. From setting goals and creating a customized plan to developing cultural intelligence and overcoming language barriers, an expat coach will be by your side every step of the way.

By working with an expat coach, you will gain the necessary skills and mindset to thrive in unfamiliar territories. They will help you unleash your full potential and achieve your personal and professional aspirations abroad. With their expertise, you can navigate the complexities of expat life with confidence and embrace the transformative expat experience that awaits you.

Don’t let the challenges of expat life hold you back. Invest in yourself and partner with an expat coach who will empower you to navigate the complexities, unlock new possibilities, and embark on a transformative expat experience like no other. Reach out to an expat coach today and unleash your full potential abroad.

Expat Coach Resources

Expat Coaching and the RockMeApp









Finance Planning for Expat Coaches

Finance Planning for Expat Coaches

Changing Lives: Finding Your Purpose as an Expat Coach

Changing Lives: Finding Your Purpose as an Expat Coach

Global Mobility Trend: Expatriate Coaching


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