Academic expatriation: Experiences from within the United Arab Emirates

Academic Mobility

ISBN: 978-1-78350-853-2, eISBN: 978-1-78350-854-9

ISSN: 1479-3628

Publication date: 10 July 2014


This study gathers the experiences of a group of academics who have chosen to take up temporary residence in the United Arab Emirates. It explores, from the perspective of the academic, the move from the familiar to the unfamiliar, determines the challenges they faced and what factors assisted in their integration into this new environment. The findings demonstrate that fundamentally, this desire to improve their situation drives the decision to relocate and provides the motivation to overcome the many challenges such a move entails. Those interviewed believed that expatriates are different and possess certain qualities which have helped them adapt. The differences identified were that they were able to find some inner strength or draw on previous learning so as to be able to reconceptualise the issue and find a way to mentally or physically address it. These academics had found a way to undertake a sociocultural reconceptualisation in order to make sense of the new world around them. These findings are from a limited study and begin to reveal insightful meanings to the movement and mobility of academics.


Sanderson, K. (2014), "Academic expatriation: Experiences from within the United Arab Emirates", Academic Mobility (International Perspectives on Higher Education Research, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 175-196.

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