Leaving and experiencing: why academics expatriate and how they experience expatriation
Globalisation has led to increasing international mobility amongst business and education professionals. Whilst expatriate management literature focuses on expatriate assignment of corporate executives, expatriate academics remain an under researched group. Higher education literature has focused on internationalisation of education systems, notably the growth in international strategic alliances between universities, and mobility amongst students. Therefore compared with what is known about the student body, very little is known about the experiences of internationally mobile academics. Drawing on a qualitative study of academics, this paper evaluates the use of metaphor for understanding the "motivation to go" overseas and the "experience" of expatriation. It evaluates four metaphors which have emerged from the study for expatriating and four others for the experience of expatriation. Finally it suggests that the voluntary, self-selecting expatriate should be much more extensively researched.