The Halfpat Life

Friday, March 2, 2007 0:30
Posted in category The Halfpat Life

For the last 18 months, Alan Paul has been writing a twice monthly column in the Wall Street journal called Expat Life.

Chronicling his time in Beijing as a trailing spouse, his column gives readers insights into what life is for a portion of the expatriate population that are sent over on a 2-3 contract without having previous experience in China.

Living in villas, with a team of ayis, and children in the foreign schools, the life describe in this series is once that is prevalent among senior executives of multinational firms, and even as much as I would like to be leading that life at times, it is a lifestyle that is very different from from the halfpats that are beginning to become the majority.

For those of you who don’t know yet, a halfpat is a young professional working and living in China who possesses many of the following characteristics:

  • 25-40 years old with 2-3 years of China experience
  • Typically took the plunge and flew to China without previously arranged employment
  • Were locally hired in Shanghai, Beijing, or other China market
  • Advanced degree holders are common, but not necessarily required
  • Chinese languages skills (many started studying Chinese)
  • Salary package that ranges between 2 – 5k USD per month
  • Benefits package may include housing or a yearly return ticket home

As a member of the halfpat community myself, and as someone who has access to a blog, I am happy to announce our newest ongoing series called The Halfpat Life.

while we will soon be launching a sister site devoted to this group, for you the reader we will be bringing weekly profiles of halfpats within the Shanghai, Beijing, and 2nd tier communities to provide understanding of just what drove these folks to make take the plunge, what they hope to do while here, and why they continue to stay… after so many have left.

So, with that, we will get started with our first halfpat Rob.

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