Expatclic: The Platform for Expat Women
Claudia Landini is an Italian expat that has lived abroad for the last 26 years, in nine countries and over five continents. She currently works independently as an intercultural coach in Jakarta, Indonesia. 11 years ago Claudia felt the need to support other expat women, so she started to write about her experiences abroad. That’s basically how Expatclic came to be. During her Kitchen Table Conversation at the Families in Global Transition (FIGT) 2016 Conference in Amsterdam, Claudia told us all about this initiative.
A Big Network of Expat Women
Although it started out as a personal project, Expatclic quickly grew into a big virtual network of expat women that are essentially there for each other before, during and after global transition. As a non profit organization, it’s entirely run by volunteers and funded by formal membership and fundraising campaigns. This guarantees the support provided is simultaneously selfless and personal. “What we put on the website is exactly what happened to us. People that reach out have the same questions and fears that we had,” Claudia says.
Four Key Strategies
Expatclic relies on four key strategies to support expat women:
- Multilingualism: the website has content in Italian, English, French and Spanish. This gives people a chance to communicate in their own language: “We like the idea that everyone can express themselves in their native language. Speaking and reading in one’s own language makes people feel at home,” refers Claudia.
- Sharing: This is much more than simply describing your experiences. It’s becoming intimate with the community on a much deeper level, showing your vulnerability and exposing your feelings through the stories you share. “On Expatclic we have shared our whole lives,” reflects Claudia, giving a personal example: “I interviewed my son when he was eight and I am interviewing him again now that he’s 19 and is at university.”
- Empathy and encouragement: “What we do with Expatclic is to practice empathy everyday,” states Claudia. In that way it’s possible to encourage other women to look at the positive side of things. “We know that being empathic and encouraging is a big motivator for those who are not as experienced as we are.”
- Creativity: “You have to come up with new ideas all the time,” she adds. “We had to use a lot of imagination to be able to provide channels where our expat community could express its feelings and the richness of its overall experiences abroad.” Examples of this are the Facebook group, the photographic and gastronomical round robins the group organizes for photo and recipe sharing, the platforms created exclusively for professional expat women networking, the support group and the online library with relevant intercultural titles put together by the Expatclic team.
The Expatclic team strongly believes a virtual network of support is one of the best resources mobiles families can have. You can move countries all the time, but a community like this isn’t restricted by borders or visa requirements and will always be there for you. One of the biggest advantages of joining Expatclic is gaining access to a big network of contacts that can help with all sorts of challenges, from the daunting job search process to the simple things like finding a great takeout place.
An all-inclusive community, Expatclic is open to guest posting and welcomes shared experiences from expats worldwide.