Project description

Midlife is an exciting and challenging time, and experiencing this life passage is even more complex as expat. As expats, we live in a culture different from the one we grew up in, and are often far from friends and family who have known us when we were younger. We may have moved several times during our adult lives, and have friendships that come and go, or are geographically spread around the world.  Some of us have raised children in different cultures, and are getting ready to see them go to another part of the world, or have already seen them move far away. We may have a personal or professional identities that don’t fit into the usual models – perhaps it is our job that has taken us abroad, or we have tried to adjust to following someone else’s career, or we have created a non-traditional or portable work life for ourselves.

This project looks at how midlife is experienced by expat women, and explores what information and support structures can benefit women going through this journey.  Key questions include:

-- What is the midlife journey? How is it experienced in different cultures, as well as in a cross-cultural situation?
-- What issues do people encounter in midlife generally? As expats? What are the special challenges and opportunities as expats?
-- How can we ease our way through this journey? What support do women seek and benefit from at home? How can this be adapted or reinvented for expats?

The first phase of this project is an exploratory survey, designed to identify key issues and questions. You are invited to complete this survey anonymously from the perspective of your personal experience, and to add your professional observations about the questions in the comment sections.

Future phases of the project will include an international survey, reported findings, face-to-face and online peer support groups, and a blog. You can include an email address at the end of the survey if you'd like to receive updates about the project.

For more information, contact project director Julia Puebla Fortier at

Thank you for participating!

Julia Puebla Fortier