The findings of a number of recent empirical studies of business expatriates, using different samples and methodologies, seem to support the counter-intuitive proposition that cultural similarity may be as difficult to adjust to as cultural dissimilarity. However, it is not obvious that these results also are applicable to other groups of expatriates. To explore this eventuality, an electronic survey was directed towards expatriate academics in 34 universities in five European countries. For the purpose of this study, they were sorted into two groups, expatriate academics from EU countries and non-EU countries. Results showed that although the perceived cultural similarity between host and home country for the two groups of investigated respondents was different, there was neither any difference in their adjustment nor in the time it took for them to become proficient. Implications of these findings are discussed.
International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 2009, Vol 33, p. 429-436