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expat lifestory of esei alumni

Living as an Expat: A Lifestory

Astonishing Expat Lifestory: 2022 ESEI Alumni | Kevin Capelao

Author: Kevin Capelao – International MBA in Digital Marketing Alumni

Reading time: 2mins

Kevin Capelao, ESEI Alumni. Expat lifestory blog

I was born in a country that was not my own. I grew up and lived in different countries on multiple continents. In this life story, I share all of my experiences with you and hope that it will inspire you to take a risk or two and explore yourself as well, who knows where it might take you?



The origin of my expat story:

Some might say, by birth I am French but my parents are originally from Portugal and Angola. Which is how I see myself as Portuguese and Angolan, as I have a deeper connection to my parents’ roots and culture. Through my parents’ work circumstances, every 3 years we had to change countries and schools, which initiated my expat origin story. 

To be completely honest with you, since birth I was the sort of child who did not mind being in a different environment, or to be exact I did not acknowledge the fact that I was living the expat life. 

We left Nancy, France when I was only one year old, moving to Angola for 3 years and then to Paris for 4 years. Some might already be impressed but this is just the beginning. Balikpapan, Indonesia was the next destination, beautiful Indonesia. You might have a thousand questions about how each country was and how I felt but let me get to the end. After Indonesia, I lived in Angola, Brunei, and The Netherlands, totaling the adolescent chapter of my life. 

My sentiments toward the expat life

Having lived in many countries was not an issue for me at all, I was always a shy kid so most of the good friends I made from the countries I lived in, approached me and welcomed me to their schools. The greatest hurt I experienced was leaving my friends which made expat life much more difficult. Despite that, as I grew older I realized those with whom I built strong friendships remain there forever.

This life shaped me to be a risk-taker that can adapt to different cultures. An individual who can communicate in 3 other languages fluently and someone who has vital emotional intelligence. It is scary to have an expat lifestyle, many thoughts went through my head, and from this experience, I can say that those are just thoughts, if you are having them. 

There is beauty in knowing a completely different country, with a different language and different people. 

When I moved out of my parents I began taking those risks for myself, I moved to Portland, Oregon to follow my dream of becoming a professional football player. Unfortunately, that dream of mine came to an end. 

Who only has one dream, let’s be honest a majority of us thought of becoming many different things at a young age. One of my other passions was Web 2.0, we spend so much time on our devices why not study what all of the tech companies are providing us? So I moved to Amsterdam where I completed my Bachelor’s degree and after 3 years made another major decision in my life. Embarking on my Master’s degree in Digital Marketing at ESEI International Business School of Barcelona, which you can find here!

Why be a risk taker?

I feel very happy with my decisions so far. I have met great people along the way. My advice for young adults, individuals who are looking for a career change, or even to you, the parents. Deciding to move abroad, can be the door to many more opportunities not just for self-development but career development, cultural development, and many more benefits it brings. One thought I always have is that home will always be home, but you can always have more than one home! So get loose, leave those thoughts behind and become an expat yourself.

How do I start my expat life?

If you are looking to move away from your own country because a city is attractive to you, you want a change of environment with people with a different culture than yours. The first step is to do some research on the city you are planning on moving to.

I personally watch videos about the city, what the city offers, and how cultural the city which helps me make this life-changing decision.

Then I make my decision about the University that I am Interested in! Depending on which courses are available and are of interest to me, I base my decision on this!

Finding accommodation is most likely to be the hardest part of being an expat, it might take weeks to do so but I was fortunate enough to have an institution such as ESEI which provided me with a list of accommodations! 

I knew no one in Barcelona, thus I decided to live in a student residence called TSH, The Student Hotel. It was one of the best decisions I made, just because of the fact that it allowed me to make friends from different Universities and different countries!

I am super happy with my decision in studying in Barcelona and I am looking forward to making new friends and experiencing even more moments than I already have!

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