Monday, March 12, 2012

Coaching international style : starting a coaching practice while living abroad

Posted on Monday, March 12, 2012 by International Coach Federation

Coach training programs have become truly international. I am currently completing a program at CoachU and I am impressed by the number of coaches who are training at locations around the world. In any given class more than half of the students may be in a location outside of the United States. Many of these people, like myself, are expatriates living and working abroad.

I am an American living and working in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before Denmark, I lived in Hamburg, Germany. I have been living and working abroad for about two years. I felt drawn to the field of coaching and decided to do my coach training program while abroad. The coaching field is witnessing a growth of expat coaches – people who live outside of their country of origin due to work or family and who are coaches.

In living abroad and starting my journey to creating a viable coaching practice, I wanted to share some ideas and tips I picked up along the way:

  1. Coaching is perceived differently in different countries. Some countries have a very advanced understanding of coaching while others have a very basic understanding - or no knowledge at all. When creating a coaching practice abroad, it’s important to evaluate whether the local culture is receptive and knowledgeable about coaching. If your country is new to coaching, creating a business will require extra effort and extra client education about the benefits of coaching.
  2. Don’t focus on coaching expats. Usually expat coaches focus their ‘niche’ on coaching local expats. The problem with this is that the field is usually pretty saturated with coaches in your new country who got the same idea. Unless you have years of expat life and coaching experience, it’s often hard to establish credibility and compete with other coaches doing something similar in your local area.
  3. Learn about starting a business in your new country – in some countries it’s prohibitively difficult to start a business. Or creating a business may adversely affect your family’s tax situation. Find out the rules and regulations of creating a business and paying taxes. You may discover that you need to structure your coaching practice a certain way for maximum tax and financial benefit.
Starting a coaching practice is never easy and the added pressures of living abroad can make it seem impossible. However, I meet successful coaches abroad every day. If you are determined to start a coaching practice don’t let living and working abroad be a deterrent.

For international coaches or expats who are coaching abroad, do you have any suggestions you can share with the coaching community?

Robin Patin
Robin Patin is an American living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before embarking on her international adventure she lived and worked in San Francisco as a Managing Consultant for a healthcare organization for five years. Robin had a passion for all things international, so in March 2010 she took two suitcases and a one way ticket and moved to Hamburg, Germany to teach English abroad.

She has a Bachelor degree in Finance and Psychology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master degree in Health from New York University. Robin is completing her coach training through CoachU and has a TESOL (Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification.

She writes a blog for those folks who want to sell everything and go abroad called ‘The Choosy Beggar.’


  1. coaching international and coaching in abroad is a Pretty similar jobs if you have the Teach English certification with you then this coaching is really going to be easy for you.

    1. It's really nice post dear. i love to read it.I want to go Abroad and i get really nice information from here.

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