Expat Interviews: Elaine Marnoch, A Scot Living in Houston

Ex·pa·tri·ate: (n) a person who lives outside their native country.
Take a moment to imagine what life in another country would be like. The foods you would taste, the sights you’d see and the people you would meet would make a hug impact on your day-to-day life. Here at CORT, we interviewed expatriates to see what their experience has been like relocating to the United States from another country. Take a look at what life in the U.S. has been for them and what advice they have for people interested in experiencing life in another country.


Elaine Marnoch



Industry that brought you to the U.S.:

Oil & Gas

Are you alone on this assignment?

I’m with my husband.

Is this your first international assignment? If not, where else have you lived?

This is our third time in Houston, and we have also lived in South Korea.

Was the decision to move to the U.S. easy or difficult for you and your family?

Not at all. We looked upon it as a chance to learn new cultures, and my children received first class education.

What is one American tourist attraction that you have visited?

The Grand Canyon

What is your favorite American saying or slang word?


What word or saying from your native language do you find yourself using often because it just doesn’t translate well to American English?


Is there anything that you really miss and can’t find in U.S. stores?

British fish, chips and mushy peas.

What is your favorite American food?


Fill in the blank: Americans are:

Extremely confident.

Sometimes I wish Americans:

‘Got’ the British sense of humor.

What has surprised you (good or bad) about life in the U.S.?

Waiting times at the doctors.

The best thing about being an expatriate is:

Forging new friendships and learning different cultures.

The worst thing about being an expatriate is:

Being so far from family.

If you could relocate anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Singapore, which we turned down a few years ago as my twin daughters had just started IB diplomas.

Imagine that a good friend just called to tell you that he/she has accepted an assignment in the U.S. What advice might you have for them as they prepare to relocate?

Welcome it, accept every invitation or offer, even if it takes you out of your comfort zone.

Last thoughts:

I’ve been an expat for a number of years, and I am so grateful for this amazing journey. I have friends all over the world, my children have loved their journey too. In fact, one of them successfully qualified as a teacher and was offered a job at the British International School of Houston and is now an expat again on her own merit. A success story!