"Welcome abroad"

The literal meaning of this phrase is easy, but in which contexts is it used? Does it have any figurative meaning?

You know, I am not a native speaker, and so far a couple of people have used this phrase when they replied to me.

One incident was on FB. I had posted something, and an Americanized friend commented: "Welcome abroad". I had a bad feeling about his comment, because it seemed to me that he was kinda humiliating my post as somebody who was new in the States! I'm not sure though.

The second incident, was an email reply from a professor, from whom I had asked to do TA for her course. She wrote back to me: "your background is excellent to do TA for this course. Welcome abroad"

Could you please ellaborate?

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    Was it not "welcome aboard"? – Drossel Aug 5 '16 at 21:06
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    There is no phrase "Welcome abroad"... The phrase is "welcome aboard" as in "aboard a ship". It means "on board". I'd say this was a typo but you seem to have made the same error four times. – Catija Aug 5 '16 at 21:07
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    Wellcome aboard is an expression that is used figuratively: (Fig.) Welcome to employment at our company. (See also on board. Invariably said in greeting to a new employee.) Glad to meet you. Welcome aboard. idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Welcome+aboard – user66974 Aug 5 '16 at 21:15
  • Include in your question the research you’ve done. Questions which lack results of research may be closed. (more) – MetaEd Aug 5 '16 at 21:20
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is based on a typo or a misreading. – ab2 Aug 5 '16 at 21:24

The phrase they were trying to use was almost certainly "welcome aboard." The greeting used to be used when someone boarded a ship, but now it's used more generally to welcome someone to a company, club, or team.

If you've seen "welcome abroad " multiple times, it's because it is an easy typographical mistake to make when typing too quickly. Spellcheckers won't catch it, because it's a real word and as far as the computer can tell, it's properly used.

It's possible that your Americanized friend's usage was not a typo, but a play on words, since you are both "abroad." If it was intentional, it's actually pretty clever, and to me it seems to suggest camaraderie rather than trying to belittle you.

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    It could also be that the OP misread the word. Misreading a word is not uncommon, even among native speakers. For example, I once misread underserved (under-served) as undeserved (un-deserved) and got indignant on behalf of the so called undeserving. – ab2 Aug 5 '16 at 21:30
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    I'm glad you added the caveat. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 5 '16 at 21:51

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