Not interested in living or working abroad? Well, you might want to rethink that. According to a recent study, working and studying abroad makes you smarter. Better still, research shows that people who have had experience living in a foreign country are more flexible, creative and complex thinkers.
From my own personal experience, living and working abroad tremendously adds to your life experience. Whether it makes you smarter or not, your experience abroad will definitely shape the person you become. It’s an ‘eye-opening’ opportunity that every young person should take hold of. So before you shut the door to a career away from home, here are a few reasons why working abroad will add value to both your personal and professional life.
You build character
Living and working in a foreign country might generally not be easy; you’re adjusting to a different culture, behaviour and values. However, the changes and challenges you face being far away from home help to build character.
Instead of always having close family and friends to fall on, you learn how to become your own number one encourager and cheerleader. You gain independence and a stronger sense of perseverance; enabling you to recognise your own strengths and weaknesses that (re)shape your character.
It enhances your CV
With many organisations entering global markets and building international relationships, acquiring intercultural skills is necessary. Living and working abroad enables you to not only improve your language and communications skills. It also teaches you how to effectively interact and negotiate with people from different backgrounds. This essentially enhances your CV, as it gives you a competitive edge and distinguishes you from your peers in a tough job market.
You develop cultural awareness
Not only do you get to taste different foods, see different places and broaden your understanding of historical backgrounds. Living in a foreign country also increases your cultural awareness. Gaining a better understanding of another culture’s norms, values and expectations influence your cultural sensitivity; enabling you to work more effectively in a multicultural or international environment.
It broadens your mind
Working abroad is also beneficial in terms of broadening your horizons and understanding different approaches to business and life. Research shows that travelling or staying abroad for a long period of time positively influences your brain and makes you more open to new ideas. Whereby you learn to see and understand things from different perspectives.
It’s a no-brainer, living and working abroad teaches you to take risks, step out of your comfort zone and it essentially enriches your life.