5 Reasons to Live Abroad
There are loads of reasons to live abroad, here’s 5….
1. It’s an adventure
Living abroad means adventures, and you don’t have to live in the Australian outback or along the Amazon to get them.
If an adventure is an experience that’s thrilling and challenging with a bit of risk, then you’ll have millions of adventures a day whilst living abroad.
Living in a different place means encountering differences – from different people and different customs to different transportation systems and different brands.
Commuting is an adventure. Talking to people is an adventure. Going to the shop is an adventure. Handling money is an adventure.
Once you get used to life abroad – and you will, in time – these countless adventures will cease to be adventures. But by then, you’ll have met some locals who will take you around, introducing you to new adventures. Or you’ll decide to travel and encounter new adventures that way.
2. It challenges you
Living abroad expands your mind – consider this the mental result of all those adventures.
You are breaking out of your comfort zone, which is not easy. You have to figure out where you fit in, which means examining who you are, where you are and what you want.
Self-reflection isn’t the only challenge. Meeting people who have lived such different lives from your own makes you see the world in a new way. As you live as they live, you are compelled acknowledge the value of these differences.
Becoming more open-minded, empathetic and considerate is one of the most rewarding effects of living abroad.
3. It improves your employability
Professionally, living abroad can give you a big leg-up. Whether you’re working abroad at a summer camp or studying at a university, international experience looks great on a CV.
And this isn’t just because employers are looking for people with strong cross-cultural skills now more than ever.
Adapting to a new environment, successfully interacting with people who are different from you and being flexible enough to deal with challenges on a daily basis are valuable traits in an employee. They translate to vital problem solving, interpersonal and communication skills.
As such, the skills you gain while living abroad are great to mention in a cover letter. For job interviews, be sure to practice describing the experience, too – interviewers love to ask about time abroad.
4. You’ll learn a new language
Even if it’s just the basics, you’ll definitely pick up some of the local language if you live abroad.
Try to go a bit further than the basics though. It will make your life abroad easier, endear you to locals and give you a deeper understanding of the culture in which you’re living.
Plus, saying you know a language “intermediately” rather than “elementarily” looks better on your CV. It shows that you’re able to dedicate yourself to something and pay attention to detail.
5. It’ll change your life
…if you let it. Of all the reasons to live abroad this is the most powerful. Living abroad completely shifts your perspective of the world, people and, most importantly, yourself. It becomes an indescribably valuable experience you can draw on forever.
So teach English in China, find an internship in Colombia, become a ski instructor in Canada or take a language course in Korea. The world is yours.
The author of this piece has studied abroad in Japan for one year, interned abroad in the Republic of Georgia for one month and has been living in the UK for over two years.
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