More and more students and young graduates are deciding to take the leap and move abroad. Whether it be an Erasmus year abroad in Paris, a summer internship in Peru or bartending in Ibiza, there are many advantages of studying or working in a different country. Not only is it the experience of a lifetime, there are other, more practical benefits which can help you both personally and professionally.
We wanted to share a few of them, to help encourage you take advantage of this amazing opportunity and go for it!
So, what are the benefits?
You will meet people from all around the world and form friendships that will last a lifetime. Not only are you sure to have somewhere to stay and people to visit no matter where you travel to, having an international network can be extremely useful when trying to find a job after university or if you ever decide to start your own business.
It will look great on your CV. Living abroad is one of the best ways of standing out from the crowd and finding your dream job after university. Recruiters often assume that students who have studied or worked abroad are adaptable, open-minded and able to speak a different language, skills which are highly sought-after by employers. According to a report by the European Commission, 64% of employers questioned in 2013 agreed that working abroad plays an important role when choosing future employees.
It’s the perfect opportunity to learn a new language. Even though it might seem scary at first, living abroad will often force you to learn a new language: you will need to know the basics in order to survive and deal with everyday situations. Learning a language in a classroom is nothing like actually living in a foreign country – you will learn much more quickly as you don’t really have a choice, but also because you can see a real use for the language. Don’t worry though, most people know a little English so you will never be completely lost. Natives will be impressed that you’re making an effort and will, more often than not, want to help you!
You will grow in confidence and become more independent. Moving to a different country isn’t easy. Leaving family and friends behind can be difficult, but it will help you become much more independent. Simple tasks such as ordering a coffee, opening a bank account, finding somewhere to live or making new friends are much more challenging in a different country where the rules and laws are different, especially if you have to do so in a different language! Overcoming these hurdles will help you grow in confidence and feel much more independent.
The chance to discover a new culture and broaden your horizons. Unlike going abroad on holiday, living abroad takes place over an extended period of time, allowing you to discover the realities of living in a different country. It’s likely that you will work or study with natives which will allow you to get a real taste of the country and its culture. Most importantly, learning about a different culture will help broaden your horizons and improve your global awareness.
Last but not least, living abroad is the experience of a lifetime. Even though you might be studying or working, you will still have time to visit the country and discover amazing places on your days off. Plus, as you’re living in the country, you can find out about lesser-known and therefore less touristic spots to visit! You will become an expert on the best (and cheapest) places to eat and drink. Think of it as a “long holiday”.
These are just a few of the many benefits, it’s up to you to discover the rest! If you’re feeling convinced, all you need to do now is to start planning. If you’d like to work abroad, you can find internships and other jobs requiring little or no experience on websites such as Wizbii, a professional social network dedicated entirely to students and young graduates.