study abroad

5 Reasons Why You Should Study or Work Abroad

Last month we came across an article from Expat Finder where they talked about how to start your expat life and we thought it would be great to complement it with the 5 reasons why you should study abroad or become an expat.

They focused on the operational side of things once you decide to work abroad so we are going to focus on why you should do it 😉

Have you ever thought about studying or working abroad and the benefits that it could bring you?

For me, studying abroad is one of the best decisions that I ever made and I am grateful for. Whether it is during college, for a high school exchange or working abroad, spending time in another country is always beneficial for you and, based in my experience, here is why:

1. Learn a New Language

This is one of the most popular reasons why people decide to study in a different country. Being able to understand and express yourself in a different tongue is one of the most important skills that you can develop. There is a great quote by Frank Smith that could not be truer:

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way”

 

From travelers to students, expats and business owners, learning a foreign language will open up a bunch of opportunities and offer life changing experiences.

As a traveler, you will be able to understand the local culture of the visited country, find places, communicate with locals, ask for directions and even order the most traditional food.

As an expat, you’ll be able to adapt quickly to the new culture and develop relationships with other coworkers and locals faster and better. You’ll want to get the most out of the city you will be living in right? To accomplish that, one of the first things to know would be the language!

For business, being able to communicate in a different language will help you understand the needs and wants of your international clients. This can be applied to employees of multinational companies as well as they’ll be able to interact with different international departments in an easier way.

Even academic studies show that learning a foreign language can enhance your cognitive skills! Learning a different dialect is a complex process and involves a tremendous brain activity that will help improve memory skills, creativity and problem-solving capabilities.

2. Make Lifelong Relationships

relationships abroad

During your year abroad you will meet new people and build new relationships. It is likely that the people you meet are living a similar experience abroad or are local people excited of meeting new friends from all over the world.

From your roommates to your classmates or work buddies, the connection and the support provided by others in a similar situation will create a strong bond that will hardly be soon forgotten by your new friends.

The “cañas”, the trips, the parties, the hangovers and all the life events that you live together throughout the year will be remembered for a long time and I’m sure that you will keep in touch with your international friends as I have done with the people I met when I lived abroad.

You may even find the love of your life! A year abroad creates a link so strong between the people you meet that will last a lifetime.

3. Discover Yourself

Studying or working abroad also means that you will need to learn how to live with yourself. You will discover a part of yourself that you probably did not know before. You won’t have your parents to cook for you, do the laundry or clean the house among other things (I know that you probably already do that before moving abroad but “Spain is different“, you know).

Learning how to do that stuff by yourself and being able to live alone is great.

Sometimes it may be difficult to be far away from your family, the things you love and the people you know but it is a great opportunity to develop yourself and become a better individual. You  know what they say… magic happens outside your comfort zone and in the end you’ll realize that things back home don’t change that much!

4. Open Your Mind to New Experiences

study abroad

An adventure in an unknown country broadens your mind and refreshes your spirit. The fact that you need to adapt to a different culture and an unknown language opens up your mind and forces you to try new things and experience moments that you haven’t lived before.

New food, new weather, new customs, different values…everything! But there is nothing as good as trying something new and discovering yourself along the way.

5. Learn to Love Your Origins

Surprisingly, the farther away you are from your home country, the more you will love and appreciate it. At least that’s what happened to me and everyone I know. They all have the same opinion on this point.

There will be moments when you miss your friends, family and home; and nostalgic memories will invade your mind. The place you were tired from will suddenly be one of your most loved places ever! Even though you may get sad for a little while, that’ll make you love your country even more and even if you are not ready to go back yet you will appreciate it more than before.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu.

 

Whether it’s studying or working abroad, I guarantee that the experience is going to be worth it!

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Did you study abroad too? How was it?

Of course, this point of view is based in my personal experience but I would love to know how yours is! Share with us if you agree and how your experience studying or working abroad is!

I’ll see you soon, cheers!

Alejandro Luengo
aluengo91@gmail.com

CEO & Founder of @packtospain. Entrepreneur | English and Spanish speaking | Always seeking new challenges and building stuff

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