In university, you are likely to be motivated to travel, study or work abroad. It might seem like you have got a lot going on so you don’t take these opportunities seriously or perhaps write them off as you plan to travel later in life.
Young people are encouraged to travel, but the more you are able to learn the lessons of travel. You always discover yourself and plan for your education and career when you are young. The skills and experience you acquire from traveling abroad will give you personal benefits in the professional world for a lifetime. You have the advantage of flexibility in high school and college as you can study anywhere in the world and have relatively long breaks in training.
1. Get away from your comfort zone.
Most of us as young people, have a pretty comfort zone. In a community that probably knew you for a good part of your life at home with your parents. You have got your family, hobbies, hangouts and probably work. In these daily roles, we become comfortable and the idea of breaking them out can be frightening and uncomfortable. The problem is, in uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations, you learn the most.
You know how to act and respond to people in our daily routines. Being in a new place, with different people, holding different values and living, strips away all that familiarity differently. It can be scary, but once you realize that, despite differences, you can connect with people and navigate foreign environments, you will become a smarter, more skilled person. Embrace the annoyance. Look for it because it helps you to grow.
2. Build confidence as you travel.
You are building confidence and ability to adapt in foreign situations as you overcome the obstacles. For instance, finding out how to use public transit in a foreign country, or asking for simple things in a grocery store. You moved across the country when you returned home to a place where you didn’t have any parents, friends, or relations.
While living abroad, the idea of this move may have frightened. But in a completely foreign environment and if you can do it, you are only going to be fine in a position where you at least share the language. You know that, despite the obstacles and unexpectedly the obstacles, you can do things that seem less obstructive and more like challenges that are accepted.
3. Cultural sensitivity, and how are you going to adapt?
In our globalizing world, being culturally sensitive is key. Itis not enough to say that people from this country are like this. To practice cultural sensitivity, it is important to look for underlying values that can explain a certain behavior.
Being conscious of cultural values and norms is not only interesting, it can also help us to understand international issues and conflicts, or even relate to a foreign business partner’s cultural norms. To be able to shift perspectives and see where someone else comes from is an important skill.
4. Adapting with globalization.
Whether you like it or not, we are rapidly globalizing with the internet and social media. It’s not unlikely that you end up with a job while you are traveling for work or taking part in conference calls with international business partners. It’s important to be culturally sensitive in our globalizing world and it can’t hurt to learn a foreign language. Having lived abroad in the business world can provide you with a competitive edge. Take advantage of the confidence and cultural sensitivity that traveling can help you develop and help you to succeed.
5. Networking opportunities.
If you want to work internationally or just have a couch to stay in a country you love, never underestimate the value of networking wherever you go. One thing you’re going to learn is that people tend to be very friendly and love to talk about their home and culture. That is not always the case, but it is more often than not.
Making friendships abroad will make this big world look a bit smaller and help you feel more linked anywhere you go. Meet as many people as you can on your trips. It will make your time abroad certainly more memorable as the locals know best! And you never know when these relations will be useful in the future, whether you are visiting each other for fun or not.
As young people, most of us have a comfort zone that is well developed. It’s an exciting time to travel abroad. Because you are traveling and meeting a lot of new places and people that you have never seen or encountered.
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