Every country and culture is different and just because you travel a lot and you’ve been to a few different countries already, it doesn’t mean you’ll be able to adapt to a new culture easily. Living abroad is a completely different experience than traveling and it’s not only beneficial for you, but also for the society as a whole.
When you move abroad, especially to a culture that’s very different from your own, you won’t just step out of your comfort zone – it’s more like jumping to a completely new world. You’ll have to learn a lot of things from scratch, understand the culture, the people, the system.
It might be frustrating at times and you might want to go home after a few weeks, but it’s definitely an exciting adventure and a real challenge that might prove to be one of the best experiences of your lifetime.
There are many reasons why people want to relocate to a different country, whether it would be to work abroad, study overseas or from simple curiosity. You can take an international job to broaden your horizons or you can fulfill your dreams by studying at a university in another country. Here are the main benefits of living abroad:
You’ll Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
You’ll have to become independent and adjust to a new culture without the support of your friends and family. Not only you’ll find yourself in a new city and country, where you may or may not speak the language, but you’ll have to start exploring your surroundings, set up your finances and paperwork and you’ll meet tons of new people.
It might be an overwhelming experience at first, but if you really want to step out of your comfort zone, there’s nothing like living abroad. Moving from a small town, with the same circle of people, to a bustling metropolis like Paris, Hong Kong, or Dubai will help you boost your true potential.
You’ll Make new Friends From All Over the World
When you relocate to a different country, you’ll have the opportunity to meet tons of new people and make new friends, probably from all over the world. Whether it’s your new classmates or co-workers, your neighbors or some random people you’ve met while exploring the city, you’re going to have a bunch of new friends before you know it.
And with so many people studying or working abroad these days, there are also many expat communities, especially in big cities, where you can easily meet other like-minded people. As long as you’re open to jump into conversations with new people, you’ll surely make some new friends.
You’ll Improve your Cultural Awareness
Living abroad is probably the most effective way of developing cultural awareness. When you actively try to understand the fascinating cultures that constantly surround you, the people, including their beliefs and values, you’re engaging in cultural understanding. And once you become more globally aware, you’ll find a whole new world of possibilities just before you.
You might walk down the street and hear familiar languages you’ve once tuned out, you may find that someone is from the same city where you’ve worked or studied abroad in the past, you’ll feel more adventurous with your selections for food, drinks or coffee. And the knowledge you could get about all the places where you’ve lived abroad is simply priceless.
You’ll Probably Learn a new Language
Speaking of languages, when you move to a country where you don’t know the native language, you’ll quickly pick up at least a few words from everyday interactions like going to the supermarket or talking with locals. English will probably get you by in most cases, especially at work or at the university, but learning a bit of German, French or Chinese, depending where you go, is definitely a good idea.
What’s more, you’ll also improve your communication skills, especially in those cases when the other person doesn’t understand English. You’ll try to find some local words and use signs to understand each other, which will help you think faster and quickly adapt to any situation.
You’ll Learn to Manage your Finances Better
When you relocate to a new country it might be the very first time when you’re really out on your own and living completely independently. It’s easy to get caught up by all the amazing sights and culture around you, but it’s very, very important to make a monthly budget and then to actually stick with it.
Sure, now it’s easy to transfer money to almost anywhere in the world and you could probably get some help from your family or friends, but when you’re dealing with a different currency you’ll become more aware of how much you’re spending and on what.
Besides, you should maximize the money received by comparing the best rates offered by money transfer operators. For instance, in Mexico, consider using currency exchange comparison sites to get the best Mexican peso exchange rate available.
You’ll Expand your Professional Connections
Studying or working abroad opens up new career opportunities and once you begin to advance there you’ll understand that a strong list of contacts can be highly beneficial in the future. In today’s business world, knowing who to reach out to when you need a good reference or if you want an opportunity to earn some extra money can make a real difference.
Try to attend any networking meetings in your city and make sure you add the people you meet there to your social media platforms so you could stay in touch afterwards. You’ll easily acclimate to a variety of work environments, start making new friends, giving presentations and attending workshops, and in the end, your global mindset might present you with unlimited opportunities.
You’ll Have Even More Opportunities to Travel
Your new home might be in a completely different part of the world, but that means you’re also close to other major cities, or even other countries. Imagine you live in Vienna and in just a few hours you could be in Prague, Berlin or Rome. Or you’re working in Singapore and so many Asian countries, huge cities or paradise islands are just a short flight away.
Travel broadens the mind like nothing else and your realm of experiences can be taken to the next level every weekend. There’s nothing like stepping outside of your regular life and discovering more amazing places and cultures. When you live abroad, the whole world opens up.