17 ways going abroad makes you more awesome

There are endless benefits of international travel. Going abroad will uniquely empower you to take your life by the horns. As part of an international internship adventure, you will experience the 17 following things, and as you tick them off one by one you’ll become more of a culturally-aware and problem-solving badass.

1. Getting on a plane to fly to a new country absolutely alone

It’s terrifying and exhilarating all at the very same time!

 

2. Meeting work buddies from a foreign country

Cultural exchange is exciting, but it’s always nerve-wracking not wanting to say or do the wrong thing.

 

3. Turning up to intern events

All these interesting foreign interns are so cool – it’s a great moment when you ask yourself what do I have to contribute to the table and then work to figure it out.

 

4. Navigating a new city and public transportation system

Metro systems, bus systems, trains… it can all be a big headache if you don’t stay calm, ask questions and let yourself make mistakes sometimes. You’ll get there.

 

5. Planning international travels all on your own

Figuring out travel logistics in an unknown country will present its unique set of challenges that you will totally overcome. #killingit

 

Jumping for joy in Guatapé

A post shared by The Intern Group (@theinterngroup) on

 

6. Improving your work skills when you’re thrown into a completely new professional and cultural context

Adjusting to a foreign office is a challenge all on its own, not to mention while you’re also trying to impress your boss with your incredibly professional talents.

 

7. You learn to become an expert problem solver in every context

Whether its figuring out how to hook up to Wifi, charge your phone, make a reservation or buy a bus ticket, traveling presents a plethora of problem-solving challenges.

 

8. You learn how to maintain a heightened awareness of your surroundings while remaining calm

Whenever you’re in a new place, especially somewhere public like a plaza, airport or bus station, it’s important to always keep your guard up. Learning how to do that while also staying calm and figuring out your next steps is a skill all on its own.

 

9. You accept the responsibility of keeping yourself and your belongings safe as you travel to new places

Mom and dad aren’t around to make sure you’ve got all your important stuff with you. This is on you.

 

10. You have to learn how to budget your travels

With a finite amount of money and an infinite amount of places you want to go, abroad you learn to make some tough decisions.

 

benefits of international travel

 

11. Lessons in eating on the cheap

When there are so many cool ways to spend your money, like traveling, it’s important to see how much money is wasted by eating out and learn how to curb restaurant spending.

 

12. Establishing new friendships with different people from all over the world

You’re forced to think outside your experience while meeting people from different places around the world. Everyone has an interesting story, it’s up to you to tease it out of them.

 

A spot of tennis at the Australian Open for our Melbourne interns

A post shared by The Intern Group (@theinterngroup) on

 

13. If you have a bad day, you have to just deal with it (no pouting allowed)

Going abroad there’s a strict no pouting rule. If you start to bring the group down, good luck making more friends. While abroad you have to stay positive and strong or you won’t get half of what makes the experience wonderful.

 

14. You have to be willing to talk to strangers – everybody is a stranger

Since you know virtually nobody in this new country where you’re now living and working, it’s an absolute necessity to go outside your comfort zone and talk to someone you’ve never talked to before.

 

15. You learn how to manage short-term roommate situations

Your relationship with your roommate is one of the most important relationship one has. You may not end up having your best friend living with you, but you have to learn how to deal with that and make it the best situation possible.

 

16. Realizing the value of proper investigation and travel planning

After some last-minute trips you’ll learn that there are times when planning ahead is actually worth the extra effort.

 

17. Also realizing the joy of planning a trip on the fly and just “going for it”

You’ll also see how planning can end up weighing down a trip. Sometimes going with the flow is actually a better way to spend a trip. It just depends on the situation.

 

Apply now to boost your career while reaping the many benefits of international travel!

 

Sources:

Photos

1. based on wandering in london, by Gonzalo Díaz Fornaro, CC-by-ND2.0

2. courtesy of Instagram

3. based on oh, london, by Gonzalo Díaz Fornaro, CC-by-ND 2.0

4. courtesy of Instagram

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The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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