7 benefits of making friends from around the world

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art…. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.” ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

The professional benefits of an international internship are obvious. You gain hands-on professional experience in an exciting global market which makes your resume shine and makes you stand out from your peers. However, an internship abroad also offers many personal benefits, like being able to make friends from around the world – #squadgoals.

 

7 killer benefits of making friends from around the world

1. You’ll learn about another culture first-hand

No matter how much you read about another culture, there is nothing quite like talking to a local about their experience. It’s a way of seeing another culture live and breathe. You really get to see what is behind the façade.

 

2. Networking opportunities

As economies become increasingly globalized, professionals need to adapt. One way is to establish relationships with professionals in your field that are working in other countries. Understanding your industry in a global context will widen the scope of opportunity. Moreover, it’s always good to meet and befriend international colleagues. It helps you understand your field.

 

friends from around the world

 

3. You’ll have a greater sense of empathy for the world

It’s easy to care for and consider the people in your daily life – your neighbors, your community members, the people that surround you. Even though we like to think that we care about what’s happening to people outside our borders, these issues can feel so far from our own reality and our circles, we sometimes turn a blind eye to important global events. Making friends from different parts of the world can stretch our sense of empathy beyond our own communities and country. Making international friends makes you realize that we are all human beings who pretty much all can agree on one thing – we want peace. Opening up your heart and mind to someone from a different cultural background will change you for the better.

 

4. You’ll widen your circle of friends

Once you start making friends with people from different cultures, it becomes easier and easier to continue to make connections with people from many different backgrounds. You become good at establishing connections with people on the international circuit, so you have access to a much more diverse group of people.

 

5. The sweet couch surfing opportunities

The best way to travel is crashing on the couches of the interesting people you’ve met from different parts of the globe. By living with a local you’ll have a much more authentic experience. You can meet their friends, explore their neighborhood and try the local grub, not to mention, it tends to be a lot cheaper than traveling like a typical tourist.

 

friends from around the world

 

6. You can make language buddies

If you don’t practice speaking a foreign language, you’ll never learn it – no matter how much grammar and vocabulary you memorized in school. Making friends with people from different parts of the world who speak foreign languages allows you to practice in a friendly and relaxed environment. It’s the kind of opportunity that lots of people pay good money for.

 

7. The cultural exchange

Sharing your own culture’s music, food and customs with another person is an incredibly rewarding experience. You start to see your culture from a different perspective while also learning about where someone else comes from. Learning how to appreciate and savor these differences (sometimes literally) will make you a more cultured, open-minded and international person.

 

Apply now to form your own international squad and boost your career!

 

 

Sources: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/friendship

Photo 1 & 3 by The Intern Group

Photo 2. based on Businessmen shaking hands, by reynermedia, CC-by-2.0

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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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