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20 reasons to go abroad in your twenties

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain


Make the most of your youth and travel. Recognize that these opportunities don’t last forever and check out these 20 reasons to travel while you’re young!


1. It will expand your horizons while you’re more open-minded

We would like to think that when we’re old and wrinkly we’ll be just as freethinking and open as we are today. This just isn’t true. When you’re younger, you’re more easily influenced and open to new ideas. That means an international experience has the potential of making a much bigger impact on you if you do it while you’re young.


2. You don’t have to finance a trip for a whole family – just you

When you’re in your twenties and relatively unattached, you get to worry about financing an international trip for just one person – you. Once you start adding spouses and children into the mix, going abroad becomes much more of a financial commitment and less of a possibility.


3. You’ll have more independence to do whatever you want

When you go abroad when you’re young, you can pretty much go wherever the wind takes you. Traveling alone gives you the chance to go join a group of friends if you want, or decide to go solo wherever your wanderlust takes you.


4. You’ll meet other young travelers from around the world and form life-long bonds

Because of the solitary experience traveling at a young age can often be, you’re very quick to establish strong and fast friendships with other young travelers from all over the world. These strong connections with people from a multitude of backgrounds are unlike the relationships that you’ll make with any other group and they’ll make you more open to making international friends in the future.


travel while you're young


5. You learn to become a good traveler at an early age

International travel can be a difficult art to master. It takes knowledge, experience, a good attitude and adaptability. The earlier you develop these skills, the more years you’ll have to invest in international experiences.


6. Exposure to new languages

Young people can really benefit from hearing different languages and being exposed to new sounds and expressions. Even though 20-somethings don’t have the same capacity to learn a language as a toddler, the younger you start trying to pick up foreign languages, the better.


7. You become more globally conscious at an impressionable age

Ethnocentrism can really skew your perception of international news and issues. It’s important to develop a global consciousness at an early age in order to curtail ignorance. The more you know about the world at a young age, the better.


8. You can try things that you just might not be interested in later on

Some activities just won’t interest you when you’re older. So if you’ve always wanted to ride a camel, learn how to surf or bungee jump – it might as well be now.


9. International experiences and travel can be a huge networking tool as you’re trying to boost your career

International travel connects you to people – people who tend to be more educated and more open-minded. You never know when your experience abroad will end up being a conversation starter with your next boss or best friend. If you and a colleague each spent time in Madrid it’s an instant common ground that forges a unique connection.


travel while you're young


10. You don’t have as many responsibilities

Marriage. Mortgages. Monthly bills. Life beyond your twenties is full of wonderful things – but they’re also commitments that make it more difficult to finance an international trip or take a few months off to live in a foreign country. Use the freedom that you have while you’re unattached to become a well-traveled, educated and textured individual. The rest can come after that.


11. You’re a bit gutsier when you’re young

If you wait past your 20s to go abroad, it will be more difficult to make that leap. Your twenties are a bolder, gutsier time when you’re really willing to push your limits in order to grow. Take advantage of that youthful attitude and go abroad while you have the chance.


12. It will boost your confidence and independence

Millennials have the bad rap for being needy in the workplace. Going abroad is a great opportunity to challenge that assumption and prove your independence. It’s the kind of experience that will push you to problem solve on your own and become a more self-reliant person and professional.


13. You’ll become multiculturally savvy

An international experience will help you become more comfortable in international situations, interacting with people from a plethora of cultural backgrounds. This skill will serve you well your entire life – might as well develop it as early as possible.


14. Learning a foreign language is great for your career

As companies become increasingly international, knowing a foreign language can accelerate your career at an early age. The best way to learn a foreign language? Immersion (aka going abroad).


travel while you're young


15. Expanding your personal and professional network at a young age

Going abroad, especially through an international internship, is an effective way to expand your list of contacts. Your colleagues and other interns will offer professional insight and a couch to crash next time you’re looking to travel somewhere new.


16. Discounted travel

There are many opportunities for 20-somethings to slash down travel prices because of all the discounts out there that encourage young people to travel. Websites like StudentUniverse, for example, offer discounted international flights to young people 25 and under.


17. You’ll be down for more rustic conditions

Your accommodation and travel standards are lower when you’re younger. That translates into cheaper prices as you travel, meaning you can see and do more while spending less money.


18. You’ll learn to laugh at yourself when you’re young

There’s nothing like going abroad to teach you the importance of having a sense of humor about yourself. It’s impossible to travel abroad without a having few hiccups along the way. You’ll quickly learn it’s not about having the perfect trip – it’s about having the right attitude. Learning that lesson early in life will do you well.


19. With exposure to new countries and continents, you’ll get a better sense of the impact of globalism and the global economy

Once you have some international travel under your belt, you’ll see how international our lives truly are – even when we stay back home. We all consume foreign products, entertainment, music and more. Going abroad helps illuminate that fact even more, which can help turn your focus outwards as you shape your career. A global mindset can lead to more opportunity.


20. You might be able to convince mom and dad to help finance your trip

International experiences often come with a hefty price tag. If you start while you’re young, you’ll oftentimes find that parents, even if they can’t pay for a whole trip, will help you out to make it happen. There’s an understanding today that going abroad is more than just fun – it’s an important educational experience that makes you a more competitive professional and well-rounded human being.



These are just a handful of the reasons why you should travel while you’re young. Apply now and boost your career!



Photo 1. by The Intern Group

Photo 2. by The Intern Group

Photo 3. by The Intern Group

Photo 4. by The Intern Group

Photos and blog by Elizabeth Trovall

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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!