Top 10 reasons going abroad should be one of your New Year’s Resolutions

(Because life is the countdown that actually matters)

New Year’s Resolutions are about making yourself a better person, improving on the wonderful things you already have in your life. Instead of promising yourself the beach bod you always wanted, why not work on something that will make you a more well-rounded, international, open-minded and professionally competent person? Jetting off to an internship in another country isn’t an opportunity you can take when you’re older, so let this be your year to change your life – not only for 2016, but forever. These ten reasons just begin to explain why interning abroad is the best New Years Resolution you could ever hold yourself to.

 

10) You’ll pick up foreign language skills

Learning a foreign language will pay off big time in the long run. Not only does speaking a second language open a whole new culture up to you, but it also is a valued skill in the workplace.

 

9) You’ll have a newfound sense of independence

Arriving to a foreign country without mom and dad or your best friend beside you can be daunting. However, once you make new international friends, discover a new city and kill it at your internship, you’ll realize just how much you can accomplish and flourish on your own.

 

8) Your world will open up to you in new and unexpected ways

Interning abroad gives you the chance to live for a while outside your own society, open your mind and connect to another culture. Mark Twain really said it best: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

 

New Year's Resolutions

 

7) You’ll learn skills that will get you a job

The best workplaces these days are looking for people who have applicable work experience behind them, even for entry level positions. Having worked within your field at a top firm abroad will open up important doors for anyone looking to advance their career.

 

6) You’ll learn about a new culture (and your own)

The lessons you learn about culture and humanity while living in a foreign country will have a lasting effect on how you perceive the world. Realizing the commonalities among different cultures and that the varying beliefs between cultures can be overcome is important in developing a multicultural perspective and understanding the world beyond the borders of your own country.

 

5) “Abroad” won’t be so intimidating anymore

Once you’ve lived a month or two in another country, international travel will be more accessible. You’ll learn what it’s like to live in a foreign culture, to navigate public transportation systems, depend on the kindness of strangers and go with the flow.

 

4) You’ll make international friendships that will last a lifetime

There’s nothing quite like making a friend from another culture. Sometimes these friendships require a little more work on the front end, but they really pay off in the long run. You’ll learn about another culture from their perspective, realizing that cultural differences take patience and a positive attitude to overcome. These friendships are ultimately worth the extra work because of all they teach you about the other person, their culture and about yourself.

 

New Year's Resolutions

 

3) You’ll be a better person

Going abroad and living in another culture is the best way to understand and relate to people in your home country who are originally from elsewhere. Moreover, living within another country’s set of rules and customs takes perseverance and a humble attitude – skills that will ultimately make you a more understanding and well-rounded person.

 

2) You’ll learn how to work in an international, multicultural environment

One great thing about doing an internship abroad is that instead of just living or studying in a different culture, you’re also working abroad on a daily basis. Not only does that give you a great insight into how an international office environment functions, but it also contributes to your ability to see past cultural differences in a professional environment.

 

1) You’ll live an adventure you’ll never forget

What isn’t adventurous about exploring new cities, eating new foods, listening to new music and meeting new types of people? These experiences and memorable adventures are an exciting way to push yourself outside your comfort zone and challenge yourself to do something different with your life. Moreover, the memories you make along the way will stay with you forever – along with the many lessons you are sure to learn.

 

Apply now and boost your career!

 

 

Sources: Goodreads.com

 

Photo 1. based on P1210263 Hong Kong rabbit year (2011), by K.rol2007, CC-by-SA 2.0

Photo 2. based on Day 432 / 365 – It’s a small world, by Jason Rogers, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. by The Intern Group

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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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1 Comment

  1. Jacqueline Wu on February 3, 2016 at 9:46 am

    You can also gain confidence. You will grow in your independence and self reliance throughout your internship, giving you confidence to take on greater challenges in your future career.