7 ways travel makes you a better business leader

An MBA teaches you the theory behind being a leader. Working abroad or traveling internationally throws you out of your comfort zone and forces you to become a leader. Traveling tests many different skills and gives you that sought after international perspective and independence. Learn just how getting international experience can make you become a better leader and accelerate your career.


7 ways travel makes you become a better leader in business

1. Traveling teaches you how to be bold and take risks

Travel requires a gutsier kind of person – someone who enjoys the thrill and adventure of exploring a foreign place and thrives in times of uncertainty. Someone who is able to think straight under pressure is exactly who a boss wants by their side in an important meeting or work emergency. Going abroad gives you the chance to develop and strengthen your ability to think on your feet and push your limits.


2. Traveling forces you to be comfortable being uncomfortable

Spending time abroad forces you to get used to being outside of your element. When you’re thrown off your guard and don’t recognize anything, you have to learn to just enjoy and relax without knowing what to expect. It’s important for business leaders to be able to keep their calm even when they’re thrown off guard or in a strange situation.


3. Going abroad opens up a whole world of networking opportunities – literally

Going abroad not only teaches you to be a more effective networker but it also takes your personal and professional network to the next level – global. With an international internship, you’re able to meet people in a foreign country who share your professional goals and interests and can offer professional advice. You’ll also be part of an international community of passionate, professional interns from all over the world.


become a better leader


4. Traveling improves your communication skills

Crossed wires and miscommunication are a natural element of traveling abroad, especially when you don’t speak the local language. Every culture has its own style of communication – a lot of it non-verbal. While traveling, you have to pick up on that as fast as possible and learn how to get your point across, while being polite and respectful. Improving your ability to communicate in all these different cultural contexts will make you a more effective and versatile communicator in the workplace.


5. International experience gives you a global outlook

There’s so much more beyond the borders of your town, region, country and continent. It takes going abroad to fully understand that – and to be able to capitalize on it. Not every culture wants the same product, or wants to be sold a specific product in a certain way. The more you’re able to recognize the wealth of culture beyond your comfort zone, the more knowledgeable you’ll be and the more opportunity you’ll create for yourself.


6. Traveling helps you learn a second language

The world is becoming increasingly globalized, making polygots even more valuable in the workplace than before. Knowing a foreign language opens up career opportunities for yourself. For example, if your workplace is looking to expand to a Spanish-speaking country, the employees who speak Spanish are immediately more qualified to work on that expansion.


become a better leader


7. International experience improves vital professional skills

International experiences make you sharper in so many ways. Travel requires logistical skills, navigation, research, planning, speaking in foreign languages, cultural sensitivity, strong communication skills and more. The more experience you have exploring, the more these abilities will improve.



Now that you know interning abroad will make you become a better leader, what are you waiting for? Apply now to boost your career!



Photo 1. based on Business, by Tuncay, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on Airport, by Konrad Karlsson, CC-by-ND 2.0

Photo 3. based on LV woman, by Marius Boatca, CC-by-SA 2.0


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!

To learn how to apply to our internship programs, click here.


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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