By: Cam King
So, let’s face it. Your time abroad is coming to an unfortunate end. But wait! “I haven’t done it all,” you might say! Let alone seen all the things you’ve wanted to! Alas! If only time and money could be conjured by the power of thought. How can it almost be time already? Less than one month, is this real life?
Studying abroad for you has been the pinnacle of your college career so far and let’s be honest, why wouldn’t it be? Travelling seamlessly across boarders, jumping on pond skipping flights to the next city, running to catch this bus, struggling to read train and bus station signs, forgetting to stamp your train tickets but somehow talking your way out of it and laughing with your friends after.
While it may not be an option for everyone as opportunities come and go, let’s take a look at The Top 10 Reasons to Work Abroad.
- There are many opportunities to be a tour guide or teach English all over the world. You’ve just got to be savvy enough and get out there to start applying or networking your way into them. Every business has some sort of problem/gap/issue they need solved. It’s just up to you to figure out how to bridge their gap, as well as get paid for it too.
2.) The people you will meet will be from every place and every background on the earth.
- Some would say the world is smaller than it was 20 years ago, thanks to the advancement of technology. Well, it’s true, people are going everywhere, moving to new places, for shorter amounts of time and more frequently. You’re going to see, meet and become friends with people from all over the globe. This will force you to become a friendlier, more understanding person and also meet some very interesting people.
3.) You’ll become an overall more patient person from various situations.
- Patience is indeed a virtue. As an American, we’re often used to the instant-gratification method of getting what we want. In Europe and the rest of the world, not everything is so instantaneous. By working abroad, you’ll be forced to be patient, whether it’s waiting three hours for a delayed train, that damn cancelled flight, you’ll get used to not getting upset at things you can’t change. Thus, becoming far more patient than you ever thought you could.
4.) Your horizons will expand in ways you couldn’t fathom before.
- When we first get out of college, or while still in college, we can only see so far ahead. No one can fully plan out all the twists and turns of one’s life, but by taking the time to work abroad, you’ll slowly and clearly see what it is you want. Yes, it’s the various situations, people you’ll meet and places you’ll go. Everything will slowly carve itself out into the vision you see for yourself. It’s definitely part of the process of working and living abroad and it’s a glorious future you will see for yourself, basking in the futures sunset.
5.) You will have the time to figure out what it is you truly want in life.
- The little things do matter. But, don’t forget to always shoot for the stars. Whether it’s that Jeep Wrangler and German Shepard puppy you’ve wanted, or to take the LSATs when you get back, or become a fireman, doctor or anything else you want, it will come to you. You’ll have more time than ever and a lot of that will be used on self-reflection. Through the days, you’ll transform yourself into who you want to eventually be.
6.) You’ll get the chance to explore cities, memorize facts and become a, “Traveler,” instead of a “tourist.”
- This is a huge one. And it feels great when you’ve achieved that level. You’ll start walking faster, know where you need to go before you go. You’ll start weaving in and out of crowds, stop stopping in the midst of crowds and get there quicker. It takes while, usually after you’ve been somewhere twice, things start becoming automatic. IT’s all part of the process.
7.) You will learn to start taking the road less traveled ALL THE TIME.
- The best part of getting lost is finding out it’s somewhere new. Broaden your map, expand your horizons and learn to stay calm. Once you jump outside of your own comfort zone, it will actually get bigger, following you to the outer edges, all the time. While working abroad, you’ll have plenty of time to get lost, take that alley you’ve never been down before, explore a different city section and you’ll have a wonderful time exploring outside of your comfort zone.
8.) You will in fact, start smiling more.
- Shit happens, whether we like it or not. Don’t fret about the things you cannot change. It’s just not worth getting upset about. Time is the number one thing we cannot get back, so make the most of it and try to spend it happy, instead of the alternative. To make the most of your time, it’s best to move on, with a smile. Delays happen, connections are missed, opportunities are not always granted, people can be mean, but there are endless decisions to make out there and it’s better to forward, with a smile.
9.) You will learn to take the time for yourself, and in the process start listening more instead of talking.
- The one thing I’ve learned especially while working abroad is that no matter what, anyone and everyone has a story. You’re not going to be friends with everyone, let alone like everyone, but everyone deserves respect. From all sorts of different backgrounds and circumstances, you’ll never be able to walk in somebody else’s shoes. Always walk with a sense of respect for others and doors and opportunities will open themselves to you, also learn to listen more than you talk. This is a skill and asking questions to others will help you learn and in the process become extremely sociable.
10.) You will make friends and connections for the rest of your life, always look back at the memories and open doors for the future which will change your life forever.
- “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go...”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go!
People whom I never even knew existed until I came to Europe, but have now had the pleasure of becoming best friends with, as well as helping my friends from back home to get jobs overseas as well. It has completely revolutionized my way of thinking and I could not be more thankful than I am today for every single decision I’ve made (or have been forced to make. Damn you Ryan Air!)
Long story short, I think everyone should consider working abroad for at least one year. This Top Ten list is only a fraction of the benefits of working abroad. Enjoy!
For any questions on how to work abroad, feel free to e-mail me at: Cam.King747@gmail.com