Today I will write about the benefits of moving abroad. This post is just touching the surface of a very vast topic, we will talk about challenges and practical issues at a later time. Let’s begin with some background info. If you have seen some of the other posts on this blog, you might have guessed that we have some connection to Bratislava. That’s where we met and where we both lived for approximately a year and a half. Susann has also lived in Poland, England, Russia, Spain, and now Sweden. We were both lucky, did not suffer from any culture shocks and the experiences were overall positive. Below you will find our reasons why it’s a good idea to move abroad.
Moving Abroad: Reason 1
The possibility to explore new lands. As Jane Austen once put it, ‘If adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad.’ Living in a new country will most certainly be an adventure, even if the country is in many ways similar to ones home. There will be a lot of new things and places to explore.
Moving Abroad: Reason 2
When living abroad will widen your views. You will come in contact with new cultures, new habits, new norms, and new ways of looking at the world. We believe that it is beneficial to anyone’s individual growth to learn the art of questioning. There have been times when I have stubbornly claimed that everything is better ‘at home’. Well, guess what? I was wrong. On the other hand, living abroad has also taught me to appreciate a whole lot of things that I have been taking for granted.
Moving Abroad: Reason 3
It might make you seem a smarter person. Or at least more interesting. And we’d all like to be thought of as smart and interesting, right? You learn a new language (or become more fluent in one you have already studied), while learning about new cultures right on the spot. If you want to entertain people at a party, you can start by saying “Oh, and then there was that time in Moscow…” and the continue with the story, a story that could only happen in Russia. Or why not impress a future employer or a potential love interest? The options are endless. A word of caution, though: you might actually not become a smarter person, this one is about appearances, so you should still be nice to people.
Working abroad is even better for your skills. No matter where you’ll work, you will be able to put “international work experience” on that CV. It will make you stand out from the crowd.
Moving Abroad: Reason 4
You will meet people and have experiences that would not have come your way otherwise. It’s obvious really, isn’t it? It’s also true. My life would look very different, had I decided to stay where I was when I was younger. I’m not saying that my life would have been worse, there’s no way of knowing, but it would certainly have been a lot less interesting. I have very fond memories of listening to Depeche Mode while admiring the red skies of the Moscow night. In Poland we would go to a bar every Thursday night and sing along while Joe the American played the guitar, drinking a great many glasses of szarlotka (Polish apple pie cocktail, doesn’t that sound fancy?). At the end of the night, we always had to sneak into our halls of residence which were run by nuns…
Summary – do it if you have the chance!
Find a job, go study. Travel extensively. Grab the chance if you get it! Nobody says that you’ll have to live abroad forever. However, if you do go even for a while, you’ll have a suitcase full of new knowledge, friends, experiences, and stories.