Starting a new life abroad comes with its own set of challenges − from finding accommodation to sorting out different administrative matters, learning how to pay your bills, and getting around with local transport. But once you figure all these things out, the feeling of satisfaction you will get is worth it. Knowing that you can manage in a completely unknown environment will give you the confidence you need to tackle other challenges in life. This is especially important if you do not have a lot of experience living on your own.
New life skills
When you move abroad, you are often separated from your support system. In these moments, you can find out about different knowledge and skill gaps, which you did not know you had. For example, you may realise that you do not know how to cook your favourite meal or keep track of your monthly budget. Living abroad makes us learn new skills out of necessity, which helps us be more independent.
New perspective on life
Whether you are from a small town or big city, moving abroad will give you an invaluable new perspective on life. Seeing other cultures’ mentality and approach to life can help you expand and enrich your own worldview and establish your personal values. This is much harder to do if you have never lived outside your local community.
Better communication skills
Moving abroad means that you have to build new social and professional circles. This can be hard, especially if you are shy by nature or if you do not speak the local language too well. However, this is the best way to improve your communication – a skill that is not just important in your daily life, but also valued by employers.
Better foreign language skills
No matter how many language lessons you take, and how much you practice on language learning apps on your phone, the best way to improve your language skills is to live in the country that speaks it. Being ‘immersed’ in the language is a great opportunity to build your listening and speaking skills.
Advantage over other jobseekers
Having international work experience on your resume will never go out of style. This shows adaptability, motivation and determination – three skills that employers and recruiters greatly value. In addition, having international experience will put you at an immediate advantage over other candidates who have never worked abroad.
Expand your professional network
Working abroad is a great opportunity to expand your professional network. The power of a well-developed professional network should not be underestimated. Many job openings are not advertised publicly; instead, they are filled through referrals and professional networking. So make sure you talk to your new colleagues and establish good professional relations with them. You never know where your next job offer can come from.
Have you always dreamed of starting a business? Many of us like the idea of being our own boss, but it can be difficult to find the right business idea to pursue. Check out our top tips for developing an idea that works for you.
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- Publication date
- 13 December 2021
- European Labour Authority | Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
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