If you’re someone who enjoys traveling, you’ve probably thought once or twice about what it would be like to live and work abroad. But most of us have the tendency to brush those thoughts away – no, no, no, I couldn’t do that…
But why not? Living abroad isn’t always easy and has certain drawbacks, certainly – being far from family and friends, not speaking the language, more complicated taxes… But working abroad also comes with a plethora of advantages that are worth considering.
Here are just eight of the top perks of living abroad:
- Life experience
The point of life is to live! And what better way to live than to see the world? Spending a year or two or five working in another country is a great way to learn more about the world around you, expand your horizons, and maybe even live a more fulfilled life. What’s life without a little adventure, after all?
It also doesn’t hurt that if you choose to come back home for the next phase of your career, all of that international experience will make you a more desirable candidate and help you stand out from the crowd.
“Working abroad is an incredible experience where your expectations are routinely exceeded, but not in ways you could have predicted. You’ll grow and learn so much about yourself as a person and as a professional that it’ll stun you to look back at who you were before the experience”, says Cathryn Fortuna, Content Editor and Marketing Assistant at GoAbroad.com. Cathryn had the chance to work in New Zealand for a year and is now working in the Philippines. She added, “the ripples of working abroad, whether it’s for one month or five years, will touch the rest of your life and you’ll be a much better person for it.”
- Learning a new language
Spending time not just traveling somewhere new but actually living there is the best way to learn a new language. It certainly helps if you don’t come in completely cold, but if you’re still a beginner at a certain language, immersing yourself in the place where that language is spoken will help you become fluent MUCH more quickly than you could back home.
- Your money goes further
Depending upon where you choose to live, you could end up doing the exact same work that you were doing at home and making a similar or even better salary, and that salary could go much further in your new country of residence. With lower costs of living, you could live a substantially better life in another country than you could back home.
- You never have to be far from home
Again, depending on where you choose to live, it’s usually not hard to find a community of ex-pats who are living there, too. You can still find a friend to watch the Red Sox game with and remember the good old days. Plus, with video calling and high-speed internet basically everywhere, you never need to feel too far from family and friends.
- Your children can get an amazing education
All over the world you’ll find American schools where the children of business people from around the world attend school together and get wonderful, multi-cultural educations. And let’s not forget that travel is the best education. You may not want to drag your kids all over the world, but taking them abroad for a year or staying in one place for a few years can be an amazing way to teach them about the world we live in. And all of that travel experience won’t look too shabby on their college applications…
- Advancing your career
Back at home, you might be one of many with the exact same skill sets and find it hard to get ahead. If you can find a country where your skills are in demand, you can not only make more money but also advance your career more quickly than you would at home. Making international connections also never hurts. You might even have enough capital to start a business abroad that you never would have been able to get off the ground at home.
“Having experience with different cultures makes you a more well-rounded person in your ability to communicate and empathize with others. The broader perspective that you gain while traveling makes you a better employee at a minimum and the skills or connections that come abroad might could really help take your career to the next level,” says Zeke Daniels-Shpall, VP of Marketing for Remote Year. He continues, “we’ve seen our customers start countless businesses while on our programs just from someone who they met along the way. There really is no replacement for the global perspective and experience that world travel does to benefit you in your career.”
- An international home base lets you see more of the world
Wherever you choose to live abroad, it will be much easier and more affordable to see the surrounding countries and cities from your new international base than it would be from your home back here. Suddenly international vacations are just weekend outings rather than costly adventures that need to be booked and planned months in advance.
- You can always come back home
Living abroad doesn’t have to be a huge commitment. If you decide after six months that you’re not enjoying yourself, come back. More likely than not you’ll end up staying abroad longer than you thought you would. But you’ll never know unless you trust your gut and give it a try.
To learn more about the practical aspects of living abroad – such as how to get your expedited work visas and renew your passport – give our office a call. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and share our team’s personal experiences with living and working around the world.