I found this video by the Canadian Bureau of International Education (CBIE) about the benefits of studying abroad. Dr. Sheila Embleton, a distinguished research professional, shares her top reasons why a student should study abroad.
I find, as young professionals finish their education and start their “real” lives, the notion of “studying abroad” seems to pass us by. We assume because we are working and build a career, studying or working abroad is impossible. We feel that if we missed our chance as a student we will never experience what it is like to live, work and play in another country.
However, if you listen to Dr. Embleton in this CBIE video, a lot of her points can apply to a young professional out of school and trying to build a career, gain experience and grow professionally.
Yet, I take her lessons one step further. Working abroad is working in a different environment. You do not need to travel hundreds of miles just to experience life “abroad”. Sometimes, we get caught up in a world of routine. Routine can blind us and in some cases halt our learning. Sometimes it is healthy to change things up, be it a new job, a new position, maybe even just changing up your routine.
Here are the lessons I took away from the CBIE video.
#1: Break away from the norm
Get out of your comfort zone. Dr. Embleton says every time you are out of your comfort zone, you learn.
This can be done by taking on new projects, or try a more drastic change, changing jobs and companies.
She says this will help you grow in confidence and maturity.
#2: Learning a new culture
And I don’t mean learning the culture in Spain, but company culture. Each company is likes a country. They have different governments – i.e. management structure, different rules – i.e. processes, and the people may be different – i.e their attitudes towards their management, the way they are treated, etc.
#3: Employers look for those experience abroad
Especially in PR and communications, it is important to be adaptable and versatile. The more you know the better. If you have been in the same job, in the same industry, doing the same thing for too long, you loose your versatility. Switching things up can expose you to a new world, new lessons, new challenges, all of which can help you grow and demonstrate to employers your wide range of experience.
Having said this, I don’t encourage anyone to job hop. It is also important to show loyalty and commitment to the companies you have worked for.
Here is the full video:
CBIE is Canada’s national organization dedicated to making Canada a global leader in international education.