There are many things you don’t hear about living abroad and can’t simply get from a book – these are the things that have a profound effect and can change you as a person, employee, friend and more. Let’s check out those unexpected things you will quickly learn when you travel or live abroad.
You Appreciate Other Cultures More
You may have seen how other cultures operate on TV or in the movies, but you can’t truly appreciate them until you have experienced them for yourself. When living abroad, you have no choice but to get embedded into the surrounding culture – one that is completely different from your own. It makes you realize just how small you really are, helping you to learn to love and appreciate other cultures. From the food to the holidays, there is no better way to try new things, engage in new traditions and try your hand at the local language.
You Can Handle More Than You Think
At first, you will likely feel very overwhelmed, perhaps second guessing your decision to move there. On top of all those emotions, you may be having a hard time adjusting to a new way of life. Even something as simple as craving your favorite food from back home yet not being able to find anything like it anywhere. Or, maybe you’re facing a plumbing emergency and have no idea who to call. Maybe you’re used to grocery shopping at night but the corner store closes early. You’ll have to learn to do without the safety net you had at home. You will overcome all these challenges and soon realize you can handle more than you ever thought possible.
Living abroad on your own inherently makes you more responsible and mature. You’re no longer relying on your parents or your friends to help you make decisions and carry you if you fall. You’ll mature, grow stronger, and build up your worldly experience sooner than you think.
You Become Patient
Moving from the States to another country is a challenge to many Americans. We’re used to moving a mile a minute, rushing from here to there to get things done. We work longer hours than many other nations and expect more from people. When you’re suddenly in another country that doesn’t value fast-paced living, this can get frustrating. You’ll learn to engage in small talk, take a nap in the middle of the day when the stores close (hello, Mexico and Spain!), and take your time at meals. Leaving your frenetic and fast paced life can be refreshing, and you will soon develop patience you never knew you had. Crawling queues, slow drivers, and even slower grocery cart pushers won’t get your blood boiling nearly as fast as they used to.
You’ll Make Friends – But You Have to Leave Your Comfort Zone
You took friends for granted at home. Now, you’re starting over with a fresh slate. Making friends is something you probably haven’t had to do since grade school. Practice your new vocabulary, get out there and talk to as many people as you can, make chit chat and learn about the culture. You will eventually make a new group of friends and co-workers but it won’t come nearly as easily as it did back home. Keep at it and be rewarded with new friends who can expand your view of the culture.
Need to perfect the language first? Contact BRIC Language Systems to find out the best way to go about it.