With more and more students choosing to study abroad, and employees opting for international assignments over local experience, is it possible that an expat experience can make you more open, emotionally stable and lead to a better career path?
In a climate where job markets continue to be challenging, recent graduates and their more experienced counterparts are often choosing to look further afield for their next opportunity. Although for some the idea of upping sticks and moving to a foreign country is daunting, many of these employees have grown up in a globally mobile world, in the era of instantly available information and easy travel planning.
Now, it seems, that going abroad in search of the next challenge may well improve more than just your short term career options. According to a recent article on ExpatForum.com about German students who choose a study abroad program, international experience offered far more than just an educational experience, and in fact led to a higher level of openness and emotional stability. The research behind the article was carried out by psychologists at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, and their studies also suggested that living and studying overseas could lead to further career success.
According to the psychologists, the benefits of being challenged by a foreign setting and expanding your horizons voluntarily led to much longer lasting advantages. The researchers identified the much higher numbers of international contacts as a mechanism to explain these differences in personality development. ‘People who integrate successfully into a different culture may find it easier to cope with new situations and master challenges,’ said psychologist Dr Julia Zimmermann.
Here at MOVE Guides we understand the feeling well, as each and every one of us is an expat ourselves. Between us we have grown up in the US, Europe, Asia and the Antipodes, and our careers have taken us to equally far-flung locations. Whether we made the move as children, university students or as professionals, we can attest to the fact that challenging ourselves to get to know and understand a new culture, and live and work in a variety of settings has made for an open-minded, diverse team with a host of strengths we may never have discovered otherwise.
Get in touch with the MOVE Guides team today to learn how you can help your employees to acclimate well and settle in fast so that they can make the most of their expat experience too!