Traveling abroad during a gap year has a tremendous number of benefits – both personally and professionally. The exposure to a different way of life often serves as a catalyst for students to discover what they are passionate about. It can also immerse them in a foreign language, enhance their resumes, and prepare them to live in a world that is increasingly multicultural.
On a personal level, a gap year abroad is a great way for students to learn how to adjust to new environments, make new friends and experience a country’s culture firsthand. As scary as it may be to travel to another country, the benefits of living, studying and working in another country are well worth it.
Traveling abroad during a gap year can help students:
1. Get a Job
Students can add significant value to their resumes simply by traveling abroad during a gap year. In the competitive market of entry-level jobs, most resumes look more or less the same. The interest in multiculturalism that traveling abroad suggests can make your resume stand out from the pack. It also shows your ability to adapt to a new environment and take on new and challenging situations – all green flags for potential employers.
2. Learn Another Language
Particularly for students who want to master another language, traveling abroad provides the perfect opportunity. Sitting in a classroom and listening to a lecture is one thing, but being immersed in a culture that speaks that language is completely different. Having to learn how to read street signs, ask for certain products in supermarkets, and make small talk with new friends certainly ups the ante for language learning.
3. Meet New People
Traveling abroad will undeniably expose you to many new people and help open your mind to the unfamiliar. Getting comfortable with meeting new people has both professional and personal benefits. It will not only come in handy when meeting new classmates and coworkers, but it will also foster a more inclusive and diverse group of friends.
4. Get Inspired
Many students go abroad having only a vague idea (or even no idea whatsoever) of what career they would like to pursue. Traveling abroad, working at internships, and having new adventures can change that. Students often are inspired by something they encounter abroad, like a community project building schools or a behind-the-scenes look at a theatre performance. Sometimes, they simply fall in love with the thrill of traveling. These inspirations can drive a student to pursue a specific career. Possibly one not even thought of.
Traveling abroad is unlike anything else in providing students with a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you spend a semester living in an ancient European city, a year helping to build housing in Africa, or Winterline’s Gap Year Program, traveling abroad during a gap year will expose you to a unique and previously unexplored world.