Whenever I speak to someone about my experiences of living overseas post-undergrad, I receive one of three responses:
- I did the same, and loved it!
- Yeah, I thought about it, but...
- Sounds great, but I got a job straight out of school and couldn't go anywhere.
For those who provided response three, fair enough. You're probably much more settled into life than I am, and with a far more comfortable nest egg. I have nothing but respect for those who go straight into a career once they graduate, and have a number of good friends who did just that, and are doing quite well.
The list below, however, is for those of us who aren't quite sure of the direction they want to take, or are handicapped by overwhelming student debt. It is directed predominantly at those who provide the second response, and whose only reason for not taking an adventure is fear and insecurity.
I say do it. You only live once.
For most of us, once you settle into a career, that's it. You're onto the next stage of your life, and you're bound to have a pile of responsibilities that will prevent you from ever being able to do this again.
You're young, you're free... be bold and exciting, and go see the world.
If you really want to become truly independent and test yourself, nothing will force you to do it like going overseas and supporting yourself for a while. You're also developing your ability to adapt, learn about another culture, and hopefully make some really good friends along the way.
Having experience working abroad shows potential employers that you're adaptable and open-minded. The only potential issue might be if you lived as a complete vagabond, and demonstrated an inability to settle into one place, but even that can be remedied with the old "I had my fun, and now I'm ready to settle down and lay my roots" spiel.
For those paying off student debt, there are some fantastic opportunities for doing so. In South Korea, for example, your employers will typically pay for your flights to and from home, along with many living expenses, which leaves you with a lot of money to put towards your debt.
This will be an experience you'll carry with you for the rest of the life, and one you're not likely to want to end when it's all over.
Go have an adventure!!
great list - and good reasons for working abroad!
This is an excellent list!
awesome article, love it! I am currently contemplating working abroad in Vietnam, you make good points.
select one here...