Why You Need to Work Study and Live Abroad -- Benefits of Being in another Country

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This Advanced English conversation examines the benefits of living, studying, and working abroad. Having a global network, enriching your life, learning new problem-solving strategies, and adapting to a new environment are all benefits.

00:00:00:01 - 00:00:28:19
Mary Daphne
Hello, Advanced English Learners. Welcome back to another native English speaker conversation. I'm joined by the one and only Greg. Thank you for joining me, Greg. So today we are going to talk about why it's so important and the benefits ultimately of working and living abroad. So it's something that we're both very passionate about. I hope that you enjoy this conversation and let's get right into it.

00:00:34:21 - 00:00:50:12
Mary Daphne
Okay. So this is coming from two people who've actually lived and worked abroad. So that's where we're coming from, where you could say a little bit biased towards that. But I think ultimately it's it's a it's a positive thing to be doing in one's life. What do you think?

00:00:50:29 - 00:01:10:14
Greg
Yeah, for me, living abroad and by that, what we mean is living in a culture that is not your native culture right outside your your native country. You know, for some people, even just outside of their native county.

00:01:10:14 - 00:01:11:19
Mary Daphne
Or your hometown.

00:01:11:19 - 00:01:45:20
Greg
Town. Right. Going outside of your comfort zone can be for me, I find very beneficial in that it forces me to adapt to unfamiliar situations. Right. Right. I find it very stimulating for my brain. I it makes each day sort of new and and refreshing because you're constantly exposed to unexpected things. It just sort of keeps things fresh for me.

00:01:46:12 - 00:02:08:20
Greg
And so for for a wide variety of reasons, I think putting yourself in these sort of unfamiliar environments and in particular going to a country and living in or working in a country where, where you did not grow up can be really powerful for for, you know, developing a lot of important skills that help you succeed in life.

00:02:09:08 - 00:02:32:21
Mary Daphne
I love that. So one of the important skills that will help you succeed in life as you're going about your you're navigating, you know, the different cultures and the different the languages that you might be learning there in this new place. One of them is problem solving, right? That's an important skill to be able to have. And it's not about, you know, getting into an argument and solving that, you know, resolving that conflict.

00:02:32:21 - 00:03:01:22
Mary Daphne
It's not that I mean, it could be. But problem solving is not. It's a broad sort of umbrella term to mean there might be an issue or an obstacle or a blocker. And you need to say or a challenge and you need to figure out a way to rise to the occasion to overcome that challenge. So this is something that, you know, will stay with you for the rest of your life and their skills that, as you said, will serve you in not only your professional life, but also your personal life.

00:03:02:05 - 00:03:30:01
Greg
Totally like simple example. Yeah. You moved to a new country and you get to your location. How do you find an apartment? Yeah. What? What tools are at your disposal to locate a place? Right. What districts should you tour to determine you know that you know what areas would would best meet your needs? What's the typical price range?

00:03:30:03 - 00:03:51:11
Greg
How do you ensure that the contract is structured appropriately? Right. How do you make the payment in a foreign currency? Right. These are all things that you don't really think about when you are in your hometown. Yeah. In your own home country, even. But when you go abroad, suddenly you're like, Wow, I've never really thought about these things before.

00:03:51:23 - 00:04:03:18
Greg
And that's what I mean by sort of triggering new parts of your brain that, you know, it just it just sort of you feel more alive. It's not as easy, but it gives you this sense that you're really living life.

00:04:04:06 - 00:04:28:11
Mary Daphne
It's so true. And it unlocks like the different potential that you have to to, you know, do things in the world. And it can also unlock different aspects of your personality if you're learning a different language or, you know, you're starting to assimilate into a new culture. Right. These are just adding on layers, if you think of it like an onion.

00:04:28:11 - 00:04:51:11
Mary Daphne
Right. You're adding layers of an onion on to you. Kind of like that, that mentality, that analogy, rather. And that's what I always love. And it's a new challenge. It's a new adventure. You forge new connections, right? That can just add to your network. I mean, how cool would it be to have a global network, not just a network of people in your own hometown?

00:04:51:14 - 00:04:57:01
Mary Daphne
That's great. But how much better right would it be to have a global network?

00:04:57:08 - 00:05:24:00
Greg
Yeah, it's just a it's a richer version of life, right? Where you get insights and, you know, perspectives from different cultures. I also love your point about language. Of course, you don't have to go to a country with a different language, but when you do, that adds to yet another layer of cultural nuance that you have to sort of adapt to, particularly if you're just picking up the language.

00:05:24:00 - 00:05:58:06
Greg
Yeah, and of course, as you mentioned as well, one of the most important tools at your disposal when adapting to a new environment is to make friends in that environment. Right. So by meeting new people there and learning about how they sort of solve the problems that you're encountering, learning how life is, you know, how they make life comfortable for themselves, can can bring a lot of insights into how you go about doing your own, you know, daily thing.

00:05:59:03 - 00:06:34:19
Greg
One thing I've realized is that Americans have a very different approach to life than a lot of different cultures and a lot of different countries. And sometimes things that seem to an American as a big problem for other people is actually just a fact of life and no big deal. And if you can sort of see it from their perspective, things that used to stress you out might suddenly no longer stress you out or things that you thought were mundane become beautiful because you never really saw it from their perspective before.

00:06:34:23 - 00:07:01:10
Mary Daphne
Yeah. And tapping into that new worldview or alternative worldview or just enriching your your life by learning about different perspectives. Right. That's so important because like you said, it's so easy to just, you know, think one way and have the blinders on and go through life like that. You know, a lot of people do. But how much better is it when you take into account different perspectives and see things in a different light?

00:07:01:17 - 00:07:33:13
Mary Daphne
And believe it or not, language is really help us do this because it forces us to I mean, for one thing, you know, the brain changes, right? That in the neuroplasticity. You know, having that neural those new neural pathways that get created when you're learning a language is so powerful, you know, neuro genesis and all of this where you're you're you're really enhancing your brain just by learning a new language and not just by because learning the language is very difficult, obviously.

00:07:33:13 - 00:07:59:17
Mary Daphne
But think of how much of a, you know, service you're doing to yourself by being able to do that. Right. And then tapping into that to communicate with others in that language and through that cultural lens. Right. You'll see the world differently and you won't forget how you used to see the world. But it'll just be, you know, different gears that you're you're, you know, you're using and switching.

00:07:59:27 - 00:08:12:19
Mary Daphne
So it's it's just it's so unbelievable how when we know more than one language, we are personality just develops in a way that we wouldn't otherwise if we just spoke one language.

00:08:12:25 - 00:08:36:14
Greg
Yeah. And, you know, of course, professionally, it's also a huge asset, right? Yes. To be able to understand how different cultures operate in a business context can be very powerful if you're working for a company that does a lot of cross-border business right. Or interacts with specific countries. You know, I grew up and spent a lot of time in China.

00:08:36:14 - 00:08:58:20
Greg
And so I now have a much better sense of how business is done in China than, you know, a lot of my American friends, just because I spent a lot of time there. I kind of know how things go. And and I can say that for the typical American, a lot of the nuances of how business is done in China can be really frustrating on the surface.

00:08:59:00 - 00:09:15:07
Greg
But once you understand why they're done that way and what the intent and meaning is behind it, it's only makes a lot more sense. And by having that cultural understanding, you can reduce a lot of the friction in conducting effective business.

00:09:15:27 - 00:09:49:28
Mary Daphne
100%. And that brings us to another skill here, which is cross-cultural communication, which really starts with cross cross cultural awareness, right? First having that understanding that different cultures will think about things differently, they'll do things differently, they'll have a different protocol, so to speak. And that will feed into the way they're communicating. Right. And it could be something as simple as not making eye contact with someone who might be your superior right in American culture.

00:09:49:28 - 00:10:11:15
Mary Daphne
We you know, there's an unwritten social rule that you need to make eye contact, even if the person is above you or below you in terms of ranking. Right. For example, your boss, you make eye contact with them. If you don't, that is a sign of disrespect. Same with, you know, the person who might be serving the coffees at your workplace, right?

00:10:11:29 - 00:10:44:05
Mary Daphne
You know, you make eye contact with them. That is a sign of respect. But in other cultures, making eye contact is not a way of showing respect. In fact, it's the opposite. You show respect by not making eye contact with the person, right? So it's really important to be attuned to these differences. So understanding that there is difference and accepting it and being aware of it, making that cultural awareness something that you put at the forefront of your communication and then learning how to communicate in that way.

00:10:44:05 - 00:10:46:11
Mary Daphne
So that is cross-cultural communication.

00:10:46:14 - 00:11:01:11
Greg
Yeah. And it's great for, for you to interact fluently with them and for them to appreciate that your awareness of that. Right. It can, it can go a really long way toward establishing meaningful relationships and closing important deals.

00:11:01:24 - 00:11:22:05
Mary Daphne
100%. And I think another skill here is resilience. You know, it is challenging to live abroad. It's challenging to work abroad because of the all the things that we mentioned. Right. You know, it's just different ways of doing things. You might not know all the things that you need to be aware of just yet. Right. You're still learning.

00:11:22:15 - 00:11:34:21
Mary Daphne
There might be a language barrier. There might be a cultural barrier. So it's hard, but, you know, it teaches you a great deal and a great deal in the way of resilience.

00:11:34:29 - 00:11:52:09
Greg
Yes. Resilience, meaning the ability to sort of overcome adversity or really to persevere in the face of adversity. Right. Pushing through the challenge, being resilient to to these obstacles. So I agree. I think I think that's another important skill.

00:11:52:10 - 00:12:16:11
Mary Daphne
Right. And recognizing, you know, that things don't always go your way. You don't always have control over the situation. Right. And just being able to adapt, you know, being able to be in a situation and say, okay, I'm going to control what I can, but the rest is up to the universe in a lot of ways, right? So being aware of that and adapting and then having that resilience ultimately.

00:12:16:18 - 00:12:51:09
Mary Daphne
Mm hmm. So these are just a few of the lessons we've personally learned along the way. You know, in our time traveling abroad, living abroad, working abroad. If I got the opportunity to do it again, I do it in a heartbeat. Probably you to Greg. So it's something that you might be also considering if you're thinking about moving to, let's say an English speaking country, or maybe you are already in an English speaking country and you might have nodded your head along the way in this conversation like, Oh yeah, I definitely had that challenge or absolutely cross-cultural communication.

00:12:51:19 - 00:13:21:19
Mary Daphne
You know, that is a big deal. We need to have that. So it's really, you know, things to consider. Just keep up the awesome work. You're on the right track. You know, it's not easy, but ultimately it is so rewarding in the end. And think of all the amazing experiences and opportunities that just, you know, get presented to you or that you seek out because of this, you know, dynamic nature of what it's like to be in a place that's not your comfort zone, right?

00:13:21:20 - 00:13:46:10
Mary Daphne
How much growth happens there. So these are all wonderful things. All right. So that is the end of this advancing this conversation. We really appreciate your taking the time to be here. Hopefully you enjoyed it. If you did give it a big thumbs up. If you're listening on and watching on YouTube and if you're listening to this as a podcast, be sure to leave a nice five star review if you can and share the podcast with anyone you think would enjoy it.

00:13:46:21 - 00:14:05:13
Mary Daphne
That really means the world to us and it allows us to reach as many people as we can globally speaking. All right. So with that being said, we're going to see you in another advanced English lesson and goodbye for now. But also, don't forget to check out our Explearning communication channel. Since we talked about communication. That's very important.

00:14:05:13 - 00:14:15:22
Mary Daphne
All right. We'll see you in the next one. Bye for now.