After reading a lot of tear-jerking articles about experience abroad I decided to analyze my own experience since my internship at bab.la is coming to an end. Although now this topic is too close to my heart I will try to be as objective as possible but judging from my own ups and downs. Hope it can prepare people who really consider this opportunity for right expectations.
– getting a unique experience beyond any price in another country. Another mindset, another corporate culture, other habits – all of these make you develop not only as a professional but also as a person. You gain independence and confidence by adapting, arranging everything and living by yourself.
– improving your CV. International experience is a huge asset to your future career, prestige and salary, of course 😉
– improving your language skills. When you spend all the day speaking English with coworkers sometimes you learn from them, sometimes they learn from you and the most fun is when you try to find the common solution for everyday English together. And persistent attempts to speak in any country’s native language will also lead you to fluency in a while.
– reconsideration of your identity through the lense of other cultures. You get to know different cultures from the inside and see your own national identity in a different light. I wrote some thoughts about it in my previous article.
– creating your world map of friends. When you have friends from all over the world you can learn a lot from them as I said above. You can also use your personal couch-surfing database and have fun being a tour guide for them in your country.
– finding yourself. We are young and look openly to the future – such experience helps us to find our own path in life step by step.
– finding who your true friends are. When something really amazing happens to you, jealousy is inevitable. But sometimes it comes from people you would never expect. Life can surprise you and distance will sort things out but you see who is really happy for you and therefore will stick to you till the very end. When you succeed keep friends indeed.
– upside-down culture shock when you go back home and hence depression. You got used to so many things after living for more than half a year in another country that going back home causes much stress. When my friends from Russia visited me here I could feel it coming over. Some facts that shocked them are just everyday stuff for me now. For example, shops are closed on Sundays or transport comes according to a schedule.
– missing your family and friends. My friends’ visit brought a wave of homesickness 😛
– getting addicted to traveling. Welcome your drug – new impressions! You have itching feet and can’t stay at one place until you get new portion of your drug. Be prepared people around you won’t have much understanding if they haven’t tried it themselves.
I can definitely say that my experience was unforgettable and if I could come back half a year ago knowing what is going to happen I would say “yes” to this opportunity thousands of times. But also if I had this wisdom beforehand my experience would not be the same but it is another philosophical question…:) Check our bab.la internships page for your opportunities!