The outcomes of an international experience

An international experience is something that has a huge impact on you, once you do it. As the American actress, Jane Fonda (1982), used to say “no pain, no gain”. In this case, the pain can be equivalent to the risk that is necessary to take, while going abroad. In fact, it is not an easy process to adapt and manage everything under uncertain circumstances and, out of your comfort zone.

For this reason, once you pass the pain, eventually the ‘gain’ arrives. Yet what is this gain possible to achieve? How is this correlated to an experience abroad? There are several positive outcomes that will carry on you in a further future.

1. First of all, cultural awareness. Several authors as Stewart (2003) and Marx and Moss (2011) agree on the point that participation in an experience abroad has a positive effect on students’ cultural awareness. As consequence, the understanding of cultural differences increases;

2. Cultural intelligence is another important outcome to mention. In fact, there is a positive relationship between an experience abroad and cultural intelligence. This means the result of going abroad can level up your cognitive and behavioral levels regarding cultural intelligence. The more you experience abroad, the more you become culturally intelligent, as a result of the cultural exchange with people from all over the world;

3. A global mindset includes a bunch of qualities, strong communication skills, and cultural knowledge that allows successful communication between people in an international environment. It is extremely important to succeed in this, once we are walking more and more into an interconnected world. As Mansour Javidan (2022) said, people, today are now more informed and better connected to others around the world than at any other time in history;

4.  International experiences increase the student’s confidence regarding their language skills. Moreover, it also allows one to learn a new language or, at least, to develop the language competencies already acquired, yet looking for a higher level. This is an outcome that is very visible and extremely important and necessary for the future. As before was mentioned, we are living in an interconnected world due to globalization, which makes it essential to learn new languages and develop your competencies. Maybe the future will be more like this: to think globally and to act globally

Above all, the benefits are endless. In case, you are interested in a different adventure, we can help you out. USA Internships offer you several options and can follow u up during all processes. Plus, if you need some tips, we also have the inspiration blog to give you some insights not to feel so alienated. Don’t forget to read our latest blog ‘how can find your comfort abroad’.

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Marina Fernandes
Marina Fernandes

Master's in Marketing and Strategy | University of Minho

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