Lindsey Rickard

As a cartoon character in a movie once said, "Adventure is out there." For those of you who don't like Disney movies, it's from the movie ‘Up'. Whether you know the quote or not, the movie was about a couple who fall in love, and their one goal in life is to travel to this amazing waterfall. However, life happens, and they must spend the money time and time again. As they grow old together, the woman passes on, and the man realized that they never completed their adventure book by going to the number one place they wanted to travel to. If you've seen the movie, you're probably like "woah she's missing quite a bit here." Sure, I'm missing the balloons, the boy scout, and the talking dogs- but the point that I'm trying to make here is that you don't want to wake up one day, realizing that you're entire life flashed before your eyes and you didn't get to travel. Adventure is out there.

You shouldn't have to wait around, sitting in a cubicle, to have enough money to travel the world. Especially since there's opportunities out there now for you to work abroad. Teaching abroad can get you out of your home country while giving you the opportunity to travel the world.

However, there is that one small problem, how does living abroad help your future? To many hiring managers, seeing a candidate has experience of living and working internationally is a good indicator of a few things,

1. Becoming more adaptable.

Working in a different country means there is some degree of change that you will need to adapt to. It shows that you can adapt to the work environment faster, be more open-minded and it also makes you more resourceful.

We live in a global world. Despite this, many of us are exposed to the same thing over and over again without experiencing a new culture. Here in China, we see things very differently, compared to somebody living in the US, the UK, or even Australia. Living overseas lets you pop the bubble and gain some perspective on every day to global views and makes you a more worldly citizen.

2. Experience with working with people from different cultures.

Working with people from other backgrounds exposes you to different working styles, encouraging you to develop stronger communication skills and more confidence as you progress your career. In multi-national companies, for example, teams are usually made up of professionals from various parts of the world, giving you the chance to develop great cross-cultural communication skills.

3. Speaking a second (or even third) language.

If you're reading this article with ease, you probably speak English. It is Europe's (and the world's) common language and will help you "get by" almost anywhere. Using Google Translate or Baidu while abroad is one thing, but now there are even greater demands than before for truly mastering a foreign language for work or pleasure.

In this day in age, Spanish is now taught in high schools. It's a language we see more and more on resumes now a days. However, having a language like Chinese on your resume could set you apart from other candidates. In fact, according to CNN, its estimated that around 41 million US residents, or 13.4% of the population can speak Spanish. While there's only about 2 million that speak varieties of Chinese.

Now to focus on the other side, what about my job in China? What career developments would they offer? I can't speak for every company within China; however, I can speak for English First (EF). EF offers lots of development opportunities within the company. About two years ago, I was probably like you, begging for an adventure. I stumbled across an ad and then about 6 months or so later, I was teaching kids in China. What surprised me was how much I enjoyed it, I ended up staying for over two years. I got to develop my skills through the school and train other teachers the skills that I've learned. Today, I'm working in Shanghai for the headquarters helping other people come to China to do what I did. I never would've expected out of all of that, that this is what I would be doing.

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