You’ve just finished your Bachelor or Master studies. In between relief and happiness, a new feeling showed up. It is famous, pounding-in-your-chest-feeling of „Now what?!“.
A quarter-life crisis is, by definition, a feeling of anxiety caused by the uncertainty of the direction in life. Many recent graduates experience it.
One of the reasons could be the fact that a surprising amount of young people believes that their first working experience should reflect what their career will turn into in the future.
They imagine the final goal and search for an opportunity to improve their skills in a specific field they would like to excel in.
How can you be sure that’s the field for you before you even try it?
On the other hand, there is a pressure on social media, telling you how you should go to to the other side of the world and build a school with your bare hands to make an impact. You should do it before you „lock yourself“ in an office and feel equally enthusiastic every single day.
Not only that this is putting you in distress, but it’s also unrealistic.
Before you start panicking over your prospects, perhaps you should – hit the road.
An internship abroad could be a perfect solution for closing the gap between the high expectations and a skillset that is not yet fully-developed.
How is that so?
- Traveling gives you a sense of adventure
After three to five years of hard work and passing exams, you are impatient and hungry for experience. You want to get away from the books and test your abilities and attitude in real life.
However, internship positions sometimes cannot fulfill all your ambitions. The tasks are quite simple. You need some extra time to adapt to the working environment, which sometimes makes you anxious and slow.
So, while you are taking baby steps in the company, exploring a new part of the world could be the dose of the adventure you seek.
Additionally, when you find yourself in a country more developed than yours – you will encounter brand-new industries and technologies. Working on them will change your way of thinking and provide some fresh ideas about the job you would like to have.
- Learning from the differences
When you’re at university, you usually learn about the proper way to resolve a study case or math equation. Sure, you become versed in being creative, but in the end, you come up with one winning result – sufficient for getting a good grade.
In business, there is no such thing. You will quickly realize that every company and each colleague approach challenges in a different manner. Working in an international environment from the very beginning teaches you to learn from these differences.
If you are exposed to diverse cultures from the start, it will be highly beneficial for you. You will be able to compare your educational background and communication style with others.
By doing so, you will quickly discover what assignments you prefer. You will also notice competences that you would like to have, but have to work to improve them.
Before you know it, you will acquire your own style of dealing with problematic situations and uncertainty. Learning on the go, from the people you work with, helps you to put your skills into perspective and to progress faster.
- Living abroad makes you independent
During your first internship abroad you are not getting just better at work – you are also becoming more independent. Taking care of the groceries and paying the bills is not fancy – but it makes you resourceful.
Navigating yourself through a new city or cooking a few meals by yourself will boost your confidence. You will rely on yourself more and more and become comfortable with trying out new experiences.
This will affect your career path, too. Curiosity can help you discover what your interests are. The ability to work on those interests without supervision could make you an expert.
- Teaches you about your priorities
During your internship abroad, you’ll learn to settle with less – fewer clothes, contacts, and ultimately, fewer worries. You won’t have the time, nor space for that.
Being away from your family and friends will teach you to be alone. Constant traveling will show you that you don’t need all the stuff you consider essentials.
With this forced minimalism, you are learning a valuable lesson about your priorities.
When you are left alone to decide where to invest your time and money – where do they go?
Use this period to rethink your lifestyle and sketch out the life and the job you would like to have.
To sum up, you don’t have to know what to do as soon as you finish your studies. Take some time to figure that out. In our opinion, an internship abroad could help you immensely in the process. It will be an adventure that will teach you about your interests and goals – and push you to reach out for them.
If you would like to read about the internship experiences of our alumni, click here.