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Why You Should Live Abroad at Least Once in Your Life

February 17, 2016

Why You Should Live Abroad at Least Once in Your Life

February 17, 2016

In 2012 I was in my first year of University and after a couple of rough months I decided to move to America for four months on a J1 student visa, using BUNAC’s Work America Programme as my sponsor.

It had been my dream for as long as I can remember to visit, let alone live in the States, so when I finally had the chance to actually to live in California was possibly one of the most amazing experiences of my life so far.

Although it was a long time ago, my time in America is still something I talk about often so I thought I would share some reasons I think everyone should try to live abroad at least once in their life…

It’s a great way to gain independence | Moving to another country, let alone 5000 miles away, was definitely scary as a 19-year-old but it really allowed me to build on my independence. I had to find a job, find a place to live and pretty much learn everything I could about a foreign country in a really short space of time – and that was just before I left! When I got there I had to make friends, find my way around and completely fend for myself. It was such a great experience in that sense and I can honestly say I grew up a lot while I was there.

You meet the most amazing people | Living and working abroad meant that I got to meet loads of new and interesting people, most of which I still talk to today and consider my closest friends. I met some amazing people while I was there and they all helped me to have the best possible experience I could. They took me to all of the tourist places, their favourite restaurants and all of the secret little gems that you wouldn’t find on a tourist site.

You get to travel | This one is a little bit of an obvious one, but being in California meant there were certain places that were a lot easier for me to get to than when I was living in the UK. I managed to spend a long weekend in Boston and travel to Mexico for a short period of time – two places I wouldn’t have been able to visit anytime soon if I was still back home.

It enhances your CV | In pretty much every interview I have had since I lived abroad I have been asked a lot of questions about it, it definitely gives a competitive edge. The skills and confidence that you gain while living abroad are a great asset to a CV.

You get to try new food | I’m a huge foodie, and living in America gave me the opportunity to try loads of new things, especially when I travelled to Mexico. I discovered lots of new American favourites while I was there (Santa Fe Burgers from Veggie Grill – yes please!) and got to try some of Orange County’s local foods too.

You can learn a new language | You’re probably thinking “what? a new language in America?” Well, some of my roommates were Mexican and they helped me and encouraged me to learn some basic Spanish. I would spend a lot of time with their family, which is when I would pick up certain words or phrases. I even got to go to a Spanish church service, which was so interesting to experience.

Have you ever lived abroad before? Where would you go if you could?
Lots of love,
Kirsty Leanne xx
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  • Jenny K February 21, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    I've never lived abroad, but I have immersed myself in other cultures for a week at a time through various school exchanges which I absolutely loved. I spent two weeks near Florence, a week just outside Paris, and a week working in a hotel on the French/ German border. I'm also going to be spending two months in South Africa this year which I'm really looking forward to! All these things have tested me in some way and although it's scary, it's always been worthwhile 🙂
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog

  • Danni young February 22, 2016 at 10:47 pm

    I lived abroad in Spain for three months! I definitely agree it gives you independence and helps you grow up. I loved it! 🙂 xo

  • Kirsty C February 26, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    I definitely think it's important to immerse yourself in other cultures – it's amazing what you can learn 🙂

    Your adventures all sound amazing! xx

  • Kirsty C February 26, 2016 at 11:13 pm

    That sounds amazing! I hope you had an awesome time 🙂 xx


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