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Why living and studying abroad improves our self-esteem?

Wednesday - December 12, 2018

Scientific studies show that living and studying abroad is the best way to get to know yourself and improve your self-esteem.

Do you really think you know yourself well? Recent studies show that living abroad for a while makes you gain confidence and security in yourself because it encourages meditating about certain important aspects of life.

According to a UN study, more and more people are choosing to live, work and study abroad, with the United States being the most popular destination in the world.

Technological advances facilitate this growing trend of international experiences and the impact that the global world in which we live has caused to the business world also causes people to want to obtain more skills studying abroad. Companies are increasingly demanding and search for workers with autonomy, self-esteem, dynamism, language skills and, above all, creativity.

studying abroad

But does life abroad actually make people more creative?

In 2009, the American Psychological Association published the first research paper on the subject, noting the link between people who have lived in a foreign country and the increase in their creativity.

But research in this field has gone further and a team of researchers from MIT, Columbia, Rice University and the University of North Carolina have just discovered that living and studying abroad actually leads to a clearer sense of self, self-esteem, security and independence. And consequently, greater clarity in career decision-making, which can promote professional success.

What happens to our brains when we are far from our country of origin that makes us grow internally?

When we are immersed in our daily routine surrounded by our relatives and friends who, for the most part, behave in similar ways, we are not forced to question our behaviour, which may be the result of our values or only reflect the values of the culture in which we are integrated. On the contrary, when we leave our comfort zone and get to know new cultures and beliefs, we ask ourselves why we act in a particular way and discard or strengthen our beliefs.

When you live in a foreign country you end up knowing aspects of yourself that until now had not floated, since you have to take the reins and this means that your brain has to make an effort to overcome new challenges such as: get accommodation in a language that is not yours, understand the bureaucracy, get a job, solve health problems, solve banking issues. All these situations make us develop a better capacity to assimilate and understand other cultures different from our own. And since there is no one behind you to do the most everyday things like cooking, washing clothes, shopping and tidying up, you end up being very aware of your responsibilities and this makes you grow at all levels.


In fact, this new research takes a more nuanced approach to distinguishing between what they call the depth (the total length of time spent abroad) and the breadth (the number of countries in which they lived) of international experiences. They found that the longer people live abroad, the more self-discerning reflections they accumulate and, as a result, the more likely it is that a better understanding of oneself will develop.

One of the biggest challenges for today’s students is deciding what to do with their careers after graduation. Many of them encounter significant difficulties in making professional decisions. Being clear about who you are and what you want will make it easier for you to find the right answer to these kinds of questions.

study abroad career

If you are at this moment in your life, when you can choose to continue your studies abroad, taking for example an MBA, from TheStudyAbroadPortal we want to encourage you to make the decision. As you have seen, scientific studies guarantee that living and studying abroad for a period of time will allow you to acquire the necessary self-knowledge that will help you to be aware of your thoughts, behaviours and emotions.

You will be investing in your professional future, expanding your chances of finding a job because you will have acquired the qualities that companies are looking for in their employees.

improve self esteem study abroad

“Of all the possible knowledge, the wisest and most useful is to know oneself.  William Shakespeare ?

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