Traveling abroad builds soft skills
August is coming to an end and with it, the taste of vacation. This month, we’ve told you about the formative virtues of travel. In this article, we would like to refer to another type of travel – perhaps one of the most formative – to which we want to refer. Whether you are a student or an employee, it is often advisable to gain international experience. In fact, you may know someone who is preparing for an Erasmus exchange year for one of their children or someone who is moving to a country with a different time zone. But even if it is only for a short period of time, travelling abroad is extremely useful to develop your soft skills!
Interacting better with colleagues
Communicating with people from different cultures can be difficult. In the world of work, corporate culture differs greatly from country to country, and if you want to successfully build relationships, work in different regions, or simply visit a subsidiary or colleague abroad, it is essential to be comfortable with cultural differences!
When you travel abroad, you are confronted with the unknown, both literally and figuratively. You discover the behaviors of a society that is different from the one you know, and you witness the customs that govern it. To interact smoothly with the inhabitants of this country, avoiding misunderstandings, you will identify the attitude, vocabulary and communication approach best suited to your interlocutor. This way, as soon as you return from your trip, you will be ready to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds.
To go further: Cross cultural communication
Training your memory
Going on a trip requires a lot of organization, and we often leave with several things in mind. Train tickets, check; hotel reservations, check; knowing how to say thank you in Italian, check; so much information that puts our memory to work, especially when we find ourselves in front of the waiter and end up stammering a timid “grazie”.
Thus, when we travel, we stimulate a specific part of our brain: the prefrontal lobe and more particularly the hippocampus, this part of the cortex which allows us to pass from a short-term memory to the long-term memory. The hippocampus receives all the information decoded in the different sensory areas of the cortex, and sends it back to where it came from. A sort of sorting center that compares new sensations with those already recorded. The hippocampus reinforces the links between the different characteristics of a thing, and by dint of repeating the links between these new elements, the cortex will have learned to link the different characteristics itself to make what we call a memory.
Thus, when you are traveling abroad, your hippocampus is strongly stimulated, which improves your ability to memorize information in the long term!
To go further: Boost your memory
Improve your English – if you’re not an native English speaker
Well, English is still the most widely spoken international language in the world, with 1.348 billion native and second language speakers. Mastering English is essential for professional success and for interacting in multicultural environments.
Going abroad means practicing your English – unless you are a language whiz and have mastered the national language of the country you are going to – and improving your speaking skills. Speaking in a foreign language is not always easy. It can be stressful and impact the way you deliver information, describe a situation or express a feeling. In fact, travel allows you to confront this challenge and get used to speaking a language that you don’t practice often enough.
To go further: Holding a meeting in English