The Importance of Having International Experiences

by Harriet Willis /
Harriet Willis's picture
Oct 11, 2012 / 1 comments

Having a lot of international experiences can be fascinating and incredibly useful.  There are so many different parts of travelling and, therefore, it’s a bit tricky without it.

Sophie Mailer is a friend of mine. She has studied abroad in America, worked in various European countries, and has also lived in France for a few years.  Having international experiences has made a massive impact on her travel orientated lifestyle. I interviewed her about the importance of having international experiences in her life. Here’s what she had to say…

International Experiences

How different do you think your life would be if you didn’t travel so much?

For starters, I think I would be quite bored seeing the same landscape and frustrated by the British weather, raining every day.  Also I would not have had the opportunity to meet all the interesting people I now know from so many different countries.   Without travelling abroad, I don’t think I would know about all of the different religions, foods, and customs (some good and some bad) in the various countries.  It has really opened my eyes - and fascinates me.

What international experience have you picked up when you were abroad?

I have learnt many more languages, especially French.  Working there and living there which has definitely helped and made the language more real, especially when compared to my school French lessons.  Learning abroad was a really different experience and it was really exciting because there were a lot of students from different cultures/countries there who I spoke to about travelling/living abroad.  Over time, I have improved my communication skills, which has helped in my job.

Could you live/work abroad without any international experience?

No.  Well, not easily at least.  I think it would be very hard starting your first job abroad with little international experience such as studying/holidaying abroad.   However, a friend of mine has recently moved to America and successfully started a magazine without any real experience travelling so may be it just depends on the type of person you are.

Do you think that having international experience can change people’s lives?

Yes, definitely!  Through travelling and gaining international experience you can see the world of work, leisure and culture from many perspectives.  This is very important especially when you consider how poor some countries are and how international campaigns can help re build lives. 

Even though you are currently living in your own country for a bit, will you go back to working abroad in the future?

Hopefully in the future I will.  I have always thought it would be fascinating to work in places like Dubai or even Japan.

Do you occasionally get muddled up with currency and languages?

When I first studied abroad in America I kept on calling dollars, pounds!  This went on for a while but after a few months I got used to the change.



Harriet Willis is a member of the Youth Travel Blogging Mentorship Program


Photo courtesy and copyright Harriet Willis






Comments (1)

  • Stasia Lopez

    11 years 9 months ago


    I enjoyed reading the interview a lot. I think that people can definitely live and work abroad with at least studying abroad a semester, to get the exposure of living in a different culture. I agree it could be hard without it but it's not impossible either. I think it does take the right person with the right attitude to make it happen for them. The lifestyle of travel is not for everyone but no matter how minimal the travel--it can still be life-changing.

    Great job!

    Anastasia R.D. Lopez

    Global Education Editor, Wandering Educators

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