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18 Benefits of living abroad (Number 12 Will Surprise You)

Moving abroad isn’t easy, and there is so much behind buying a one-way plane ticket and going to another country. It’s more complex than going on holiday, and therefore, there are more challenges – legal documents, language barriers, cultural shocks, etc.

However, there are also so many benefits of living abroad, and these actually make for the disadvantages.

Living abroad will change your life, teach you invaluable lessons, open doors to new people and much more.

If you want to know all the reasons why you should live abroad once in life, then keep reading this article.

benefits of living abroad

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18 Benefits of Living Abroad

Stepping out of your comfort zone

Right Mindset For Long Term Travel

Stepping out of your comfort zone sounds scary, uncomfortable, difficult, you name it. But have you heard about the benefits of this?

Some of the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone are becoming more confident and adaptable, challenging your fears and growing as a person.

Good things don’t always happen when you stay in your comfort zone, right?

If you’re looking for a meaningful and unique experience, living abroad is for you. However, you need to get ready to leave the comfort of home, challenge yourself and be open to a new exciting beginning.

Becoming self-reliant

I used to rely on my parents all the time: “Can you come to the doctor with me?” “Can you take me to my friends?” “Can you ring this number to ask about the university enrolment days?”

I didn’t have to worry about anything, but I realised this wasn’t ok and wouldn’t help me in the future. I wanted to become self-reliant, and I knew moving abroad would definitely help.

So, if you rely on others a lot (maybe not as much as I did) and you want to become self-reliant, living abroad will help you grow and do things for yourself.

This will make you feel more confident and better about yourself. Relying on others often comes from not feeling confident.

Learning a new language

Living abroad doesn’t always involve learning a language because you may move to a country where your first language is spoken.

However, if you move to a country where your language isn’t spoken, then you’ll have to consider learning the language. Not only does it show appreciation for the culture but it can benefit you in many ways.

Learning a language can open doors to new job opportunities, make you connect with people, improve your memory and the list goes on.

It does take time, but living abroad will help you learn a language quicker since you’re more exposed to it – talking to the locals, seeing posters as you walk in the city centre, hearing someone talking on the bus, etc.

At the same time, if you really put the effort and want to improve even quicker, consider taking an online course, downloading an app such as Duolingo or Babbel or getting one to one private lessons.

Being more grateful for the small things

Knaresborough views of River Nidd and viaduct

When you move abroad, especially alone, you’ll be more grateful for the small things. For example, having a relaxing Sunday on your own, being invited to someone else’s party, or being complimented for your language skills.

Maybe you were already grateful for small things when you were at home, but being abroad makes you appreciate things more for some reason.

If you struggle to be grateful for the small things, then journaling can help you. One of my favourite journals is The Five Minute Journal because it’s very easy to use.

Exploring new places

When you move abroad, you’re more likely to discover new places, starting with your new city or town. Everything seems new to you, and you can’t wait to discover the city’s best cafes, museums and parks.

Apart from discovering your new city, you can easily take public transport and visit nearby locations.

Once you’ve been living in the same place for a while, you may feel the urge of travelling to other parts of the country you had never considered travelling to. Or maybe you would never consider visiting if it wasn’t because of the fact that you now live in that country.

At the same time, if you’ve moved to a country surrounded by other countries (i.e. you’ve moved to a Central European country) you can take advantage of this and travel to other nearby countries.

Tasting new foods

Afternoon tea at the Smiths hotel

Tasting new dishes is another advantage of living abroad. Even if you love your home country’s food, it’s always good to try something new that you may even love and add to your meals.

The best way to discover local dishes is by hanging out with the locals as they’ll show you those hearty traditional meals you won’t always find in restaurants or bars. Another good option is booking a food tour in your new city.

Depending on the country you move to, you’ll find that the food is better or worse than your country’s cuisine. I prefer my home country’s food to British food, but living in England has opened my eyes to other delicious cuisines – especially Indian.

So living abroad will definitely change your tastebuds.

Making friends from other countries

Making friends abroad is one of the best experiences as an expat. Whether you make friends with locals or expats like you.

These friendships are very valuable because not only do you enjoy their company, but at the same time you learn about their culture, and maybe even their language.

Many of the friends I’ve made abroad are or were expats like me. The reason why it was easier to talk to expats is that they were in the same situation as me, they would understand the challenges of living abroad, and they would be more open to making friends.

Even if you’re expat friend goes back to her country, you’ll try to keep in touch and reunite one day.

Strengthening your CV

Another great advantage of living overseas is that you’ll strengthen your CV. Many companies take into consideration skills such as adaptability and knowing a second language that you’ll easily acquire by living abroad.

If you’ve lived abroad, you’ll stand out from the crowds, especially for certain jobs that require language skills (translator, interpreter, language teacher, etc.)

Strengthening your CV by living abroad will help you get better jobs and career opportunities.

Having unique and uncommon experiences

Victoria shopping arcade in leeds

If you live abroad, you’re exposed to unknown things for you, especially during the first couple of months. Because of the unknown, you’re likely to make silly mistakes like saying something that doesn’t make sense or doing something that is strange to the locals.

Although these situations make you feel awkward and uncomfortable, you’ll probably laugh at them in the future.

People will find your stories interesting or funny or even inspiring (who knows? maybe you inspire them to move abroad in the future.)

Meeting special people in your life

I must admit I had always found men from other cultures very attractive. Not only will you have to get to know them as a person, but learn about their culture and traditions too.

If you move abroad, you’re open-minded and curious about other peoples’ cultures, so it isn’t a surprise if you end up in a relationship with someone from your new country.

However, that special person doesn’t have to be a boyfriend, it could be a best friend, an amazing colleague at work, an inspiring teacher who pushed you to do better, or your housemate who was there when you’re feeling lonely.

Decreasing the cost of living

This isn’t always the case because you may move to a country where the cost of living is more expensive than the one in your home country.

However, you can decrease the cost of living by living in certain countries which will allow you to have extra money to put in your savings or spend it on what you want.

If you’re planning to move to a European country, have a look at this list that includes the cheapest countries to live in Europe.

Learning to appreciate your home country

Malaga cathedral back view

If you’ve gone through that time in which you think there are better places than your city, I understand how you feel.

I didn’t appreciate the small things of living in my city – beautiful sunny days, the beach, the food, etc. because I had grown up with all these amazing things.

However, after living in England for a while, I started appreciating all of these things, and I enjoy these small things every time I go back home to spend time with my family.

Every expat experiences something similar! You often move abroad to look for better opportunities and a different lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you won’t miss home and appreciate things about your city you didn’t before.

📌 Related blog post: 9 Difficulties of living in a foreign country that no one tells you 

Working remotely

Many expats decide to work remotely because it gives them the freedom to travel home more often or to other incredible destinations.

Some of the most popular remote jobs are teaching/tutoring online, translating documents, content creation, and IT-related jobs.

It isn’t for everyone as some people prefer to go to a workplace and work with others rather than working alone and having less human interaction.

Not sure about what career is for you? Check out this article about the best jobs for expats.

Improving your lifestyle

If you aren’t happy with your hometown or country, and you’re looking for better career opportunities, sunnier weather or a relaxing way of life, then moving overseas can help you improve your lifestyle.

You don’t need to settle down in a place just because it’s where you are from or family and friends are. If you know deep inside you that there is a better lifestyle somewhere else, go for it.

Getting to live like a local

Travelling to a city isn’t the same as living in it. When you travel, you’re likely to explore the tourist places of a city, and maybe some hidden gems, but you don’t have the time to explore everything and understand what living in the city is like.

When you live abroad, you immerse yourself in the place and culture, you basically become a local.

You know the best cafes, where to do the shopping, the less explored spots, the most scenic walks, the bus times, deals, and the list goes on.

Getting to live like a local is perfect if you’re looking to have a cultural immersion.

Discovering a new culture

view from royal armouries museum in leeds

Similarly to getting to live like a local, you’ll discover a new culture – food, traditions, language, people.

Not only does it open your eyes, but enriches your life. My life wouldn’t be the same if I lived in my hometown. I wouldn’t have learnt half of the things I know now.

Also, even if you move to a city, if it’s very multicultural, you’ll discover the local culture as well as others too.

For example, living in London is amazing if you love multiculturality. You’ll find any nationality in the city, and locals are very open and used to mixing with other cultures.

Adopting new traditions and customs

Living abroad is an ongoing learning journey and exposes you to new experiences and things you hadn’t heard before.

Without realising you’ll start adopting different ways of doing things and traditions and celebrating certain festivities.

For example, I didn’t know about Bonfire Night or Boxing Day before moving to the UK. Now that I’m here I celebrate these two events.

Adopting new traditions is one of the most beautiful and enriching things about living abroad.

Appreciating other expats

If you’ve never lived abroad, you won’t fully understand what being an expat is, but once you become one you’ll start appreciating other expats.

You’ll understand the advantages and disadvantages of living abroad, you’ll share similar experiences, and you’ll show more respect to those people.

Many people only see the good moments of living abroad, but certainly don’t know all the challenges a person goes through during their expat journey.


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What do you think about these advantages of moving abroad? Is there any other benefit you would include in the list? Let me know in the comments.

If you have any questions or want any advice on living abroad, reach me by email or Instagram. I’m always happy to help!

Cristina xx

P.S. Do you know any friends who are thinking about moving abroad? Share these benefits of living abroad with them 🙂

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5 Comments

  1. Moving abroad definitely made me appreciate my home a lot more. Before I never really spent time as a tourist in my country of birth, now I do go and visit places whenever I go home to see the family.
    I know moving abroad isn’t for everyone. But I definitely did not regret it

  2. Love this perspective of moving abroad, thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. Great post! I totally agree with all of these. I guess the thing that I like most, is feeling like your really exploring and on holiday, whenever you have a break (even in the evenings and on weekends.)

    It goes along with your point about appreciating your hometown when you go back – I feel like it can give you new eyes to places you’ve been before (so you can have that same feeling of adventure, even in the places you know from your childhood…)

    I hope that makes sense.

  4. I’ve been living abroad for the last 10 years and love hearing about others’ experiences. These really resonated with me as a full list. I think the biggest ones for me were definitely the self-reliance and learning to appreciate my home country.

  5. Loved this. Having grown up in Spain and then lived in Ireland, Wales and now England I can really appreciate all these points. I also found it made me much more understanding to different point of views.

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