I went to a Catholic school and I think every kid there was Irish Descent. That’s how I thought of it: capped up, Irish Descent. Like that was a thing, a statehood, a nationhood, like Irish or English or American, I was and we were Irish Descent. Then I went to college and nobody was.
Nobody else was.
They weren’t Irish Descent, they weren’t Irish and nobody was Catholic. It was wonderful. I can feel my eyes opening as I tell you this. To go from one familiar situation like my school to the unfamiliar one of a college. To go to a situation with the promise of so much being unfamiliar, so much being new and different. I basked in that and I’d say that I learnt more from the experience than from the lectures, except that’s far too easy a thing to say. You should’ve seen the lectures.
You know all this. You know that going away is good for you. Now Time magazine reports that:
Research shows that experience in other countries makes us more flexible, creative, and complex thinkers.
How does studying or working abroad change you? You return with a photo album full of memories and a suitcase full of souvenirs, sure. But you may also come back from your time in another country with an ability to think more complexly and creatively—and you may be professionally more successful as a result.
These are the conclusions of a growing body of research on the effects of study- and work-abroad experiences. For example: A study led by William Maddux, an associate professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD, found that among students enrolled in an international MBA program, their “multicultural engagement”—the extent to which they adapted to and learned about new cultures—predicted how “integratively complex” their thinking became.
Before we go too far down this line, I need to tell you that copying-and-pasting that segment out for you also brought along a Recommended headline which was this:
Kate Middleton plays volleyball… in heels
If you’re thinking that were one even to accept the concept that this might be news, the entire story is there in the headline, you’re right. The headline just links out to a video. Want the link? The things I do for you.
Anyway. Time magazine, eh? I do still have it in my RSS feed and it regularly has features I enjoy. Including this one about studying and working abroad. Take a look at the whole feature: there’s not much more to it than I’ve quoted but it has links out to the research it reports on.