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Living abroad changes people

Traveling abroad will bring you memories of a lifetime, whereas living abroad changes you. Have you lived abroad and learned to love new culture habits, dishes, seasons and ways of cleaning the kitchen or greeting your friends? That happened to me, and there was no turning back to my home country, Finland.

Switzerland taught me to hug everyone you know as you greet them. It taught me the beauty of mountains. And it taught me to put cheese in everything.

Hiking is a common Sunday activity among the Swiss. This beautiful hiking location was one of the popular ones.

During my two years in Switzerland, I didn’t only learn about the taste of Swiss Alp cheese, but I also learned to speak German and Swiss German. I learned that you can talk to strangers, drive both ways on a road that fits one car, and take care that every leaf in your garden is in the right place. You heard me right – while living in Switzerland, your garden is not just your business, but your neighbors’ as well.

How did I change, then? While I was still located in Finland, I was excited for any new opportunities. By having lived abroad, my home country suddenly seemed rather boring when I didn’t have mountains to hike or new languages to learn. The most important lesson I learned was knowing that you can learn any language you want if you are living in the right country and surrounding yourself with people who don’t politely switch to English when you are around.

Canton of Uri in central Switzerland is a place worth a visit.

“I’m not good in languages”

That’s what I told myself while learning English and Swedish in school. Everything changed when an exchange student arrived to our school. She ended up in my friend circle and I suddenly needed to learn how to communicate in English. This skill is what enabled me to then move to Switzerland, and suddenly I was speaking their local language as well. Therefore, I dare say that you are able to learn any language you want as long as you move abroad and surround yourself with the people that speak it.

“I hate the cold, I want to move somewhere warm”

Yes, that’s what you hear from many Nordic people that are shivering in the -20 degrees of the Winter Wonderland. I traveled to Thailand for a school semester and spent over four months in the hot, humid weather that never changed. Rain? Only during night-time.

I needed to experience the total opposite from the four seasons to understand how precious fresh air and changing weather are to me. The fun point is that you are not able to know before you experience it yourself – no one’s experience will be the same to yours. You wouldn’t be the first one wanting to stay in the warmth.

While in Koh Phi Phi – a popular location near the Phuket island I was living on.

Without living in Switzerland, I wouldn’t have learned German. Without learning German, I wouldn’t have worked as a tour guide in Norway. Without working in Norway, I wouldn’t have ended up moving to Oslo and staying here. Life is a fun path and tends to lead you to the right places.

Are you ready for your new adventure abroad? Don’t forget to look up our open positions around Europe here. There is a good change for finding a position with your native language! 

 

Terhi Raudaskoski - Talent Hunter
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