A Break After College


Gabriella Poradek, staff writer

Taking a gap year to work abroad after graduating college is viewed by many traditional U.S. citizens as an immensely irresponsible act for a young adult. It is thought that people who do not immediately get a job and pursue a career will inevitably fall behind the crowd and damage their future. However, taking a year off after completing college offers many advantages. For instance, paying off debt, improving the probability for employment, and receiving exposure to self-improvement opportunities are all benefits of working abroad.

    Having the opportunity to enjoy new experiences while also paying off college debt is one of the many reasons graduates take a gap year. Having a year to transition between college life and life in the public sphere provides relief from the intense stress graduates feel when college is finished. Getting a job abroad during a gap year can be a new and exciting experience because many of the jobs available for college graduates looking to work abroad do not require a specific degree. Some of the best paying jobs include: being an Au Pair, an English teacher, a Bartender, and even a Travel Writer. These diverse job propositions can either be taken on by working for a U.S. company while living abroad or working for a foreign corporation. An aspect of working abroad that is not widely known is that one of the simplest ways to save money quickly is by working for a U.S. employer while living outside of the country. While on an American salary, living in a region with a lower living cost saves money; however, that is not the only way to save. Budgeting is also essential to make enough money to substantially pay off debts. To budget, college students merely have to embrace the culture surrounding them and live like a local. Living like a local is a necessity for working either for a U.S. employer or a foreign company. Working for a foreign company requires a stronger focus on budgeting but still allows graduates to profit and begin to pay off student debt. Overall, either by a U.S. or foreign employment, working abroad is a strategic financial decision. 

Another benefit to working abroad is gaining experience from living in a new environment. Adaptability is an important factor employers take into consideration before hiring on employees. Having a background containing foreign involvement sets individuals apart from the majority of candidates, which helps improve the probability of getting hired. Graduates can enjoy the benefits of living abroad while becoming more eligible for various jobs and succeeding in a multicultural society. Living overseas has become more common overtime and now, according to the United Nations, 232 million people live in a country that they weren’t born in, and 64% of employers think that an international experience is important for recruitment. In the workplace, those who have worked abroad are thought to have more adaptation and communication skills. Working abroad challenges people to become assertive, handle stressful situations, and make compromises. This knowledge developed can aid in overcoming unique difficulties and improve leadership abilities as well. So, ultimately, acquiring these skills directly after college creates an impressive foundation for graduates to become employed and flourish in their careers. 

If for no other reason, people work abroad for themselves. After persevering through the demanding education system, graduates decide that it is time to invest in themselves. In most cases, there is no better time than after college to concentrate on self-discovery. The education system has been widely critiqued for not being accurate nor relevant to real world situations. This is because it consists of many learning requirements and unwavering deadlines to meet that many defining events in life do not have, such as discovering who to be and what to believe in. While it is important to meet deadlines and progressively learn in the classroom environment, taking a gap year allows people to become immersed in cultures with new perspectives, and that specific type of personal gain tends to last longer than a lecture. Working abroad all around makes people more comfortable with their own individuality. This internal confidence gained by those who venture abroad provides a level of self-understanding that some may never find. 

In the end, working abroad after college enriches life and encourages people to expand their horizons. College graduates that choose to not limit themselves, take advantage of the opportunities that this unique experience provides. These graduates will learn skills that not only prepare them up for success in a career but also enrich every aspect of their lives.   

(As of now, people are watching the world shrink as countries close and limit travel. This article disregarded the world’s current problem with traveling in hopes that countries will open up again without any concern of today’s problems.)

Photos courtesy of Google images.