The decision to go abroad at any point in your life is a major one, let alone choosing to go abroad for your career or education! The chance to spend time abroad is an incredible one that lots of people take advantage of when they’re studying in university or even after. But as a techie, you’re in a unique situation: tech is universal and it’s needed absolutely everywhere. Yes, everywhere!
But heading abroad to work in tech isn’t the only way to use technology in your favor and gain a new experience: if you’re not in the tech industry yet or simply looking to upskill your existing tech knowledge, studying tech courses abroad is also a fantastic option.
In this article, we’ll cover moving abroad for both studying and working, and, even though we’re sure you know them all, we’ll highlight some of the biggest benefits that working or studying abroad can bring you.
Going Abroad: Why?
You’ve heard about their experiences from your friends and family and maybe even had the chance to spend some time abroad yourself. So you know: time abroad helps you broaden your horizons, familiarizing yourself with new cultures and people. And you may even pick up some language skills along the way!
Sounds nice, right? It is, but going abroad offers even more benefits:
You’ll have the chance to not only get to know your chosen destination, but also its surroundings: with just a few exceptions, most cities are located near others that are maybe just too far to justify a trip right now. But if you’re already close by, it’s totally worth a quick trip, which can introduce you to yet another place, expanding your horizons even further.
You’ll learn more: you’ve heard the stories about college students going abroad to party and while that definitely happens, we’re referring to your personal growth here. Going abroad can be a challenge at first and you’ll be faced with struggles you may not have faced previously: can you read another alphabet? Or search for an apartment on your own? New challenges mean more opportunities to learn–about yourself.
You’ll expand your skill set: many go abroad to finetune their language skills, but that’s just one skill you can bring back from your time abroad. People from other cultures have different expectations about workplace behavior, learning methods, and practically everything else. Spending time abroad can make your resume even more attractive to potential employers.
Although these reasons seem pretty great–and they are–let’s not forget that your situation depends heavily on your personal circumstances and if you’re heading abroad to study or work.
Going Abroad to Work in Tech: Pros and Cons
Maybe your employer has brought up the idea of you transferring to an office abroad. Or you’re just looking for a change of pace and are considering making that move abroad. No matter your situation, there are definitely pros and cons to consider.
Pros of going abroad for tech jobs
Let’s explore some of the great things that await you abroad in a tech role.
Depending on where you live, you could be limited in your career growth or general opportunities; other countries or regions could have job offers that fit more closely with your interests. You could also have the chance to learn new skills that aren’t commonly taught in your home country.
You never know when you’ll meet the next important person in your life and the same goes for the tech world. Working abroad can help you make connections that otherwise would’ve been impossible and help you build bridges across cultures (and maybe even oceans!) to expand your network. And who knows, maybe someone you meet while abroad might help you land a job in the future.
Cons of going abroad for tech jobs
Not everything is perfect, though, and we have to make sure you’re aware of some of the cons of working in tech abroad.
To combat high unemployment at home, lots of countries have rather strict immigration policies when it comes to foreign nationals working in their country. When you start thinking about working abroad, make sure you explore realistic visa opportunities and familiarize yourself with any possible limitations that might arise.
What if your new country of residence has a completely different way of handling conflict? Or has strict guidelines on what is appropriate for the workplace and what isn’t? And if the new country is way more relaxed than yours, leading you to feel uncomfortable at work? Understanding and accepting cultural differences in the workplace is harder than it seems and can be quite the challenge at first.
Going Abroad to Study Tech: Pros and Cons
Your university might have a really cool study abroad program for future techies, or you’re looking for the best place to study a bootcamp and get into the tech field. No matter your situation, make sure you consider the following:
Pros of going abroad to study tech
If you’re considering heading abroad to study tech, you’ll benefit from an:
Whether you’re planning on staying for good in your new country or heading home once the travel bug has left your system, your resume will benefit from two major areas of working abroad: one, potential employers recognize the challenges that come from working abroad in a new culture and will value your experience. Second, you will learn invaluable skills such as cross-cultural communication, effective problem resolution, and teamwork, which will also help strengthen your resume.
Expanded skill set
If you choose to head abroad to a place where you’ve been studying the native language, you might be able to advance rapidly in your skills, adding something new to your resume. And even if foreign language skills aren’t your greatest strength, cultural experience and an openness to different cultures is something that looks fantastic on your resume.
Cons of going abroad to study tech
Complicated at-home requirements
Lots of university programs have strict curriculum guidelines for their tech students, meaning that you may delay graduation by heading abroad. But if you’re totally set on the chance to study abroad, make sure you plan out your courses ahead of time to guarantee you’re still graduating on track.
Especially for those who have never been abroad before, the move might be all the change they need–no need for tough classes, new tech concepts, and a whole new style of learning. If you’re concerned about settling in while jumping into your tech curriculum, try to arrive before your program begins so that you can adjust at your own pace, without the pressure of classes immediately.
We can sum it all up here: if you head abroad to either study or work in tech, it will definitely be worth it and make your resume stick out a bit more. But it will come with its challenges–being prepared for these difficulties can make your adjustment much easier.
At Ironhack, we offer tech bootcamps in seven cities across the world, offering you lots of chances to improve your cultural skills and get into the awesome tech market. If this sounds like the right fit for you, what are you waiting for?! Send in your application today.