What is an European mobility in general?
Why should you live a brief professional experience abroad?
I aknowledge that I have always wanted to live abroad because I don’t see professional opportunities and personal growth and meritocracy in Italy.
Taking the lead in this kind of experience will, of course, bring you many advantages, either if you decide to try your luck abroad or to simply want to get involved.
In my case, I chose Malta, a small archipelagos 90 km far from the Sicilian coasts and I decided it because there was a European transnational mobility project, a similar project to the ex-Project Leonardo.
I have thought that Malta would be a good compromise because even if the population speaks English, many people understand the Italian language, and in order to be prepared, I started my do-it-yourself full immersion three months ago.
This project was a mobility program and professional education, open to unemployed people and to the ones that are not studying, but they had to be 18 years old.
In general, European projects provide a package that includes:
- A plane single and return ticket;
- Private health insurance added to the TEAM;
- Paid housing for all the period of staying;
- An in-site school language in the country of residence;
- Pocket money to cover a part of the expenses;
- A monthly pass for public transportation;
- Support from the sending agency and the hosting agency;
Which skills will you develop?
First of all, living far from home will force you to rely more on yourself, you will learn to open up to the world and to remove the veil of diffidence which is typical of a person that lives in his own comfort zone.
In general, living abroad will make you feel smart because you have to build your own life from the beginning, different from the previous one you have started and you can try new experiences and new situations, difficult to find them back in your home country.
Particularly, when you are in another country you will develop skills in these fields:
- You will go back to study in a language school, applying what you have learned in your daily life because language should not just be studied, but also practiced;
- You hang out with locals who speak a different language from yours;
- This initially can bring frustration, but after two months you will learn to think in the new language;
- Contextual learning, meaning that you learn the language and the vocabulary according to the situations you are in. When you need to remember a new word to express yourself, you will laugh at remembering it and in what situation it occurred;
- You develop the four basic linguistic skills in a language because you speak the language with the natives or with tourists, you write chat or professional emails at your workplace, you listen to the dialogues on the TV or at the bar, you read the newspaper in the original language;
- You learn to manage the budget received from the school or hosting agency that handles the management of the project;
- You will come up with strategies on saving on the expenses and organize your meals when you are at work or when you are at school;
- You will develop a sense of orientation and you will become a planning strategist in the travels on public transportation;
- You will become more creative when handling unexpected things happening;
Personal and relational competencies:
- Living abroad will teach you not to take anything for granted, you are not at your house and you should adapt to the cultural customs and traditions;
- At the beginning, you will feel like a foreigner and you will feel excluded, but slowly when achieving a better linguistic fluency, once you understand the local customs and once you build your own social network and once you feel confident with the geographic orientation, you will feel and be a part of the system;
- You will become able to deal with human cases and be more understanding with them within the limits of the human;
- You will become more diplomatic with your flatmates in resolving conflicts and you will be cooperative to maintain a quiet environment;
- You will increase your self-esteem and you will be surprised about what you can do;
- You will establish a stable social network with the previous company, the previous school and with the people that once were living with you;
- You will have contacts from all the world for future travel or working experiences or simply for having real-time updates of the country, without the media intermediary ;
- You will open your horizons and overcome prejudices;
- You will learn the marketing rules from another country;
- Within an international environment you will improve your communication skills;
- You will learn about new working processes that will become your professional and personal knowledge ready to be used when needed;
- Your colleagues can be a good professional engagement, once you decide to improve professionally because they may provide you with a reference during an interview;
- Living and working in a different contextual culture different from yours will let you understand that other countries, when for you it is an official festivity, they instead work, the working calendar may be different from the national festivities according to the country and the religions. I once worked on the 1st of November and in my home country it is a national festivity, where in Malta was a working day, but from the other side, they celebrate Halloween 😀
- Sometimes also the way work is managed changes. Instead of estimating the work according to the time, I had to do some estimates from 1 to 100. Do not say this in Italy because they might not believe you.
Traveling for growing, but also knowing yourself better!
This was, in brief, a description of the benefits from this 360° experience, better if we say Super experience.
If you have any doubts about the future, probably you will start an Erasmus program or if you are going to work in a different field from yours, well, this can be a valid alternative.
Personally, I think that a year abroad can bring much more than a University course or any further and conventional education because this will give you a real experience to know yourself.
Travels can be an interior experience, like meditation or physical like my experience.
In both cases, they will teach you to know yourself and to accept yourself, even if it is not an easy process, at all.
I hope you can also take this opportunity into consideration, I had only three months but I have given me the awareness that I have.