As a therapist in training or someone who is already a licensed professional, you may not be scouring the internet for opportunities to do therapy abroad. After all, you’re planning on treating clients in the United States, so you want to focus your training there. However, even if you never plan on moving to another country, there are still significant benefits that come from spending time working in another country. We’ve compiled a list of 5 of the biggest benefits of doing therapy abroad:
- Improve language skills. Living in another country is a unique opportunity to become completely immersed in a different language and culture. Whether you already speak some of the language or are interested in learning, the best way to improve language skills is by using them! As there exists a high demand for multilingual employees, being fluent in a second language can open professional opportunities for you in the future.
- Gain unique experience for resumes and applications. Providing therapy abroad can greatly augment your resume or application for grad school and future job opportunities. Employers and schools greatly value people whose experience is varied, shows initiative, and demonstrates intellectual curiosity. You will gain valuable social, cultural, and professional skills in your time abroad that employers and schools look for. Lastly, spending time abroad provides you with the unique opportunity to build relationships and make connections with diverse groups of people who may provide you with opportunities or references in the future.
- Expand your worldview. Spending time in another country exposes you to new cultures, traditions, experiences, and people. You will experience an abundance of personal growth, gain exposure to new perspectives, and further recognize the value of diversity during your time abroad. Aside from expanding your worldview, traveling abroad also increases your cultural competence, which is your ability to provide quality therapy no matter what a client’s background is.
- Become more confident and independent. Living in another country far from your home is a big deal! You’ll find that your time abroad will teach you valuable life skills that will enable you to feel more confident in yourself and your abilities, and live a more independent and self-fulfilling life. Even if you are used to living and working far away from your family and friends, a foreign country adds another dimension to that and offers unfamiliar and unique experiences.
- See the world and have fun! This is an amazing opportunity to travel and make friends. You will see incredible new places and have unexpectedly amazing experiences. Additionally, many people who travel abroad as part of a program make lifelong friends and remain in contact with them for years after returning home. You will probably come to see your time abroad as one among the best parts of your life and will look back fondly on all of your memories there.