Living abroad has been proven to make you more creative, according to a study carried out by an American Psychological Association. Compared to those who never leave their home country, people who move abroad become more open minded and able to deal with situations more easily and in different ways. Why? Well, initially moving to a new country can be an exciting challenge and requires a considerable amount of research – deciding where your new life is to be? Then planning your move and cutting ties with your old lifestyle, to determining the success of your new start in new surroundings. The tasks and challenges that you face must be dealt with in a different way to what you may have been used to and so therefore many foreigners adapt a different way of thinking and solving problems.
Although these changes are less noticeable to the person themselves, friends and family that have known the person before and after living abroad are more likely to notice a difference. The initial challenge of settling in to a new country and altering your lifestyle, makes you more confident and as many people consider this to be one of the most difficult aspects of moving abroad, once it has been overcome, people can deal with other tasks a lot easier. Many people find that just living in their home countries; they regularly face a number of obstacles, but they are not dealt with in the same way as they would be if you were to live abroad.
For the majority of foreigners living in another country, they have to master a foreign language and be able to communicate with people of a different culture or race. This means that when a problem occurs, they must deal with it and solve it, whilst communicating in a foreign language. To begin with, this can prove challenging and frustrating for most of us. However, after overcoming this stage and progressing with settling in, everything becomes easier and tasks and problems that once seemed like a major difficulty can be solved quicker and easier.
Adapting a new way of life and accepting it as your new life, makes a person more open minded and creative. It is not always easy for some people, to completely question what they have learnt in their life but it may change their way of thinking. Depending on where you live, depends on how much you will have to learn and how different the culture is. But wherever you live abroad, there is a guaranteed culture difference and often involves learning a new language, way of life, cuisine, climate, traditions and even religion. All of these help to make a person more open minded, optimistic and able to solve tasks quickly and effectively.
In the study that was carried out by the American association, a group of students were asked to perform a variety of tasks. It was proven that those that had lived in a foreign country, could not only solve the tasks quickly, but had a logical and creative way of solving them too. Those students that had never lived in a foreign country, tried to complete the tasks by using a routine method, but only a minority of this group could complete the task and those that did found it more difficult.
Using the knowledge that many people learn from the experience of living amongst other cultures – highs and lows possibly help expands a person’s creativity and confidence that they may not have gained from staying in their home country.