Social-emotional learning

5 Skills You Learn from Traveling the World

Has anyone ever told you that travel has the potential to change your life? Chances are the answer is yes, but do you ever find yourself wondering exactly how? After all, how does learning to navigate the subway in Japan actually affect your everyday life? It’s all about the life skills you learn along the way. Here are just 5 of our favorite skills learned from traveling the world.

So you’ve successfully navigated the subway in Japan, but how does that impact your life back at home? You might not have realized it, but this accomplishment has put you one step further in gaining independence. You were able to navigate yourself in a foreign country and maybe even in a foreign language. If you can do that in Japan, you can definitely figure it out in a new city back in the US! The bottom line is, when you went abroad you did something that you may have initially thought was impossible. You learned how to rely on yourself and you learned how to problem solve on your own.

Cultural Awareness
We are part of a global society. Being able to compare and contrast how different your life at home is to someone’s life in Ecuador’s is a significant life skill. Being able to accept cultural differences and respect where others are coming from allows you to have a wider range of perspectives.


High school student teaching english in the DR

Stress Management
Taking yourself out of your comfort zone to a place you’ve never been before is exciting, but it’s also stressful! Being able to calm yourself down after a high pressure situation can be extremely helpful in all aspects in life. Having that inner voice that says, “Everything is going to be okay!” is helpful when you’re nervous about using Spanish to ask for directions in Peru, but it’s also helpful when you’re taking your first final in college.

Nonverbal Communication Skills
Remember that time you didn’t know the word “chicken” in Italian, but you figured out how to order it anyway? That’s working on your communication skills. Being able to get your point across without having language as a common ground is a talent. Verbal communication skills are just as important as nonverbal skills. You have learned how to understand someone even if you don’t exactly understand what they are saying.

Adaptability is arguably one of the most important skills you can develop for yourself. Things don’t always go how they’re planned, but that’s especially true when you’re abroad. Being able to reassess the situation and figuring out the best way to move forward quickly and efficiently is an incredible trait to have. Maybe it was raining on the day you were supposed to explore Las Ramblas and you’re the first one to suggest Park Güell. Maybe you’re doing a group project at University and you’re the first to suggest an entirely different idea when your team as at a dead end for solutions.

Congratulations! You’ve gained 5 skills you didn’t even know you had. These skills are your keys to success for the future!

Ready to show your students the world? Connect with an EF Tour Consultant!

EF Staff

We’re a crew of lifelong learners and curious explorers who are passionate about seeing the world, both at home and abroad. Our staff includes everyone from Tour Consultants and product managers to copywriters, photographers, and Traveler Support Specialists. More than anything, though, we’re a group of EF-ers united by our belief in the awe-inspiring, perspective-shifting, life-changing impact of educational travel.

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