I love this quote by Mark Twain:
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
Despite technology helping to make the world more accessible, there are HUGE benefits to international travel, where face-to-face human interactions provide a person with experiences that are just not available through technology (yet). Here are a few benefits to expat assignments that promote an employee's development—and maybe make the world a better place at the same time. An expatriate assignment:
* helps to develop greater understanding and empathy of others and their way of life
* promotes a person's self-confidence
* takes a person out of their comfort zone, forcing them to develop new skills
* provides firsthand experience and insight into the phenomenon of globalization
* expands the employee's valuable network of relationships at a deeper level
The science showed that those that traveled to more places became more trusting, and those who visited places less similar than their homeland became more trusting than those who visited places more similar to their homeland.
This article helps to provide more science-based insight into why Mark Twain was spot on!
“Across five studies, using different research methods including a longitudinal study, we found that breadth but not depth of foreign experiences increases generalized trust,” Cao added. “In other words, the more countries one travels, the more trusting one is. Breadth is important here, because breadth provides a great level of diversity in people’s foreign travel experiences, allowing them to reach such a generalized assumption.” The five studies included more than 700 participants in total.