I would say that above all, a skill that I have gained by studying abroad has been adaptability. There are countless ways in which you are forced to adapt while living abroad, giving you an experience that transcends what you typically find in life at home.
One, you must get acquainted with a completely different language and lifestyle. Even though I came to Florence speaking Italian quite well, one becomes completely immersed in it, and having the ability to communicate with others becomes a vital part of every day life. You are also forced to adapt to other elements of every day life. For example, in Italy there weren’t every day items such as dryers and dishwashers. You essentially become forced to develop a new routine with different habits. By being forced to live in a different environment, I was able to adapt to my new circumstances, a valuable skill to possess.
I also gained the skill of intercultural competency. This varies country to country and custom to custom, but I was able to become immersed in Italian customs, and thus able to gain a higher degree of international intercultural competency. This was especially rewarding because I was not in a country that spoke English natively. Language served as a tool to connect me to the culture I was being exposed to. As a result, I developed a knack for language. I believe that in the future I will be better equipped to analyze cultures and read up on customs before entering a particular country due to the fact that I have been able to live in a foreign country.
The skills of adaptability and intercultural competency will undoubtedly be important in my future. I hope to show employers that not only was I able to put myself in a situation which the vast majority of students don’t partake in, but I went even further and put myself in a country that differed greatly in culture and wasn’t even English speaking.