I was a university student in Hungary at the turn of the century. At that time, the possibility to study or work abroad were not as widely available as they became later. Luckily, I got a chance to attend a 4-month internship in my early twenties. I took this opportunity and for the first time in my life met the benefits as well as challenges faced by those who undertake to integrate into the work culture of another country. As a teacher, I have long been committed to the lifelong learning as an ongoing process rather than acquiring some knowledge as a static goal. My ambition was to set out on a quest for acquiring knowledge, developing skills and gaining understanding primarily via life experience. I quickly discovered that the key competence one must possess is the ability to adapt to a new environment or changed circumstances rather than pursuing some knowledge gained from books and courses. All the experience I gained in my internship remains meaningful in my life as I live it today. Indeed, the key skill of adaptation served me throughout the past and keeps serving me into the present. My own experience proves to me that a possibility to study or work abroad can set one on a course of life truly unexpected and otherwise hard-to-explore by a young person. Therefore, I would not hesitate to label such an experience as a key formative experience for any young person and perhaps, more importantly, for the young generation facing this ever more interconnected and truly globalized World.
“The best way out of the difficulty is through it.” (Will Rogers)