When you’re at school , your parents and teachers are like God. What they say is right, is right. What they say is wrong. Is wrong. Most of your day is spent under one of their watchful gazes which means most of us will conform to their ways for fear of reprisal if you go against their wishes, never really getting much of a chance to do shit how you want to do it. Every decision, every experience, basically every moment that has happened in your parent’s lives has made them who they are today, and that's where they get their rights and wrongs from, based on their experiences of what works and what doesn’t.
One of the most life changing experience i have ever had was my year in Canada when I finished high school. It was the first time I had paid rent, I got my first full time job and most importantly I could literally do whatever I wanted without the fear of someone spotting me and telling my mum. For the first time in 19 years I had full responsibility of my own life. I had never felt so free. For the first time I was freely able to discover who I really was without prying eyes and the possibility of disappointing someone.
That year changed my perception of everything. I went from sleeping till lunch time on a day off to being up for first lift at 8am to get 2 hours of skiing in before work at 10.30. Days off were spent ripping around the mountain with a group of mates having a bit of a pub crawl or just hunting for powder stashes. One night we had an insane amount of snow fall and as we were walking towards the lifts we passed a real estate agents which had a sign hanging in the door saying “CLOSED FOR POWDER DAY - BACK AT 3pm”. For the first time I realised I was living somewhere where passion was more important than profit. There were more important things than work sometimes and that is totally acceptable.
Working abroad lets you see how other people in the west live, because the reality is you will more than likely settle in a western country as you start ‘growing up’. If you ever found yourself in the future feeling like life was passing you by while you're all wrapped up in your secular security, you would know if it was, because you know what it was like to wake up early on your day off to go surfing or to go skiing. Too have that satisfied feeling of having been to work and spent 2 hours on the ski hill or in the surf. It will motivate you in the future to make sure you aren’t wasting your days to achieve other peoples goals in pursuit of ‘success’. It can give you the motivation to make the changes necessary to achieve your success.
I believe a mid life crisis is the point when people realise that they have just pissed away 20+ years of their life without taking anytime for themselves to do what they really want to do. If you're still aged between 18-30, do your future self a favour; go and work in a foreign county for a year..
If you are lucky enough to be younger than that, just do it. Especially if you are thinking about going to University and burying yourself in crippling amounts of debt for the rest of your life. Spend a year to find who you are and if Uni is your dream or someone else's. Once you turn 18, get your ass on a plane.
Living and working in a foreign country is the best thing anyone can do for themselves
Probably the best known company for helping with work visas is BUNAC, or IEP as it’s known in Australia and New Zealand. I used them for my first 2 Canadian work visas. Sadly the various worker exchange programs they deal with are only apply to the UK, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Germany. But not to worry if you’re from elsewhere, just google ‘Work permits’ or ‘Work visas’ and the country you want to work in and you’ll find all the info you need to get that visa, it just won’t be as easy a process as BUNAC/IEP make it. If you’re feeling brave/frugal, have a go at tackling the paperwork yourself, it’s not not as hard as it looks and you could save yourself a few hundred bucks
UK & Ireland http://www.bunac.org/uk
USA & Canada http://www.bunac.org/usa/work-abroad
New Zealand http://www.iep.co.nz/