Stefan Remhof studied International Business.
In his phD-Thesis, he explored individual factors that influence the intention to work abroad.
Culture is a composition of multiple factors, and language is one of the most important elements. Language skills reveal an individual’s ability to speak easily and accurately in a specific languages as required in cross-cultural interactions. To be culturally competent, communication in the language of the respective cultural group is necessary. Learning a foreign language enables expatriates to experience an important part of a foreign culture. Language skills are an essential fundament for social integration of an expatriate in the potential destination. Language skills are also necessary for interpersonal communication and relationships, thus helping to understand the dynamics of a new culture.
Finally, international work and non-work experience can be regarded as a good preparation for working in the ‘global village’. Former international experience has a long-term impact on attitudes about foreign colleagues and fellows as well as on subsequent behaviors toward the personal surrounding. So, those, you have studied abroad, are expected to discover other cultures from a learning perspective. International experience may enhance cross-cultural competencies because the individual has gained cultural awareness and knowledge.
The best way to prepare for the ‘global village’ is by learning foreign languages and by keeping in touch with your friends abroad. If you enjoy interacting with others from different cultural backgrounds and if you are confident in interacting with these persons you will have a good preparation for working abroad. Finally, take your chances to study abroad to gain precious international experience to be boosted for your international career.