#1 Living abroad is life changing
I’ve learned so much by moving around – getting out of your comfort zone is a great way to understand different perspectives and discover what’s meaningful to you. When I left my home city for an exchange year in Budapest aged 23 it was the first international trip for anyone in my family. I learned so much in that year abroad that I became a completely different person, and I was motivated to seek more opportunities – which is how I ended up randomly moving to the same city as the woman who would later become my wife, a fellow Brazilian who I’d met while in Hungary!
#2 Everyone is different
Meeting lots of people from around the world has made me realise that our local culture and the collection of experiences we have through our lives make us unique as individuals. This is something I love about meeting people from different places – you can learn a lot from their experiences.
#3 People are also the same in many ways!
Although everyone is unique, there are also lots of things that unite us and you can find like-minded people wherever you go. For example, when chatting with my university friends from Germany and Hungary about our younger years, we found that although we grew up in very different environments we also had a lot in common, especially things we enjoyed like playing football.
#4 Understanding others’ perspectives is important
Knowing that what is true for me might not be true for others with different life experiences enabled me to approach my exchange in Budapest with an open heart and mind. Being prepared to jump into new experiences with both feet while paying attention and listening carefully to others has also made me a better consultant, as understanding that everyone brings their own experiences and perspectives tends to improve the cooperation. Diversity is a great source of creativity and learning, and meeting so many different clients has really deepened my understanding of my work.
#5 I learn the most from other people
Things move so fast in tech that it’s essential for us to constantly reinvent ourselves – as soon as you learn one thing, you’re already behind on three others! You have to literally learn how to learn, and the best way for me to do this is to gain as much knowledge as I can from other people. Books and courses are great, but people can give you their own personal impressions, which are affected by their unique experiences. In particular I’ve learned a lot from clients and their industries – for example, I can talk about topics like marketing, finance, public health and airlines because I had the opportunity to work with software in these sectors.
#6 Adapting to the local culture is an important part of living in a new country
I’ve observed many cultural and social differences between my team members from different countries, who often have different values and attitudes towards work. When I first came to Sweden, summer was never a big deal for me – we can take the sun for granted in Brazil. But when everyone took time off in July in my first summer here, I wondered what I was missing. Then the winter arrived, and suddenly I realised why going on vacation in the summer is so important, and the huge part that the seasons play in people’s lives here. I’ve adapted since those days, and now I couldn’t imagine not taking my holidays in July!
Interested in reading more stories about us and our people? At Futurice, we celebrate diversity and cherish everyone's unique journey. Check out our Welcome Home page and get inspired by more journeys shaping our culture. If you would like to read more stories and get to know our people, our sites and the community better, check out the global version of our FutuStories Booklet.