There is no doubt that travel changes your life. But a study has found that it may actually make us smarter too — and can actually increase our chances of getting a job.
The study, conducted by MBA students and led by William W. Maddux, associate professor of organizational behavior at French university INSEAD, found that there is a link between “multicultural engagement” and “integrative complexity.” According to Forbes, what that means is that students who can adapt and are willing to learn about new cultures are also more willing and capable to acknowledge competing perspectives.
The study even quoted GE CEO Jack Welch, who believed that multicultural experiences can increase employee performance.
An unexpected result of the study was that the amount of the MBA students’ multicultural engagement was relative to the number of job offers they received after their program ended.
“When individuals are exposed to the same multicultural environment, it is their psychological approach and engagement with different cultures that determines growth in integrative complexity and tangible increases in professional opportunities,” Maddux said.
The researchers found that travel can make us smarter because it makes us think about different viewpoints and cultures, and therefore opening our minds to possibilities we may not have otherwise.