When I quit my life and bought a one-way ticket out of the country three years ago, the reactions I got from friends and family were overwhelmingly envious. Even friends with solid careers who were clearly advancing toward their goals in ways that I very much wasn’t (but wanted to) got a dreamy look in their eyes at the prospect of travel and living abroad.
The reality is, though, that most people never take the leap of living abroad because they have too much to lose. Even if you’re still in your 20s and not yet married with kids, a car, and a mortgage, if you have a career that you’re happy with and really kicking ass at, why would you drop it all to go work for barely any money teaching English?
I firmly believe, however, that living abroad changes not only how you view the world but also how you view yourself. You’re put into challenging positions day after day, forced to come face-to-face with who you truly are, and pull on reserves of strength that you never knew you had.
Basically, it’s everything that makes a good leader, in any business.
Sean Graber and his team at Virtuali know the value of living abroad and have figured out a way to not only make it possible for career-track future leaders but actually make it beneficial for their company.
With an eye toward the fact that so many businesses these days are virtual and global, Virtuali is an all-inclusive, immersive, experience-based live abroad program that trains future leaders while still letting them work full-time at their current job.
Think business coaching meets MBA meets study abroad.
While so many people leave their jobs because they’re searching for something “more,” Virtuali provides that “more” without having to quit and spend all of your savings.
Their program starts with personal coaching and self-assessment and then leads into intensive courses focusing on virtual team leadership. That’s followed by 15, 30, or 45 days living abroad on one of their campuses, during which time participants focus on international business issues and the ability to lead across cultures. The whole thing wraps up with an alumni program that hooks the participant up with continued classes and training as well as a network of peers who are kicking ass as hard as they are.
It’s also weirdly affordable.
I don’t know if this is because Virtuali is a startup too and therefore is keeping prices low to attract new clients or if this really is the deal of a lifetime but I was surprised at how reasonable the prices of their services are. Considering the fact that they include transportation to and from the airport, orientation to the new country, cell phone service, housing, workspace, health insurance (!!), and 24/7 local support, plus intensive business training, their range of $7,999 to $9,999 seems totally reasonable.
Now, yes, I understand that this is a lot for, say, a bootstrapping startup. But for a larger company or corporation or, say, big tech company that has a whole lotta cash these days (I’m looking at you, Apple), this is a steal when you consider how much most consultants charge for similar services that don’t include the amazing mega-bonus and learning experience of living in another country for awhile.
So if you work for a big company and know you’re already on the boss’ good side, “accidentally” send them a link to this post and accelerate your career and personal growth with Virtuali.