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10 reasons to take a “smart vacation”

If you’re a young professional in today’s fast-paced world, you know that work doesn’t stop at the office; cellphones continue to ring and emails continue to ping far into the night. It’s really important to know how to unplug and relax, but maybe even more important to do so in a smart way. Enter the “smart vacation” – a unique combination of vacation and study.

A “smart vacation” combines a short-term language course (say, for 2-3 weeks) with a relaxing holiday in a city you’ve always wanted to get to know or a beach destination you’ve always wanted to explore. It’ll give you the time away you crave, but also offer you the opportunity to do something positive for your career by improving career-essential skills and broadening your horizons.

Here are ten of the top reasons why choosing a “smart vacation” is a smart idea.

1. Advance your career

Being a global citizen who is able to communicate with people from all over the world is crucial in our globalized world, and by improving your language skills, you’ll stand a better chance of getting a promotion or salary increase back home.

2. Improve your job prospects

On the other hand, if you’re looking to make an international career move, learning a language is super important: it can open up opportunities in new countries and give you a broader range of jobs to apply to.

3. Boost your performance

Our brain is just like a muscle, and working for a long period of time without breaks wears it out. A getaway will allow the brain to get the rest it deserves – and some light study (and lots of practice) will ensure you come back home feeling rejuvenated and energized.

4. Enhance your creativity

By hashing out the same repetitive tasks over and over for a long period of time, our creativity can take a hit. Taking a break and trying out a new life in a new city will get these creative juices flowing again.

5. Improve your physical and mental health

Take a few days off and take the time to recharge the batteries that have been worn out by too little sleep and too much work. Your mental and physical health will thank you.

6. Lower the chances of a burnout

We’ve all seen it – the exhausted, overwhelmed co-worker who’s collapsed at his desk or the friend who just had to take a break. Avoiding a collapse is as easy as taking some time off and recharging in an exciting new city or at a stunning beach.

7. Sharpen your mind

Learning a language has been found to improve memory and concentration, and lower the risks of Alzheimer’s.

8. Make new connections

Whether it’s in class or over a glass of wine – you’ll get to know like-minded professionals from around the world and walk away with dozens of new contacts and friends.

9. Immerse in a new culture

Experiencing a new way of living and adapting to your surroundings enhances tolerance and openness, and will make you a better communicator and better team member.

10. See the world

Not only will you be able to learn a language, make new connections and immerse in a new culture, but you’ll also discover a new city or beach destination, and add a stamp to your passport.

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