Saturday, February 10, 2007

The OE- Calling all college students...

Something you probably won't here in the US is how much people elsewhere travel. Some countries including New Zealand call it the OE- The Overseas Experience. Google search "overseas experience" and see for yourself! anyways...

Tonight i was talking to a Scottish/Irish couple that was finishing up a year in New Zealand. During our discussion of travel and how many people travel around the world, the girl threw out an interesting stat. I was expressing the pressure Dan and i faced leaving the states straight after university, and she said,

"well, it is said that less than two percent of Americans have their passport."

I am not sure i would go that far based on the research here
But still the stats basically say
Americans as a whole just don't travel much outside our borders

General population (18 years and over) who own Passports
34% US
41% Canada
78% New Zealand
A reguler(Jay) covering his head while it rained

  • I just met a girl that got back to NZ from a 5 year OE where she traveled the US and Europe!
  • A local was telling me that to get a good job in NZ you need experience. If you were to go and travel and work for 5 years, you would be way more likely to get a great job then straight out of University with a diploma here.
  • I honestly can't think of anyone i know that has said they regretted traveling in the US. If i ever heard anything it was, "i wish i could travel more" or to be on the fair side, "i just don't care to travel."
  • In the states, I felt like traveling was often perceived to be for those who were rich enough to travel, those who didn't have direction, and/or for those who didn't have a drive to settle down, yet.
  • Here in NZ, it is almost expected, even assumed, that the teens/young adults will travel and get life experience before a steady job.
All this to say, i am not calling all college students to squander their time or throw away money. But for people in the states to realize, that it is not necessarily the norm everywhere else to go straight from college to a full-time job. Actually i can say with much certainty that in New Zealand, the UK, and various other places that the OE is quite the norm. Getting a job is good, but realize that is not what EVERYONE does, especially outside of the US.

Funny advertisement for a clothing store...Do those lyrics sound familiar to anyone else?... can we say Backstreet Boys!

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