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People who live abroad are different than those who have not traveled. International employers recognize this and so do the expat families who make a living overseas. I remember being uneasy meeting diplomats when traveling to Lagos, Nigeria on my first excursion outside my home province of New Brunswick, Canada. These diplomats alarmed me with their Ѓ\we are different than you. attitude. But after a few encounters, I realized that they were different, their spouses were different, and even their children were different. Their unique set of skills set them apart from the average North American. I now identify these unique skills and traits with the term Ѓ\International IQ. . YOUR INTERNATIONAL IQ Just imagine yourself in a few years looking for an international job, applying to study abroad, or selling your skills as an international intern. Below are four categories outlining how international people are different. These insights will help you understand what international recruiters are looking for and will help you learn how to join the ranks of those working and living abroad. Political, economic and geographic knowledge: Imagine a dinner conversation taking place around a table in a lush garden terrace . in your temporary home in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. Your seven guests are from France, Belgium, the US, and Burkina. The expatriate conversation is rich in world politics, economics, and geography. The conversation is lively and intellectual. (Even if you are on a beach drinking beer in Thailand, youЃfll find yourself engaged in worldly conversations with other travellers.) You enjoy the dialogue, and you know these conversations are so much better than the typical North American conversation about weather, neighbours, or the costs of housing renovations. People with high International IQs can converse intelligently about international news, world events, and multiple countries and their ethnicities. To become an international person, start traveling and read world politics and learn geography. Your first test question: How many countries are there on Earth? Knowledge about the international aspects of your field: There is an international aspect to every field of work, to every area of study, to each and every field of interest. If you are going to go international, you have to develop a good knowledge of the international aspects of your area of expertise. Know which organizations work internationally in your field, what the types of jobs are, and what aspects of your work have an international application. Knowing how your specialization is practiced in an international setting allows you to focus your education, job research, networking contacts, and your discussions with peers on landing the right job for you abroad. A bit of research will uncover the international aspects of your area of expertise: look for the umbrella organizations, the web sites, the trade magazines, and international conferences in your field. Your first challenge: talk to people in your field who have worked overseas to find out what skills they have and how they broke into working internationally. Cross-cultural knowledge and skills: Do you know when to burp at a table and when to hold it in? Can you figure out how close to stand next to a stranger in an elevator or while holding a conversation at a cocktail party? Can you tell that someone is being polite when they agree to your proposal, but that they will not follow through?