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The Canadian winter can seem like an eternity. From November's first snowfall to the dripping of April icicles in spring, life seems to whir almost to a halt. It can be hard, tempting some to get out of Dodge for good. I've often wondered how folks in other places carry on during the winter months. I've thought about what it would be like travelling abroad to find a job, to be as far away as possible from the cold the Great White North brings. However, there are many other benefits of working abroad than just to get away from Mother Nature's welcome-to-the-new-year wrath.

1. Certain occupations are in high-demand in foreign markets

Before deciding where you should go for work, do your research. Many countries have highly skilled occupation lists, which spell out the need for foreign professionals to work in certain areas in their economies. This usually comes after it's been identified there's a shortage of professionals in their domestic work pool. The perks can include higher pay, better benefits packages, and sometimes even exemptions from certain travel and work visas. But this depends on the country you choose to work in. Visit an embassy to find out everything you can before applying for jobs.

2. North American post-secondary schools have great reputations

Your aerospace engineering degree from the University of Toronto is quite an accomplishment. Employers in other countries will most likely think so, too. Being educated in an institution with a world-renowned reputation for academic excellence can not only wow foreign employers, but can also make you a stronger asset to the future company you work with. Recognition of academic accomplishments in the workplace can really give you the upper hand in forwarding your future career, especially when you've proven your worth to your employer by travelling half-way around the world to work for them.

3. Some degrees and diplomas in Canada hold more weight

In some instances, a master's degree from a Canadian university can be more valuable than its equivalent in another country'the same can be said about certain diplomas. This gives you an edge over other job seekers in foreign markets. It's something to consider, especially if you're having a hard time finding work at home where the competition is high. I'm not saying you shouldn't face the competition, but you may find yourself at an office desk under the sun a lot faster if you look abroad!

4. Foreign work experience will make your resum├® stand out

When (and if) you decide to come back home, consider the growth you've had as a working pro on foreign soil. At the very least, working abroad will show other employers you're willing to go the distance to get a good job, to try new experiences, and to take chances. At this point you may have even picked up another language, which can be an asset to any future company you work for with international partners. On your resum├®, include any new experience you gained abroad for employers to see when you get back home.

5. The experience can (and will) be life-changing

If you need a change in your life, this might be what you're looking for. For those feeling unsettled with the expected culture shock, try changing your perspective! Culture is something that defines in-part the identity of a society. Use the opportunity to meet new and interesting people, learn a new language, try new cuisine, and see new places. The world is a big place'at most you've probably seen way less than a per cent of it. Take advantage of the time you have as a young professional, spread your wings, and consider taking time to work abroad.

Photos: Manuel-F-O, Creatas Images, michaeljung, BrianAJackson, ismagilov/Thinkstock