In a recent Harvard Business Review article, scientists explained how living abroad generally gives people stronger "self-concept clarity". In summary:
"...people’s self-discerning reflections—musings on whether parts of their identity truly define who they are or merely reflect their cultural upbringing—are a critical ingredient in the relationship between living abroad and self-concept clarity."
In other words: being exposed to a drastically different culture makes it easier for you to decide what parts of your own identity and beliefs you genuinely like.
Honestly you can probably skip the rest of the article. I know most of you do that anyway. Don't think I'm not watching your click through rates... your CTRs!
It made me wonder whether I got any of that magical self clarity from living between New Zealand, Australia and Germany as a kid and teen. It's really hard to say as I don't have a control. I do tend to feel quite solid in my own sense of self. But the trade off has always been that I don't have as many roots in a single culture or place. Maybe you get the most out of time abroad when you've reached a certain level of maturity...