Could living abroad, (or more specifically, adapting to a foreign culture) enhance creativity? Researchers conducting a series of novel and interesting tests (including the candle box functional fixedness test) are starting to suggest so.
Across these three studies, the association between foreign living and creativity held even after controlling for personality variables. In other words it wasn’t just that time abroad was a marker for having a creative personality. Another consistent finding was that travelling abroad had no association with creativity – only living abroad did. […]
The researchers cautioned that longitudinal research is needed to more fully test whether and how living abroad is linked with enhanced creativity, but they said their findings made a good start. “It may be that those critical months or years of turning cultural bewilderment into concrete understanding may instill [creativity]”.
Update: The Economist has their own take on the research.