Well, I know that if I were interviewing this chap (and I am interviewing people quite a bit) I would be at least impressed by his having shown some initiative. I would also say that someone who is willing and able to go and live fairly happily in a quite different cultural and lingual context than they may be used to, has shown themselves to be adaptable, inquisitive, and keen to learn.
Even in a poor economy, demonstrating those qualities still stands out. Almost certainly the most common reason for failing when interviewing with me is the "I haven't had a chance to..." story. Often this is in the context of software. "I haven't had a chance to try this language or that language" What they mean is that previous jobs haven't used it. They could easily have learnt about it in their own time - it just wasn't a priority for them. Which is fair enough - but you will lose out against those who turn "would like to do" in to "done".
Some jobs require travelling for work. I know someone who's job was to go around conferences in Europe and set up and maintain wifi networks. Some people interviewed for the job just didn't like travelling, and so weren't hired. This person has shown that they clearly are OK with travelling.
Another advantage is that it shows a level of maturity and self-sufficience. If they can pack their bags and go off to India as a younge person they are clearly not a stay-at-home-very-shy person.