5 Reasons Studying Abroad Makes Me a Better Job Prospective
Written by Emily March 14, 2016
Not only is studying abroad great for personal growth, adventure, and new learning experiences, it also makes you more attractive to employers! With summer internships to be found, and “real life jobs” right around the corner, this is definitely something I think all college students can relate to. Although the list could go on forever, here’s my culled list of skills that are strengthened when you go abroad, ultimately making you a better job prospective.
- Adaptability: Being immersed in a completely new culture, where every single day brings new adventures and unfamiliar situations teaches you to adapt to where you are. You must learn how to deal with the new challenges. This skill is critical in a career since you must quickly adapt to your work environment and learn to work while enduring constant changes and overcoming obstacles.
- Communication Skills: Whether you’re fluent in the language of your host country or not, you’re bound to have your communication skills put to the test. Communication is essential when traveling and you have to be sure you’re getting your point across effectively. Whether this means sign-languaging what topping you want on your sandwich (guilty), or just trying to communicate that you need all new train tickets due to delays (also guilty), you’re communication skills are bound to improve. You learn how to get your point across in the way that’s most easily understood; something that will be used with both coworkers and clients in the workplace.
- Increased Global Perspective: Being in a country different than your own exposes you to a completely new culture. Realizing differences in human behavior and ways of thinking causes you to start thinking about issues differently. You are exposed to new ways of doing things, which you can bring back to the workplace. You are more likely to come up with out-of-the-box ideas and increased understanding of potential clients.
- Independence: With everything familiar thousands of miles away, you’re forced to be self-reliant. Sure, you’re probably ‘away’ from home when you go to school back in America, but here you have a completely different sense of being ‘away’ from home. You depend on yourself more and therefore learn how to make decisions based on your beliefs and values. This can be especially helpful in the workplace when you’re not always given exact directions and have more freedom to make decisions.
- Time Management Skills: I could go onnnn about all the ways your time management skills are tested while you’re abroad. Of course, you have to keep up with school, but there’s also planning your travels every weekend (which always winds up taking about triple the time you think it will): actually traveling, unpacking/recovering from travel, keeping up with your friends and family at home, meeting new people while abroad, participating in planned activities at school, staying healthy, and oh yeah, sleep! Figuring out how to manage your time effectively is vital to having a successful study abroad experience. Transferring this skill back to the workplace will help you stay on top of the multiple projects you are given.
- Ability to Stand Out: Although not necessarily a “skill”, studying abroad sets you apart from 98.5% of other college students. You’re initiative to pursue and carry out studying in a different country will likely impress employers. Additionally, a recent survey found that almost 40% of companies surveyed missed international business opportunities because of a lack of internationally competent personnel. With 95% of consumers living outside of the US, being able to understand and have familiarity with global ideas is a huge plus!
So there you have it. Bonus points if you’re able to draw on these in interviews to help you snag your dream job!