“Studying abroad has incredible benefits for your future.”
Most college students hear this at one point or another during their time at college. But what exactly are the professional benefits of studying abroad? After spending a study abroad semester in Galway, Ireland, I soon realized that an international education has opened up so many doors in my life and prepared me for the professional world I am about to enter. But what exactly attracts employers to those that have studied abroad?
Here are the top five ways that studying abroad will help you land a career.
1.First and foremost, it’s an impressive and unique attribute to your resume.
It will catch the employer’s eye and set you apart from the rest of the pack. It is also a great tool to use to your advantage. When showing your portfolio or resume, don’t be afraid to point out your international education and travels. It’s a great way to impress the employer and create some conversation.
2.It shows that you have both a willingness to travel and cultural tolerance.
These two aspects tend to go hand in hand and are becoming increasingly important in our globally connected world. Studying abroad shows that you are not ethnocentric and you have the ability to adapt to other cultures, as well as any other situation you’re not familiar with.
3.It’s a great way to emphasize your language skills.
If you happen to study abroad in a country with a language you’ve studied, be sure to include this out of the classroom experience. You used your second language in everyday life, quite an impressive achievement for a college student. Even if your study abroad country did not have a different language, it still shows that you adapted to the accents and slang terms and fine-tuned your listening skills.
4.You are independent and determined.
As a young student, you travelled to another country, adapted to the new way of life, gained insight from an international education, and, most importantly, you did this all on your own. It shows confidence, independence, willpower, and an open mind, all wonderful qualities that an employer will be looking for. If you were mature enough to study abroad in college, you’re mature enough to enter the professional world.
5.Sometimes, it all depends on who you know.
An education is important, but so is having connections. Studying abroad has the potential to bring successful, experienced people into your life. Study abroad programs, such as CEA, the organization I studied through, are full of people that want you to succeed and are willing to share their experience with you. You’d be amazed at just how many people you meet, both nationally and internationally, that can help you get your foot in the door. This is especially true if you intern, work, or volunteer abroad or with a study abroad company. The people you meet through your study abroad experience, just might be the people that help you get that job interview in the first place.
Rachel Balon studied abroad in Galway, Ireland, and is currently a CEA study abroad Alumni Ambassador from Keystone College.