Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience, yet just under ten percent of graduates study abroad. The ability to travel overseas offers lots of opportunities for personal growth, independence, and learning. It can also have a positive impact on your future career and long-term goals.
In fact, according to Erasmus, 64 percent of employers report valuing study abroad programs and consider it an important part of the recruitment process. This data comes from the fact that international travel offers some of the best life lessons and skills. With anything, there will be ups and downs of life abroad, but we’ll help with that! Here are some reasons why studying abroad will change your life and help boost your future career:
Overseas travel requires the patience to communicate across multiple language barriers. While studying abroad you’ll be exposed to a variety of foreign languages, and you’ll have to find ways to communicate despite this complication. This skill is very important because communication is key for many employers. As a young professional you may have to interact with a customer who doesn’t speak the language. You may have to interact with a co-worker who uses a different style of communication, too. Either way, your ability to get through communication barriers will help your professional life greatly.
Project Management Capabilities
There is a significant amount of detail and planning that goes into a successful trip abroad. You’ll be navigating a new school in addition to a new culture and lifestyle. Everything from transportation to internet and phone access, to currency and language, will require a learning curve. You’ll need to do your research to be prepared for these changes. Through this process, you’ll experience what it’s like to manage the details of a large project. Most employers are interested in a student’s ability to plan logically and think critically. Studying abroad will give you exposure to these skills. You can easily transition them into the working world!
Increase Your Connections
While studying abroad you’ll have the opportunity to meet and interact with a lot of people, and many of them could become lifelong friends and business partners. Exploring a new city offers many chances to interact with locals and form connections. These connections can be used in the future as you pursue your professional goals. You might find yourself exploring the international market for a job, or landing a position in international business. No matter what your long-term goals, it can be extremely valuable to maintain relationships across the globe as you begin your job search. You never know how you might use these connections in the future.
Broaden Your Worldview
Lastly, studying abroad can be extremely enlightening. You’ll gain exposure to a variety of cultures and values you may have never considered previously. This opportunity will have a lasting impact and will help you see things from different perspectives. The ability to assess and consider multiple viewpoints is a valuable skill in the professional world. Employers value a person who is able to craft a strategy based on a variety of opinions as well as beliefs.
Famous People Who Studied Abroad
If you’re still on the fence about studying abroad, it might help to consider some success stories. Many successful people and leaders have taken advantage of studying abroad. Here are a few participants:
Bill Clinton was the 42nd President of the U.S. and prior to his position as Commander in Chief, Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar at the prestigious Cambridge University.
This famous actress and comedian made her way to Frankfurt, Germany to study abroad before launching her successful career in film.
This admired actress and supermodel spent a year in Spain as an exchange student. She has been quoted saying studying abroad changed her life and refers to the journey often in interviews.
Popular Study Abroad Programs
With all these awesome benefits and working examples, you’re probably itching to find the perfect study abroad program. There’s a host of cities and countries that offer an excellent education and experience. If your university does offer this opportunity, here are the best countries to study abroad in. Check to see if any of these exchanges are offered at your school!
Overall, studying abroad will change your life and help in your career goals. How did you grow personally or professionally from your study abroad experience?