Are you worried about landing a great job after your college graduation? You aren't alone. In today's economy, this is a common fear among millennial graduates. Fortunately, there are ways to market yourself in the competitive field of job searching, and one of them happens to involve taking a semester long vacation (okay -- there is some real work involved) in a foreign country.
The Erasmus Student Network recently conducted a study that analyzed the impact of traveling abroad on college students, specifically in the professional realm.
Research showed that students who study abroad are less likely to suffer from long-term unemployment. Also, according to Erasmus, 64 percent of employers value international experience and consider it important for recruitment.
Professional Benefits of Studying Abroad
There are so many benefits to studying abroad, but one of the most helpful benefits is its impact on your professional career. The Erasmus Student Network found that an average of 92 percent of employers prefer transversal skills in their employees, which you learn when studying abroad. For example, you learn about collaboration, flexibility, different styles of working and the ability to communicate effectively. Employers know this when they look at a resume and see study abroad experience.
Not only will you look great on a resume, but it's possible that you can also acquire a job more quickly if you study abroad. According to the University of California, 97 percent of students who studied abroad found a job within 12 months after their college graduation. By comparison, only 49 percent of college graduates who did not study abroad were employed within 12 months.
If that isn't enough to convince you, studies also show that students who studied abroad earned 25 percent more than their peers who did not study abroad.
These three reasons aside, students who studied abroad also claimed that their international schooling allowed them to adapt quickly to diverse workplaces. Plus, those students said that they felt more satisfied in their jobs, and who doesn't want that?
Personal Benefits of Studying Abroad
An international student can have his or her horizons broadened. Studying abroad opens many doors and creates opportunities for you to try new things and learn to be independent. Along with the list of professional benefits of studying abroad comes the list of personal benefits, one of these being personal growth.
Studying abroad allows you to explore new things that you would never be able to experience at home. For example, college student Caya Simonsen realized her passion for working with migrants from Mexico and Central America while abroad and was inspired to pursue a career in social work.
Being an international student will also allow you to forge friendships that are diverse, lasting and meaningful. It will also prepare you to be a leader, and not just in your future career. Educators say that one of the main purposes of encouraging students to study abroad is to develop global leaders. One day, these leaders will be able to understand their own culture as well as empathize with different ones. They will know how different political and economic systems work. They will learn new languages and work toward bringing our world together.
Have you studied abroad?
Tell us where you went and what your experience was like!
Images by Joshua Earle and Ian Schneider