Updated: Jul 31, 2020
How study abroad can shape your global career?
Study Abroad not only has enables you to enhance your studies by being able to immerse yourself into another country for a year, but studying abroad also has additional benefits of of shaping your global career. (If you wish to read about other benefits of study abroad, check out our other pages)
Before we examine ‘How’ study abroad can improve your global career prospects, we will first look at a few statistics which examine the consequences of study abroad on global career development:
A study in 2008 examined the impact of study abroad on U.S college students’ global career paths:
1/3 of students surveyed agreed that studying abroad contributed to opening their minds to a “global career” outside of the US.
65% of students surveyed agreed that studying abroad enhanced their ability to speak a foreign language.
Finally, 59% of academic alumni who were also surveyed reported that their studies abroad ‘significantly influence’ their career development/advancement.
Okay, so now we have come to terms with the statistics...
We will now look at the 4 Major ways Study Abroad can shape your Global Career.
1. Improves your understanding of different cultures
The first illustrator of studying abroad shaping a student’s global career is by improving the individual’s multicultural skills which can be subsequently applied within the workplace. For example, let’s say you’re an English student who has decided to embark on the challenge of studying abroad in Shanghai. On arrival, you may have already chosen to reside in student dormitories for your semesters. Before classes begin, your constant day-to-day interaction with various international students will subconsciously affect your understanding of different cultures. Soon enough you will become aware of how individuals’ different cultures interact. This not only will improve your social skills among international students when you return to your host university within the UK but socialising and being a part of the international student’s community can also have far reaching effects for your future employment prospects.
2. Increases your understanding of international career options
A second major benefit of studying abroad on career development is by increasing the individual’s ability and competence of discovering international career options post-graduation. Having a degree with an additional year of studying in a different country enables students to develop an awareness of states and organisations, and how the two connect and shape the world we live in, which is viewed as increasingly valuable within the global job market. For example, a variety of students once completed their degrees are desirable for a wide range of career areas. Typical employers include:
Ø NGOs – such as Oxfam, Greenpeace and the WWF
Ø IGOs, such as the World Bank and the UN
Ø As well as within international businesses or local/national Governments.
3. Improves your foreign language subskills
An additional major benefit of studying abroad on career development is by improving the student’s language skills and subskills. A study conducted by Cambridge University in 2018 that assessed language learning and studying abroad found that ‘the benefits of Study abroad go beyond language learning and internationalization of students’ but the benefits go much further post-graduation, when the students new-found language abilities enhance the individual’s job prospects. It has also been found that there is an innate correlation between studying abroad and enhanced language subskills (such as reading, writing, listening and speaking). For example, the study illustrated that within the realms of listening comprehension it was found that ‘students felt more confident about their listening skills following a study abroad programme’. Furthermore, the paper also highlighted that ‘Study abroad also has a positive impact on writing skills as well as reading’. When comparing to home taught institutions.
4. Increases your confidence
A final benefit of studying abroad on career development is by increasing a student’s confidence in a broad range of areas. A report carried out by the Leuphana University Luneburg in Germany found that compared with home students, students who underwent an exchange year during their undergraduate degree were found to be ‘more independent, resilient and confident’. Such qualities not only improve the student’s performance during their years of study, but it was also found that such attributes have a positive correlation with the ability to ‘deal with stress at work, increase the individual’s motivation in reaching goals as well as increase their overall job satisfaction’.
Additionally, the ‘Times Higher Education’ also found that the more mobile a student becomes, the higher levels of self-efficacy are apparent, thus greater the ‘self-belief’ a student has, the more likely the student during their career will apply for promotions, hit targets, travel internationally and so on.
Therefore, overall illustration that studying abroad not only affects the student’s character during university life but also more broadly when applying for opportunities abroad during their working life.
I hope you enjoyed this article and understand that studying abroad has far-reaching advantages which may only be apparent in years to come. If you have any questions or wish to find out more reasons why studying abroad can shape your global career, please drop a comment and we will get back to you.
Keywords: study abroad; education abroad; career impact; career development; international career; global career; advantages of studying abroad.