In today’s job market, it’s important to have a competitive résumé, but it feels like a constant struggle to have that little extra something that makes you stand out. International education can give you that extra boost, and teach you skills that will help you shine in the workplace. Here are five ways Education Abroad can kick-start your career.
Going abroad is learning to see your culture and yourself in a global context. The world is more interconnected now than it has ever been, and demonstrated ability to flourish in an international setting is an ever-growing priority in the workforce.
Studying abroad gives you all kinds of opportunities to gain real-world work experience. Whether it’s doing research at a university abroad, completing an internship or participating in field work with your classes, being abroad gives you relevant experience with a competitive international edge. If you’re considering jobs involving international travel or global communication, the experience of living abroad will be an added bonus, if not a requirement.
Whether you’re interested in a career internationally or in the U.S., going abroad gives you the opportunity to network with professionals all over the world in your field of interest. Studying in another country can introduce you to professors, companies and contacts that you may be able to reconnect with in the future.
Being abroad boosts your communication skills, even through small day-to-day interactions. Learning to communicate where you don’t speak the language, navigating cultural differences and getting to know people of different backgrounds are not only important experiences while abroad—they’re excellent abilities to carry with you into the workplace. Communication and interpersonal effectiveness are consistently considered one of the top soft skills employers look for.
Living in a foreign country means learning to plan and think ahead, but it also means figuring out how to change course in the moment when things don’t go the way you thought they would. Learning to adapt quickly is a valuable indicator of independence and problem-solving skills.
That time you miss your train because the bus was late, or you get lost in a big city or have to find last-minute places to stay because of a canceled flight? They’re not the most fun situations, but they can be an irreplaceable lesson in adaptability. Employers appreciate this; it means when you’re faced with an unexpected hurdle, you won’t readily give up and will find a way to overcome it.