Studying abroad improves most people’s career prospects in a huge variety of ways but put simply, it offers a vast array of new opportunities by moving you out of your comfort zone: the further away you move from the education system you know, the more new and exciting opportunities will come your way.
Employers look for people who have studied abroad because they know that they have something to offer that others don’t – not just the focus to complete higher education, but the drive to try new things and the confidence to go out and experience them. This is our guide to exactly why you should think about studying abroad – and you really, really should. Not only will it be exciting and fresh and new, it’ll also be a great chance to add something to your CV that not many others can match. And that, in our experience, is invaluable.
Studying abroad – particularly in the larger, more academic western universities and schools in places like Canada, the US, or the UK – will give you the opportunity to diversify and expand the group of people that you know and in your career, this can be hugely advantageous.
Studying abroad will offer any student the opportunity to meet a vast amount of his or her peers, many of whom will go on to be young professionals working in a huge variety of different roles in different countries. As an international student, you will get to know a plethora of other international students from a wide variety of different backgrounds, many of whom will head back to their home countries after graduation. This means that you’ll be able to develop a worldwide contact base of young professionals – something that other working professionals would love to have!
It’s not just the international students you should try to get to know, either – all of the students at a university campus will one day become young professionals in one field or another, and the more contacts you have, the better – one day you might need to call on the skills of one of the friends you made whilst studying. On that day, you’ll be very grateful you kept in contact with all of the people from your old university days. Trust us – studying abroad is an opportunity to meet people that simply cannot be matched.
Getting to know another country and perfecting another language is one of the huge advantages of studying abroad, particularly if you’re from the east and are studying in the west, or from the west and studying in the east. Businesses are very fond of employing people who have a knowledge of both eastern and western culture and languages in today’s multinational society, and studying abroad will put you on the top of that specific hit list.
For example, if you are learning English you might think you know English to a good level now, but there’s a huge difference between knowing the language and being skilled at using the language – picking up an accent and learning the colloquialisms is something that employers will notice, and it’s yet another reason why studying abroad will help your prospects enormously.
English is perhaps the main business language of the world, and being able to speak English or Mandarin, the top language for business worldwide other than English, properly – without much of an accent and with the correct vocabulary – can really make the difference when employers are short-listing for jobs. It might be unfair that command of a language can have such a huge effect on your potential success in business, but that’s the way it is and – as the English say – if you can’t beat them, join them.
Cultural knowledge is something that can be underestimated by many students and professionals, but is nevertheless immensely important to businesses. Getting to know the traditions of a country and the way society works in different cultures is a great forerunner to success, and having knowledge of two or more cultures will single you out as being particularly knowledgeable.
Indian and Chinese readers among you may find this particularly useful – as the economy continues to grow in the East and South Asia, more and more western businesses are interested in employing young, talented graduates from India and China. If you can show that you know your way around the west as well, you’ll be likely to be greatly sort-after in the job market.
When employers review CV’s they are trying to develop an impression of the applicant in a short amount of time. A CV that shows that you’ve had the confidence and bravery to go out and get a degree in a place that’s enormously out of your comfort zone will tell a huge amount to an employer – it shows drive, confidence, and a passion to do well in your field.
By showing that you have studied outside of your native country you are able to demonstrate that that you’re culturally experienced and that you perhaps can offer a level of commitment above and beyond that of your peers. Leaving behind your home life for three to four years (as an undergraduate) requires a great deal of maturity in order for your time to be used effectively and this is an attribute that employers find particularly attractive.
It’s a huge step to make, but studying abroad puts you in a truly advantaged place compared to the majority of your competitors in the job market. Study abroad, and you’ll see what we mean.
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