5 Ways Studying Abroad Can Jump Start Your Career
By: Kirsten McDonald
Studying abroad can lead to a plethora of benefits. It is an aspect of your college experience that you can capitalize on to be more marketable after graduation. Not only does it allow you to gain experience and see the world beyond your home base, but it allows you to gain qualities that many employers are looking for in their prospective candidates. Here are a few essential professional qualities that study abroad can enhance:
- Problem Solving & Independence
When traveling, it is normal to run into a few mishaps along the way. Traveling can sometimes be as difficult as it is glamorous. These problems can include lost luggage, missed flights, or a language barrier. You can be thrown unexpected problems at various times and you learn to think on your toes and act with confidence. It is possible that you will encounter unfamiliar situations that will lead you to adapt and respond in efficient ways.
- Expanding Your Network
Living in a different location for a certain amount of time can introduce you to a wide variety of people you may not have met otherwise. Taking classes abroad can connect you to professors and lecturers who have advice and connections. Certain institutions may offer courses that your home institution doesn’t necessary offer. You never know, developing relationships with your professors, advisors, and fellow students may aid you in landing your dream job or internship!
- Language Skills & Cultural Fluency
Studying abroad may be one of the best ways to further your language skills. Being able to learn about a language by living in the environment is more beneficial then simply just learning through a textbook at your home institution. Immersing yourself in different cultures and exposing yourself to more languages through travel can put you ahead of other applications in the professional world. In addition, studying abroad experience will hopefully result in being better able to respect, listen, and value another culture or individual that may be different from your own.
Photo by: Haley Dunning- Spring 2017 Chengdu
- Teamwork & Collaboration
You may find yourself traveling with a group of individuals on your weekends and visiting other destinations. Traveling as a group can be difficult because certain people may have different priorities than others. But, these problems when traveling together can be solved through compromise, time management, and listening.
Or, you may find yourself immersed in a course with others who are not from your own. Learning to collaborate with others who have a different perspective than your allows for open mindedness and patience, understanding, respect and responsibility. All of which are qualities that employers expect from successful applicants.
Being a study abroad student, you learned in a diverse culture, gained knowledge in an international education setting, traveled to another part of the globe, and probably stepped outside your comfort zone at one point or another. All of these experiences you did all on your own. This shows confidence, resilience, open mindedness, and courage. Again, all of these are qualities that correspond with independence, employers would highly value in a candidate.
All in all, it is no secret that studying abroad will have an impact on your career. To find out more about the programs that can amplify your career development visit https://cola.unh.edu/study-abroad