To put things in a few words, study abroad is… pretty awesome. Right? We all know how exciting it is to not only dream of traveling the world but making that dream come true. You make up your mind. You pack up your suitcase and without looking back; you take on an adventure to sail around the world for several weeks, months, or the whole year. You begin to wonder what happens next after going abroad and coming back to tell the tale of an AMAZING EXPERIENCE!!! I know you are thinking, how I can condense SUCH enormous experience into brief statements to share with a potential employer who wants to know what skills and abilities you developed as you sailed around the world. Luckily, several study abroad professionals have several answers to this question. Common wisdom has it that those who studied abroad have greater advantage over those who were too afraid to go places. Whether or not you traveled abroad, the skills and abilities you acquired may be easily transferrable into the working world if and only if you are able to link your skills and abilities to match those of the company. Here at the International Programs, we have identified some skills and abilities employers are looking for at the end of your adventure:
- An independent thinker yet still a major asset to any group or team
- Have a diverse and knowledgeable worldview
- Think objectively and have a calm demeanor
- Ability to communicate effectively in another language and/or cross-culturally
- Showcases independent thinking and resourcefulness.
- Flexibility- you have experienced a realm of good and interesting experiences and are probably able to better understand how important something is. Is it a crisis or just a small set back. Studying abroad allows an attitude of having an idea on the ‘big picture’ which cannot usually be gain unless it is first hand.
- Global corporations highly value students’ who are exposed to different cultures, show independence and self-awareness.
- Study abroad candidates have an advantage in interviews because they are better prepared for interview questions and more comfortable meeting future employers.
- Interviewees who study abroad are able to incorporate examples of their study abroad experiences to answer complex interview questions.
- You are a great in international asset
- You don’t get flustered every time someone with an accent speaks to you (or at least, not anymore). These characteristics are fantastic to have, especially if you are applying for a position that will require you to deal with anything internationally.
- In the end, YOU ARE COOL!
If not now, when will you study abroad?
– Rachael Awoyemi, Peer Advisor, International Programs Office