Participating in a study abroad program is one of the best and most effective ways to grow, mature and develop skills to improve your employability. Why? Because submerging yourself in a foreign environment, leaving your circle of comfort, and confronting the unknown can challenge you on a professional, linguistic, social and personal level.
Here are just five examples of strengths you could develop abroad. Just imagine the multiple opportunities that the study abroad experience can contribute to your development:
- Studying abroad requires initiative
- Abandoning your circle of comfort requires courage
- Exposing yourself to a culture whose values differ from your own represents an opportunity to develop empathy, increase your self-awareness and work effectively in multinational teams
- Performing an international internship provides you with a unique perspective on diversity, the work environment, and the typical barriers of multinational workforces
- Learning a foreign language allows you to communicate across different cultures
Can you think of a company that wouldn’t want to see those traits in a job candidate?
Keep in mind that your next employer, or grad school, if you looking to continue studying, is less interested in knowing what an amazing time you had while abroad and the adventures that you had, and more interested in what obstacles you faced and how you overcame them.
By contextualizing the challenges that you face on a daily basis while overseas and the manner in which you responded to those challenges, your next employer will develop an understanding of how you will respond to the challenges in their workplace. In other words, by linking these experiences with the skills that employers are seeking, you increase your candidacy for that position.
So plan ahead and “start with the end in end in mind,” by understanding the benefits of the study abroad experience, the types of skills that your next employer will be seeking, and the experiences you can have abroad that will help you develop those skills.
Click here to contact GlobalEd about how to increase your own employability through study abroad. This is what we do, and we love what we do.