Many students consider study abroad for purely personal reasons. They want to enhance their knowledge of the world, meet new people and have an experience they’ll treasure forever. They may want to work on language acquisition, experience true independence for the first time, and see sights they’ve only ever admired in 2-D-form. There are many extraordinary additional benefits to studying abroad that many students don’t think about, however. For one, studying abroad can enhance your career opportunities after you graduate college!
It’s true- many employers in the fields of business, international affairs, education, and others value candidates who have spent some time studying abroad. More and more frequently, your experiences will be brought up in job interviews. If you have not completed a semester or year abroad, you may not be as competitive as a candidate who made the effort to pursue this enriching experience.
But why is studying abroad so valuable to employers? Because your time spent studying abroad will allow you to develop in ways that a student without this experience cannot. You’ll have cross-cultural knowledge, communication skills that transcend national boundaries, and more of a respect and appreciation for other nations. Especially if you intend to work in international business or another field in which successful communication between disparate cultures is essential, you’ll likely be a better candidate for the job than a student who has never overcome the challenges of learning to get by in a country very different from the United States.
Another reason why …