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Employers like Study Abroad? Why?

Veronica C. | January 14, 2013

Study abroad experiences are really impressive to employers. Why is that? As a student, it seems like an opportunity to go travel around some exotic location, while sneaking in a few classes as well. But when you step back and think about it, that in and of itself is impressive to employers. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. When you go abroad, you are in charge of (and therefore responsible for) your life. It’s much harder to call mom and dad every hour of every day with time changes, exorbitant phone charges, etc. So a successful experience shows that you are a responsible, mature, and independent person.
  2. As soon as you get abroad your whole world changes, and you have to adapt and find a way to thrive in that new environment. To make this even more impressive, most programs only last for a term – a few months, which means you need to adapt really fast. So how is this applicable to employers? Let’s think about that internship. It’s probably just a few months long, and they want you to be able to adapt and do something productive while you’re there.
  3. Simply taking that huge step and setting up your study abroad experience shows that you’re outgoing. You see something you want to do, and you go and get it. It also shows that you’re brave and adventurous – you’re leaving the comfort of your own school to spend time in a different environment, and far from home, too!
  4. It shows you have a concept of a culture beyond your own – how could you not, after living in another country? This often indicates that you are fairly sensitive to and accommodating of other cultures and styles. It also often shows that you can interpret multiple perspectives.
  5. On a more practical level, there’s globalization. This means many companies are becoming multinational corporations, and even those that aren’t often work with companies based in different countries. So your experience in that new country could give you a leg up – maybe the employer viewing your resume has offices, partners, or clients in that country. Maybe that language that you became fluent in is a language commonly spoken in that company. There are many possibilities, but the point is the world is becoming increasingly interconnected, particularly across national borders, so the more experience you have with other countries the better.
  6. Finally, having an abroad experience on your resume helps make you into a real person, with real life experiences. While most students don’t realize this, likeability and the ability to make a connection with candidates is incredibly important to employers – after all, they’re going to have to spend at least 40 hours a week with whoever they hire!

So there you have it – not only is studying abroad fun, but it also makes you a more appealing candidate for employers!

Category: Career News, Internships, Jobs

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