“I always wanted to be a trial lawyer, but working as a Public Relations intern in London helped me to narrow my interests to Constitutional or Civil Rights law as opposed to just wanting to be a lawyer.” - Julia Petsche, Arcadia in England – London Internship Program
Studying abroad is an experience that allows you to learn about yourself as well as the world around you, but it also enables you to grow professionally and provides you with skills and experiences that will benefit you professionally. Whether you’re planning to obtain a job that relates to study abroad or not, the skills and experiences that you take away from living and studying in another country can benefit your future career.
Some programs offer opportunities to complete an internship while abroad (if you’re looking for an internship while abroad, use the advanced search parameters in My Study Abroad to narrow your search). Not only can this enhance your time abroad by deepening your experiences with your host culture, but it can also provide you with the opportunity to build on your professional skills while you are abroad.
If you decided on a program that doesn’t offer an internship, don’t worry. There are still plenty of opportunities to gain skills that will help you professionally. Studying abroad often forces you to step out of your comfort zone and encourages you to interact with those that are different than you. This is a skill that is vital in the working world. Similar skills that can be applicable to your future career include critical thinking, global competency and learning to collaborate with people from all walks of life.
After Your Time Abroad
When you return home, your study abroad experiences are as beneficial as ever. Whether you had an internship abroad or not, being able to articulate the skills you gained in your field through an internship, classes or personal experiences is beneficial to your future career. These skills are advantages that you should highlight in interviews or when talking to recruiters and will set you a part from your peers.
We all know how competitive the job market can be, so finding ways to stand out among other candidates is important. Less than ten percent of students in the United States study abroad during their undergraduate education. Therefore, study abroad students may have a untie professional advantage over their peers who do not study abroad.
While you’re abroad, make sure that you take every opportunity to learn and grow as a person and a professional. When you return from studying abroad, spend time reflecting on your experiences and be sure you are able to articulate how studying abroad helped contribute to your professional goals. Not only will it make you stand out, but it will help you to use your experiences abroad throughout the rest of your career.
Students who study abroad become problem solvers and critical thinkers’, characteristics that employers want to see from new hires. Therefore, if you can effectively leverage your study abroad experiences, you will show prospective employers the professional skills you’ve learned from studying abroad and how they will contribute to your career.
If you want to learn more about how study abroad contributes to career readiness and the career outcomes of study abroad students, visit the “Enrich Your Global Perspective” section of our website.
Interested in pursuing a career abroad? Consider checking out these two helpful resources, GoinGlobal and The Career Center. GoinGlobal is a good resource if you’re serious about pursuing a career abroad. You can find detailed information through the career guides to different countries and the expectations that come with working in those countries. The Career Center on campus is also a great resource to find more information about working abroad. You can learn more about anything from careers and internships to volunteering and teaching English abroad.