5 Reasons Why Your Future Career Needs You to Study Abroad
Oh, to be a mobility student. To explore new countries, meet people from all over the world, and learn about different cultures. Studying abroad will certainly be one of the best experiences of your life, but not only for the obvious reasons.
Travelling, meeting new friends, learning new things, and partying is fantastic, but many forget the power that mobility abroad can add to your CV!
That’s right, studying abroad can boost your chances of landing that dream job and stand out from the competition! Gone are the days where mobility was seen as just a lazy-party-crazy lifestyle period of your life (mum, dad, this one's for you). It’s so much more than that, and it can change you inside out!
To make it easier, whether you need to convince someone of going abroad or even just convince yourself, we’ve listed 5 reasons why studying abroad can step up your career:
If English isn’t your native language, you’ll often find yourself speaking three languages daily: your native one to communicate with friends or family online; the local language for daily tasks such as grocery shopping or studying; and, English to make new international friends.
If this seems overwhelming, don’t worry! Mobility programmes such as Erasmus+ usually offer a basic language course at your arrival. Even at your host university, you’ll be able to find language courses for mobility students with special discounts. In fact, data shows that 83% of students are willing to learn the local language of their host country, as it is a great way to integrate into society and make long-lasting friendships with locals. Also, some countries don’t offer classes for mobility students in English, so if you don’t know the local language, you’ll stay behind!
Pro tip: a great way to practice languages is to attend tandems, usually organised by student associations such as ESN or local cafes. These events allow you to teach the languages you know and, in return, learn new ones, in an informal and friendly way.
And remember, knowing languages is very important in order to stand out from other candidates when applying for jobs. As companies adapt to globalisation and start hiring multicultural teams, many different language skills are needed to satisfy clients’ needs. You can be the key-player to work for designated markets!
Networking & connecting
Studying abroad allows you to broaden your international connections, and some can lead to career opportunities! You never know who could be the next successful CEO, so the more people you know, the better! You might end up doing business with some of your best international friends, or partner up occasionally.
These connections play a key role later in life if you decide to move abroad, for example. Even if you don’t end up working directly with your contacts, they are locals and can help you find a job faster, by sharing applications with you or mentioning you’re looking for a job with people in your appropriate field of work.
Additionally, international connections might make it easier for you when you need to hire people for your company. You already know their strengths and values, the languages they speak, and their intercultural background experience. After all, there’s nothing better than having trustworthy and friendly people by our side.
Studying abroad will expand your skills but also give you a new perspective on the world. You’ll feel more open to different cultures and beliefs while developing your cross-cultural awareness and communication. In today’s societies where hate speech, xenophobia, and prejudice are increasing, it is vital to be educated on such topics, and better yet, to live in a multicultural setting where one can truly comprehend how different people can come together in peace.
With this background, you’ll be an excellent asset to any company. People with these skills are always more open-minded, respectful, and greater at problem-solving.
Flexibility & management skills
Moving abroad is not an easy task. You’re probably leaving your family for the very first time, and completely alone! During your mobility, you’ll make amazing friends and you’ll live with flatmates that will share with you some daily tasks, but most of the time, you’ll manage everything alone.
A mobility experience makes you grow up and become independent while adapting to a new culture. This means adapting to a new language, monthly transport paperwork, university paperwork, trips and bookings, and perhaps a different currency. These types of skills are wanted by many recruiters, as they demonstrate that you’re confident in your abilities and take initiative to independently accomplish tasks.
Data from the European Commission regarding the Erasmus+ programme shows that more than one in three Erasmus students who did a job placement abroad were hired or offered a position by their host company, and former Erasmus students are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared to those that do not go abroad. Impressive, right?
Recruiters acknowledge the value that studying abroad brings to a candidate, so they are looking for people with this background and skills! Don’t forget to add your experience to your CV, and any other related mobility projects. Showcase the subjects you learned abroad and couldn’t have learned in your home university. Most importantly, share your language skills and your level on each one. And now, it’s time to impress those recruiters!
In short, studying abroad is pretty awesome! It not only gives you an advantage when applying for jobs, but it also offers you the chance of building long-lasting friendships, an opportunity to explore other countries and cultures, and to grow as a person!
There are no big disadvantages when it comes to mobility, so the only thing we can tell you is: GO GO GO!