Tuesday 5 Feb, 2019

Want to land your dream job? Study abroad.

Did you know that students who study abroad find employment sooner than students who did not study abroad?1 Or that students with an international experience earn 25% higher starting salaries than those without one?1 It’s no surprise to us, considering that 80% of employers say they want employees with international experience.2

Here are five ways that you can apply your study abroad experience to your next great adventure: the job market.

Interested in learning more about your program? Check out your itinerary or give us a call at (877) 485-4184.

navigated tube1. Gain global competencies
Today’s world is changing—and with that comes the need for employees with global competencies. According to a recent report, this means “that everyone should have an understanding of the global forces that shape his or her life and how to operate effectively in the multicultural environment that is the twenty-first century” and that “international education provides graduates with the mental agility that multinational companies need.”3

In simpler terms: Employers are looking for candidates that can work across differences and understand the world around them—and studying abroad is the best way to gain those skills.


try new foods

2. Build critical soft skills
In addition to global competencies, your specific itinerary will build tons of other soft skills that your prospective employers will value.

Navigated London’s Tube on your own? √ Confidence

Made it through a bad case of homesickness? Resilience

Realized that “different” isn’t the same as “weird”? Empathy

Worked as a team to decipher a map (in another language)? √ Teamwork √ Language skills

The same types of challenges and situations that pop up while traveling will happen on the job. Use your travel experiences to show that you already have these skills and can face any obstacle with a smile.


costa rica

3. Make a great first impression
Employers interview a lot of potential candidates. Make a great first impression and stand out with a memorable conversation about your study abroad program.

Zip-lined in Costa Rica? Learned Japanese calligraphy? Tried haggis for the first time in Scotland? Talk about it! Sharing interesting stories from your experience abroad will leave your interviewers talking about you well after your final hand shake.


make new friends 2

4. Expand your network
Traveling with a group of other students (and bonding over new experiences and adventures) is the perfect opportunity to interact with people you never would have otherwise. Even though you might not share everything in common doesn’t mean they won’t become some of the closest friends you’ve ever had.

And there’s a bonus benefit to making new friends: it’s said that 80% of job opportunities are found through the people you know4, which means that your new Facebook friendship might just earn you your dream gig.



5. Curate your brand
Aside from sharing your awesome underwater selfie, your social media accounts can help you in the search for a new job, especially when you keep in mind that future employers are likely checking out your accounts (whether you’d like them to or not).

Show your cultured side with a photo of you exploring the Louvre, your active side with a photo of you snorkeling in Belize, or your dedication to a greater good with a photo of a Service-Learning activity.

No matter what your itinerary looks like, this is your chance to show your future employers who you really are and build your brand as an exceptional candidate—and it might just be the cherry on top of a great interview.

Interested in learning more about your program? Check out your itinerary or give us a call at (877) 485-4184!



1. IES Abroad 2015
2. 2011 QS Global Employer Survey Report
3. NAFSA (2018). The Economic Imperative of a Global Education. p.3.
4. Wright, D. (2019). Networking That Will Get You Hired (Even If You Hate Doing It). [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2017/11/01/networking-that-will-get-you-hired-even-if-you-hate-doing-it/#5d88d8155a45