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By now, everyone knows that the world has become a smaller place. Everything from communication to business is now international and the same goes for education. In fact, it can be argued that in order to make the most of further education, it is essential for students to go abroad for international exposure and experience. Looking at the data behind those who have explored international regions, the evidence does strongly point to the undeniable fact that going abroad helps further career prospects.
A whopping 97% of students who studied abroad found employment within 12 months after graduation and 90% landed their jobs within 6 months. Compare that to the overall 47% of college graduates who were able to find jobs in that same period and you discover that the time spent overseas can almost double your likelihood of getting hired after graduation.
Students who spent time studying abroad also report a higher salary of 25% over their non-international peers. This could possibly equate to $7000 USD more per year. If we maintain the same earning advantage, study abroad students stand to earn an additional $567,500 USD over the course of their career.
there is overwhelming evidence that rounding out education and work experience abroad improves managerial and cross-cultural capabilities
In addition to the employment and salary gains, study abroad students report higher job satisfaction and employers of international students are viewed as valuable assets to their company. A German study on study abroad students also revealed that these students improved on five core traits: openness, extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability -- all important characteristics for managers and other corporate leaders.
Although the statistics look favourably on study abroad programmes, it seems as though where one goes to study internationally may have a significant role in future career success. Students who studied in emerging countries felt they benefited less from their study abroad programmes than those who studied in well-established nations. The obvious answer for this could be due to the overwhelming cultural differences experienced in developing nations, especially in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Due to limited career prospects in such countries, job and career prospects may not currently play out as successfully as those in developed nations with a more sound business foundation, leaving students who have studied in these regions struggling for jobs if they wish to stay within the region. It should be noted, however, that there is an increasing commercial potential for developing nations and the international exposure now may pay off extremely well in the near future.
No matter how educational institutions want to approach their international curriculum, whether with university partner programmes, study trips, or international internships, there is overwhelming evidence that rounding out education and work experience abroad improves managerial and cross-cultural capabilities. As the business world continues to grow increasingly international, smart and most forward-thinking students should look beyond their own backyards for career opportunities.