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Why Studying Abroad Makes You More Employable

A year abroad is so much more than just a glorified gap year, and here's why.

One of Lisbon's Famous Trams

The idea of doing a study abroad is certainly an appealing one, jetting off to a faraway country to spend a year soaking up the sun on idyllic beaches, exploring new cities and of course enjoying the food and drink. But far from being a glorified gap year, studying in another country means that when you come back, you will have a variety of useful skills that make you more employable.

Adjusting to a New Teaching Style

When we compare any aspect of life in different countries there are differences, and this is definitely the same when it comes to the way in which students are taught. Having the ability to adjust to a new environment, being taught in a new way and with teachers wanting your work done in a way that you are not accustomed to shows that you are a person who can adapt to different ways of doing a task without any issues. 

Ability to Work with People from Different Countries

You need to work in a team at one point or another in almost every job, and it is good to be able to demonstrate experience of having done this in the past. Working in a group with people in the country you choose will give you the opportunity to develop your skills with sharing ideas, organising a project and working efficiently in a group. Not only this, but working in a group whilst abroad will show that you can work effectively even if other team-members are used to doing things differently, or in some cases they speak another language.

Camara Municipal do Porto

Interpersonal Communication

Spending a year in a different country means getting to know a lot of new people, and no matter what the situation, this requires the ability to communicate well. Whether this is a skill that comes naturally to you or if it’s one that you develop during your time abroad, it is very attractive in a candidate, especially someone applying for a position that would involve interacting with a lot of people.

Cultural Awareness

Beyond the communication aspect of living in a different country, spending a year surrounded by people of different nationalities and immersed in a new culture will give you a deeper cultural understanding and make you more aware of the various differences that exist between cultures. This could be useful in a job that requires a knowledge and understanding of different countries and markets.

Language Skills

Perhaps this isn’t a skill that you’ll pick up if you’re an American studying in England, but if you study in a country where they don’t speak your native language, you will gain a certain level of ability. Whether you are a language student who is studying abroad with the intention of improving your skills in that area, or just someone who chose to study there but needs to learn a few phrases to get by, you will have worked on a valuable skill for the future.

A shop window in Porto

Adaptability

Being able to move to a new place that you may not even have visited previously shows that you are someone who can adapt to different situations without much help. Life abroad presents the same challenges as life in your home country, but without a network of family and friends to help and offer advice. There are situations where the only person able to solve a problem is you, and this will increase your self-confidence and ability to think through a process to find a resolution.

Independence

All of this means that after a year spent studying abroad you will be a more independent person. As much as employers want someone who can work well in a team as I mentioned earlier, they also want someone who they know they can trust to work well on their own without needing a lot of assistance. Knowing that you have been able to deal with the challenges of living abroad for a year will go some way towards giving them that faith in you.

So there we have seven reasons why studying abroad makes you more employable, and some of them will happen without you even realising it! There are many ways to make yourself a more attractive applicant for jobs, and having studied abroad is definitely one of them. Now go and enjoy those beachside cocktails!

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