Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Go Abroad, Then Land the Job

We all know Education Abroad is a great overall experience for an individual, but for your future it could also land you your dream job. Today in the job market, employers are realizing how important it is for their employees to have knowledge of the world and be aware of different cultures. Education Abroad really just makes a person more self-aware and willing to break out of their shell. It is a truly unique experience that really makes you stand out from your peers. The number of bachelor students who went abroad in 2012-2013 was only around 14.3% and the total of US students who went abroad, this includes all college programs, is just a slim 1.5% of students. You could be a part of this number.

I haven't gone abroad yet...
Well my first question is are you crazy?! There is whole world out there for you to experience! You need to get on the bandwagon now and look into some different options for going abroad. I know students don't go abroad or think they can for a lot of reasons. More often than not students don't end up going abroad during their college years because they face financial or time restraints. Be sure to really plan ahead and decide when is the best time for you to go. There are endless opportunities and if leaving during the semester isn't a choice, then look into going abroad Summer, Spring Break or during Winterim. If you can't afford going a whole semester or year then just shoot for a short-term option. That way, you still get the international experience and you don't have to miss a semester on campus. Even having that two weeks of international experience will put you one step above someone else who didn't spend any time abroad in their undergrad, when applying for a job.  

I kind of look at it like this, you spend the money at your home campus to go to college, why not spend the money and study in a different country. When it comes down to it, Education Abroad is an investment in yourself. Who doesn't want to invest in themselves, believe in themselves and truly better themselves in all aspects? It's also an investment in your future and like I said earlier, an investment in one day helping you land that dream job. We are human, we never stop growing and Education Abroad is one more of those experiences that really promotes personal growth. Think of the world as your textbook, you will learn more from it than any other textbook you have ever had. The possibilities are endless and I promise you, you will not be disappointed!
I've gone abroad, how do I market that?
Great, I am so glad you took that step outside your comfort zone and lived, saw and breathed a different part of the world! Welcome to the club, you will never forget those memories you made abroad or the friends and that country will always be your second home. However, now you are home and maybe you're a little confused at how to market your time abroad when applying and interviewing for jobs. I hope I can help you out and set you in the right direction!

You need to be specific on your resume in what you did exactly abroad: volunteered, worked or studied. Getting involved while you're abroad can also be a great idea, just one more thing to add to your resume and to your experience. Really emphasize on not only your resume, but your cover letter what you did, learned and how these skills will benefit you in the work field. You can highlight all the ways it made you grow as well. Whether that be your confidence, ability to adapt, independence, your problem-solving skills, complex thinking skills or your flexibility. How did your experience improve your leadership skills? Having leadership skills in the workforce today, as we all know, is huge. These are some points you could use to really sell your Education Abroad experience to employers. Also, make sure you really emphasize the learning experience and don't make it sound like a big vacation, anyone can take a vacation.
So Education Abroad not only gives you the chance to grow personally, but it also gives you the opportunity to one day land that job you've been dying to have. It's all about how you market your experience and how that time abroad makes you more unique than the other applicants.  If you have not gone abroad yet I hope this blog opened your eyes to what you are missing and just how much Education Abroad can influence your life. If you already have gone abroad then I hope you took something away from this blog that will help you in your future when applying for jobs! I know I am closing in on the ending of my college career and I want more than anything to express how much Education Abroad changed my life in hopes of getting a job I love.
Even First Lady Michelle Obama realizes and stresses the importance of Education Abroad. In the words of Michelle Obama, "When you study abroad, you are help making America stronger."

View more about Michelle Obama on Education Abroad at the link below. Great read!

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