Top 9 Effects of Studying Abroad on Career Development

Recognizing the effects of studying abroad on career development

The effects of studying abroad on career development are well known and yet not many international students truly comprehend them. They go and study somewhere for the sake of education which, although noble as a cause, completely ignores the sheer pragmatical advantages of studying abroad. These are not only good to know so you can recognize the impact of being an international student on your own life but also to silence hostile voices who try to discourage you from pursuing your dream on the basis of it being impractical.

In this article, we will list all of the impacts that studying abroad can have on career development and discuss how that can transform the course of your life even after graduation. Follow along!

A list of the effects of studying abroad on career development

In this main section of the article, we will discuss the main effects that being an international student has on your career. Spoiler alert: all of them are positive. The reason for this is that it is quite difficult to find any negative ones unless we employ some stretching of the imagination. Without further ado, let us start.

  1. The opportunity for formative internships 

Internships often form the backbone of a young professional’s work experience. Through them, you are allowed to explore your potential future workplaces in a safe environment ideal for learning. Although internships are not relegated to foreign countries, universities abroad might have better and more appropriate internships for the type of work you are looking to do in the future, depending on the field, of course. However, it is worth noting that English-speaking countries often offer great diversity in their internship options.

  1. Juggling multiple responsibilities 

One of the most important effects of studying abroad on career development has to be the fact that it teaches you how to juggle multiple responsibilities. Being on your own in a foreign country, you cannot just rely on your family to handle your existential needs. Couple that with trying to manage a social and academic life, and you have quite the recipe for hardening one’s psyche against stress. Those who have studied abroad often have an uncannily effective work ethic and can handle big project management, which makes them ideal for high positions.

  1. Learning a foreign language 

If you go to a foreign country to study, the odds are that you will encounter one or several foreign languages (in the case of multilingual places). Throughout this exposure and throughout the preparation you need to do in order to pass important language tests, you will be able to learn new languages which will expand your communication skills and make you highly employable. In our ever-globalizing world, the knowledge of multiple languages is becoming more of a need than an option.

  1. Understanding your career goals better 

When we first start university, we normally have a rough idea of which direction we want to take our career in. That said, it is impossible to know enough about a particular field of work solely through research, which brings us to another one of the effects of studying abroad on career development. As an international student, you will come into contact with more specific examples of said profession while also being exposed to a diversity of opinions and approaches. All of these factors combine to refine your career choice into something that you might not have originally planned. Although it can be frightening, a bit of flexibility here can change your life!

  1. Getting used to living away from home 

Some jobs practically require you to live away from home. This can be tricky if you have spent your whole life there! It can take a long period of adaptation for some people to get used to living away from home and even then they might suffer from homesickness. Fortunately, those who have studied abroad have plenty of experience in this department and will not even flinch at the prospect of spending a mere month or two in another country away on an important business trip.

  1. Independence 

One of the most important effects of studying abroad on career development is the fostering of independence. When you move to another country and attend university there, you are forced to do a lot of things on your own. Sure, having friends is well and good, but at the end of the day, it is you who must rely on yourself without the support of your family, especially when it comes to important existential questions like finances, food, housing, as well as time management. Employers understand that those who have been through these experiences are highly capable.

  1. Networking 

If there is one thing that spending time in a foreign country surrounded by accomplished and aspiring academics and professionals is good for, it is networking. There are few greater chances to encounter individuals who will transform your life through the value and opportunities that they bring into it. Therefore, be mindful of this when you attend social events and try to mingle as best as you can. You can read our networking guide for more information if you need help with this particular invaluable life skill.

  1. Acquisition of important soft skills 

A lot of the aforementioned effects of studying abroad on career development have to do with certain kinds of soft skills, but we wanted to take the opportunity here to underline some smaller ones that perhaps cannot have an entire subheading of their own. Employers have been known to value a lot of the skills that international students acquire in their private, social, and academic lives while abroad, such as teamwork, resourcefulness, resilience, as well as empathy. What is more, international students often have a very concrete, hands-on understanding of these concepts rather than just being aware of them in theory.

  1. Valuable understanding and awareness 

The combination of studying at a university and being surrounded by a diverse selection of students has the long-term effect of developing and deepening your understanding and awareness of different cultures as well as supercharging your communication skills. International students tend to be pretty adept at resolving conflicts and bringing original insights to the table, especially when dealing with differing sets of opinions or people who oppose each other’s strategies. Although this is not as quantifiable as some other advantages of studying abroad, it is certainly necessary for employees who want to have a place in our continuously globalizing world.

Making use of the effects of studying abroad on career development 

Although some of these will demand special effort in order to be acquired, most will simply come naturally as a result of your environment. This is a list you can also share with someone who has previously studied abroad and ask them to confirm what is being claimed here. We sincerely hope that your studying abroad experience will bring you these benefits! Check out some of our other informative blog articles for additional help with anything you might need.


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  • 29 January, 2024