Choosing to study abroad is an exciting thought – the opportunity of travelling to a new destination and making it home for a couple of years, meeting new people, and experiencing a unique culture while you learn. However, the end goal for most of us is far more strategic – the near certainty that higher education overseas will help us get the sort of coveted job we seek. Like every other decision you are faced with, this too has its advantages and disadvantages, but if you are looking for a robust launch pad for your career, research has shown that the pros far outweigh the cons.
Let’s address the most crucial advantage first – professional growth. Listing a foreign degree on your résumé helps it stand out from the crowd. Knowing that you have undertaken higher education overseas makes a positive impact on potential employers because it offers an insight into your academic achievements, but also, more importantly, speaks volumes about your ability to adjust to a new culture and environment. In an increasingly globalised workplace, corporations are actively seeking out candidates with an understanding of cultural differences. Prospective employers are more likely to see a person with a foreign degree as someone who is well-rounded, who can view things on a global level and understands the nuances of interacting with a diverse global audience. Further, the exposure to a different method of education means that you have the proven ability to make that extra effort– a clear indication that you are willing to work hard and learn new things. Anyone whose CV states that he or she studied overseas will have this one huge advantage – because, at the very least, it proves that you are independent, that you can adapt to different environments, and that you have initiative.
Employers actively seek to employ graduates who have gained international experience either by studying or working abroad. Studying at a foreign school also hones your cross-cultural skills, betters interpersonal communication, and demonstrates that your ability to adapt to different situations. Higher education overseasalso helps you get a fresh perspective on the way you think. The students extended exposure to another culture results in a more open mindset, recognising and understanding the importance of diversity, and being more tolerant of cultural differences.
Personally too, choosing to study abroad can have extraordinarily positive and far-reaching effects. One study of people with a foreign degree showed that over 80% of those surveyed believed to have developed a more sophisticated way of looking at the world as an outcome of their higher study abroad.” Such individuals are more probable to look for a diverse set of friends, which impacts their outlook and persona long after their study abroad experiences ended. It is not all rosy, however. A sudden change from all that is familiar, and learning to navigate socially in an entirely new environment can be both emotionally and mentally overwhelming for many people. However, once you pass this stage, such experiences lead to a tremendous growth curve, helping you learn to adapt to new challenges and situations and to grow as a person. The fact that such experiences more often than not instil leadership qualities in a person also makes them attractive to potential employers.
Additionally, one equally important aspect of choosing to study abroad you must consider is the sheer number of options this path will open up for you. There are an increasing number of people who decide to return to their native country after getting a degree abroad, because of the plethora of job offers awaiting them at home. Most people with a degree from a respected international institution end up getting the job of their choice, at good compensation, if they decide to return to their home country. However, there is an equal number of students that choose to work abroad – and such people also have the added advantage of having in-depth, hands-on experience of differing cultures, which makes them more desirable to companies seeking genuinely global leaders.
Finally, some skills can only be gained by getting a higher education overseas, such as a knowledge of cultural differences, which is an immense advantage while dealing with people from across the globe. Getting your degree overseas offers a multitude of personal and professional benefits. The international experience a person garners from such an education makes them more attractive to companies who are seeking to hire people with a flexible attitude, who are multilingual, and, most importantly, comfortable in multicultural settings.
If you are still not sure of what to expect, do consider seeing more information and advice from our experienced advisors.