Going on an exchange or graduate program abroad is one of the most valuable experiences you can have as a student. You get to enjoy exploring a whole new environment like tourist, meet like-minded people from around the world, and top everything off with a diploma from a quality university.
The best part is that you can often find scholarships that make the whole endeavor fairly affordable. But studying abroad can also bring benefits in the future, once you graduate and start on the quest to find your place in life. Getting to know new ways of life, meeting new friends and expanding your knowledge are activities that are worthwhile for their own sake, but they are simultaneously a means of establishing yourself in the world of labor.
To give you an idea how pursuing education abroad can positively impact your future career, please consider our list of the top 4 ways of leveraging your study experience for business.
1. Gain A Fresh Perspective
One of the reasons why students decide to study abroad is to acquire a fresh perspective on their place in the world. Engaging with people from a different culture, getting to know the history of a foreign country, learning a new language, these are all activities which give you a better understanding of how life works, both at home and abroad. And since work is also a part of life, there is much to be learned about by living and studying in a different environment.
You get to observe first-hand what people do for a living, how long are their work hours, do they get vacations, how much they earn, what are in-demand jobs on the market, what products and services sell well, etc. In other words, you get to do market research as an integral part of your daily life. This kind of knowledge can be immensely useful when you start your own career path.
2. Explore Career Opportunities
Observing how the world works abroad is one thing, but actively engaging with it is another. Applying for a (part-time) job abroad while studying is a great opportunity to get a feel for how businesses operate. University towns often offer plenty of different job placements to try one’s hand at, including retail and services, administration, arts and crafts, sports and fitness, allowing you to find just the right niche. Or if you are enterprising enough, you can experiment with multiple jobs to get broader perspective on labor market conditions in the country you are residing in.
It goes without saying that you will also get to learn valuable money-making skills independently of your main field of study, which will make finding employment back home much easier, even if your studies don’t pan out the way you wanted.
3. Develop International Contacts
In the world of business, getting to know the right people can make anything happen. And what better place to find international contacts than around the university campus? Meeting new people is probably the prime reason for why students go abroad in the first place, which means you are more likely to find like-minded people. In the future, your college buddies are the first place to look for potential business associates.
Knowing the right people in your field is an advantage in business, but being acquainted with experts from the around the world is on a whole new level. And the best part? Since you probably ended up helping each other more than once during your university years (sharing a meal when money is tight does wonders to bring people together), your international contacts will probably be more willing to help you out than your local business acquaintances. And who knows, having a couple of buddies who work as immigration agents might even be your ticket to moving abroad yourself.
4. Boost Your Confidence
Going abroad to study is the definition of going outside your comfort zone. For a lot of students, this is the first time they get to experience living on their own. Suddenly, you have to cook your own meals, do your laundry, arrange your living space, buy supplies, earn some side-cash, and finish your studies successfully on top of that. And this is in addition to getting used to a different language and culture.
It takes some guts to set out on a journey like this, but your confidence is scheduled to soar as soon as you start figuring things out. This newfound confidence translates really well into the world of business, where initiative and determination is rewarded better jobs. Once you get a hang of how to adapt to adversity in general, it is much easier to face work-related challenges once you obtain employment.
Studying abroad can feel a little scary at the outset. There are so many new thing you need to learn in order to achieve the best possible experience your guest country can offer. However, once you get over the initial hurdles, the world is your oyster, and this includes starting the career of your choice.
About the Author
Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur, freelance writer and self-improvement enthusiast from Sydney. Lately, she has been spreading the word on how immigration lawyers can help students with visas and hence make their relocation abroad as smooth as possible. In her spare time, she is either window shopping or exploring new ways to make her life more meaningful.
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