I remember the first time I left home to study abroad in London. I was a timid, naïve 17 year old with a whole lot of expectations but no clue on what I was getting myself into. Studying abroad truly shaped me into the person I am today (both good and bad) and I’m so grateful to have experienced that at a young age.
In the work I do now in my on-campus job at Annenberg International Programs, I see students return from study abroad trips with a similar wonder and spark in their eyes. It’s amazing to witness the impact that a change in environment can make in a person’s life and their career trajectory.
Yes, it’s a real thing—traveling does bolster your skillset and your resume. Here are six ways studying abroad can help you better advocate yourself and your career:
1- You become a great team player
Traveling or studying abroad in a new country opens your mind to new experiences and lifestyle. You will come across different types of people, ideologies and way of living that you will either adopt it into your own life or learn to adapt to the differences. This will translate into your work ethics as you will become more accommodating of other ideas and viewpoints rather than just your own, proliferating your teamwork skills.
2- You become an effective communicator
Although the language/dialect barrier is the most frustrating and exhausting aspect of traveling, it helps you become more aware of the differences and enables you to pay better attention to your communication skills. Becoming a good communicator is very crucial to most professions as it helps you establish relationships, delegations and your position in the office.
3- You’ll develop stress and time management skills
It’s obvious that traveling abroad makes you a better organizer and more responsible. When travelling, we are so often thrown into situations we’ve never dealt with before, and having the ability to take things as they come and work out a solution is an excellent skill to have in your career. You also become very good at managing your time well, especially after you’ve excelled your touristic itinerary.
4- You’ll cultivate creative skills
It’s often true that our busy, monotonous lifestyle sucks the creativity and imagination from us. Traveling is an excellent way to inspire your creative nodes. It helps you broaden your mind to new and unique knowledges, which will aid you in thinking outside the box at your workplace.
5- You’ll become more emotionally intelligent
Immersing yourself in new cultures helps you understand the deeper roots of social norms of different nations (it will open your mind to why certain people behave the way they do). This will propel you to be more empathic and more compassionate towards your colleagues. This is an essential skill to possess in the corporate world as you are bound to work with different types of personalities and knowing how to manage them is a crucial leadership trait.
6- You might learn the language
There’s no better way to pick up a new language than practising and interacting with people on a day to day basis in it. Studying abroad gives you that opportunity, meanwhile also allowing you to interact with the locals more efficiently. This is a great skill to add to your resume as employers find bi-lingual applicants very impressive.
Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience. As a student, studying abroad truly frames you and matures you as an individual. Annenberg International Office offers semester-long cohesive programs that enable you to experience the world for what it is. Check out Annenberg programs here for more information.