5 Ways Studying Abroad Has Made You More Employable
For those still in the post-year abroad haze, it might come as a bit of a shock when term finally rolls around.
The transition from living abroad back to drizzly old England is one that is inevitably hard, and one that induces reverse culture shock. You’re horrified when faced with a beer served in what now seem like bucket-like pint glasses. You’re confused when your Croat slang falls onto deaf ears. You become that person who can’t eat a sandwich without comparing it to one you had on your year abroad in ‘Barthalona’.
One way to keep the year abroad dream alive is through the ways you market it on your CV and in interviews. While it may have been a year of fun in the sun, it was also an intensely beneficial and unique learning experience. With only 1.6% of UK students being able to boast they’ve studied abroad, simply having it on your CV will make you stand out.
Here are five ways doing a year abroad could have made you more employable.
Living, studying and flourishing in a foreign country obviously requires some degree of adaptability. To embrace a completely new culture, language and type of people means you are open minded, fearless and up for a challenge.
If we think about this in the context of a job, as an employee you should be able to acclimatise to your new role quickly and embrace new tasks easily – even if they’re out of your comfort zone. Your year abroad acts as proof of this. Surviving without a decent cuppa for a whole year says it all.
Many students may have ‘flown the nest’ to a uni two hours drive from home. Moving to another country however, is a whole different ball game. No popping home to mum on Sunday for a roast.
Figuring out how to get around a new city, set up a bank account and register with the uni, all in a different language, is quite a challenge. Learning to do this without your normal support network around you indicates you are an independent individual who shows initiative. This is where you can click your fingers sassily.
Not only will you have an extra year of academic learning and improvement under your belt, but you’ll have a wider knowledge of other cultures too. This is seen as particularly important in our increasingly globalised world and is attractive to employers. Being able to understand and appreciate other political systems and traditions showcases you as an employee with a wider outlook.
Within this bracket of wider knowledge, lies the potential acquisition of a foreign language. 90% of students who did an Erasmus year report their improvement of soft skills, which includes language proficiency and the ability to communicate. Whether you simply picked up conversational Dutch or became fluent in Spanish, the absorption of a foreign language indicates a desire and ability to communicate.
96% of students who studied abroad believed doing so boosted their self-confidence. From the very get-go some level of confidence is needed to make the decision to move abroad and into a totally unfamiliar situation. Navigating this situation is the tricky part. Socialising with a set of people from different backgrounds, you are metaphorically thrown into the deep end – and the learning to swim part is where your confidence grows.
So when writing job applications in the coming year, remember how asking for another sangria in Spanish built your communication skills and how getting lost in an unfamiliar city developed your ability to manage a crisis.