Post-secondary education is growing in popularity as an option for high school seniors post-graduation. An opportunity that not many students often consider, though, is studying abroad. Only about 1% of all U.S. college students are able to coordinate studying abroad into their hectic schedule and tight budget.1 Even though it is a great way to have fun traveling while earning college credit, it can also help you land a job and ace the ever-stressful job interview.
Why do it?
One of the biggest reasons students don’t study abroad is the cost. While studying abroad can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be. With scholarships, loans, grants, and fellowships, students do not have to bear the burden of paying for study abroad by themselves. The duration of the program, whether it’s six weeks or a year, can greatly impact the biggest cost – tuition. Many universities even have programs where you can study abroad at the same price of studying at your U.S. school.
The cost of studying abroad can make people hesitant, but the benefits are vast – including helping your career and professional aspirations. Students gain a variety of useful skills such as problem-solving, cross-cultural communication, flexibility, cultural awareness, maturity, independence, and potentially even learning a new language. These skills are not limited to navigating a new country, but are also sought out by employers. Studying abroad can give students an advantage in the job market, which is considered one of the toughest for young adults since WWII.2 Students stand out for having the unique experience of learning about a new culture firsthand and gaining new skills along the way.
1 Trends in U.S. Study Abroad, NAFSA, 2013.
2 Teens face toughest job market on record, CNN Money, 2014.