Still wondering whether it’s worth studying overseas? Employers are increasingly placing international experience at the top of their ‘must-have’ list when looking for new recruits.
Study abroad specialist The Student World says businesses have told it that those who have studied in the UK and have also experienced overseas study:
- are more likely to get better jobs, with higher pay and more job security
- are more likely to be in senior management positions
- consider that international study experience has enhanced their personality and attractiveness to employers
There’s plenty of research out there to back that up. The Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE) commissioned research from i-Graduate to find out what employers thought about study abroad experience. Their conclusions from responses from more than 20 large companies were that:
- Around 60% of the country’s top employers indicate that experience of international study enhances employability.
- The remainder indicate they recruit on the basis of individual strengths, which are likely to be reinforced by international experience.
- The majority commented that studying overseas makes an applicant well-rounded in terms of skills, experience and personal development.
- Approximately one third of employers stated their decision would not be influenced by the country of study, considering an overseas degree on a par with a UK degree.
It makes for interesting reading for anyone considering studying abroad. We spoke to Jemma Davies at The Student World, who offered these tips on ensuring international study gives your job prospects a headstart.
1. Make sure to cater your CV to your employer. If you studied abroad you will need to include course descriptions and background information on the university and degree you studied. Include the university's URL on your CV to make it easier for employers to find out more.
2. Open a new a job market. Why not work in the country you studied in? Make sure you get a good understanding of the application process, visas and work environment. Many countries allow you to work there for up to four years after graduation on your visa and then you may have the chance to apply for citizenship. Many international universities have great links with employers to get you through the door when you are studying. They also have great career advice centres linking you directly to future employers.
3. Highlight your international experience. What have you learned from it, why does it it make you a better employee? New cultures, new languages, new environment. Intercultural competency allowing you to understand and work with people from other backgrounds and added (basic) language skills can be a great plus for employers. Also leaving your comfort zone shows that you are more independent and that you adapted to a new environment.
4. Double check that the university and its courses are accredited by the right body. You don't want to end up with a Mickey Mouse degree (even though we all love Mickey Mouse).
5. Try to get as much work experience into your study time. This could be another great opportunity to explore another country!
To find out more about studying overseas, explore The Student World's free to attend events in London and Leeds this March, with over 50 universities and other like-minded students. Get your free tickets today.
Alternatively, ask your questions to an expert panel in our Q&A on The Student Room.