Study abroad programs help students gain valuable work and life skills that lead to more job offers and promotions, according to a 2017 study by the Institute of International Education.
The study, “Gaining an Employment Edge: The Impact of Study Abroad on 21st-Century Skills and Career Prospects,” was conducted among 4,565 men and women and included a survey and interviews among alumni who have studied abroad.
The survey asked participants whether they felt their programs allowed them to develop 15 skills valued by employers, including communication skills, self-awareness and others. More than 70 percent of respondents believe studying abroad helped them to develop intercultural skills, flexibility/adaptability, self-awareness, curiosity and confidence, and more than half believe their study abroad experiences contributed to a job offer.
“[The employer] definitely wanted to know how I handled living in a different environment and they were mostly interested in how my interpersonal skills were [developed] when I was abroad,” said one respondent.