Studying Abroad Increases Your Employability

Studying Abroad Increases Your Employability

According to the latest data from UNESCO, in 2017, over 5.3 million students were studying outside their country of citizenship. And based on research by IZA World of Labor, many students agreed that studying abroad allows them to acquire a wider range of skills that enable them to compete successfully in the labor market.


According to research by the Institute of International Education, a Business graduate in Turkey said, “I had a 3.9 GPA, interviewed for five different internship positions and I couldn’t land a single internship. I studied abroad for a year, I came back to the states, and the first two internships I interviewed for I got offers from both … And my whole interview … all they did was ask me about my time abroad.”


Why does studying abroad increase your employability? In today’s world, employers are constantly looking for applicants who can communicate and interact with individuals from different countries and cultures so that they can expand and compete internationally. Research shows that studying abroad improves students’ interpersonal skills because they learn to interact with people who are different from them. Because employers greatly value interpersonal skills, students who have studied abroad do much better in interviews. Further, as mentioned in a recent IvyTies article, studying abroad makes students more fluent in a second language. In many countries, speaking a foreign language is rewarded in the labor market because it means that the candidate can effectively communicate with a broader range of people. In addition, because study abroad gives students exposure to foreign cultures, it increases their cultural sensitivity, which is very important given today’s diverse workforce.


The skills gained through study abroad also have a long-term impact on students’ career progression and promotion. Here are some findings provided by the University of California, Merced:


  • Only 49% of college graduates found employment within 12 months of graduation, but 97% of study abroad students found employment within 12 months of graduation. This means that study abroad students were twice as likely to find a job. Among study abroad students, 90% landed a job within 6 months. Similar findings were obtained in the UK.
  • Further, study abroad students earned 25% higher starting salaries than college graduates who did not study abroad. A British study found that study abroad students earned 17% mor. This means approximately $7,000 annually for US students and £3,120 for UK students.
  • In addition, research shows that the longer period of study abroad, the bigger the impact on subsequent jobs offers and the development of most skills.


The data show that investing in yourself through study abroad is a worthwhile choice that will benefit your employment. You can apply for various scholarships in your home country, in the host country, and at your university. You can also get student loans, which you can repay with the higher salary that you will earn after finishing your studies abroad.


For those who are studying abroad right now, you need to highlight your international experience in your resume and cover letter. A research study found that in their resume and cover letter, students should describe experiences that would demonstrate that they can:


  1. Creatively solve problems by applying familiar concepts to unfamiliar situation
  2. Contribute to an ethnically diverse team
  3. Be self-confident, yet able to listen and learn from people whose value systems are different
  4. Take personal risks and act independently
  5. Be flexible and adaptable to rapidly changing situations
  6. Have a basic command of the local language and be able to use it in practical situations or
  7. Imagine, forecast, analyze, or address business situations from a different cultural frame of reference.


Join IvyTies to make your dream of studying abroad come true, our features will help you to make it possible!