Study abroad’s return on your life

Is studying abroad worth it? Hell yea it is worth it!

This is coming from someone who studied abroad and parlayed it into a 3 and a half year job (thats still going strong). If you ask anyone who studied abroad, there is no tangible value that can be applied to the feeling, satisfaction, and experience you gain while overseas. Of course, most people who answer this question are testifying from the purely sensory side of this experience. In other words, it was worth the money because of all the fun they had, the places they traveled to, and the people they meet. I came from this category. I came home from abroad and thought only about “the sickest places ever, and the craziest parties.” Never did I think how positively my study abroad experience would impact my career goals and my future. I am sure the same goes for many of you.

Luckily we have clever, quantitative people like those people from the Institute of International Education who put together a report to actually evaluate the effect that the study abroad experience has on a young adult’s future career plans and employability. The results? Overwhelmingly positive, of course. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised.

*You can find the entire IIE results, The ROI of Studying Abroad here as an Infographic.

As this semester winds down, tens of thousands of students (roughly 260,000 students study abroad per year), are returning home suddenly on a more beneficial career path, and as the year turns, and new crop of students will be embarking on this experience that will change their lives and careers forever. For those of you still considering making the jump, do it. DO IT!

Just to give you an idea of the benefits, the following statistics are what the IEE found:

  • 20% of study abroad students said studying abroad “Made a significant difference on career plans, and 35% it made a “Notable Difference”
  • 82% of study abroad students are “Interested” in working abroad, with 58% actively pursuing abroad work opportunities (compared to a meager 17% of those who did not study abroad)
  • 73% of employers said that having study abroad as a credential is important when evaluating resumes
  • 90% of employers believe that study abroad students possess highly valuable skills and traits earned while studying abroad, one of these being ‘Cross Cultural Communication Skills’
  • Most of all, you have something to talk about at your interview

For any of you who have studied abroad, are about to head overseas, or are planning to in the future, know that study abroad is a life-changing experience in more ways than you can imagine. Every new country or city you travel to, every homemade pasta dish, or believe it or not, Sensation White you go to is setting you on a better path.

You’re at Oktoberfest. You are having the time of your life prosting and signing with your new friends from across the world. What you don’t realize in your festive haze are the Cross Cultural Communication Skills you just acquired. Study abroad, travel everywhere, and try every new experience possible. You can thank me later.













“Infographic: The ROI Of Study Abroad | Course Hero.” Course Hero | Study Guides, Lecture Notes, Flashcards, Practice Exams, Lecture Videos | The Best Way to Expand Your Education. Institute of International Education, Sept.-Oct. 2011. Web. 19 Dec. 2011. <>.

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