Study Abroad Will Land Me A Job?

By: Xamara L Maisonet

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Finding a good job these days is like participating in a triathlon, where the competition is hard and has multiple obstacles. What could be the key ingredient that can put you in front of the race? Through the course of our lives we compete with others on different matters. When we are young, no-one loses and we all win, but that concept changes with time. We learn that if we are unprepared we can lose against someone who is better prepared than us.

The purpose of studying during our first few decades of life is to be prepared. That readiness should provide a job that will allow us to be successful in life. The competition in finding a good job is getting more and more competitive. According to an ERE survey posted on a Glassdoor for employer reference guide, on average a corporate job attracts 250 resumes, from those only four to six are called for interview from which only one is hired. Sometimes studying is not enough, and sometimes you need something that will make you shine more than any other applicants.

According to the Institute for the International Education of Students (IES), studying abroad will give you an experience that will enhance your chances of finding a job successfully. It pointed out that the kind of knowledge that you will gain, not only says something about your academic accomplishments, but also about your personal initiative and persistence.

Christie Miller, 46, professor at Valencia College, had the opportunity to study abroad during a summer in Spain as an undergraduate student. Now she teaches English for Academic Purposes As A Second Language (EAP) and has also taken students to study abroad to the Dominican Republic. She believes in the long-term benefits that studying abroad. One of the benefits, according to Miller, is global competency.

“They get global competency, which is a term they are using a lot in business right now, that is the ability to understand how things work globally. Because when you go to another country, you see how things are very different from the way they are in United States. A lot of students had never left this country, they don’t know how things are. Whether they go to a third world country like I choose to do, or to a driving city like China, no matter what side you look at, they will gain global competency that people who stay here on the States would never see.”

In 2012, IES Abroad did a survey that showed that 89 percent of students that studied abroad found jobs within the first six months after graduating. The same survey demonstrates that 84 percent of students say that the experience of studying in another country helped them build their job skills. 

Studies abroad could be dynamic, in any subject and it could be for anybody who wants to go an extra mile in their professional preparation. Biology professor Marie Trone, Ph.D knows this from experience. The 49-year-old professor at Valencia College went to Belize in her sophomore year of college for a tropical marine biology class. She participated in the 10-day event not knowing that it was going to change her life immediately.

“I think it opens your perspective to understand why other people do what they do,” says Trone.

After her experience in Belize, she also did studied in the Virgin Islands, then studied dolphin behavior in Peru and Mexico, where she lived for three years. Beside those eye-opening experiences, she believes that studying abroad will help any student that wants to continue traveling as part of their career, as well as help them learn other languages depending on how long they stay in the foreign country.  Another benefit will also depend if the class that is taken abroad matches the student’s field of study. Dr. Trone will be leading a group of students abroad for an environmental class in summer of 2017. The students will be able to see and compare the environmental management and issues in the U.S. compared to the ones in the Amazon in Peru. This will enhance the resume of any environmental major student.

According to Dr. Jeremy Bassetti, 36, Humanities professor at Valencia College, language skills, general cultural competence, interpersonal communication, and global knowledge are some of the benefits that the students will acquire. Even though Bassetti didn’t have the experience to study abroad as an undergraduate student, he believes in the benefits that come with that opportunity. He knows that because of his travels to Spain, where he pursued his doctoral degree.

“Study abroad opens up a whole new life.”

“It changes life”

“ My heart is in Spain, my brains want to go to other places too but,  that’s where I spent most of my time” [while during his graduate studies]

Now, he has the opportunity to take a group of students to Spain, who will take advantage of this asset that they will have in their lives.

For more information of studying abroad and the benefits for the future visit: IES-Abroad, Generation Study Abroad, and for Valencia students interest in any of the international study abroad and its program visit  http://valenciacollege.edu/international/studyabroad

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