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The basics
Study abroad : Career Prospects

What are alumni benefits?

Even after you graduate, your university still has a lot to offer you as part of their alumni community. Find out what an alumni is and how being part of a global network can benefit you in the future.

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As a prospective student, you'll often hear the word alumni used when talking about university students, but what does it mean? What are alumni associations, and how do they benefit you? We answer all these questions and discuss the benefits of being a graduate.  


What are alumni? 

Alumni are any students who have graduated from a particular institution. An alumnus is the singular form of the word. When you graduate, you'll be an alumnus of your chosen university. An alumni network or community allows you to connect with fellow students, network, and benefit from your association with your university post-graduation.  


Having alumni associations helps a university in several ways. Firstly, they help grow the brand and reputation of the university. This helps to increase applications to those institutions. A university’s reputation is a factor used in ranking universities and institutions.  


Alumni also contribute money through annual gifts. No matter how small these contributions are, they all add up and help fund research, new facilities, and scholarships. For example, the Ivy League institution at Harvard University has donations totalling over USD 40 billion.  


Giving back to the university you have graduated from helps support the next generation of students and provides finance for the university to keep improving. This ‘giving back’ can include money in membership fees, fund-raising and donations, marketing on social media platforms and mentoring current students. 


But how does this help you, the alumnus? Let’s take a look. 


Alumni associations 

An alumni association is also called an alumni network or alumni meet. Each university has at least one alumni association, but most have many per faculty, interest groups or general groups. They all have a range of things to help bring alumni together, from organising social events to publishing newsletters or magazines.  


How do alumni associations benefit you? 


Facilities  - You will continue to have access to campuses and public lectures, libraries, and sports facilities

Networking – You will have a very large network of professional contacts. Remember, some alumni are already professionals with established careers and businesses. This can help you in your career progression throughout your life.  

Careers services – Alumni can be offered a range of career services such as coaching and cv/resume reviews, mentoring, professional development events and training, online resources, webinars, and an exclusive jobs board. 

Special events – You can attend a range of events and reunions. 

Discounts – You will also benefit from discounts at your university to attend classes or performances and buy books. Your alumni card can give you discounts from some businesses such as shops and restaurants, movie tickets and, in some cases, amusements parks.  

Banking and financial services – Some alumni also have benefits, such as discounts on car, home and health insurance. Some even offer banking services such as loans and mortgages for buying a home.  

When you graduate and you’re invited to join the alumni association try to look beyond the fee that you’ll pay. Rather think about all that you will receive in return. It's also good to know you'll be helping to fund and support the graduates of the future and the success of the university that helped you on your path.  

If you want to continue your study abroad research, we have some guides to help. You can find out more about what a university's international office offers, what careers services do, and the benefits of using an education counsellor


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