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The value of studying abroad

graduate jobs

Last spring, the National Association of Colleges and Employers –NACE- commissioned its Global Resources Committee to survey selected organizations on global recruiting efforts. These were a few of their findings:

  • 39 percent of the responding employers sponsor U.S.-educated international students in the United States for full-time jobs. 
  • 47 percent are focused on recruiting international students to work in their home countries.  
  • Top majors recruited for international locations include accounting, engineering, math, computer science, and management information systems. 
  • Among the challenges employers identified were verifying candidate credentials and understanding government compliance issues. 

Source: NACE

This is just the tip of the iceberg, an account of a larger trend across the biggest companies around the world. Employers are searching for graduates with relevant skills, not only in their areas of expertise, but also in the global workplace. These skills are often developed through the experience of studying abroad.

The main argument is that the life skills acquired during their periods of study abroad promote students’ self-confidence, maturity and employability, which benefit the employers and the local economy, as well as society globally.

An additional report by the Council for Industry and Higher Education, Global Horizons and the Role of Employers argues that “global businesses are increasingly recruiting globally. Graduates who have international experience are highly employable because they have demonstrated that they have drive, resilience and inter-cultural sensitivities as well as language skills. They are a self-selecting elite.”

How can students make the most of this global trend?

Students from around the world have now the opportunity to travel to different countries as part of successful academic exchanges and collaborations as well as to undertake entire degrees abroad. This has become the best strategy for internationalisation that universities have adopted.

One of the many examples of this thriving strategy is University of Nottingham’s current funding scheme for studying abroad. They have developed the Study Abroad Scholarships scheme that allows students to apply for grants if they decide to spend a period of their studies abroad as well as welcoming students that want to spend some time in the U. Nottingham campus in the UK as part of their degree.

The Study Abroad Fund seeks to encourage students to develop themselves as international citizens, well-placed within the global employment market.

The experience of studying abroad will really help you to position yourself for success within the global employment market. In this sense, gaining a degree in an specific subject, complemented by the international experience and cultural awareness that studying abroad provides can make a real difference in your pursuit of a successful career.


If you are a student looking to study abroad, you might find useful the following links:

Choosing your study destination is a very important decision; check our guides to Study in the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand for useful information about institutions and advice about the local lifestyle.

Many institutions in Asia, which are working on internationalising their curriculums, receive increasing numbers of students from all around the world every year. Check our guides for studying in Singapore and Malaysia.

Just like University of Nottingham’s support fund, many other universities offer financial support for international students. Check our Scholarship search section to find out more.

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