So your UConn student is talking to you about Study Abroad. She is trying to convince you that a year in Sydney, Australia is just what she needs to further expand her brain, to gain significant understanding of other cultures in this global society that we live in, and to make herself more marketable upon graduation.
“Ok,” she says when she sees the furrow in your brow. “I’ll only go for one semester.”
Here are some things to consider. Sixty percent of employers surveyed by the University of Minnesota indicated that they saw no additional value added for candidates who had studied abroad.
But can a student make her Study Abroad experience more “legitimate” in an employers eyes? Here is what I recommend students do to add value to the experience.
- Get involved.
- Join a student group.
- Volunteer for an organization.
- Mix with people from different cultures.
Students add value to their learning through experiences outside the classroom. Students add value to future employers by showing how they became engaged in their study abroad trips by being engaged in out-of-classroom experiences.
If your student studies abroad, encourage her to push the envelope when she has an opportunity like this. It will pay off in the future.