Add a cross-cultural dimension to your education
International experiences can impact your career development by adding a cross-cultural dimension to your education that you would not find without this exposure. As the job market becomes more globalized, you will increase your marketability, by learning the competencies that both local and global markets value.
There are many benefits you will receive from studying abroad, including:
- improved cognition
- and analytical networking
These skills will increase tolerance and adaptability, strengthen cross-cultural sensitivity and sharpen interpersonal skills.
Using Study Abroad to prepare for your career
Think about your career during the process of study abroad. You will go through three main stages:
Set goals for your experience and think strategically of what you want to accomplish.
What skills do you want to develop? This is your opportunity to learn a new language, learn about the history of an ancient civilization, meet people from all over the world, and much more!
How do these goals relate to your ultimate career goal? Be sure to research on the cultural differences.
You want to make sure you learn the etiquette of a different culture before you get there.
Reflect on your experience while you are in this new environment. The best way to process this is to reflect on how you are changing, growing and learning. Whether you blog, video blog, or journal, documenting your reflections will greatly help you grow from the experience.
Return to Campus
How did your experiences develop you for the world of work? Immediately update your résumé adding this experience.
Reflect on the following questions:
- How do these experiences connect to your career of choice?
- What about the job for which you want to apply?
- Job description, company mission, vision, or values?
Translate your experience to the job market
It is key to understand the importance of your experience and to learn how to articulate this in an interview. Use an ample vocabulary and intelligent language when you describe your experiences.
Consider the following:
- Your intercultural competence
- How did your experience shape your understanding of various cultures and the interaction of social groups?
- Your global competencies
- What global issues arose and what did you learn about ways to address these during your experience?
- Your intercultural development
- What kind of interaction did you have with other cultures?
- Did you have any "culture shocks"?
- What did this teach you about a different culture?
- In terms of career development, what was most valuable about the experience?
- How do the lessons above translate to the job description for the job in which you are applying?