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How to Market Your Time Abroad to Recruiters

By Mairead Tuttle

October 12, 2017

Time spent studying abroad teaches you so much beyond lessons learned in the classroom. You more than likely spent several weeks, a semester, or even an entire academic year speaking a foreign language, navigating a new city, and learning customs of a culture that might have been much different from yours. Your time abroad was invaluable, as you tell every person who asks you about it.

Unfortunately, not every potential employer will see you time abroad in the same way. The good news is that attitudes toward job candidates who have spent time studying away from their home countries are improving.

A 2011 report from QS Global Employers Survey found that American companies are increasingly looking to hire students who have had professional or academic experience abroad. 54% of American executives and managers surveyed said that they “actively seek or attribute value to an international study experience when recruiting.” Until that number reaches 100%, here are a few ways in which you can better market your study abroad experience to recruiters and potential employers.

Emphasize your foreign language skills.

As the global economy becomes increasingly interconnected, employees who speak more than one language are vital to companies that do business around the world. While almost anyone can learn a language in a classroom, living in a foreign city and speaking that language every day exponentially increase your language skills.

Include an anecdote about using your foreign language skills in an everyday situation in your cover letter or during an interview. Perhaps you negotiated down the price of a scarf at a local market in Rabat, or helped a native Parisian figure out why the metro wasn’t running on schedule that day.

Stories like these show potential employers that you not only have the ability to take initiative in unknown situations, but that you can also do it in multiple languages.

Talk about how you adapted to your new environment.

Whether it is a classroom or a restaurant, adjusting to the norms a foreign country can be difficult. For example, you might be completely unfamiliar with the format of economics exams in France to point where a professor refuses to give you credit for your work. Discuss with a potential employer how you put in the effort to speak with the professor about your work (which again reminds them of your language skills), learn about the proper format, and perform very well on your next exam.

The same could be said for adapting to your home environment. Whether you lived with a local family or rented your own apartment while abroad, you more than likely navigated a new cultural situation. This is direct evidence of your ability to adapt.

If you studied abroad in an emerging market, your new employer knows that will have an employee with direct knowledge of that market’s culture were they to hire you.

Acknowledge the challenges of studying abroad.

Some employers view a semester or year spent studying abroad as a vacation from academics. While almost anyone who has studied abroad knows that this is untrue, it is still a prevalent perception. When we talk about our study abroad experience, we are much more likely to show friends and family pictures from the wonderful excursions we took and tell stories about life-changing events we experienced than to talk about the difficult days when we wanted to go home or seemed to forget the language skills we had worked on for years.

Some of the most valuable lessons learned while studying abroad can come from hardships. By discussing these with potential employers, they are able to see that you are willing to put yourself into situations that you know will be challenging, and that you have the ability to work through them to find success.

Mairead Tuttle is from Pennsylvania and is currently a French and Economics major at Mount Holyoke College. Through her economics classes, she found a passion for business, and hopes to someday work on the management side of the fashion and beauty industries.

 

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What To Ask Yourself When Choosing a Study Abroad Program

By Emily Almaraz

September 27, 2016

There has never been a doubt in my mind that I would study abroad in college. It’s always been a matter of when and where. But with everything that college is – academics, organizations, grocery shopping, and every other possible responsibility you have as a student and now adult – it’s hard to find the mental energy to sit down and choose a program.

If the study abroad fair has once again came and gone and you still haven’t found the right study abroad or don’t think you’ll be doing one (yet), there’s more than enough time.

Start With The Right Question

As you may have already found out, almost everyone loves and gushes about their study abroad. For some it’s their first time out of the country, and even when it isn’t, it’s always ‘life-changing.’ You might have guessed this: there is no right study abroad program, only the right one for you. And getting it right will require some conversations with yourself—mostly just asking lots and lots of good questions.

For starters: What do you intend to get out of this?

For some it may be learn a new language, in which case, an immersion program in your target language’s country would make sense. For others it’s less clear. Maybe you want a couple of things. It’s okay to not to know.

I’ve realized that asking questions – especially when feeling overwhelmed – makes all the difference. Answering questions is less daunting than evaluating your program options one by one and eliminating from there. Below I’ve listed some basic questions by category that have most useful to me. They are far from exhaustive – in fact, these are only here to get you started. Figuring out which study abroad program is right for you is a matter of getting to know yourself first.

Type of Program

If you’ve ever been to a study abroad fair, you’ll know that there is an entire market for study abroad programs, which means you’ll have more options that you’ll know what do with. So before shopping around, I’d go in with the answer to these questions in my back pocket:

  • Do I want to enroll with a foreign university (as opposed to through my college)?
  • Do I want a program designed for American students?
  • Do I want a program that’s designed for both American and the host country’s students?

Academics

When speaking with your parents about studying abroad, a large part of your informal presentation will focus on the academic merit of the trip. Yes, you’ll be exposed to new cultures and grow as a person, but you also want them to know that you’ve thought about the semester hours – and what requirements your trip out of the country fulfills for your major. What to ask:

  • Do I want to take classes that complete my major’s requirements?
  • Do I want to take courses in English? Or in my host country’s language?
  • Do I want to take this as an opportunity to learn a new language?
  • Do I want to become fluent in the language I’m already studying?

Social Life

The idea of where you’re going to live, eat, workout – and who you’ll be doing all of these things with is just as important as what you’ll be studying in the classroom. What to ask:

  • Do I want to live and study in a “college town” or in a big city?
  • Do I want to live with other American students, with students from the host country, or with a host family?
  • Do I want to live on campus or can I commute?

Financials

For many of us, this is the biggest obstacle. The conversation about where the money will come from to fund your trip will involve a parent and it might not be fun. It’s hard to talk about money, especially when you believe the return on investment of a study abroad is too much to pass up. No matter how many times you tell your parents “it’s an investment!”—it still fair game to get into details of the financials. At the very least, to know you’re getting the best possible deal on your study abroad. What to ask:

  • How much can I afford to spend?
  • How much do I care about the popularity of the host country I’m interested in?
  • Is there better financial aid for a less popular program/country?
  • What will it cost for a summer study abroad versus a semester one versus a Maymester?
  • What will the cost of living in ‘X’ country compare to ‘Y’?
  • What will it cost for local transportation (bus vs. train vs. taxi vs. streetcar vs. subway)?
  • What will it cost to travel to nearby cities or countries? Is this important to me?

If You’re Still Feeling Overwhelmed

Go to your study abroad office

And request a meeting if at all possible. Having someone face to face can sometimes be more helpful than on-your-own internet research. A study abroad advisor will most likely know what programs are popular, which aren’t, and the reasons for both. They might be able to suggest resources you had no idea existed - like an obscure scholarship they just found out about or direct you to the professor who leads a faculty-led program that would be a good fit for you.

Talk to students who’ve done a study abroad program you’re interested in

Maybe you’re a freshman or sophomore who doesn’t have many friends who’ve done study abroads. Or you don’t think it’s worth the money and are thinking that you’ll have time after graduation to take that trip to France. Perhaps you’ve done the math that, yes, it is significantly cheaper to go on your own. Wherever you are on the planning process, talk to people who’ve been there. And come armed with good questions because their thought process is likely to be useful as you decide between programs. Fair warning: their excitement about their study abroad will be contagious.

Keep your parents in the loop

Because they probably have a million questions. Parents always ask the questions you wouldn’t think to. Safety might not be on your mind but it’ll be the first thing on theirs. Most importantly, parents live vicariously through their children, so it’s fun and maybe even our duty to keep them involved.

Hopefully these sets of questions are the starting point you needed to start researching programs. It can’t be overstated that self-reflection is the biggest favor you can do yourself when making any big decisions, including finding the right study abroad program.

Emily Almaraz will graduate in 2018 from The University of Texas at Austin. Emily is an art history major and wants to design dream spaces. Her favorite program is the Forté College Leadership Conference.

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10 Tips On How To Survive A Semester Abroad

By Alina Tang

April 10, 2015

Before studying abroad, you will probably get countless tips on how to make the most out of your experience. However, no guidebook you read or suggestion you receive from friends and family will truly let you know what it’s like until you’re actually there.

Here are 10 things that I’ve learned along the way:

Take different routes to and from school.

Not only does this spice up your daily routine, but it also allows you to wander and discover places during the week, when you have less time to explore.

Sign up for classes that you would never take back at home.

Originally, I was planning on taking all business classes because they would be related to my major; however, due to a scheduling conflict, I ended up with a course called TV Studies. It’s now my favorite class because the professor is an absolute riot who constantly makes sarcastic remarks and isn’t afraid to voice her political views.

Use social media less frequently.

If you’re constantly on your phone, you will miss out on a lot. After a month of trying to upload my latest photos on Facebook ASAP, I realized that this can be done whenever. It’s more important to soak in a particular moment and enjoy it. One or two pictures can wait, but after a moment passes, it is gone forever.

Buy your own groceries and cook your own food.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t dine at restaurants and try the local cuisine, but if you normally don’t eat out every day, don’t do it here. You can save so much money (for more important things, like traveling) by simply preparing your own meals.

Identify the unique things in your host country and capitalize on it.

For example, even though I am not a big coffee drinker, I have fallen in love with Spain’s “café con leche” which is EVERYWHERE. It’s also much cheaper than coffee in the States, so I make sure to enjoy it as much as I can before it will disappear from my life.

Don’t book 6AM flights.

I’m telling you right now, the cheaper fare isn’t worth the lack of sleep which will make you a zombie for the rest of the day. Plus, many modes of transportation to airports don’t start running UNTIL 6AM, so you might have trouble getting to your terminal.

Participate in the events put on by your school’s exchange student network.

You might think you’re too cool for these organized activities, but it’s such a good way to meet new people, especially in the first month when everyone is new.

Acknowledge that there will be bad days.

Everyone talks about how studying abroad is an amazing adventure, but no one mentions the pangs of homesickness every now and then or the difficulty of staying in contact with people. You will feel left out, lost, and confused when all of your friends are going on with life back at home, but remember that you’re making your own memories too.

Keep a journal or blog.

A lot of people do this to update others back home, but it’s just as much for your own personal sake! Writing things down not only helps you record your experiences so you can look back fondly at them one day, but it also allows you to make sense of your new surroundings and understand why things are the way they are.

Set aside time to focus purely on yourself.

For me, studying abroad is not only a learning experience about new cultures and ways of life, but also an amazing opportunity for self-discovery and self-improvement. Besides becoming more open-minded, independent, and street smart from living here on my own, I’ve also been able take better care of myself with little things, like cooking healthier, sleeping earlier, exercising more, and reading for pleasure. As a result, I find myself feeling genuinely happier and more confident.

I hope these tips give you a better idea of what it’s like to study abroad and make you excited for your journey! You’re going to have the time of your life.

Alina Tang will graduate from USC in 2016. She is majoring in business administration and plans to work in the Management Development Program at Mondelez International and gain more experience in global marketing.

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Using Volunteer Experience on a Resume

By Kaitlyn Lannan

April 7, 2015

If you studied abroad while in college, you will probably agree that it was an eye-opening and enriching experience. You can use what you learned abroad during your job or internship search and it could help you to get the job!

Here’s how to make the most of what you learned.

Put your experience on your resume.

Your potential employers will be impressed by the fact that you lived in another country for several months to a year, which shows that you have adaptability skills. Put your study abroad program in the education section of your resume, where it will be one of the first things that employers see.

Continue your language-learning.

When I returned from studying abroad in Paris, I wanted to capitalize on the language skills that I gained from the integration experience.

I signed up to take a test to get a certification in speaking French at the local French Alliance, and I will put my results on my resume.

Talk about the skills that you learned while abroad in interviews or in cover letters.

Studying abroad helps people to broaden their horizons and learn many new skills that they might not have otherwise learned, so be sure to capitalize on these experiences.

For example, if the position that you are interested in requires you to be flexible and open to change, talk about how you lived in a different country where there are different cultural norms and how you overcame any challenges that were presented to you.

Keep in touch with your friends from your program.

It’s likely that you made at least a few close friends while studying abroad, and keeping in touch with them is a great way to build up networking contacts for the future. You never know who might have a connection to the job that you want!

Studying abroad is an incredible experience that can end up helping you in your job search. Using these tips can help you to land your dream job!

Kaitlyn Lannan is a junior at Northwestern University. She is majoring in economics and communication studies and plans on attending business school in the future. Her dream job is becoming the Chief Marketing Officer at a Fortune 500 company. You can find Kaitlyn on Twitter at @KaitlynLannan.

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Blunt Professors, Rowdy Students, and Eccentric Rules: How School Abroad is Different

By Alina Tang

March 13, 2015

After two months of attending Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, I’ve adapted to the way school works here better than I ever anticipated. Originally, I was concerned that the notoriously lax and laid-back manner of Spaniards (ex. siestas, tardiness, etc.) would drive me crazy, but now I have actually come to embrace it.

From my observations, the Spanish are indeed more flexible and stress-free, but they are also incredibly encouraging of differences in views when it comes to office hours, class discussions, and group work.

Firstly, professors act much more straightforward and will not hesitate to challenge you.

I remember the first time I went to one of my professor’s office hours, I told her my interpretation of a reading, and before I even finished, she interrupted me to say “You’re wrong.” At the time, I was totally caught off guard, but I soon discovered that this blunt line is a common recurrence.

Now that I’m used to it, I actually appreciate when professors let me know that I’m off base because it makes me re-evaluate my thinking. In the U.S., I hear professors say things like “I see where you’re coming from, but…” or “What you say is true, but…” all the time. While this is perhaps less harsh, it can sometimes be misleading and confusing.

Moreover, when a Spanish professor tells you that you’re wrong, they’re not completely discarding your opinion. I’ve finally realized that by disagreeing with me, they’re actually inviting me to elaborate on my opinion and challenging me to further defend my position.

The bluntness of professors also spills into the classroom, where everyone is encouraged to not only participate, but have their own personal opinion. In every single one of my lectures, students are cold called. But not in a way that intimidates them—rather, a way that makes them feel like their views are highly valued.

For instance, my TV studies professor consistently invites people to explain why a show is their favorite and persuade the rest of us to watch it. One time, she even had us do a creative activity where we each wrote down a title and description of a pretend TV show and then the class voted on the most compelling one.

From this exercise, we learned that everyone has different preferences, interests, and experiences, which translates to the wide variety of programs we see on television.

Last but not least is the encouragement of diversity in group projects. My advertising professor made a rule that each group of four has to have representatives of at least two different nations. I thought this requirement was really interesting, but I’m glad she imposed it because otherwise, I probably would have stuck with people I already knew, like my roommates and friends from USC.

I ended up working with two Spaniards, and learned quite a bit about how the Spanish respond to different techniques of advertising. After our presentation, we even celebrated by going out to eat tapas together. Crazy to think I never would have gotten this amazing opportunity to become friends with them had it not been for my professor’s rule!

Overall, I would say that there are a few things about another country’s education system that might initially come as a surprise/irritation/frustration. However, if you keep an open mind, you will soon find yourself getting comfortable with these new customs.

After I accepted the fact that my professors were going to start class late and my fellow classmates were going to be rowdy and talkative during lectures, it became a lot more enjoyable, even entertaining, to go to class. If anything, I’ve learned that the best way to come to terms with these changes is to just go with the flow. You’ll be surprised where it takes you!

Alina Tang will graduate from USC in 2016. She is majoring in business administration and plans to work in the Management Development Program at Mondelez International and gain more experience in global marketing.

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My Semester Abroad: Vibrant, Challenging, Inspirational

By Alina Tang

February 11, 2015

It’s going to be hard condensing my first three weeks of studying abroad in Madrid, Spain, but the best way I can summarize it all up is with these three words: vibrant, challenging, and inspirational.

Vibrant

Madrid is one of those cities that make people never want to leave. It’s a city that fills all of your senses, leaving you almost breathless with wonder and excitement. From the colorful buildings in the central plaza, to the smell of fresh bread in bakeries on every corner, I still walk around pinching myself sometimes.

One of my favorite things to do actually is to just wander the streets of Madrid until my feet are too tired to take another step. I am lucky enough to live right in the heart of the capital, in a neighborhood called Sol, which gives me access to 4 or 5 different subway lines. And even if I didn’t want to venture far, there is always something going on in Sol. Vendors arrange colorful purses and scarves on the street, musicians play lively tunes on their Spanish guitars, and promoters eagerly summon passersby to check out their restaurants, bars, and clubs.

I’ve tried to do something a little different every week to maximize my time here. Thanks to international programs set up by my school and my own motivation, I’ve been able to attend a variety of events, including watching a flamenco show, learning how to cook a traditional Paella meal, and my new personal favorite: practicing Spanish with other international students in a “Language Café.”

Challenging

Speaking of improving my Spanish, I would have to say that one of the most difficult things that I’ve encountered while living here is obviously, the language barrier. Even though I took classes throughout high school, I stopped studying Spanish in college. I wish with all my heart that I hadn’t taken the easy way out these past few years, but I’m thankful I have a second chance at re-learning a language I really do love.

While there are definitely times of frustration when people talk too fast or give me confused looks because of my thick American accent, I’ve built up my confidence over time to be able to look people in the eye when I speak. This at least gives off the impression that I am not only willing to communicate, but capable of it. The only frustrating part is sometimes people don’t even give me the opportunity to practice Spanish because of the way I look. They take one glance at me, and based on my outward appearance, they assume I can’t say a word of their native tongue.

Another challenge I didn’t really anticipate was how confused and lost I would be. Not even in the literal sense, but more in terms of how I’ve been coping with my new surroundings and finding my niche.  Everyone talks about how studying abroad is life-changing and eye-opening, but no one really mentions the daunting obstacles that come with starting a new life in a new place. You have to find your own apartment, figure out where grocery stores are, learn to navigate the transportation system, work with a budget, and adjust to a new school system. 

There are also so many little things that are done differently in a new country that you have to adjust to. In Spain, you can’t just pick up a fruit or vegetable with your hand—you have to get an employee to fetch it for you with a sanitary glove. And after you throw your clothes in the washer, you better have a place to hang them up because dryers aren’t really common in apartments. Even though these things seem pretty trivial, they are details people don’t really warn you about, but you will eventually have to figure it out all on your own.

And finally, there’s this sense of identity crisis as you’re trying to settle down in a new city. For me, the hardest part has been living so far away from friends and family back home that I can’t keep tabs on their lives and vice versa. I’m losing touch with them because of time differences and busy schedules, and I often catch myself wondering things like, “Am I missing out? Have they forgotten me?”

Though I’m not exactly homesick, I do recognize that human interaction is important during this time of transition and adjustment, and I’ve made it a goal to meet at least one new person every day.

Inspirational

This brings me to my last and most important point: studying abroad is one of the most inspirational things a twenty-year-old can do.

Every day, I meet new, interesting people who remind me how vast and beautiful the world is. I’ve come across young adults from every continent by now, and each one has taught me something new. Even a topic as mundane as weather can turn into a lively discussion about how differently we cope with rain and snow, and heat and humidity. Yet at the same time, it’s always mind-boggling to me that people all across the world lead very different lives from mine, but they share the same hobbies and interests, questions and concerns, hopes and dreams that I do.

But the best part is being surrounded by diverse people inspires me to be better. I know it sounds cliché to pursue self-improvement while I’m studying abroad, but there are so many things I want to do to make myself stronger, smarter, kinder, and happier while I’m here.

The truth is when you are always around people who are similar to you, you can get complacent. You stop challenging yourself. But here I am in Spain, and I’m constantly around classmates who speak 4 or more languages. I’m having intellectual debates with people about the effectiveness of governmental systems in different countries. And most importantly, I’m learning the way others think.

All of this is so very inspiring and it has helped me create 3 personal goals for the semester:

1) Speak Spanish without hesitation.
2) Become brave and independent enough to travel alone.
3) Fall in love with myself and become my own best friend.

Vibrant, challenging, and inspirational—thank you, Spain, for kicking off my journey abroad with so much promise for a successful semester.  Can’t wait for more!

Alina Tang will graduate from USC in 2016. She is majoring in business administration and plans to work in the Management Development Program at Mondelez International and gain more experience in global marketing.

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7 Steps to Securing a Study Abroad Semester

January 19, 2015

by Alina Tang

At the end of this month, I will be in Madrid, Spain for USC Marshall’s Spring 2015 International Exchange Program. The university I’ll be attending is Universidad Carlos III de Madrid—otherwise known as UC3M. While I only heard about UC3M last year, Spain has been my dream study abroad location ever since I took my first Spanish class back in 6th grade. Now that my dream is actually coming true very soon, I would love to share some advice about how to get your top study abroad choice.

While every school has a different application process for studying abroad, USC evaluates applicants on a variety of criteria beyond just academics. Essays, resumes, letters of recommendation, and a mandatory interview were all just as important if not more important than GPA when it came to selecting the most qualified candidates.

With that said, here are my tips for the application process:

1) Expand your global perspective beforehand.

Make sure you approach studying abroad with an open mind. You will certainly be evaluated on your ability to adapt and willingness to venture outside of your comfort zone. I remember clearly that my interviewer asked me to describe a time when I was immersed in a completely unfamiliar environment and what I did to embrace it.

Although I was able to borrow my experience working in Shanghai as an example, you can talk about any situation in which you grew to become more flexible or understanding of different people and different cultures.

2) Talk to professors, mentors, friends, older students—anyone who has study abroad experience.

When you applied for college, you probably sought the advice of dozens of other people. Choosing a study abroad location is a lot like choosing a university – you want to find out as much as possible about the place beyond facts and figures that can be researched online.

You want to find out what it’s like commuting to school or living in dorms, or how difficult it is finding nearby restaurants and living on a budget. These are things only someone who went through the same experience can tell you.

3) Do your research on not just the location, but the UNIVERSITY.

So many people forget that studying abroad is just as much about the school you’ll be attending as it is about the city you’ll be living in.

My interviewer told me that she heard a lot of students say they wanted to study abroad in [insert location] to learn about the culture or visit the tourist attractions there, but very few could name a single course when they were asked to discuss their interest in the university.

Remember that this is STUDY abroad, not play abroad, so knowing about the school’s campus, curriculum, and community is very important!

4) Be prepared with an updated resume, elevator pitch, and personal examples anytime.

As I mentioned before, chances are you will be evaluated on categories other than academics. Make sure you present yourself as a well-rounded individual who can be trusted to represent your school in a foreign country.

Besides preparing a solid resume, elevator pitch, and communication skills for your interview, I also recommend nurturing and maintaining close relationships with professors who can vouch for you when the time comes.

My GPA might not be the highest, but it isn’t the only indication of my drive to learn. I definitely think that my global leadership professor’s recommendation letter played a big role in helping me get Spain as my study abroad location.

5) Recognize challenges and acknowledge that studying abroad isn’t just a fairytale adventure.

It’s easy to get giddy and excited about studying abroad because you’ll be living in an exotic foreign place for several months and experiencing new things every day. But you also have to realize that it’s not always going to be rainbows and cupcakes because moving to an unfamiliar place is difficult.

You’ll get lonely. You’ll get frustrated. At times, you’ll probably even get overwhelmingly homesick. But seize this opportunity to grow and remind yourself how lucky you are to see the world in a new perspective.

6) Set yourself apart and sell your story.

Really take the time to answer why YOU want to study abroad. Obviously, it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but what can you, personally, gain from it?

For me, the prospect of improving my Spanish was the deal breaker because I think the best way to learn and master a foreign language is to surround yourself with it. Add on the fact that Madrid is the cultural and historic center of Spain, and I was all in.

7) Don’t rule out locations without a valid reason.

Finally, even if you don’t get your top choice, still give other places a chance. I know a friend who was set on Europe for studying abroad, but ended up getting the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Although he was hesitant to go there, he came back 6 months later telling me that it was the best decision he ever made, and if he could do it all over again, he would’ve picked Melbourne first with a heartbeat. 

I hope these tips help you with your study abroad application process. Best of luck and bon voyage!


Alina Tang will graduate from USC in 2016. She is majoring in business administration and plans to work in the Management Development Program at Mondelez International and gain more experience in global marketing.

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International Trips and Study Abroad

by Christine Bassitt
Forté Fellow and MBA Candidate 2014
University of Southern California (Marshall School of Business)

One of the biggest benefits to getting an MBA is the global exposure most programs offer.  My school takes pride in being one of the first programs to require all full-time students to take a trip in either Asia or Latin America.  While the travel in itself is amazing, the primary purpose of the trip is to visit companies and present a consulting-style project relevant to the firm’s current business environment.  The ability to speak with managers about the issues they are facing and work with them to come up with tangible solutions is priceless.

While the university trip abroad was incredible it only increased my desire to learn more about the global business environment.  I wanted to take advantage of being back in school and make up for something I missed out on in undergrad – studying abroad. 

There are different options for studying abroad – programs taking place over the summer or over breaks, full-semesters, quarter-semesters, etc.  Different schools offer different credit levels but most schools have partnerships with other MBA programs.  Language is not always a requirement, as a number of programs are offered in English. 

Additionally, many of the international schools have set programs with 30 or so MBAs from around the world studying together.

The university I decided to study abroad at was one that had a set program.  It has provided an incredible networking opportunity to future business leaders across the world as well as valuable insights to how business operates in the host country as well as in the countries of my classmates.  The program length was condensed enough for students on quarter systems but included enough long weekends to take advantage of all the incredible nearby sights. 

I traveled to 10 countries around Europe and went to dinners with students from 15 other nations around the world.  I also was able to finish my class work for my MBA sooner than my peers enabling me to start my new job earlier.

Some things to consider with study abroad are the credit hours received at your home university, the costs associated with both school and living expenses and how this fits into your overall career plan.  For students looking at a global role it can provide valuable opportunities to connect. 

Additionally, one should consider the events missed at home including valuable recruiting ones.

Study abroad is not for everyone, but for those looking to increase their network and knowledge of cultures and business environments it can be a fun way to take advantage of being a student again!

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