5 career benefits of studying abroad

Student smiling and raising hand in class

Studying abroad provides a variety of personal and educational benefits, but what are the career benefits of studying abroad? Whether you decide to study in Europe, USA or Australia, you will gain a wealth of career-enhancing skills and experiences that employers around the world will recognise and support.

1. Communication skills

One of the most valued career benefits of studying abroad that you will develop is the ability to communicate across multiple language barriers. During your time abroad, you will meet, interact and become friends with students from around the globe - so you will be surrounded by a wealth of foreign languages and different language abilities.

You will learn to effectively communicate in a range of different scenarios and overcome language barriers between fellow international students. The ability to communicate well is an attractive skill for employers and is one of the most important skills gained from studying abroad.

You will also improve other aspects of your communication skills, including presenting and public speaking, negotiating, academic writing and non-verbal communication. 


2. Learning a new language

If you are planning on studying abroad in a country in which the native language is not your own, then you will be able to learn a new language in an immersive environment. You will experience situations and scenarios that you probably wouldn’t encounter in a normal classroom. 

While studying a language in class can be rewarding, applying it in real-world situations can give you an entirely different perspective. Socialising with other international students, talking to your lecturers and learning and developing your reading and writing are the perfect way to enhance a second language. 

Complete immersion into another language often proves the fastest way for students to learn, and through conversations with native speakers, you will be able to pick up accents, colloquialisms and idioms. 

Students with key language skills are highly desirable to employers, especially those fluent in two or more languages - even more so in ever-internationalising industries. 

You will also become a more culturally sensitive person. You will gain cultural knowledge of how different countries work, their traditions and the way society runs - this can make you a great forerunner to success.

Explore the different programmes you can study at Durham University International Study Centre - the perfect way to prepare for your undergraduate or masters degree. 


3. Global connections

Studying in an international environment will give you the opportunity to make lifelong friends and connections from an array of different backgrounds. You will meet students from across the world meaning you can create a global network of contacts. 

The opportunity to diversify and interact with students, who will go on to work in a wealth of different international industries, allows you to create a worldwide contact base that comes with a number of advantages that can help you throughout life and your career. 

You could end up working with some of the students you meet, or you can find yourself calling on their unique set of skills at some point in your career. You could even end up partnering up and going into business together. 

Maintaining connections with people from around the world can be a great way to help achieve your long-term career goals and you will also get to experience a range of cultures and customs. 


4. Project management

The ability to plan and organise your time becomes even more important when in a new environment abroad. Not only will you be learning a new language or developing your language skills, you will have to adapt to a new culture and lifestyle. 

You will also be navigating and embracing your new home. You will be getting used to international transport, new currency, mobile phone contracts and your university coursework. This means you will develop the ability to plan logically and think critically - key skills of project management and key skills that employers typically look out for. 

Discover what development and support you will receive at Durham University International Study Centre.   


5. Boost your confidence

One of the main pieces of advice you will be given before heading into a job interview is to be confident. Fortunately, one of the advantages of studying abroad is that it can enhance your career by helping to boost your self-confidence. 

Overcoming the challenges that studying abroad presents, will lead to you becoming a more mature person, thriving in new circumstances and improving your self-reliance and resilience. The improvement of other skills such as language, communication, adapting to unexpected situations and leadership will also help you to be more confident. 

International study abroad will show employers that you had the confidence and bravery to go abroad to a foreign country, learn a new language, culture and lifestyle and have the passion to study for a degree. 

Learn more about studying abroad.

Frequently asked questions

How much does it cost to study abroad?

The costs associated with studying abroad will depend on your chosen destination, as well as your chosen institution. It is important to take into account the associated costs with studying abroad, such as tuition costs, travel costs, accommodation fees, and the cost of living in your area.

What does study abroad mean?

Study abroad means studying somewhere other than your country of residence. This can be for a short period of time, like a term or semester, or for a longer period of time like your whole degree.

Is studying abroad worth it?

Studying abroad allows you to gain more skills than just those associated with your degree. As well as what you learn in the classroom, you'll also be developing your language skills. On top of this, you will gain a range of transferable soft skills such as communication skills, problem solving, and self confidence.