Students should consider a placement year working abroad

We’ve heard it time and time again, employers want graduates to have experience. It’s become a broken record and the vicious circle continues; to have a job, you need experience, to get experience, you need a job! It’s not all doom and gloom however, as an often overlooked and at times easier way to get this all-important experience, is to work abroad. Now, I hope I’m already preaching to the converted writing this article on StudentUniverse but if I still haven’t convinced you, here’s why you should consider working abroad:

There are more opportunities

I will start off with stating the obvious: once you open your mind to opportunities outside of the UK, there are so many more job opportunities out there. We are used to disheartening headlines telling us how little graduate prospects we have, but elsewhere there are countries that need skills that you could be in possession of whether that is engineering experience, accountancy skills or knowledge of the English language as a native speaker.

Language skills

Consider teaching English abroad

Obviously this is dependent on the country, but if you work in a company alongside non-native English speakers, improving your language skills is a valuable experience to put on your CV. Language skills are much in demand and shows you have in-depth cultural understanding as well as giving you a competitive edge. Language skills have also been proven to make you smarter – Okay, as a languages student I may be biased, but I’m sure it’s true!

International experience is in demand

We all know that experience on a CV is a requirement, but international experience? That is very much a desired asset to have as an employee. More and more, companies are turning their focus to the international arena so with an understanding of different cultural and business practices, your CV will stand out amongst the rest!

Personal development

Working abroad pushes you even further out of the comfort zone than if you were to remain at home. Your experience abroad will drive you to gain independence, attain indispensable skills in a personal and professional sphere and grow umpteen amounts in confidence. Working abroad will not only help you progress in your professional life but also it will benefit you personally too.

Travel

Travelling is a huge benefit on placement years abroad

It should go without saying but working abroad has the amazing benefit of the opportunity to travel. Whilst you may not be able to travel in the traditional sense, you can still make the most of your weekends and public holidays. You could also extend your time abroad after your placement to travel fully so take advantage of your geographic location and see a different side of the world!

So there you have it, working abroad will make you a better, more-rounded person with highly employable skills. Whilst working abroad is by no means the easy option, it is an incredible, challenging and exciting experience that you should give a go at least once. If you’re interested in working abroad, try these companies to find out more: AIESEC, TEFL and Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO).

Have you worked abroad? Where would you like to go?

Blog by Naomi Todd.

Blog by Naomi Todd

Naomi is a final year French and Spanish student at the University of Nottingham. She has just returned from her year abroad where she interned in Paris and volunteered in Colombia, before travelling around South America. The year abroad ignited her passion for travel and was the inspiration for starting up her own travel blog.

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