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Study Abroad Program

Studying abroad is a remarkable investment that provides eye-opening, challenging, rewarding, intensive, experiential learning opportunities. It presents students with an occasion to learn not just through textbooks, but also by drawing upon an exciting new environment. The immersion quality of study abroad allows students to learn with all of their senses, and to return with a more-well rounded vision, education and greater employment opportunities.

An Investment: The Benefits of Study Abroad

Studying abroad leads to many benefits, depending on the individual and what he or she invests in the experience. In general, you can expect to see the following:

  • improved academic performance, higher graduation rates, higher intercultural and language skills, and higher GPAs. [1]
  • A strong impact on the future of students more often than any other factor in their education including coursework selection [2]
  • increased tolerance of, respect for, and interest in people of other cultures;
  • increased foreign language skills;
  • increased independence;
  • sense of accomplishment and achievement; and
  • increased interest in learning about and exploring the world.

How does study abroad translate into tangible skills? Basically, studying abroad results in the acquisition of many skills employers are looking for today: good communication skills, ability to work with a variety of people, creative thinking skills, initiative, international awareness, and a willingness to go above and beyond.

A recent survey [3] indicated that students who invested in study abroad land jobs sooner after graduation--related to their majors!--and at a higher starting salary!

Findings include:

$7,000   — The average premium earned in starting salaries, compared to recent U.S. college graduates from the general population.

97% —  Percentage of study abroad alum who secured a job within one year after graduation, compared to only 49% of respondents in the general college graduate population.

90% —  Percentage of study abroad alum who were accepted by their 1st or 2nd choice graduate or professional school.

84% —  Percentage of study abroad students who felt that studying abroad helped them build valuable job skills, such as language proficiency, cultural training, tolerance for ambiguity, adaptability, and communication.

Ever more employers are realizing the extraordinary benefits of study abroad, and are seeking out graduates who have had study abroad experiences. Key jobs skills such as adaptability, global understanding and tolerance, leadership, and independence are directly fostered by learning and living abroad. Studying abroad offers some very clear benefits for graduates and an extraordinary return on the investment.

Students who participate in one or more overseas study courses by the end of their fourth year of college have significantly higher cumulative grade point averages than non-participants, even after accounting for prior academic achievement and college major. [1]

Compared to their peers, students who participate in one or more overseas study courses by the end of their fourth year of college have a greater likelihood of graduating within four years, (especially for at-risk students and after accounting for prior academic achievement and college major).[2]

 

Source: http://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/why/career-benefits (Jun 2013)

Source: http://www.iesabroad.org/study-abroad/why/career-benefits (Jun 2013)

 

At Claflin University, we believe that a well-educated person will demonstrate an ability to move comfortably among many cultures, languages, and points of view. In other words, a well-educated person will be a global citizen, ready to act in addressing the world’s most pressing problems.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you did not do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -- attributed to Mark Twain.

 



[1] The Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative, 2010.

[2] The University of Minnesota Global Engagement Survey. 2009. The study found a 24% increase in graduate school attendance.

[3] “The Impact of Studying Abroad on Recent College Graduates’ Careers: 2006-2011 Graduates”. Kendra Preston May 2012. Source: http://www.iesabroad.org/system/files/recentgraduatessurvey.pdf

[4] Report on Overseas Study at Indiana University-Bloomington, May 2009. Source:http://www.indiana.edu/~upira/reports/special/doc/Overseas%20Study%20-%20Appendices.pdf

[5] Ibid. The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has published a study showing that living abroad enhances creativity, which can have an impact in the workplace as well. The study is available for download  (374 Kb ) on the American Psychological Association Web site.