10 Study abroad skills you should focus on | Benefits of studying abroad!

Last Updated on November 2, 2020 by iSchoolConnect

Why study abroad? Study abroad skills and experiences will accompany students throughout their personal and professional careers. As a student studying in a foreign country, there are some skills that you need to focus on developing. Here are some easy tips to help you do so!  

When you arrive in a new country with your bags in hand, there are always mixed feelings of excitement and anxiety. But, you need to keep in mind that your study abroad experience is what you make of it. The study abroad skills mentioned below are a hidden opportunity. If you manage to gain these skills while focusing on your studies, it will give you a major boost in your job-finding expedition right after college. So, without further ado, here are the top 10 study abroad skills that will make for a memorable and well-rounded experience.

1) Networking 

Building connections with people is an essential part of establishing a successful career. Creating long term relationships with mutual benefits allows you lasting impressions on people which will always benefit your personal and professional career. As a student studying abroad, you are in the best place to make powerful connections. It is not always about what you know but who you know. That being said, build a good relationship with your professors and alumni. They can both guide you academically and professionally. One of the major benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to meet new people, join new groups and clubs. Making sure to meet potential employers is a must among study abroad skills. Do not forget to keep in touch! The importance of networking is what you learn from putting yourself “out there.”

2) Communication 

Studying abroad will give you the ability to communicate by verbal and written means beyond the barriers. During your time abroad, you will meet and interact with students from all over the world. You will have to overcome many cultural and language barriers. Public speaking in a foreign country will not only improve your communication skills but make you more confident in speaking whether it is back home or somewhere new.  Employers view communication as one of the most important attributes a student can have. Learning how to effectively communicate during your international experience is one of the benefits of studying abroad. 

3) Language skills 

Students learning at college
Being able to speak and write in a language other than English will help you stand out

When planning to study abroad you will most likely go to a country that does not speak your native language. This will allow you to learn a new language in a different environment. Being able to speak and write in a language other than English will help you stand out from other competitors in the job market. While abroad, you will encounter many situations that you probably would not have experienced in a normal classroom setting. Socializing with other international students and native speakers of the second language you are learning will only enhance your skill. You will quickly connect to other cultures if you learn their native language! 

4) Flexibility/Adaptability 

One of the greatest changes you will notice while studying abroad is your flexibility. It can be overwhelming relocating to another country but it will help you realize the importance of adaptation. Students who make the most out of their international experience will strengthen their ability to adapt. You will quickly adjust to your new environment, daily schedule, and much more. Adaptability is one of the fundamental elements needed to succeed as a student in college and life in general. 

5) Intercultural skills 

Global competency is your personal awareness and respect for other cultural perspectives and norms is why study abroad is so important. Intercultural skills include openness to new ideas and ways of thinking. Many industries value employees that are aware of international and cultural norms. Studying abroad develops global competency and it will indicate to employers that you can work in a diverse workplace. Being able to adapt to unknown situations and effectively communicate beyond the cultural and linguistic boundaries during your time abroad will enhance your intercultural skills. 

6) Problem-solving skills 

Studying abroad will allow you to identify work-related problems and strengthen your independence. You will have to make decisions on your own by using your own instinct and personal experiences to overcome certain obstacles. It is important to find the root cause of a problem before moving towards solutions. You will have an advantage because you have the knowledge of viewing a problem from an international perspective. You will become a confident problem solver by using skills and techniques experienced while abroad. 

7) Teamwork skills

Students looking for opportunities after college
Working productively with others is a great way to solve problems

While abroad you will gain the ability to work with a diverse team and team atmosphere. You will be incorporated into group projects and activities. You will be contributing your own ideas as well as considering others’ ideas. Working productively with others is a great way to solve problems, exchange ideas, and come up with creative solutions and ideas as a team. Everyone’s ideas are valued and like they always say … dreamwork makes the teamwork! 

8) Self-awareness

While abroad you will learn to distinguish and understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Being in a completely different environment will raise awareness because you are forced to engage in different cultural values and norms. The time you spend abroad will allow you to self-reflect and better understand yourself as time goes by. You will further understand what works and what does not when it comes to your career. 

9) Confidence

Studying in a foreign country will boost your self-confidence when it comes to making decisions and trusting your own capabilities. You will also be learning a new language and will often make a mistake in front of a group of people. This will only help you grow and get you out of your comfort zone. Studying abroad will present many challenges that you will overcome. You will become mature and much confident when putting in new situations and thrive in them! 

10) Work-ethic 

One of the benefits of studying abroad is it will give you the ability to become a leader and improve your work ethic. As a student, you will be able to demonstrate integrity and act responsibly. You will learn from your mistakes and develop new solutions. While abroad you will grow as a person and will demonstrate personal accountability. Traveling and working in a completely different environment will only strengthen your work ethic and you will have more experiences than most thanks to the opportunity of studying abroad.

All these skills are just the tip of the iceberg full of knowledge you will gain during your study abroad experience. If you need more information about studying abroad, be sure to check out our other blogs like  Top 10 universities for masters in IrelandHow to apply for free education in GermanyMost affordable countries to study abroad, and many others. Check out these blogs and ask us your doubts in the comments or on our study abroad discussion page. Until then, happy studying!

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