It is important for students to acquire global knowledge and experience by interacting with foreign cultures and diverse populations in today’s increasingly global society. Study abroad can make students stand out on a job application when leveraged as international experience or intercultural competence. The experience also allows students to develop valuable job skills – such as language proficiency, cultural understanding, tolerance for ambiguity, adaptability, and self-confidence – skills that employers greatly value in applicants.
A study commissioned by the College Placement Council Foundation surveyed “32 international employers and colleges to determine [what] employers seek in prospective employees.” The study found that “the three most important skills were cognitive skills, social skills, and ‘personal traits.’ Problem-solving ability, decision-making, and knowing how to learn are highly prized generic skills. Social skills were described as the ability to work effectively in group settings, particularly with diverse populations. Personal traits mentioned frequently included flexibility, adaptability, and the capacity to be innovative” (International Opportunities. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://studentaffairs.duke.edu/career/online-tools-resources/career-center-career-options-guides/international-opportunities).