04 May 2018
Why Overseas Experience is Important
Experience overseas provides priceless opportunities, allowing you to build direct and indirect skills that employees look for in job seekers. There are different ways to gain experience abroad. In this article, we take a look at some of them.
If you see yourself living overseas or working with a global company, choose a University course with overseas experience that gives you the opportunity to choose a year abroad or that is compulsary in your course. You may have the choice to study at an overseas partner school or intern at company based in a country you may not other wise experience an extended period of time.
Volunteering abroad is a good way to gain a range of experiences. For some, volunteering will add experience to their CV and thus improve their job prospects and employability; for others volunteering is fun, fulfilling and a good opportunity to network and make new friends; or you may view it as contributing to society through working with a non-profit organisation. Some people feel that by the end of their time studying for A-levels or a degree they need a break, and the idea of taking some time out appeals as a result. Volunteering during this time is a good way of building up experience, and ensuring that there isn’t a large period of inactivity on your CV.
Gap year after University
Taking time out after graduating, whether for a few months to a year, is an opportunity to travel, experience new cultures and perhaps work in a different country. Remember employers will be interested to know your reasons for taking this time out and how it has helped develop your skills. Do some research, Gapyear.com has lots of advice, guides and suggestions as well as a platform to look for travel mates. There is a lot to gain – directly and indirectly – from the various experiences you can have during your time away.
- Learn about yourself, your capabilities, interests and future goals.
- Personal development from the challenges you experience.
- Skills and attributes, you can transfer to a future workplace such as planning, problem solving, dealing with people, self-sufficiency and adapting to different environments and cultures.
Universities often have overseas trips for students, to learn, explore and work with other schools. If its possible for you to join a trip like this, make sure to take up the opportunity - it’s a great way to explore a new country and bond with your class mates.
Last year, a group of King's Business School students travelled to South Africa to collaborate on the Smart Inclusive Cities project in Johannesburg. In partnership with the University of Witwaterstrand, students worked with community leaders, experts and students from the partner university to find out how people from different backgrounds, beliefs, generations, geographies and sectors can best live and thrive in Johannesburg.
There are many new personal developments, experiences and skills you will gain from overseas experience:
International experience will help you grow into an independent, adaptable and open-minded individual. Build your confidence and communication skills by putting yourself into a new environment and culture. Your time abroad will bring out your adventurous side and put you in a global mind set. Growth comes when you are put in a new environment, it’s important to be curious and take yourself out of your comfort zone. You’ll have the opportunity to make lasting friendships with a diverse group of people both from around the world and your host country.
Future employees will look at your CV and see more than just your time away, but as someone who is open to experiences, can problem-solve and is self-reliant.
Different countries and Universities have different styles of education. By studying abroad, you will have the opportunity to see a side of your major that you may not have been exposed to at home. Your class mates will be a mix of people from your host country and international students. You will benefit from the different points of views in your class room.
Take advantage of this once in a life time opportunity and immerse yourself into the new culture that surrounds you. Be open to every experience, try new foods, traditions and social atmospheres. You will return with a new outlook, new interests and tastes. While you are abroad, make sure to experience the city and nearby areas as well as neighbouring countries.
Perhaps you’ve studied the language already or maybe you don’t speak it at all. Take this opportunity to improve or gain a new language skill that looks great on your CV.
Return home with a new perspective. You time abroad will supply you with many direct and indirect skills future employers may find attractive, such as, willingness to learn, ability adapt to new cultures and your amazing education. Global companies are increasingly looking for employees who can fit in to different countries and cultures, and your experience will show that quality.
Tools at King’s
- Talk to a King’s Careers Consultant about the overseas opportunities available to you.
- All Undergraduate courses at King’s Business School include the opportunity to study abroad at one of our partner schools. Our International Management Undergraduate degree includes a compulsory year abroad either studying at one of our partner universities or interning at a company overseas.
- King’s Business School offers Language and Management courses in French, German, Portuguese and Spanish which includes a compulsory year abroad in your final year.
- Any overseas trips for King’s Business School students will be advertised internally to students during the academic year