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Study abroad: A smart move

Studying on Campus (man on steps)In today’s difficult economic times, it’s natural to re-think your goal of studying abroad. Does the benefit outweigh the cost? The answer, in fact, is yes, when you look at the road ahead.

When the economy becomes more challenged, competition for the workforce increases, and employers look for employees with the best credentials. Having an overseas degree — from a university where strong English skills are required — can make all the difference. The added expertise of a foreign degree, along with more cultural experience, can make you more qualified for many jobs. In fact, as corporations become more globalized, having experience overseas only becomes more important.

The lifelong impact of studying abroad can be substantial, and has been proven in several ways:

  1. A 50-year study of 3,400 students shows that “studying abroad is usually a defining moment in a young person’s life and continues to impact the participant’s life for years after the experience.”1

    1. 82% said that “they acquired skill sets that influenced their career path.”
    2. 70% stated that “it ignited an interest in a career direction that they pursued after the experience.”

And the effect on one’s career can be equally strong:

  1. A study by the Queensland, Australia government shows:
    1. 61% of employers stated “an overseas studying experience is a positive on a graduate resume.”2
    2. 72% of employers felt that “a second language makes a graduate a more appealing employment prospect.”2


 

The money question.
Still, there’s the question of how to pay for studying overseas. But the cost doesn’t have to be as high as you think. There are many universities that offer excellent value, for less tuition, than many people realize. And, there are plenty of ways to further offset the cost — through financial tips, advice and grants.

Hundreds of thousands of students will still study abroad this year. With a little financial savvy and the advantage of the TOEFL test — the most accepted, most respected English-language test in the world — you could be one of them.


 

1 Institute for the International Education of Students: The Benefits of Study Abroad.
2 2006 QETI and IEAA. The Attitudes and Perceptions of Australian Employers Towards an Overseas Study Experience.