There has been an increase in research on how studying and living abroad can affect one's performance at work. In a world more connected than ever before, employers are looking for applicants who can think critically and adapt to an evolving business environment. Experience abroad can help offer unique talking points during an interview, and it might offer the competitive edge that lands the job.

The structure of a study abroad program makes it possible for students to acquaint themselves with new surroundings. When you immerse yourself in a new culture, you expand your ability to think critically and work creatively. Academic engagement takes place at various points of interest across a country, treading the crucial balance between academics and culture. Students are challenged with learning how to use local public transportation, which increases collaborative efforts with their colleagues. Aside from academics, they are also offered time to explore on their own. Students who take advantage of their spare time to explore a country are more likely to observe cultural differences through the eyes of society. These experiences improve their ability to solve problems in an abstract fashion.

More universities are offering study abroad opportunities, and students are taking advantage of these programs. During the 2014-2015 academic year, the number of students studying abroad grew 2.9%. This trend is good news for local and international businesses. Individuals with a global mindset will be better suited to negotiate with foreign companies or work on international expansions. A survey on the subject reported that among the businesses questioned, nearly 40% claimed they missed out on international opportunities due to a lack of qualified personnel. This reason alone is enough for a company to extend their search for prospective employees with experience abroad. In order for businesses to stay competitive in today’s market, they need to find workers with a global mindset.

Studying abroad affords students an unparalleled opportunity to gain crucial skills through invaluable cultural experiences. Businesses are only going to continue to expand globally, so both employers and students should consider the benefits of these international opportunities.

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