Competition after graduation is tough; studies have shown that on average, every graduate job receives 52 applications. To find the right person for the job, employers are now looking beyond the class of degree you have and what A levels you received in college. They want employees who are independent, self-motivated and who love challenges. What better way to prove you obtain these personality traits than spending a semester abroad? Living abroad takes courage, determination and confidence; three things your future employers will love, not to forget that you will have to get used to understanding language barriers. It look’s great on your CV and the best news is, whether you’re in your first or third year, it’s not too late to apply.
For those of you who are in your first or second year, you have an opportunity to spend a semester abroad alongside studying for your degree. There are thousands of programs and foreign universities to chose from, it’s just a case of finding the right program for you and you have to consider how much it will cost to study abroad. If you’re an art student looking to study in America, they have the program for you. If you’re a sports student looking to study in Spain, they’ve got that covered too. It’s a great tool for anyone considering spending a semester abroad, take some time and look around the website. We’re sure they can answer any questions you have.
If you’re edging towards the end of your degree, you may think it’s too late to spend time abroad, well think again. Instead of spending a semester abroad studying, you can spend it teaching.Teaching English as a foreign language is an increasingly popular choice for graduates who have found themselves at a loose end. For those still searching for that perfect job, it’s a great way to earn money and boost CV skills simultaneously. So what’s in it for you? In return for teaching English to locals, you get the chance to live in a beautiful country, get paid and even work on your own language skills. If this sounds like something that interests you head here: http://www.tefl.com/ for more information.
So this all sounds great, but is it for you? There are some things you will need to consider very carefully before applying for any study abroad programs. Do you enjoy travelling alone? Are you confident travelling to new places? Studying abroad is not the same as going on holiday with friends. You will be required to travel to the country of your choice alone. Of course, you will make friends once you’ve arrived, but you need that initial confidence to get you there in the first place.
Are you comfortable being away from family and friends? It’s important to stay in touch with family and friends as these are the people closest to you! Depending on where and what you’ve chosen to study, you may be away from home for a long period of time.With the use of Skype and Facetime, it’s much easier to contact home from long distances now, but you need to be prepared to miss important dates in the calendar. Birthdays, weddings, births and Christmas are just a few examples of what you may miss whilst studying abroad. Before applying you need to ensure you are comfortable spending these important dates in an unfamiliar country, where traditions and religions may be different.
Would you enjoy exploring new cultures? If you’re interested in studying abroad, we’re almost certain this is the case. However, you need to be aware that going away on a package holiday is not the same as going to live in a local town. Depending on where you may have chosen to study or teach, there may not be a great deal of English speakers outside of the classroom. Although this may concern some people, it’s a great way to really get involved in the area and learn how the locals speak.
Where would you live? There are many different options for accommodation, but the best one for you depends on what you hope to get out of your experience. If you’re hoping for a party atmosphere, similar to your university back at home, we suggest living on campus. There’s likely to be more English speakers on campus and you may find yourself sharing a dorm with other likeminded English students. If you’re nervous about the language barrier, this may be the best option for you.
For a real taste of the local life, living in with a family is a great option. This gives you the opportunity to experience first hand what it’s like living in a completely different culture to your own. You will eat, drink and do what the locals do.
Whatever you decide to do, whether you study alongside your degree, teach as a graduate; take a gap year, live with locals or live with other students, we’re sure you won’t regret spending whatever amount of time you do abroad.
As well as giving you great career prospects, travelling benefits you personally. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in a different culture; you’ll wonder what stopped you in the first place.
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