In today’s economy it is getting harder and harder for recent college graduates to differentiate themselves from the herd. Despite the fact that potential employers see application after application with a strong GPA, solid test scores, and positive recommendations, though, there is one thing you can do to help yourself stand out: study abroad. That’s right, studying abroad is not just about having a fun adventure – although, of course, it can be – it can also help your chances when you enter the job market. Here are the top 5 reasons why studying abroad can help your career:
1. Language Skills
Even if your classes are in your native language, immersing yourself in a second one by living abroad has been proven to be the most effective way to learn (or polish) the must-have language skills needed in modern international business.
2. Communication Skills
There is more to getting your point across than the words you use, however, and employers know that applicants with study abroad experience can work with people from different backgrounds – be they in the classroom or in the boardroom – a crucial skill in today’s global economy.
3. Independent Thinking
Because studying abroad, by definition, means leaving home – and the usual support network it entails – behind, employers know that students with international experience are more capable of making well-reasoned decisions on their own.
4. Multi-Cultural Exposure
Because more and more business is being done across national borders (but less and less time is being dedicated to on-the-job-training), hiring managers are eager to find employees who already have hands-on experience in a particular international market. With such experience employees can begin to contribute to bottom-line from day one.
5. International Experience
The piece de resistance, of course, is international work experience. Above and beyond the normal practical experience such opportunities impart, internships and jobs abroad are proof positive that you have developed the skills listed above and can use them in a useful context.
In a British Council report, international students are on the rise and are projected to hit 3.8 million students by 2024 – up over 3 million students just two years ago. Most of the growth is coming from China and India, where the report conclude that these two countries make up 35% of the global growth of international students. In fact by 2024, current forecasts show that China will have 855,000 international students abroad and India will send 376,000 students – together, they will make up a third of the world’s international student population.
Where are they studying?
Most international students are studying in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. With more countries trying to get some of the market, there are other countries looking to attract the best and brightest. Countries like China, Malaysia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Indonesia are just a few named in the report. According to this study, however, the majority of international students in 2024 will continue to be Chinese and Indian students primarily studying in the United States and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the British Council forecasts that the major destinations for international students will continue to be studying in the United States, Britain, Australia, Germany and Canada.
Another one of our readers wanted to know about financial aid in Norway. Although by law, education is free for anyone living in Norway, Norway is expensive. The living cost in Norway is higher than most of the rest of the developed world. For this reason, students must plan well in order to manage their living costs. They can work part-time up to 20 hours per week, but in many cases this may prove to be insufficient. If this is the case, there are several financial aid and scholarship options available for international students studying in Norway.
However, the competition for these scholarships and financial aid is high. Acceptance for aid in Norway depends on the student’s academic background, the country in which they reside, and the course they study.
There are national programs offered by the Norwegian government, as well as various other programs offered by both private and non-profit organizations to provide scholarships and other types of funding for international students to help support their studies and stay in Norway. The Norwegian Center for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU) is a public administrative body under the Ministry of Education and Research in Norway that promotes international cooperation in education and research and administrates several programs under which international students are eligible for financial support.
One of our readers asked us to do a special piece on financial aid in Ireland, and we thought – what a great idea. After all, many international students studying in Ireland find that they cannot do so without some form of financial assistance. If this is the case, there are several financial aid options for these students. We’ve compiled a short list of the types of financial aid in Ireland.
A limited number of scholarships for international students are available from the universities and colleges themselves. These scholarships are awarded solely at the discretion of the individual institutions that set down their own criteria for eligibility. To learn more about scholarships offered by your school, you are advised to contact the school directly. There are also scholarships available for other organizations – you can find a comprehensive list of available scholarships for study in Ireland on our Scholarship Search.
A few weeks ago, the British government introduced its new International Education Strategy, the goal of which is to attract an additional 90,000 university students from overseas by 2018. According to the report, the education exports industry—which includes everything from tuition paid by international students to the overseas branches of British schools—adds £17.5 billion, or $26.5 billion, to the national economy.
The United Kingdom wishes to increase partnerships with other countries, encourage more British students to study overseas, and expand the Chevening Scholarship program, which finances foreign students studying in Britain. Business Secretary Vince Cable said in a statement, “Overseas students make a huge contribution to Britain. They boost our economy, and enhance our cultural life, which is why there is no cap on the number of legitimate students who can study here.”
Research suggests that as many as a third of the educational institutions in Britain, including some of the country’s finest, will recruit more students from outside Britain and the EU this year, continuing an already established trend. In the last ten years alone, the proportion of international students recruited to British universities has doubled. In fact, half of all students enrolled in postgraduate courses are now foreign. Read the rest of this entry »
According to a recent study by HSBC, Australia, the USA, and the UK are the three most expensive countries for international students. The study was done on data available on higher education in 13 countries around the world.
The UK was the third most expensive country overall, with annual fees of $19,291 and living costs of $10,177.
HSBC spokesperson Malik Sarwar commented, “”Those who wish to educate their children overseas need to consider more factors than simply tuition fees, such as living costs, exchange rates and inflation in their estimates of total costs. On average, living expenses can comprise at least a third of total costs and parents need to budget for travels back home during school holidays. As such, there is a need for parents to ensure their children’s education forms an important part of their financial planning.”
According to new research, international students in the UK are being charged up to four times as much for some degree courses than students from the UK. In some cases, international undergraduate students are being asked to pay up to £35,000 for their courses. Read the rest of this entry »
According to a recent study by HSBC Group, the United States is now the second most expensive country in the world for international students. The combined average cost of university fees and living expenses for international students in the US is over $35,000, and international students at Ivy League schools can expect to pay far more, with total costs running over $58,000.
In spite of the high cost, more and more international students are studying in the United States every year. According to the “2012 Open Doors Report” released by the Institute of International Education (IIE), in the 2011-2012 school year, international student enrollment at both colleges and graduate schools in the US increased. 764,321 international students in total were enrolled at a US institution, a 5.7% increase over 2010-2011.
A US education is likely an expensive endeavor for international students from any country. International students are not eligible for federal financial aid, scholarships are often limited, and some colleges charge additional international student fees on top of tuition. For these reasons, the majority of international student rely primarily on their own funds to study in the US. In 2011-2012, 486,524 international undergraduate and graduate students used personal or family funds as their primary monetary source—a 6.1% increase over those who did so in 2010-2011. Read the rest of this entry »
Billionaire and Blackstone Group founder Stephen Schwarzman has announced the creation of the Schwarzman Scholars program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. It’s mission? Schwarzman Scholar Program sends students to China. The scholarships, to be funded by Schwarzman’s own $100 million dollar donation as well as $200 million more from other international donors, will function similarly to Oxford’s prestigious Rhodes Scholarship though will obviously allow students to study in China rather than the U.K.
Starting in 2016, 200 international Schwarzman Scholars annually will get the opportunity to study in China at one of the country’s most prominent educational institutions in an all-expenses-paid, year-long program in Public Policy, International Relations, Engineering, or Economics & Business. These elite students will then leave the program with a Master’s Degree.
Schwarzman hopes that encouraging students from around the world (though scholars from the United States will represent the largest proportion) to study in China will foster an enduring academic and cultural relationship between the rapidly rising China and the rest of the world. Classes in the Schwarzman Scholars program will all be taught in English, further emphasizing the program’s mission of connecting Western, English-speaking powerhouses like the United States and the United Kingdom with the increasingly relevant China.
The Schwarzman Scholars program’s international commitment is also reinforced by its impressive advisory board, which is graced by influential figures such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, former U.S. Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice, and even famous cellist Yo-yo Ma.
The Schwarzman Scholars program represents a very exciting new opportunity for U.S. students looking to study abroad. With its high level of prestige in its host university and advisory board, setting in an emerging world superpower, and its fantastic zero dollar price tag, the program looks poised to provide quality international education to students when it does kick off in 2016.
*Photo Courtesy of BusinessInsider.com
A report recently released by NACE, the National Association of College Employers, has detailed the ten highest paying majors in the United States. The study measures these majors with top pay by looking at the average starting salary for a newly hired employee. Here’s the full list:
- Computer Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Computer Science
- Aerospace/Aeronautics/Aeronautical Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electric/Electronics and Communications Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Construction Science/Management
- Information Sciences Systems
Unsurprisingly, the overwhelming majority of these ten highest paying majors come out of the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. There are a few major reasons for this.
First off, STEM fields are many of the vital forces that drive our world today – the influx of computer and web technology in day-to-day life, for example, makes jobs in the above categories of Computer Engineering, Computer Science, and Information Sciences Systems significantly more important than they were even a few short years ago.
Another main reason that most of these majors with top pay come from the STEM fields is that relatively few students choose to pursue these majors over the more popular ones in liberal arts, making the actual STEM-field graduates very hot commodities for employers desperate to hire workers with the appropriate expertise.
Does this mean that you should go into one of these fields just because it’s one of the ten highest paying majors in the United States once you snag that first job? Certainly not. But some planning ahead and honest soul-searching in your pre-college and early college years can help you consider what you’d really like to do and see if any of the above majors is in fact something that inspires you.
Also keep in mind that it’s never too late to shift gears into one of these ten highest paying majors if you decide that it is indeed the right thing for you. Even if you’re already finished with your undergraduate education, there are various ways such as grad school and community college that you can use to get you started on a major career change.
If one of the above majors sounds like a good choice for you, make the commitment, study hard, and be ready to land a great job once you join the workforce!
As international students prepare to head to college inside the US, one of the decisions they will have to make is whether or not to enroll in a school meal plan. It’s not as simple as deciding how much you’d like to eat! Choosing a meal plan at your school will depend on a lot of different factors.
What Are Meal Plans?
A school meal plan can come in two basic forms: a plan that will allot a certain amount of meals and a plan that will allot a certain amount of money. A meal plan at your school with limited meals has the advantage of being cheaper, but is usually limited to your school’s cafeteria-style offerings and not specialty restaurants (including fast-food locations on campus). Meal plans that charge money from an account can generally be used at any restaurant on campus (and sometimes even at on-campus stores and off-campus restaurants), but you will need to keep close track of your budget so you don’t run out and wind up paying for food out of pocket!
When do I Need a Meal Plan?
Getting a meal plan at your school is almost always a good choice if you fit a certain few criteria. First, a school meal plan will be most useful if you live on or very near campus, allowing you to make it to participating cafeterias/restaurants regularly and get the full benefit of your school’s meal plan. Second, look at the lifestyle you’ll be living in the coming school year. Will you be in a tiny dorm room with just a microwave and mini-fridge? Will you be so busy that cooking your own food is out of the question? If getting a meal plan at your school would positively complement your lifestyle for the semester it can be a great option.
When Don’t I Need a Meal Plan?
If you have specific dietary restrictions, contact your school to find out if any of their participating options available are acceptable to you. Many larger schools will work to accommodate a variety of dietary choices, but if you don’t think you would be happy with what your school offers then skip the meal plan and prepare your own meals. Also, if you’re far away from campus and unable to fully benefit from a meal plan or if you would simply rather prepare your own food, a meal plan certainly isn’t a necessity!
A school meal plan can be a great way to make life easier and to manage your budget. Look into what your school offers and get ready to eat!