International Educator - May/June 2014 - 54

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EDUCATION ABROAD
By Charlotte West

Career Booster-Education Abroad
Helping Students Translate the Value of Study Abroad
to Their Job Search After Graduation
PARTICIPATING IN INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES does not au-

tomatically translate into improved job prospects for graduates-even though many students
describe their education abroad experience as a life-changing experience. While employers value
the skills often associated with education abroad-such as teamwork, cultural awareness, and
interpersonal skills-they do not always view study abroad as a useful way for potential employees
to develop relevant skills. At the same time, recent graduates do not always have the understanding
or the vocabulary to articulate how their education abroad experience translates to their future
careers. To help combat this, many education abroad offices are increasingly making efforts to
help study abroad returnees leverage their international experience in their job search, often in
partnership with campus career services offices.
"We hear from so many of our study abroad alumni that
this experience was life changing. Yet, they don't speak about
their experience in a way that conveys the skills they developed during their time abroad. There is a need to do this
across all of our majors and areas of study, and not just for
those areas where it may seem a bit more obvious. We hear
from employers across many industry sectors that this experience is valuable, and so we are working to help our students
do a better job of telling their stories," says Becky Hall, director of career services administration at the Office for Student
Affairs at the University of Minnesota (UM), Twin Cities.
Research supports these conclusions. A 2013 study from
the British Council, for instance, reports that employers
increasingly value employees who demonstrate the ability
to understand different cultural contexts and viewpoints,
show respect for others, and possess knowledge of a foreign
language.1 But the relationship between these soft skills and
education abroad is unclear, at least from the perspective of
employers. According to a 2012 survey of employers done
by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (CERI)
at Michigan State University (MSU), hiring managers
considered study abroad to be of "limited importance" in
relation to recruiting new graduates.2 In fact, study abroad
was ranked the least important of several college activities,
with internships listed the most valuable activity.
54  

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR M AY + J U N E .14

According to the CERI report, students are not able
to adequately demonstrate the significant skills they have
gained in study abroad and in other cocurricular activities,
partially because employers do not always understand what
study abroad entails: "Unlike internships that employers
know a lot about, employers are generally unfamiliar with
study abroad. It is not enough just to have the experience;
students must be able to intelligently discuss how the experience has helped them develop skills they can bring to bear
in a professional setting. If a student merely communicates
that the study abroad was 'totally awesome,' employers assume the lowest common denominator of the study abroad
experience-a great vacation with ample pub crawls. International educators, faculty, study-abroad staff, career
services, and others must make a conscientious effort to
help students learn to identify, articulate, and apply skills
they learn in the experiential and co-curricular activities."
In addition, international educators are increasingly
facing pressure to explain the return on investment for
study abroad experiences. According to Martin Tillman,
president of Global Career Campus and former associate
director of Career Services at the Johns Hopkins School of
Advanced International Studies, globalization has resulted
in the realignment of international programs towards helping students develop competencies that assistant them in



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - May/June 2014

International Educator - May/June 2014
Contents
Front Lines
In Brief
New Windows on the World
Green River Community College Attracts International Students at an Early Age
Education Abroad
Foreign Student Affairs
Internationalization Leadership
Partnering
View From Out Here
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2014 - International Educator - May/June 2014
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Cover2
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Contents
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 2
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 3
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Front Lines
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 5
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 6
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 7
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 8
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 9
International Educator - May/June 2014 - In Brief
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 11
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 12
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 13
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 14
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 15
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 16
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 17
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 18
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 19
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 20
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 21
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 22
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 23
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 24
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 25
International Educator - May/June 2014 - New Windows on the World
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 27
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 28
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 29
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 30
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 31
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 32
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 33
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 34
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 35
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 36
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 37
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 38
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 39
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Green River Community College Attracts International Students at an Early Age
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 41
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 42
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 43
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 44
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 45
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 46
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 47
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 48
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 49
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 50
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 51
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 52
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 53
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Education Abroad
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 55
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 56
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 57
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Foreign Student Affairs
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 59
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 60
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 61
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Internationalization Leadership
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 63
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 64
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 65
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Partnering
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 67
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 68
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 69
International Educator - May/June 2014 - View From Out Here
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 71
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 72
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 73
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Forum
International Educator - May/June 2014 - BB1
International Educator - May/June 2014 - BB2
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 75
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 76
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 77
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 78
International Educator - May/June 2014 - 79
International Educator - May/June 2014 - In Focus
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Cover3
International Educator - May/June 2014 - Cover4
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