Traveling as professional training and personal experience

Traveling as professional training and personal experience

I am currently one of 30,000 students studying a Bachelor’s degree at my university in Australia. This means that upon graduation there will be virtually nothing differentiating my CV from theirs; a Bachelor’s degree from the very same institution. Other than our qualifications, the other component of the CV that will be of most interest to our employers is our work experience. However, most graduates will probably have had some sort of paid or unpaid work experience. So I thought, what would impress a future employer when they have a look at my CV and interview me…? International work experience! According to GVI, 60% of employers view international experiences favorably. As a soon-to-be graduate, I wanted to know how I could maximize my employability once I walk out of my university for the last time.

I have heard of many study or work abroad programs, directly from my university and from external organizations, but these have always seemed too daring and expensive, especially because everything is so far away from Australia. However, I knew I needed to step out of my comfort zone and take this opportunity to gain some relevant work experience abroad, whilst also improving the language I have been studying: Spanish.

Why Spanish? Well, firstly, it’s one of the most widely spoken languages in the world; with 477 million native speakers in 2017. Not to mention that I have just always loved the way it sounded, ever since I watched Argentinean ‘telenovelas’ as a young girl. When thinking about the future, I also had to keep in mind that the worldwide number of native and non-native speakers is expected to rise to 754 million by the year 2050. Hence, my attraction to this language has not only been nostalgic, but also strategic.

An international study or work experience also shows that an individual has gone out of their way to acquire some Inter-cultural competence. Choosing to live in another country for a certain period of time, not just for a short holiday, requires the individual to interact with the locals on a regular basis and adapt into the given country’s rules and customs.  This competence can not only be valuable to one’s own maturity and personal development, but also to one’s career. According to a 2013 study, these skills specifically described by 360 recruitment decision makers from nine countries were: understanding different cultural contexts and viewpoints, respect for others, adaptation to cultural settings and speaking foreign languages. All of which can be learnt through such an experience.

It is no surprise to me that the number of young Americans that go abroad has more than tripled in the past two decades, and that is a positive trend that has been observed throughout the world, and is expected to continue to grow. This sort of experience is incredibly valuable and I do not regret choosing to embark on this journey for a split second. I recommend that every young person that has access to this sort of experience takes advantage of it – you will not regret it!

Meital P.

PR Department

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