Since I began writing and speaking on this topic about thirteen years ago, there has been an uptick in research – both academic and by large companies – and by several large private study abroad organizatons, to examine and reflect upon the importance of not merely viewing international experience as of intrinsic value to students. That there could also be extrinsic value attached to study-internships-or service abroad that advanced a students’ employability.
These selected resources are important because they directly address how campuses and organizations can assist students to “see” the value-added benefits of their decision to go abroad.
We know that employers don’t view education abroad, by itself, as providing a graduate with some inherent advantage -they want and even insist, that students tell a meaningful story describing how their international experience has taught them how to be more culturally agile, more empathic, more linguistically competent (and confident), among many other important related intercultural skills and competencies.
These resources can help students make meaning of, and maximize the learning outcomes, of their education abroad experience(s):
NAFSA: “Incorporating Education Abroad Into Your Career Plan” (2018) by Becky Hall & Kimberly Hindbjorgen
This is a useful booklet written by two experienced members of the outstanding career services team at the University of Minnesota. UMN sits, in my view, at the top of the pyramid of campuses in the country when it comes to having a sophisticated policy in place for fully integrating student experience abroad with their career development. They, along with CAPA, have co-sponsored two important Career Integration conferences (2014, 2016) bringing together both education abroad and career service professionals to discuss best practices. For a compendium of valuable resources, visit the Career Integration page of the UMN Learning Abroad Center at: https://umabroad.umn.edu/professionals/career-int/resources
Student Guide to Study Abroad & Career Development (2011, rev. 2013), by Marty Tillman
This pamphlet was written expressly to be read by students. It was my attempt to emphasize that students needed to make a purposeful decision to go abroad to maximize the benefits of their international experience. I discuss whether employers value study abroad, how a student can make a purposeful choice to go abroad, how to take advantage of career connections while abroad, marketing the experience upon return to campus, and finally, becoming adept at articulating what they learned when meeting with employers.
NAFSA Study Abroad Career Plan & Education Abroad Office Inventory (2013), by Vera Chapman, Curtiss Stevens & Martin Tillman. Created to support the webinar which the three of us conducted: “Helping Students Translate ‘study abroad’ for the Job Search.” Recordings of the webinar are available for purchase from NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
Campus Best Practices Supporting Education Abroad & Student Career Development (2014), by Marty Tillman
A sample of campuses around the United States who have developed successful models to further integration of their student advising practices, together with other innovative approaches to assist students maximize the advantage of their international experience. Other campuses demonstrate success in building bridges between academic departments and student affairs offices.
If your campus or organizaton has developed an effective resource that you can share with colleagues, please reply here (or to my Twitter feed where this post will be linked)!