My latest book chapter on education abroad and employability

Coming out in July!! My chapter in Education Abroad: Bridging Scholarship and Practice, is with co-authors, C. Matherly & J. Wiers-Janssen on “Employability: How education abroad impacts transition to employment.”

This is the latest in a series of chapters I’ve authored since 2012 on this topic. My interest in examining the employability advantages to students from their participation in education abroad programs dates back to the early 2000s. You will find a large selective bibliography -including all of my writing and that of varied authors from around the world – on my LinkedIn profile page:

When I first began to address the linkage between education abroad and student career development, including its tie-in with employability, I was largely viewing the topic from a uniquely American lens. In the early 2000s, I found few others in the U.S., in the international education field, examining this issue. Much of the research studies I found were, in fact, based on small samples of students, often from one academic institution -or from a selected population of alumni or recent participants, in a study abroad program sponsored by a private provider organization. Responses were most often self-reported by students. This new chapter adds a much broader, and may I say, nuanced, international perspective on the value of education abroad to a students’ future employability.

I’ve created a body of analysis in my writing where I advocated a two-tiered approach: First, for a more purposeful effort by campus study abroad and career offices to integrate their advising of students. That is, to point out the strategic, along with the personal and existential, advantages from education abroad. Secondly, the importance of engaging senior administrators and faculty in supporting the first point! As campuses now struggle to find their way through the perilous impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak, students are going to need every bit of advice, encouragement, mentoring and thoughtful perspective about their future plans. The disruption of this time is profound. What are the creative approaches to increasing co-curricular projects to internationalize at home?

There will be a sharp decline in the availability of overseas options for education abroad – highly likely for six months to a year- and we will need to fuel unmet student demand to build their cross-cultural skills and other interpersonal competencies, highly valued by employers, with experiences at home.

I think we are going to be re-defining the meaning of employability as a direct result of the pandemic.

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