Study abroad offers students more than a chance for personal enrichment. UC students who traveled to the Brazilian Amazon as part of an honors study tour speak about how international education has also expanded their career paths.
Once considered an opportunity purely for personal enrichment and cultural experimentation, college graduates are increasingly finding that a well-stamped passport also gives them a competitive edge in the job market.
National studies indicate that globe-trotting graduates are not only more likely to land jobs sooner after graduation, but to find positions more closely aligned with their majors and at higher starting salaries.
Exploring and engaging with different cultures also drives many students to learn more about what truly interests them and to discover themselves and their passions before they decide on a major or embark on a career path.
As a staff member who’s helped lead three University of Cincinnati honors study tours of the Brazilian Amazon, Debbie Brawn has seen firsthand the personal metamorphosis many students undergo after just a 10-day immersion in the world’s largest rain forest.
For nearly every student, the international experience instills a heightened sense of maturity, independence and adaptability, along with an enhanced cultural awareness and appreciation for global communities, said Brawn, the executive director of the University Honors Program.
“Study abroad provides students with new and deepened perspectives that elevate their capacity to contribute to solutions to our world’s complex problems,” she explained. “This is the type of experience that creates leaders who will generate positive change.
In today’s global economy, employers are taking note of these sought-after attributes.
We talked to five students who participated in the UC honors study tour of the Brazilian Amazon to see how international education has influenced and expanded their career paths.