The Turing Scheme enables UK participants to benefit from life-changing experiences abroad – helping students, learners and pupils to develop personally and academically. In our latest blog post, we take a look at the benefits of a global study or work placement, from language learning to boosting employability.
The first step counts
Even making the decision to go abroad to study at another university, college, or school – or carry out a work placement – has set you on a different path. The first steps in your journey are important and require organisation. You will need to start planning, perhaps completing application forms or making placement enquiries, researching your host country and courses, planning finances and making travel arrangements.
Studying or working on a placement abroad and gaining vital international experience will help you to continue to develop many more transferable skills, such as communication, curiosity, creativity and critical thinking. You will pick up knowledge of other countries and cultures and become more confident, open-minded and self-aware.
These skills can be applied to a wide range of different jobs, activities and industries and are highly sought after by future employers. While you are busy broadening your horizons, you will acquire some great life-skills for the future.
Whether you are studying languages or not, spending time abroad in a country where English is not widely spoken will help you develop or improve your language skills.
Researchers have long highlighted the many benefits of speaking more than one language – from the obvious practical benefits of helping you to communicate with people from around the world, to improving cognitive skills, memory and creativity. Learning to communicate across cultural and language divides makes you resilient, confident and adaptable.
Economic growth has been shown to link to a country’s linguistic diversity. In particular, Spanish, Mandarin and French are highlighted as the three most important languages to maintain and improve the UK’s economic position and international influence, according to British Council’s research on the future of foreign languages. Students who choose to study or work in countries that speak these languages, which could include Mexico, Canada and China, will be in high demand.
Graduates who have studied or worked abroad are more likely to have a job six months after graduating, and on average they are earning slightly more than other graduates according to UK Higher Education International Unit’s Go International report, ‘Gone International: Mobile students and their outcomes‘.
Stand Out campaign notes that students from disadvantaged backgrounds and black and minority ethnic groups have the most to gain, earning more and that they are less likely to be unemployed than their non-mobile peers.
A period abroad will probably be one of the best times of your life, where you’ll grow as a person, enjoy many experiences that you’ll remember for the rest of your life and gain an international network of friends. Not only will it provide you with some fantastic memories and useful life-skills, but it will also be a great addition to your CV, helping you to stand out in the global job market and boosting your employability.
You will return more motivated, independent and confident. Enjoy the journey!