An increasing number of people are seeking overseas opportunities to further their education. Apart from the prestige of studying in a foreign country among a different culture, it is also believed that foreign education on one’s credentials helps to influence their corporate life in positive ways.
It goes without saying that a foreign education makes an applicant look more appealing to an employer, compared to having a local education. This is more so if the employer is local. Even if the institution is not among the most prestigious, the mere presence of a foreign country on one’s resume is definitely a plus point. It suggests that the applicant is not afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone and putting themselves into new challenges. This goes in line with the belief that foreign education is usually considered a “step up” from local education, together with the fact that one would generally be studying at a respectable higher level if they had pursued foreign education. In contrast, out of the population that has only studied locally, some percentage will not have attended any higher education at all.
If the foreign education was attained through merit or scholarship, this adds to the credibility of an applicant. Compared to spending large amounts of money to get a foreign education, those who earn it have proven their worth to the institution, and thus also to the employer in some way. Each country’s institutions usually have a quota on how many foreign students they will admit, and from which countries. As such, obtaining a place among all the competition strongly attests to an applicant’s academic prowess. Earning a scholarship also demonstrates that the applicant was more than just an ordinary student, which puts them in a good light in front of an interviewer.
For those studying in a country with a vastly different culture than that of their home country, foreign education seems very appealing to local companies. It generally also means that the person has knowledge of and experience with a foreign culture, and they may also be multilingual. This is especially important in companies that deal with foreign clients regularly or are looking to expand their business into other countries. For most jobs, knowing more than one language is a plus point for any applicant. It is almost inevitable that most jobs require interpersonal interaction to some extent, whether with colleagues, bosses, subordinates or clients. The knowledge of an extra language allows one to communicate with a larger number of people who may not speak the main language used in the company, thus expanding the company’s options and prospects.
Additionally, knowledge of a foreign culture can help make a person more pleasant to work with. The ability to appreciate a different culture suggests that the person is open-minded and understanding. They can be an important asset if the company has bases in that country or plans to expand there, as they can then advise the company on how best to target the people in that culture and interact with them. Often, those with foreign education get to work in that country later on, acting as a conduit between two different peoples.
Travelling abroad for education is also a good way to satisfy the desire for a gap year without becoming behind on one’s studies. It is customary for students to take a year off education after completing high school to spend some time travelling around the world. Instead of spending time and money while leaving one’s education stagnant, applying for an overseas university is a great way to kill two birds with one stone, immersing oneself in a foreign country while still keeping up to pace on studies.
For some professions, having just a bachelor’s degree is not enough. Despite the numerous entry-level jobs in the market nowadays, graduate school is still highly important for select careers. If one plans to pursue a master’s degree or doctorate to achieve the career advancement they are after, it is important to invest time and tuition fees in undergraduate studies first. Any university can provide a path to graduate school, but a student can score bonus points if their undergraduate degree was completed at a reputed foreign university. Getting into graduate school is not easy, and these schools highly value the personal qualifications and cultural skills that foreign education implies, much like interviewers. Attending an overseas university suggests that the applicant is open to new experiences and is not afraid to tackle new problems and explore the world, a valuable trait to have when pursuing further education.
The importance of corporate networking cannot be overstated. Networking is one of the best ways to increase your brand’s publicity. Whether you are a business owner, a freelancer or an employee, social networking helps your potential customers to identify you as a possible business partner, giving you valuable leads to get started. This makes it far easier for a fresh graduate to make their presence known in the working world, compared to if they were starting up all on their own.
Instead of being stuck with networking locally, those who pursue foreign education now have a whole new horizon to explore. One gets to meet fellow students from all walks of life in a foreign school, which is a great way to make new connections. Even with the Internet, having a physical friend in a foreign country is a valuable asset for corporate networking. Meeting others in the same course or institution also increases the chances that there are common interests. In the future, these contacts could become business partners and associates, or they could help to spread the word around about your business.
Calling on favors from old friends can also save one the hassle of needing to attend more corporate events to make new connections. Associates from one’s alma mater are also likely to have their own connections to others in the industry, which can help a young entrepreneur get a headstart in the working world. Students in top foreign institutes are also more likely to have a broader network of connections, owing to the partner universities and exchange programs most of these universities are involved in.
Additionally, it is never too early to start networking and amassing business contacts. Instead of waiting until graduation to spread one’s wings and look overseas, why not take advantage of foreign education to make connections while still studying?
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