“Gaining international experience is highly valued by employers”

Many students have the opportunity to study a semester abroad. Most of them dream of studying in a tropical paradise and of making the best out of their time abroad. South East Asia offers many different destinations that fit perfectly with the students’ desires. However, students study to make a career and to maximize their personal education and knowledge. Therefore, they are always eager to know their career benefits of studying abroad. Our Study Abroad Assistant Hannes, who studied abroad in Indonesia, shares his thoughts about the career benefits of studying in South East Asia.

1. Study at One of the Best Universities Worldwide

A group of people is standing on a hill and throwing their hats in the air in a cirlce during sunset in Asia.
Where to make better graduation pictures than in somewhere in Asia? Photo by Pexels / CC BY

Times have changed in the ASEAN region. Many are thinking that their quality of education can’t be compared to western standards but let me tell you, they are wrong. Nowadays, universities in Asia employ professors from all over the world, spend millions of dollars on the most modern equipment and are very serious about their studies. This is mainly caused by their culture.

Education is a privilege in Asia, not only from the universities point of view but from the students’ as well. Often, it can be seen in the faces of the local staff, that they don’t understand the behavior of some international students that don’t really care about their studies and seem to not value their great educational opportunity at all. To explain it with numbers, it can be said that the University Putra Malaysia is ranked on 229th in the University World ranking. In other words, only 2.9% of all universities worldwide are better. This is only one example of the numerous amazing universities in South East Asia.

2. International Experience

Four people are holding up signs with different shapes and colors at work.
Studying abroad helps you work efficiently with people from different cultural backgrounds. Photo by Rawpixel / CC BY

Gaining international experience is one of the most obvious benefits of studying abroad, but still, it’s one of the most important ones and highly valued by employers. It includes improving language skills, building up a global network and developing thoughts from a different perspective. Of course, it depends on the employer and on the job position, but without doubt, it’s great to outline these skills by a semester abroad. Especially the ASEAN region underlines these points significantly, as the spoken languages aren’t even close to western ones. Their quick economic development makes business contacts even more valuable and thinking outside the box more challenging, as their mindset and way of thinking is so different compared to the western world.

You might also be interested in: Western vs Asian Educational System

The easiest way to identify different mindsets is by taking a closer look at the most influential philosophers in each regions’ past. For instance, South East Asia was highly influenced by Confucius and his thoughts, while Europeans were highly influenced by Greek philosophers, like Socrates and Plato.

3. The ASEAN Tiger is Alive

A tiger is looking angry and walking in a jungle in Asia.
A ‘tiger economy’ refers to a dynamic economy in a small country, especially in East Asia. Photo by Fezbot2000 / CC BY

The ASEAN region had already been considered as one of the fastest growing and most important economic regions of the future. Unfortunately, it had been hit by the huge financial crisis in 1998 which had an immense impact on the economic strength of all member states. Economists worldwide believed that the so-called ASEAN tiger “died” during that times but contrary to all expectations it survived and became even stronger nowadays. Today, the ASEAN region is still considered the most important market of the future. Studying in the ASEAN region offers amazing opportunities to take advantage of this mindset, which can be found in all big companies worldwide. Is there any better place to meet the global players of tomorrow than in an ASEAN university? I don’t think so!

Employers think the same way. As soon as they see a South East Asian university in your CV, they will think about possible advantages that can be derived from it.

4. Intercultural Competence

Five people are holding their fists against eachtother above a table with laptops in a workplace.
In today’s globalized world, it’s very important to have intercultural competence. Photo by Rawpixel / CC BY

Next, I will explain the advantages of studying in an unknown culture in more detail. In today’s globalized world, it’s very important to have intercultural competence. That means to have the ability to effectively interact with others from different cultures and to understand the difference in their mindset and behavior. Employers need employees that have intercultural skills, as a lack of these would result in bad working atmospheres and in unhappy staff. Writing these skills in your motivation letter is quite easy and your future boss is aware of that as well, so they will always search for proof of every statement in your CV.

A semester abroad is one of the easiest ways to include a long-term stay abroad in your academic CV. Just imagine the struggles of finding an employer that sends you abroad, just to improve your intercultural competence. Every employer would rather choose an applicant that had been abroad already, right? As sad as it is, studying offers the last opportunity to spend some time abroad without messing up your whole life.

5. Personal Growth and Development

A person is standing on a mountain during sunrise in Asia.
When you return home, you will be super independent in everyday life. Photo by Cristina Gottardi / CC BY

Studying abroad is always linked to personal growth and development. You are basically at the end of the world and forced to live more independently than ever. Of course, there is always someone to help you with all of your questions but still, living by yourself can’t be compared to living by yourself on the other side of our planet. At first, it might feel difficult but before you realize it, you will have adapted and master every day perfectly. This adaption has an immense impact on you and even if you’re not realizing it yourself, your friends and family will.

When you return home, you will be super independent in everyday life. Furthermore, you won’t hesitate to approach new challenges as you realized abroad that all obstacles can be overcome if you deal with them passionately. Those are characteristics that every employer is looking for. All of them want independent staff that isn’t scared of new challenges. They might even see it in a way that you’re eager to be challenged. It goes without saying that the things mentioned are only a small fraction of personal development, so we recommend you to just go ahead and study a semester abroad in South East Asia. It will be a life-changing experience.

If this short insight into the benefits of a semester abroad as part of your academic CV caught your attention, feel free to read all of our provided information.

Find out more about studying abroad in Asia

Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact us! We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

This text was written by our Study Abroad Assistant Hannes! 

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