Even if you’ve spent years and put in a lot of effort working towards your goal of obtaining a degree in a subject you’re passionate about, it can still be difficult to find that first position no matter what level of qualification you manage achieve. Sometimes there are just so many qualified people, all applying for the same position as you, that you end up being one of the unfortunate ones that receives the “thanks but no thanks” letter despite the fact that you are more than suitable for the role advertised.
While this can be disheartening, it shouldn’t be the end of the world as there are a number of things you can do to put yourself in the best possible position when the next opportunity presents itself. One of these options is to head overseas to continue – or complete – your studies. A lot of students choose to go abroad during their course, taking a year out from their studies at home, while others have the chance to spend a year away during their course as part of a key unit. Others may even choose to study abroad in Israel, America, Australia or other nations around the world after they finish their course at home.
In fact, it’s estimated that around 20,000 UK students head overseas to study each year, with around 17,000 more doing so as part of their course. The question is, however, why does studying abroad appeal to so many people? If you’re already doing a course in the UK, it can seem pointless to go overseas to do yet another course or unit which will only add to the student debt and make your first step on the career ladder seem further away. What they don’t see, immediately anyway, is that studying abroad presents something on a CV that employers love – evidence that the person is prepared to go the extra mile to be as good as they can possibly be both on paper, and in person.
Studying abroad can be an enlightening experience, proving to yourself and potential employers that you can make it on your own, fending for yourself in strange surroundings, hundreds – even thousands – of miles from your comfort zone. It might be that you end up developing skills without knowing it, such as taking charge of your own life and making decisions and choices that you would’ve sat back and let happen for you by staying at home. This can also be a trait that employers look for, the ability to take the initiative and have the confidence to make important decisions that could mean the difference between success and failure.
Before you decide on studying abroad, however, you need to sit down and work out your own reasons for wanting to study overseas – not just the benefits professionally. By setting out your own goals of what you want to achieve in terms of qualifications, experience, life skills and so on, you can tick things off your own personal ‘checklist’ and make sure that you aim to hit these targets, have fun along the way and come back as a new person – with skills and qualifications to wow any employer. Go get it!