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All aboard! 5 reasons to study in Europe...

Studying abroad isn’t just fun and enriching in the short term, it can also serve to benefit your career for years to come. Here are 5 reasons why studying in a foreign country could kickstart your career.         

1. You’ll be able to bridge the gap in foreign language learning

British businesses have an undisputed shortage of multilingual staff. As professional translation agency London Translations put it, “The UK’s foreign language skills have left a lot to be desired for quite sometime.” In 2014, the issue began to look even more bleak as the Guardian found that 39% of young people were discouraged from learning another language by the idea that “most people speak English”. Between that and last years’ education budget cuts, Britain's language learning outlook is not favourable. 

Since this gap in our collective foreign language knowledge is costing the economy almost £50 billion a year, language learning is still a vital employment skill. Studying abroad in a foreign language speaking country and immersing yourself in the culture will help you not only learn a new language, but perfect it. This knowledge could be what gives you an edge over those applying for the same job you are further down the line, especially if other young people are still under the mistaken impression that studying languages other than English isn’t a valuable use of their time. 

2. A new foreign market will become accessible to you

It’s not just jobs in monolinguistic Britain that will be easier to get! If you study abroad, your new knowledge of a foreign language and culture could very well mean that career opportunities could open up world wide. By the end of your studies, you will likely find yourself with a deeper understanding of how a new country’s economy functions and the typical business and social etiquette, which will make jobs in that part of the world far more accessible to you. 

As Alain Benichou, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in France and vice president of Strategy & Solutions at IBM in Paris puts it, “Studying and living abroad is a must … Not just to acquire language skill, but in order to become truly bicultural.” This is a vital asset in our globalised economy.  

3. You’ll make valuable connections

Studying abroad in many ways is effectively networking on a global scale. Immersing yourself in a completely new environment will naturally cause you to make new friends with people on your course from around the world who you might never have had cause to meet before. Since they are on your course, these people will likely be on a similar career path to you in the future, and will therefore likely serve to be valuable connections once you begin full-time employment. 

Connections are extremely valuable no matter where they come from, and to have friendly faces scattered across the globe can only be a further boon to your career. The President of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) even went so far to say that “I owe every job I’ve ever had to networking,” and that “The most successful people that I’ve met at the NYSE ... have the broadest and most interesting range of networks spanning industries, occupations, geographies and ideologies.” 

4. You’ll build your confidence 

According to Claire Powers, a recruiter from global knowledge broker AlphaSights, “the confidence and self-awareness students gain from putting down roots somewhere new, is an asset for any business”.

An article in Psychology Today stated that “Confidence is the most important psychological contributor to performance in the business world,” because if you're confident, you’ll also be relaxed, focused, motivated, and have mostly positive emotions. These are all things which employers value very highly. 

5. Employers actively search for people with international experience! 

All of the above reasons are no secret in the corporate world - employers know that studying abroad makes for a great employee!  

A spokesperson for Linklaters, the multinational law firm, said they actively “want to recruit people with a global outlook” and that spending time abroad “can help develop the cultural awareness required to meet clients’ needs effectively”. So to make sure you don’t find yourself out of the running for your dream job, study abroad.

This article is sponsored content.