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Should You Study Abroad as a Graduate Student?

studyabroadWe live in an increasingly globalized world where the boundaries and distances between countries continue to shrink. As a result, many employers are finding that a well-informed international perspective can be a valuable asset in an employee.

If you missed the chance to study abroad as an undergraduate, you probably think your chances of ever studying abroad are slim, especially if you plan on going to graduate school anytime soon. However, studying abroad during grad school instead of as an undergrad can be more beneficial for your education and career. Here are a few reasons why studying abroad as a graduate student can benefit your professional pursuits.

Going international as a grad student

Undergrads may be able to get a lot out of their overseas experiences, but grad students may be better equipped for studying abroad. As a grad student, you’ve had more time to mature, which can help you get the most out of an exchange program. And that’s not just in terms of appreciating a new culture and experiencing life in a new place. Grad students can seize upon educational opportunities while succeeding in the classroom. Graduate students who have studied abroad bring to the table a stronger educational foundation, which could open more doors and further propel their careers.

Gaining unique experience

In many professional fields, international experience is a big benefit. Employers gravitate toward job applicants with study abroad experience, for whom prospective business partnerships can be buoyed by cultural understanding. Grad students with study abroad experience will be able to pursue these roles with a greater understanding of their strengths, weaknesses and what their professional field will demand from them.

Tip: Start planning well in advance

If you decide to take advantage of a graduate-level study abroad program, make sure your bases are covered. For example, it’s important to figure out the everyday costs—including living expenses—to make sure you’ll have enough money to get by. Make passport and visa arrangements if you haven’t already done so. And since you’ll be traveling overseas, find a graduate student health insurance policy. Most domestically issued health insurance policies don’t cover international travel, so you’ll need to find a suitable replacement.

If your graduate program has connections with various study abroad opportunities, explore your options and talk with your advisor to figure out what’s best for your education and career. The most important thing for your long-term ambitions is seeking out new opportunities that can push your career forward. It’s more and more likely that one of those steps will bring you overseas.

About the Author:

This guest article is provided by Kristine Esser. She enjoys writing about study abroad opportunities.

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