Many people that live, work or study abroad end up with a desire – even a need – to live abroad to continue their international experience. A recent article on the website of the Daily Pennsylvanian, a student run, independent newspaper for the University of Pennsylvania, covered international students that want to work abroad after they graduate:
For some Penn students, studying and interning abroad is just the tip of the iceberg.
According to the Career Plans Survey for the class of 2012, 9% of College graduates said they would be working internationally. This included 42 American students working abroad, as well as international students leaving the United States for employment. Kelly Cleary, a senior associate director at Career Services, said that starting a career abroad is becoming more common.
Cleary is currently writing a dissertation about working abroad and career development, and her “research findings show that it opens up career opportunities for people … [and] can give students a competitive edge in their long-run careers because it’s a global economy now.”
It’s a helpful article for anyone who is considering a career abroad, but it’s also interesting to read about how many college students have expectations and/or a desire to work abroad. It’s a “go where the opportunity is” attitude, and that makes a lot of sense in an environment where young people are finding it hard to find work.
Three expats wives in Surrey pursuing MBAs [at Royal Holloway, University of London] while their husbands work full-time expat jobs is the subject of a great article by Charlotte Clark on the Financial Times website, FT.com. If an expat spouse can’t or does not want to work while on assignment with their husband or wife, getting another degree seems like a logical and productive alternative:
“…All in their late thirties, are learning the intricacies of international operations management, leadership and organisational behaviour at the School of Management at Royal Holloway, University of London, in Surrey.
And I thought that this aspect of the article was particularly interesting:
“They have all been eager to take advantage of the intensity of the full-time MBA being offered by RHUL as it ensures they will graduate before moving on again.”
The need to find a flexible program that was a good fit for the expatriate lifestyle seems paramount, from the perspective of these ladies. As online education and other less-traditional training options become more widely accepted, it seems that many programs will need to find ways to differentiate themselves. It seems as if RHUL has done just that!
Liz Perelstein of School Choice International recently contributed 8 Tips for Students Considering University Abroad to Expat Exchange.
As a counselor and therapist in the U.S.A., I know first hand that a lot of adolescents on the cusp of their collegiate careers have an eye well beyond the U.S. border. The article offers concise advice about the advantages of going to college in another country, and also important considerations to help assess whether or not the child in question is well suited for the international education experience.
While I read through the wonderful advice offered by Liz, I thought it obvious that much of what is covered also applies to adults that choose to move abroad. Yes, much of what is in the article applies directly to the educational experience, but there are parts that are easily generalized to the adult expatriate experience. Here is an example:
Liz writes the following…
Social Concerns: Is your child outgoing? Does s/he make friends easily? Will s/he be comfortable as part of a minority? Will s/he cling to his or her own minority and forego all opportunities to integrate with other cultures? As an international student, your child may need to try a little bit harder to make friends so s/he can build a support system quickly in a place where s/he may not know anyone, and may feel very out of place. If your child is adventurous and excited about meeting new and very different people, s/he may thrive in a new social environment like a foreign university.
Doesn’t much of this apply to anyone moving overseas? I think so. It’s often been written on Expat Exchange that if expats expect neighbors in their destination to come knocking on their door and do the social outreach them, they’re in for a long wait.
Good advice for a prospective college student? Yes, but in many ways it’s good advice for all. So it’s a good read for anyone with an eye toward the study abroad experience, but I’d also encourage all expats to read it and take advantage of Liz’s sage advice.