Going to study abroad for a semester or two can seem short-term, but it is one of the biggest decisions in your whole life. European international exchange program for students, teachers and trainers reveals its impact in a new study.
Yes, it is that serious. Your choice whether to stay home and continue professional development in a familiar environment or take on a challenge and go live in a foreign country can change everything and disrupt your future life vision – in these 5 marvellous ways.
1.Strengthens the skills
What are the most valuable skills a candidate might have to impress today’s employer? The share of employers who considered experience abroad to be important for employability nearly doubled between 2006 and 2015 from 37% to 64%. According to the Erasmus Impact study, students participating in the exchange programs gain more tolerance, confidence, decisiveness, self-awareness and excellent problem-solving skills. Which is just what recruiters are looking for. Not to mention that living abroad gives a unique chance to improve foreign languages proficiency and master intercultural communication.
On average, Erasmus students have better employability skills after a stay abroad than 70% of all students.
2. Increases Job Prospects
Based on their personality traits, open-minded students ready to take on the challenge, have a better predisposition for employability even before going abroad. Erasmus students are in better position to find their first job and to enhance their career development: more than 1 in 3 students who did a job placement abroad were hired or offered a position by their host company.
But probably the most important take-away from the study, is that former Erasmus students are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared to those that do not go abroad. That makes unemployment rate of mobile students 5 years after graduation 23% lower than of their non-mobile peers.
3. Helps Start a Business
And what abou the ex-Erasmus entrepreneurs? The statistics are promising: 1 in 10 former mobile students who did a job placement abroad has started their own company, and 3 out 4 can envision doing so. This can be explained by their ability to take greater responsibility, self confidence and can-do attitude fuelled by past international experience.
We can never have an idea of what it is like to live in a foreign country unless we actually do. You might be in love with French language, Spanish sun or Italian food, but once you live there, even for 6 months, you get a proper feeling for the country, its people, culture and real everyday life. Knowing how things work in another corner of the world opens up our minds, gives us an invaluable perspective on our own lives and abilities. Foreign experiences and new friends can be something we will cherish and remember for a lifetime, or take as a call to action: 40% of Erasmus alumni have moved to another country after graduation and 93% of mobile students can easily imagine living abroad in the future.
5. Helps Find love
They say the best way to learn a new language is to get a local date. Probably following that advice, 27% of Erasmus alumni state that they met their current life partner during their stay abroad. It is not surprising since Erasmus provides young people with a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals across borders and barriers. And one more advantage of broadening your horizons, 33% of Erasmus alumni have a life partner with a different nationality than their own (compared to 13% of non-mobile alumni). Just think about it, the love of your life might be living in a different country. Is there a better motivation to be brave and buy a one-way ticket?
Erasmus exchange can have a very profound impact on your career, social and personal life. We hope that if you had some doubts whether to go or not before, you are absolutely positive now. With moving being the next step, Goguin has got your back: our community of serial movers will make your relocation easier, for free. Sign up and log on to your next location!
Images: European Commission, Press Release Database