Why Study Abroad? | Weatherhead School at Case Western Reserve University

From personal growth to professional benefits, there are a variety of reasons students should consider studying abroad. Take your studies overseas, and you will improve your career prospects and enrich your life.

First, if you are a graduate entering the workforce, studying abroad can be the differentiator that helps land your first job.

Global competence is a skill sought after by hiring managers but rare in college graduates. Just 9% of American undergraduate students have studied abroad (Institute of International Education Open Doors Report).

What is global competence?

Global competence is:

  • the acquisition of in-depth knowledge and understanding of international issues
  • an appreciation of and ability to learn and work with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds
  • proficiency in a foreign language
  • skills to function productively in an independent world community
(National Education Association)

Why is global competency so appealing to companies?

According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, the number of people working outside their company headquarters is more than 81 million, compared to just 25 million three decades ago.

Immersing yourself in a foreign culture can put you on an early path toward global competence, and it will set you apart from your peers, especially in the eyes of employers doing more business overseas.

Beyond its positive career implications, a semester (or year) spent overseas is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience foreign culture and gain a greater appreciation of our global society.

Which country or countries are right for me?

Choose the right destination and your visit can extend beyond the country in which you are studying. Fifty-three percent of U.S. study abroad students set up shop in European countries (IIE Open Door Report). By doing so, they have greater access to more locations. For a student in London, Germany, or Spain—all locations where Weatherhead has existing study abroad exchange programs—destinations all across Europe are within reach.

Alternatively, students may choose to study in a country that will bolster their international business opportunities down the road. Countries such as China and Australia—two additional Weatherhead partnership locations—offer students unique international experiences that will set them apart as they pursue global business and management opportunities.

In addition to a stronger resume and lasting memories, many students who study abroad develop friendships that extend through a lifetime. With the way our workforce is becoming more global, those friends you make across the pond now just might become business partners down the road.

Ready to take your education to far-off destinations? Visit the Center for International Affairs Office of Education Abroad, email studyabroad@case.edu, or call 216.368.2928.