Independence, cultural competence, courage… we’ve all heard about the benefits of spending time abroad. Yes, these are excellent personal traits, but will they actually help you achieve your post-graduation goals?
In an increasingly competitive job market, it makes sense to wonder about whether study abroad is a worthwhile investment in your future.
The awesome news: according to the data, employers LOVE study abroad.
Tons of studies indicate the huge advantages of study abroad experiences when applying for jobs.
In a QS Global Employer Survey Report of over 40,000 employers, more than 80% said they “actively sought graduates who had studied abroad” and 60% would give extra points to a candidate with international study experience.
Employers’ preference for candidates who’ve studied abroad is reflected in the data about graduates’ job acquisition. An IES Abroad Recent Graduate Study showed that 97% of alumni found employment within one year after graduation, compared to only 49% of students from the general college graduate population.
And the cherry on top?
They also found that the average starting salaries of graduates with international experience were approximately $6,000/year more than those who had not studied abroad.
Verto is not just a study abroad program though.
All aspects of our programs are designed intentionally to facilitate student growth and learning. This translates to soft and hard skills that get our students college and work-ready.
In addition to the general benefits of study abroad, our students gain Verto-specific skills and experiences.
What are the unique employability advantages of a Verto education?
Students work daily on their communications and teamwork skills.
Living and learning together full-time with a Verto cohort is an amazing chance for students to broaden their circles and develop the ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups. Many of our alumni have reported that their Verto semester was the first time they learned how to navigate working so closely with people of totally different backgrounds and personalities.
Through teamwork and peer mentorship exercises, students actively work to create strong group dynamics and improve their communication and listening skills. Students also collaborate on group projects much like they will with future coworkers.
Students can cite their specific experiences of living and working closely with a cohort when asked by potential employers about their ability to work on a team.
Students have opportunities for hands-on work experience.
Because of the experiential style of Verto education, students get to experience multiple mini-internships and apprenticeships all within a semester. For example, students studying Environmental Science in Australia learn directly from organizations such as Wildlife Rescue Rehabilitation & Education (WRREA), Rainforest Trust, and Australia Zoo where they are introduced to land management and wildlife protection programs. Students join rangers in protecting native ecosystems by assisting with invasive weed control and reforestation.
Within only a semester, students have tons of workplace exposure and hands-on work experience to include on their resumes and talk about in interviews.
Students build cultural competence through genuine quality time learning from locals.
Oftentimes, typical study abroad participants go abroad with the goal of integrating with local culture but end up staying on campus and sticking with other international students. However, on a Verto semester, students are given profound opportunities to live and work directly with locals through homestays and immersive fieldwork. Interactions with local culture transcend the superficial, like when students on our South Pacific and Latin American semesters spend a week living with a local family. They get to intimately observe and participate in their daily life, helping out with housework, playing with the kids, and getting to know the community personally.
A major perk of these immersion opportunities is the possibility to gain new language proficiencies, a highly sought-after professional skill. Language learning also encourages students’ development of marketable skills such as empathy, patience, and dedication.
Employers will be impressed by Verto alumni’s specific stories about learning new languages, navigating different cultural norms, and connecting with diverse people.
Students gain first-hand exposure to international case studies in their field of interest.
Verto students take one course at a time which corresponds directly to what they’re encountering in a given part of the world. This structure allows our students to go in-depth into topics and connect the themes they study to real-life field experiences in the region. While doing so, they gain behind-the-scenes looks at international organizations, companies and NGOs where they encounter real-world problems and solutions. This exposure can give students an edge when making decisions in the workplace as they can relate workplace challenges to case studies they’ve seen first-hand.
Students gain more clarity and confidence in their passions and goals.
While on a Verto semester, students gain exposure to different world-changing organizations and projects, so that they can start to see what projects they are most excited about. To assist in this reflection, students integrate what they are learning in and out of the classroom in their Purpose Finding workshops. By the end of the semester, students have a better sense of self and move into their next phase of life with confidence and purpose.
Students gain all of this and more – and it’s ONLY their freshman year!
Most college students study abroad during their junior year, so it is unique for Verto graduates to have studied abroad and gained all of these field experiences by the beginning of their college career. Verto alumni gain a leg-up as they have more skills, real-world exposure, and insight into their goals and passions at an earlier stage. They can compete confidently with peers and students who have a few more years of experience.
The big picture: Participating in a Verto semester can be a huge advantage when it comes to success in the job market.
All of these skills are great talking points in interviews and Verto experiences look awesome on a resume.
At Verto, we want to help students put their best foot forward when it comes to success in college and beyond. We believe that international education is not only incredibly beneficial but also completely do-able.
We’d love to chat if you want to learn more about how we can make a semester abroad possible for you.