Studying Abroad Prepares Students for Career Success
Each year, the National Association of Colleges & Employers (NACE) surveys its employer partners to determine the most important skills and competencies they seek in recent college graduates. Each year, employers say they are looking for graduates who possess leadership, teamwork, communication, and critical thinking skills, resilience, and global and cultural awareness.
Students develop these critical competencies – and many more – while studying abroad at the University’s Tuscany Campus by building their intercultural communication skills and discovering how different cultures operate in academic and professional settings. They learn to be independent, to think critically, and to adapt to new situations and surroundings. By living and studying in another country, students learn to advocate for themselves and to grow as leaders – skills that will enable them to excel in their chosen careers.
While You’re Abroad
There are a variety of opportunities for you to connect your experience abroad to your personal career development.
Develop Your Skills with Experiential Learning
The University’s Tuscany Campus in Prato, Italy, offers a variety of exciting experiential learning opportunities that enable you to build your skills and get out of your comfort zone, including:
- Working with local ambulance volunteers
- Teaching English in nearby schools
- Volunteering in a women’s shelter
- Assisting refugees in a local immigrations center
- Joining local rugby and lacrosse teams
- Attending family dinners with Italian families
- Participating in weekly conversation exchanges with local students
- Organizing sports events for local special needs groups
- Hosting your own show on local radio
- Serving as the Prato Campus social media ambassador for a semester
Complete an Internship
Students looking to complete an internship can do so abroad. Students can gain practical, hands-on experience at locations such as the Prato Police Department, migration centers, sports facilities, architectural studios, and public health centers. Staff at the University’s Tuscany campus will help you find an internship in your area of interest. Ask the Study Abroad office for more information about internships in Prato.
Take Advantage of Career Resources
While abroad, you can meet with the Tuscany Campus peer career adviser, who will help you identify goals and track your progress. You can also use the University’s Career Development Center’s resources while abroad, including phone, email, or skype appointments and access ChargerLink.
You can add your skype address to your résumé, and make a note on your cover letter that you are currently studying abroad but are available for interviews over the phone or via skype. Prato campus staff can provide you with private rooms and equipment for any interviews you need to attend online while you are in Italy.
When You Return
After you return to the States, here are some tips to help you connect your study abroad experience to your personal career development:
Unpack and Reflect
Reflect on your experience and the skills you gained. This can help you to better understand what you learned and help you convey it to potential employers.
Students should also attend an "Unpacking Your Study Abroad" session, a debriefing opportunity that enables student to discuss their experience in a group setting.
Meet with a Career Adviser
A career adviser can help you present your experience and your skills in a professional manner. The adviser will discuss changes to your career plan based on your new experiences and help you identify next steps for applying to internships, jobs, or graduate schools.
Prepare for Interviews
After studying abroad, you should update your career materials, such as your resume and cover letter, your LinkedIn profile, and your ChargerLink profile. Develop a new elevator pitch that incorporates the competencies and skills you gained abroad that employers are seeking.
Career Development Center staff members will conduct mock interviews with you so you can practice discussing your study abroad experience, or you can practice online using our Big Interview site.
Frequently Asked Questions
For questions specific to the Tuscany Study Abroad program, please see our Tuscany Campus FAQ.
FAQ About Tuscany Campus