Posts from "January, 2013"

You Decide: Study Abroad vs. International Internship?

Employers are increasingly on the lookout for graduates with international experience. Yet they are finding that study abroad isn’t sufficient for their needs. Or, at least, students don’t know how to talk about study abroad in ways relevant to employers. This explains the nationwide movement away from study abroad to international internships. 

Here’s an excerpt from a recent NYT article:
J. P. Matychak, director of career services . . .
saw that employers placed a premium on international experience, but the
study-abroad students he counseled were unable to articulate how their
programs prepared them for global work.
And so he upended the traditional study-abroad experience, as many
colleges have done. He made work the focus of the summer program, which
this year is open to the School of Arts and Sciences. “We put
internships at the foundation and academics on the perimeter,”
he says.
Such a focus might make a
liberal arts dean shudder, but these are different times. International
internships are growing. In 2000-1, 7,000 students traveled abroad for
work and college credit. In 2010-11, the number was 16,400,
with another 8,700 working without credit, according to the Institute
of International Education.
Students want to study abroad (a record 274,000 did so for credit last
year), but they also know that in a soft job market and increasingly
global economy, they need an international work record and the
connections that can bring. Study abroad may no longer
be enough to make them stand out, nor does it shed light on a country’s
business culture. Work-study abroad does double duty.