97% of students in Australia say study abroad boosted self-confidence

97% of students in Australia say study abroad boosted self-confidence

97% of students surveyed in Australia have stated that the study abroad experience helped develop their self-confidence, a recent IEAA study has found.

The “Career Outcomes of Learning Abroad” study by the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) assessed the career outcomes of students who participated in study abroad programmes.

The IEAA study reported hugely positive replies from its respondents surrounding the benefits that it brought to their personal growth and the way it enabled them to develop a variety of employability skills.

The aim of the survey was to evidence the way that learning abroad is an experience that significantly boosts these key employability skills amongst its participants.

Through this, IEAA aimed to showcase how a greater knowledge of core international competencies would significantly benefit our global workforce.

The preceding iteration of this IEAA study had found that short-term study abroad significantly improved graduates’ career prospects.

95% stated study abroad enhanced their capacity to adapt and learn quickly

In 2018, around 19% of students at Australian universities participated in a learning abroad programme.

The national report was undertaken by the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA) in March-June last year, receiving a total of 4,976 responses.

A whole 85% of respondents stated their belief that learning abroad supports the development of work-relevant skills.

As a result, the study stated their belief that graduate employers need to be further educated about the developmental skills study abroad brings, and how this can significantly help to create a globally-astute workforce.

The skills that were most commonly reported by their respondents include boosting their communication skills (reported by 95%), capacity to adapt and learn quickly (95%), ability to interact with diverse individuals (96%).

Furthermore, over half of respondents agreed that learning abroad had a positive impact on obtaining their first job in their field of study (59%).

The experience of study abroad was also demonstrated to have a clear impact on the careers of many of these respondents.

Of those respondents who are currently working, 63% were currently working for an organisation with an international or national scope, 41% have engaged in international work since graduation, and a third plan to work abroad in the future.

Australia students believe study abroad benefits society as a whole

The study found that the bulk of respondents reflected on the need that study abroad programmes enforced upon them to adapt to new living and learning environments and adjust to the challenges of navigating unfamiliar settings.

As stated by one survey respondent: “Study abroad has enhanced my ability to think laterally and be people-centric, adaptable, able to work and communicate effectively across different teams in different contexts.

“Most importantly, my experience has reminded me of my own place in the larger world. It made me more curious, but also more humble.”

The report was authored by Dr Davina Potts, who is the Associate Director for Careers, Employability and Global Learning at the University of Melbourne, and Chair of the IEAA Research Committee.

Pic: Sebastian Voortman

Josephine Walbank - Reporter, Global Education Times (GET News)

Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.

Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.

You can reach her at josephine@globaleducationtimes.org

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