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How studying abroad can shape your future

These days, record numbers of students are choosing to study abroad through exchange programs or international placements. Research shows that 64% of employers value international experience when recruiting.

With figures like these, the idea of heading overseas is more attractive now than ever before for many prospective and current students.

Luckily, commencing study at a local university like Deakin doesn’t have to mean staying in Victoria. Students from across the university are taking up international opportunities to study abroad as part of their degree.

‘Where do you want to go?’

Deakin Abroad offers hundreds of international opportunities in a variety of locations across the globe including trimesters abroad, short term partner programs, student exchange, study tours, international internships and volunteering opportunities.

Victoria Heron is the Senior Manager for Deakin Abroad and supports students to take up part of their degree overseas, no matter what their interests or subject.

‘Our mantra is “where do you want to go?” because students can choose a program almost anywhere,’ she says. ‘Our programs are in partnership with international universities or independent partners, so opportunities are available all over the world – from small townships to major cities.’

Make the most of it

To make the most of their experience, Heron advises students to get involved with their host university and community. This could mean taking the time to explore other parts of the country, learning a language, experiencing new tastes and sounds, or getting involved in local clubs and activities.

Student Callum Hutchinson, who has taken part in a volunteering program in Peru and the BI Norwegian Summer School Program through Deakin Abroad, felt the benefits of immersing himself into new cultures and urges other students to do the same.

‘The more “out there” the program, the better the experience you will have,’ Callum says. ‘Get out there and do everything – whether it’s going on a hike, sky diving, caving or trying to ride a bike in Amsterdam.’

‘I now actively seek out activities that I once would have never even considered,’ Callum notes. ‘I’ve also made some incredible friends on my travels, including many that I have met up with since, and some that I’m planning future travels with.’

A brighter future

Personal growth isn’t the only benefit of going overseas. Studying abroad can also help to develop the soft skills that employers value.

Kirsty Dixon is a senior coordinator for Deakin’s Work Integrated Learning program within the Faculty of Arts and Education, and helps students to secure experiences in the workplace before they graduate.

‘Studying abroad is extremely attractive for potential future employers,’ she explains. ‘Students can demonstrate initiative, adaptability, courage and cultural awareness to future employers. These skills are relevant in just about every industry.’

As well as an opportunity to build skills, studying abroad can help students to connect with potential future employers and colleagues. ‘Students who complete internships abroad expand their professional networks and career opportunities significantly,’ Dixon comments. ‘It’s not uncommon for students to go back to their destination to find employment.’

'Students can demonstrate initiative, adaptability, courage and cultural awareness to future employers. These skills are relevant in just about every industry.'

Kirsty Dixon,
Work Integrated Learning, Deakin University

Be ambitious, be organised

Being clear about your study abroad goals early is one of the key tips for students looking to secure an international experience as part of their degree.

‘It’s important students connect with Deakin Abroad as early as they can so we can work with them to map the overseas options specific to their degree,’ says Victoria Heron from Deakin Abroad.

And if you didn’t think going overseas was possible with your chosen course or subject area, think again. ‘There are opportunities for everyone,’ Dixon says. ‘Talk to Deakin Abroad and faculty teams about what you’d like to do. You won’t regret it’.

Inspired to study overseas, but not sure where? Take our quiz to see which overseas study destination suits you best.

Find out all you need to know about Deakin’s overseas study programs.

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