IES Abroad Ambassadors Share How Study Abroad Benefited Their Careers

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The fact that studying abroad increases your hireability might sound too good to be true. What are the benefits of studying abroad anyway? Is it really possible that you can feed your travel bug, make life-long friends, and delve into a new culture all while gaining future career benefits?

It’s totally possible. In fact, career readiness was one of the top reasons our IES Abroad Ambassadors gave when we asked why they’re grateful for their study abroad or internship abroad experience. Read their stories below:

Naomi Hong
IES Abroad Tokyo, Fall 2016
Occidental College


"During my time studying abroad in Tokyo, I participated in the field placement program, where I got to intern at a travel agency in Ginza. I not only improved my Japanese business skills, but I was able to learn more about the Japanese travel agency by creating my own domestic tours. This experience has been extremely helpful to my career goals as I hope to enter into the hospitality industry upon graduation."

Elizabeth Charles 
IES Abroad Vienna, Fall 2016
Ithaca College


"Thanks to the work experience I gained while interning in Vienna, I was offered a salaried position before my senior year even started."

Reid Morris
IES Abroad London, Spring 2017
Indiana University
"I am thankful for the clarity studying abroad created for my future goals. After both working and living abroad, I know that I should pursue a long-term living situation abroad in the future. It has now become my goal to move back to London, as the experiences, people, and culture of this city are something I seek for my future."

Samekh Harris Reed
IES Abroad Tokyo, Spring 2017
University of Rochester

"For my career-readiness, I’m thankful that I was able to study abroad. I thought I knew what I wanted to do after graduation, but now I realize I have so many more options than I thought I had. I can’t imagine myself staying in an office day in and day out, or even never going abroad again. Now, I know I want to go into the field of international education and possibly work in Japan. I’m glad I had this realization so soon!"

Sabrina Westgate
IES Abroad Christchurch, Spring 2017
University of Rochester


"Did you know that 80% of New Zealand electricity is hydraulic power? Before I studied abroad, I didn't know that was yet possible. Seeing first-hand the close kinship of the environment and people in New Zealand, as well as learning about harnessing that same hydraulic power in my Fluid Mechanics Engineering class while there, has made me want to work with alternative energy."

Spencer Alexander
IES Abroad European Union, Spring 2017
George Washington University


"My study abroad experience helped me to develop my career, as I participated in an internship while abroad and it was an incredibly rewarding experience working in a German school for an organization that supports and educates refugees. I realized that while I originally thought I wanted to be more involved in the policy side of NGO work, that truly I would prefer to be hands-on and on the ground working directly with people. I learned about the importance of language learning to integration, particularly for refugees, so now I think I may want to pursue a career in teaching English to refugees and immigrants."

Sally Kiker
IES Abroad Cape Town, Summer 2017
University of Maryland – College Park


"I came to South Africa with a vague understanding of my career-driven goals, and left with new ambitions and aspirations for my future. While participating in service learning, I was able to shadow a handful of amazing occupational therapists. They inspired me to begin my own journey in such a challenging, yet rewarding, profession."  

Stephen Getz
Stephen Getz
IES Internships Dublin, Summer 2017
Indiana University


"I'm thankful for the experiences and relationships I gained working abroad in Ireland. Thanks to IES Internships, I was able to work for a start-up company and learn all about how they work."

Angelica Bernal Torres
IES Internships Santiago, Summer 2017
Lehigh University


"My internship in Santiago, Chile, reaffirmed my desire to work abroad in the future. I got to experience what it would be like to work for a public entity with limited resources and how employees must navigate those resources to fulfill the organization's mission. I felt that I was able to adapt to my new environment, giving me the confidence that if I choose to build a career abroad, I will succeed." 

Alex Schnurpel
Alex Schnurpel
IES Internships Sydney, Summer 2017
Indiana University


"This past summer solidified my love for student affairs and international education while I interned for the University of New South Wales Exchange and Study Abroad office. I will forever be grateful to the staff at the office, as well as Kate Smart, the Sydney Director, and Sian Viney, our Internship Coordinator, for organizing such an amazing internship in a field that has a very niche focus."

Follow along with our Grateful for Study Abroad series as recent alumni share the many incredible ways their study abroad and internship abroad experiences changed their lives: 

What will you be grateful for when you study abroad? Find out more about our programs, internships, and the benefits of study abroad.


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