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Old 12-26-2012, 10:19 AM   #1
mickeysgal
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Study Abroad Program - Worth it?

We are considering a study abroad program for my DD. She's in her third year in college and looking to do a summer program abroad in France that is tied to her major. She gets college credit for the program if she should choose to do it.

Reading the description of the program, it's unclear to me whether it is of enough benefit for her resume when it's time to look for a job. Part of it looks very worthy, part of it honestly looks vacation-y. Yes, I realize it's a great experience, but to justify the price tag associated with this, I'm looking for it to be an employable plus - something to make you stand out more to an employer.

For those that have had children or have done this yourself, how worth it is it? Does it juice up the resume enough that this would help tremendously when looking for a post college job?
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:25 AM   #2
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I did it in college and I would say its absolutly worth it. It changed my perspective on life and the world.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:27 AM   #3
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I know I am not going to be much of a help, but I thought I would tell you what I have found out so far.
DD is a senior in high school and very much wants to do a study abroad program in college. I have spent a lot of time asking around about this topic on both message boards and in person with friends and family who have kids who have done/are doing programs. My conclusion: it really varies depending on the school.

Some of these kids have had wonderful learning experiences that have greatly increased their marketability, and others have basically had a Club Med type experience; tons of fun, little learning, and zero help when it comes to jobs after graduation. My advice is to really research the programs her college offers and make sure, if you're the one footing the bill, it is something that will benefit her in the future. Good luck!

Edited to add: I think any travel abroad is always beneficial, but I think there are much more economical ways of going about it if the program offered through the college isn't going to serve any additional purposes other than the travel experience itself.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:28 AM   #4
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My son did a language intensive summer in Madrid. I think he got 9 credit hours of transferable credit and it wasn't that much more expensive than what a summer on Campus taking classes would have been. It was probably also one heck of a party.

I can't say it helped all that much in job searching though. From what I can see, when it comes to getting hired now it is all about internships and work experience these days.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:43 AM   #5
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Is she looking for a job that requires French language skills?

If not, there is unlikely to be any direct job hunting benefits. However, my study abroad still comes up in job interviews as a point of conversation (even though it isn't really applicable). The experience was also very key to my transition to adulthood. It was absolutely worth it in my view (including the vacation-y parts of it).
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellarella View Post
Is she looking for a job that requires French language skills?

If not, there is unlikely to be any direct job hunting benefits. However, my study abroad still comes up in job interviews as a point of conversation (even though it isn't really applicable). The experience was also very key to my transition to adulthood. It was absolutely worth it in my view (including the vacation-y parts of it).
No, no French Language skills. It's not centered on language, but rather advertising. They'd be working with various ad agencies from around the world during the course of the program.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:50 AM   #7
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I would think since she is going into a field that is becoming more and more global, international experience can definitely be a plus in looking for employment and give her more marketability.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:51 AM   #8
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No, no French Language skills. It's not centered on language, but rather advertising. They'd be working with various ad agencies from around the world during the course of the program.
Wow, that sounds amazing! DD is a freshman and really wants to study abroad too. I have not looked into it yet but her college has programs that are reciprocal so roughly the same cost as a semester at school (not including travel costs). Hopefully posters will more experience will continue to share experiences.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:53 AM   #9
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My daughter just spent a year in England working on her masters. Whether it will really contribute to her marketability in the future is unknown, but I think it was totally worth the money.

From this experience, she has a greater appreciation for the differences in lifestyle outside of the US. She made many friends. Some of which are soon to visit us here in the US.

Even if nothing else comes from this experience, she got to see things and do things she may never get a chance to do again. It was a wonderful life experience. I would let her repeat this in a heartbeat.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:53 AM   #10
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I go to a school where we have a really high attendance rate for study abroad because everyone who goes on study abroad pays in-state tuition, even if they are out of state. So I had a friend from Indiana (out of state) who did multiple study abroads because it was cheaper for her to go on those than pay out of state tuition! My BF also went on one this past summer and he absolutely loved it--he got to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and cried when he got to the top. His program was directly related to what he wants to do (development economics in Africa), so it helped him in securing a job for after graduation. I think any study abroad would probably be helpful in an interview if she knows how to talk about it with an employer. Also, one thing BF did on his resume was list "Study Abroad in Tanzania" as part of his educational experience; he listed the courses he took and briefly talked about the projects he worked on.
I also wanted to add that in Georgia, where I live, you can attend other schools' study abroad programs in the state as a transient student. If you're looking for something less vacation-y, maybe there is something similar in your state.
Also, if she's interested in applying to grad schools--I've been filling out grad applications left and right for the past month and most of them have asked how long I've lived, worked, or traveled (for pleasure) abroad.

Last edited by laura.anne; 12-26-2012 at 10:56 AM. Reason: fixing mistake
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:18 AM   #11
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I did it in college and I would say its absolutly worth it. It changed my perspective on life and the world.

YES YES YES! Me too!
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:24 PM   #12
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Absolutely worth it. I wouldn't be where I am today without my study abroad experiences.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:34 PM   #13
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Definitely! I studied for a semester in Italy and it was absolutely incredible. I think coming out of college the more you can put on your resume the better. This would just be listed under Education on your resume, a different school, foreign one at that.

Both of my girls will be encouraged to study abroad when they are in college. They have a while to go, though!
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #14
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I studied abroad in Scotland my Junior year and it was the best 6 months of my life. No it won't be all class she will have fun too but it is SO worth it. I find that it is a great conversation starter and "University of Glasgow, Scotland UK" looks good on my resume and trust me they look at your education section. It's probably not the same boon as having a fantastic internship on your resume would be but it is something that makes you different (in a good way) from other applicants. In interviews and conversations people ask me if I tried haggis or went to any castles and it does a good job of breaking the ice and making the interview more casual. Plus the experience of living in a different culture is so worth it. I grew as a person so much and because I had to do everything my self I matured a lot.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:23 PM   #15
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Absolutely worth it. Absolutely. Mine was a life changing experience. No regrets at all.
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