Here at Winerist, we’ve always firmly believed that travel is good for your mind, body and soul, but recent research suggests that it might also be great for your career. Especially if you’re a student – making the most of opportunities to travel and experience the world from a different perspective will give you key skills that employers are on the lookout for.
In fact, recent research has shown that employers are unsatisfied with graduate applicants’ lack of international experience, and are actively looking for candidates with foreign language skills, cultural awareness and diverse work experiences.* Even though the majority of UK graduates will have had the chance to study abroad, the issue is that just 32% of these students will have actually made the most of this opportunity.**
For many people, a year abroad sounds like a dream come true (we’ll do the full ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, please), but the emphasis on the mysterious and all-important ‘University Experience’ has left many graduates reluctant to spend too much time away from campus. Others, fluent in English and confident that most of the business world will be able to communicate in their mother tongue, just don’t see the need to acquire international skills.
This is great news for any students with a serious case of wanderlust, because you can really set yourself apart from other candidates, and pick up some incredible experiences along the way, by making the most of your Uni’s study abroad programs or foreign language courses.
If you’re studying a subject that doesn’t offer opportunities to travel, make the most of those long summers and start crossing some destinations off your bucket list! Researching, planning and financing a trip is no mean feat, and you should definitely mention that month you spent interrailing in the ‘about me’ section of your CV. Maybe leave out the bit where you almost fell into a canal in Amsterdam, though.
Travel is a great way to build confidence, independence and self awareness by challenging yourself and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Meeting new people and experiencing different cultures will boost your communication skills and teach you to work well with just about anyone, and travelling and living in another country opens your eyes to new experiences. You’ll come back home with a whole new outlook on everything!
Even picking up an extra language module (knowing the words to ‘Voulez-vouz couchez avec moi’ is not enough to impress potential employers), or joining interesting international societies, will help you make sure you get the most out of your time as a student. We highly recommend seeking out the ‘wine and cheese society’, if you’re lucky enough to have such a thing at your University, and sipping and nibbling your way around the world from the comfort of your very own dorm. And if you don’t have one at your Uni, may we recommend starting one (and inviting us to your inaugural meeting)?
In case you needed any more persuasion to book your next trip, why not have a browse through all of the incredible tours we’ve created in partnership with The Wine Show? It might just help you land your dream job!
*Responses from more than 300 UK organisations in a CBI/Pearson Education and Skills Survey (2017) suggest employers from all sectors are unsatisfied with graduate applicants’ lack of international experience.
** According to a survey conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit involving more than 1000 global graduates born between 1985 and 1993, who graduated between 2011 and 2016, 87% of German graduates say they had opportunities to study abroad, compared to just 62% of UK respondents. Just 32% of UK students with the option to study abroad choose to do so, compared to 63% of German students. Students who study abroad are 24% less likely to be unemployed
Data compiled by teachingabroaddirect.co.uk