Wednesday, June 27, 2012

9 Good Reasons New-Grads Should Go Abroad

While it’s fairly common for college students to spend some part of their college lives studying abroad, it’s much less common to head overseas after graduation to look for work. Yet as jobs become more scarce here at home, more and more students are heading abroad to look for new career opportunities that just don’t exist at present closer to home. It’s a growing trend, and it may just be worthwhile for grads who don’t want to languish in unemployment or underemployment in their first few years out of school. Yet there’s more to heading abroad than just a wider range of jobs; there are actually numerous benefits to spending a few years working in a foreign country. Curious? Read on to learn why new grads should consider finding work outside of their home countries.

  1. More job opportunities.

    One of the biggest benefits of moving abroad for many new grads is a wealth of different job opportunities, and it’s perhaps the main reason why many choose to travel long distances to score their first post-graduation position. There are almost always numerous opportunities to live and work abroad as an English teacher or through a variety of nonprofit organizations, but in our increasingly global economy, many international corporations are looking to draw in talent from around the world as well. In many nations with emerging business, tech, and health care markets, jobs are booming. With jobs scarce all over the United States, the ability to find any kind of work can be a pretty strong lure for young grads, especially for those with school loan repayments looming, and any opportunity to make a decent living, even thousands of miles from home, can have a lot of appeal and can be a solid start to a new career. Still not sold? The unemployment rate for college-educated ex-pats in many countries hovers around 2.4%, much, much lower than in the U.S.

  2. Better perks.

    Health insurance, retirement plans, vacation days: these are all things that are becoming rarer and rarer in the American workplace. For young grads who are just starting out in entry-level positions or internships, they might be a bit of a pipe dream. Yet in other countries, these perks aren’t just a bonus: they’re a requirement. In many nations outside of the U.S., health care is free or much more affordable, jobs come with cushy pension plans, and vacation and sick days aren’t in short supply. These things might not sound like a big deal, but over time they can add up.

  3. It can enhance your resume.

    With nearly half of new grads facing some sort of employment woes, building a resume in those first critical post-college years can be rough. Heading abroad is one way to give a resume a boost and set yourself apart from your peers. Those who can’t find work close to home can take part in work, internships, and volunteer programs that offer a chance to get some real-world experience that those who stay close to home simply may not have access to. It might sound shallow, but that international experience could be pretty impressive to a future employer and if nothing else, will demonstrate your drive, independence, and ability to adapt.

  4. You probably won’t have to pay U.S. taxes on your earnings.

    All that money you make abroad won’t get hit with taxes from the good old U.S. of A., provided you make less than $95,000 a year (you’ll still need to file a return, however). In places where living costs and local taxes are low, this can be a pretty big boon for young workers who need or want to start building a nest egg or paying back loans.

  5. The pay is often very good.

    Salaries for middle class workers may have stagnated here in the U.S., but abroad things may be much brighter for new grads, depending on the type of work they choose to pursue. Salaries can be quite fair for those who choose to work abroad, especially when the exchange rate is in their favor or when living costs are lower or compensated for by employers. While pay will differ from job to job, it’s generally much more than grads would make back home working at an hourly job.

  6. It offers invaluable experience.

    There are few that would argue that a job abroad can offer grads experiences that might be a bit more pertinent to their future careers than working as a waiter or flipping burgers. Not only do these kinds of jobs offer work experience, they also give new grads a chance to test their mettle in the real world, learning to adapt, pay bills, and live as an adult in an often incredibly challenging foreign environment. It can be a great chance to build independence and confidence, meet new people, and build global connections that can last a lifetime.

  7. More jobs may be available in your field.

    Many new grads take on work that isn’t in any way related to the degree they just spent four years completing just so they can make ends meet after graduation. For some, this ends up working out OK, but others find the work to be demoralizing, especially after starting to repay thousands of dollars worth of loans for a degree that has thus far proven pretty useless. Looking further afield for work can be a solution for some grads, as there may be more opportunities for work in a given profession in places outside of the U.S.

  8. Living costs are often much lower.

    Not only can new grads find better pay abroad, but that pay may go much further. While not every nation a student will travel to for work will have lower costs of living, many do, and some overseas jobs (especially those in teaching) come complete with allowances for rent and other living expenses. That leaves more cash for saving, spending, or paying back those student loans.

  9. A chance to experience another culture.

    Even for those who don’t have daunting student loans or any pressing financial issues, going abroad can still be an incredibly valuable experience. The chance to live in another country and learn first-hand about another culture (perhaps even picking up another language) is an incredible opportunity, and one that can teach young grads some lessons that they’ll carry with them throughout life.

Taken From Best Colleges Online

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