Learning abroad and employability: researching the connections

The connection between learning abroad and employability has been gaining ground in recent years. Since the publication of IEAA’s first research digest on learning abroad outcomes (Potts & Berquist, 2014), there has been an increasing focus on how overseas study experiences can influence career and employment outcomes.

This research digest presents the findings of 10 studies drawn from a global search, which contribute to our understanding of the link between learning abroad and employability.

Key takeaways include:

  • Learning abroad is widely recognised as an educational experience that allows students to develop transferable skills (e.g. problem solving, communication skills, flexibility, curiosity, confidence, teamwork and self-management)
  • We need to understand the evidence to support these claims and talk to prospective and former participants about how to identify and articulate their transferable skills.
  • Establishing a causal link between learning abroad and graduate outcomes remains challenging. Claims about higher incomes and lower unemployment can’t be made without understanding students’ broader social, cultural and academic backgrounds.


Dr Davina Potts, The University of Melbourne

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