The Importance of Global Experiences for Students

In an increasingly interconnected world, the importance of global experiences for students is essential for developing the knowledge, skills and empathy required to understand multiple perspectives. It gives students a greater chance of future success, helping them to develop leadership skills and promote the common good – not just locally, but nationally and internationally too.

Becoming a global citizen means engaging in unique experiences that help build an individual’s sense of self. The benefits of taking students abroad and highlighting the important aspects of culture has far reaching effects for both personal and professional development.

Improved communication

Immersing students in a new culture lets them build cross-cultural communication skills. The ability to work with people from different backgrounds allows students to develop different working styles and ways of communicating effectively. This is a skill that’s especially important for companies that work internationally, or for multinational teams that are made up of people from various parts of the world. Working collaboratively can lead to incredibly innovative and creative solutions, which are only possible if the channels of communication are kept wide open. One way of nurturing this approach is to take a foreign language trip or learn to speak another language. Multi-linguists are in greater demand and have greater career prospects.

Establishment of new relationships

Improved foreign language skills aren’t just good for business, they’re great for interpersonal relationships too. Having diverse global experiences makes a person interesting. They give people something to talk about at the dinner table; they connect them to others who’ve visited the same places; they create various opportunities for networking, making new friends, and even finding love. Overcoming a language barrier is just one way to establish a new relationship. Taking a trip abroad and learning about another culture forces students to become more open minded and tolerant. People who are more open minded and tolerant are generally more likeable and sociable than those who haven’t experienced diversity first-hand.

Better career prospects

Not only do multi-linguists have greater career prospects, but students with a rich global experience (whether they’re able to speak another language or not) are more attractive to potential employers. International experience gives job seekers a competitive edge: travelling, volunteering, working or studying overseas are impressive credentials that look great on a CV. These experiences let an employer know that the person they’re interviewing is culturally sensitive, open minded, and adaptable.

In a technology driven world, where most interactions are done online, empathy is another important leadership skill. Fostering empathy in the younger generation means the next wave of workers are made up of those acting to promote the common good. Global experiences are key for instilling this value. They let students experience the true meaning of cultural diversity and why it’s such an important tool for gaining perspective. A unique, empathetic and rich perspective produces incredible leaders in whatever field they choose to pursue.

Personal growth and confidence

Travelling abroad is an exciting and educational experience, proven to build confidence and develop cultural awareness. Language trips in particular force students to push past their boundaries when it comes to learning and conversing in another language, especially if the host family only speaks a little of their guest’s native tongue. The ability to live, work and study abroad, far away from home and for long periods of time, builds character and encourages personal growth. When the student returns home, this newfound sense of self can be introduced into other areas of their life for greater success.

Global citizenship

To be a global citizen, you must believe that all people have the rights and civic responsibility that comes with being a member of the world. It’s a ‘whole world’ philosophy and sensibility, rather than one that’s specific to a nation or place6. It’s an important distinction to make as we move into an increasingly interconnected world. To thrive within the age of globalisation, students require a different perspective, and global experiences can increase the cultural awareness and sensitivity required to integrate and communicate successfully. It’s important for the younger generation to experience integration as early as possible, so they’re equipped with the knowledge, understanding and experience to succeed in the future. They will be the ones leading us, and to give them the best possible chance at making the right choices, we need to introduce them to the world they’re about to inherit.

To see how Ardmore Educational Travel can help create inspiring Global Experiences for Students, visit our website here.

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References

  1. Michael Page. How international experience can benefit your career. Source article: https://www.michaelpage.com.au/advice/career-advice/career-progression/how-international-experience-can-benefit-your-career
  2. Independent. Why there’s a growing demand for linguists. Source article:  https://www.independent.co.uk/student/career-planning/getting-job/why-theres-a-growing-demand-for-linguists-325902.html
  3. Lonsdale Institute. 10 Reasons Employers Value International Experience on your Resume. Source article: https://www.lonsdaleinstitute.edu.au/blog/10-reasons-employers-value-international-experience-resume/
  4. Forbes. Empathy is an essential leadership skill[…] Source article: https://www.forbes.com/sites/prudygourguechon/2017/12/26/empathy-is-an-essential-leadership-skill-and-theres-nothing-soft-about-it/#6561c2ca2b9d
  5. The Guardian. Why students need a global awareness and understanding of other cultures. Source article: https://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/2012/sep/25/students-global-awareness-other-cultures
  6. United World Schools.org. What is global citizenship? Source article: https://www.unitedworldschools.org/global-citizenship-award?gclid=Cj0KCQjwoKzsBRC5ARIsAITcwXFdLUzMHZdlXhWT1lQkeNoX2xbkekquywGFsuafX11cdNFYSVNKVpsaAsWwEALw_wcB
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