Young people who study or train abroad not only gain knowledge in specific disciplines, but also strengthen key transversal skills which are highly valued by employers. A new study on the impact of the European Union’s Erasmus student exchange program shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market. They are half as likely to experience long-term unemployment compared with those who have not studied or trained abroad and, five years after graduation, their unemployment rate is 23% lower.
Michael Farley, Head International Cooperation and Partnerships at SML said: «The long-term benefits of study abroad are made clear in this report. Career prospects are incraesed and you can expect faster career advancement. Internationalization is a strategic prioritiy for us. Our network of partner universities, stretching across all continents, enables more than 200 SML students each year to study abroad. SML also welcomes a similar number of international exchange students. These students bring an intercultural and global perspective to the classroom, which directly benefits our students and staff.» Although currently outside of Erasmus, the new Swiss European Mobility Program means that Swiss students studying in Europe and their counterparts studying in Switzerland will continue to receive financial support duirng their studies.
The EU study shows that 92% of employers are looking for personality traits boosted by the program such as tolerance, confidence, problem-solving skills, curiosity, knowing one’s strengths/weaknesses, and decisiveness when making a recruitment decision. Tests before and after exchange periods abroad reveal that Erasmus students show higher values for these personality traits, even before their exchange starts; by the time they come back, the difference in these values increases by 42% on average, compared with other students.
Erasmus not only improves career prospects, it also offers students broader horizons and social links. 40% have changed their country of residence or work at least once since graduation, almost double the number of those who were not mobile during studies. While 93% of students with international experience can imagine living abroad in the future, this is the case for only 73% of those who stay in the same country during their studies.
Information: Michael Farley, Departement International Business