Studies Show College Graduate Success Correlates with Study Abroad Experience

Of course, we always need to be wary about attributing causation when we see correlation, but it is nonetheless exciting to examine the results of new research reports on the various successes of those pre-professionals with international experience. One such report demonstrates higher employability, salary, and diversity inclusivity for UK students who were “mobile” (had studied abroad). This report was meticulously researched and compiled by the Go International Programme out of the UK Higher Education International Unit, a government supported organization.

The director of the research, Vivienne Stern, explained why her team devoted time and resources to conducting this research:


“If we want to encourage students to think about spending some time abroad, we need to be able to show them what they will get out of it,” she said.

“While qualitative evidence of the benefits of international experience is widely available, there is little quantitative evidence to support this.”

Go International sought to tackle the problem of general lack of research into this area. They examined over 200,ooo young people, about 10% of whom had studied or interned abroad.

See the full UK report here.

The results from the US are similarly interesting. Another not-for-profit organization, IES Abroad, found that 95% of US college alumni who had studied abroad accepted their first job within 12 months of graduating, whereas for those who did not study abroad, only 49% had found a job within the same time period. Similarly, 90% of alumni who had studied abroad gained acceptance into their first or second choice graduate or professional school.

In addition, the average graduate who had studied abroad earned a 25% higher salary than her counterpart who had remained in the US. To gather and report this information, IES worked closely with over 200 top-tier American colleges and universities.

See the full US report here.

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