Every student who wants to succeed in the global economy should study abroad. It is one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself and your career. Each of us has lived and worked both in the United States and overseas, working extensively with both students and employers in a variety of business, academic and not-for-profit settings in our own careers.
Stacie Nevadomski Berdan is a seasoned global executive, an expert on international careers, and an award-winning author on how to succeed in the global marketplace. Sir Cyril Taylor has been an innovator in study abroad for nearly 50 years, having founded the American Institute For Foreign Study (AIFS) in 1964, and Richmond, The American International University in London in 1972. As the president and CEO of the Institute of International Education, Allan Goodman is a leader in creating and expanding international educational exchange opportunities, and making them more accessible to more diverse student populations. He was previously a professor and the executive dean of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, teaching students who are now in diplomatic leadership positions around the globe. Together, we and our organizations have advised and supported hundreds of thousands of students over the years to gain an international experience, and we continue to advocate for more students going abroad.
We have seen firsthand the value of making international a part of one’s education and of listening to others when it comes to adapting to life in another country. We have all felt culture shock and also re-entry problems, and we have seen the impact of an international experience on those who have been fortunate enough to have one. But we realize that not every student knows where to start and how to make it happen. So we teamed up to reach students like you, who are still exploring whether and how to study abroad, and wondering if they should do it. The answer is a resounding “yes”—but only after you have prepared yourself to take full advantage of the opportunity.
We wrote this book to give every student access to the best information available on study abroad—things to know before you go, how to make the most of your time abroad, why you should consider internships and career-related experiences abroad, how to transition back to life in the States, and, as you embark on your career, how to use study abroad to showcase your global growth and learning.
To bring you current, relevant advice, we surveyed approximately 350 students and asked dozens of educators and business leaders to share their insights. In addition to our own best advice from years of working in international education and communications, we aim to offer you timely and practical feedback from the current generation of students who have made the most of their time abroad. Therefore, we have included more than 200 real-life stories from a diverse collection of students, advisers and professionals, as well as 100 easy-to-follow tips to help guide you through the process.
The wide range of programs currently available makes study abroad more flexible, affordable and accessible than ever before. While not everyone can go abroad for a full year in a total language immersion setting, we hope you will agree after reading this book that there is a study abroad option for everyone. We urge you to make international a part of your education.