Kansas State University


K-State Career Center: Student Edition

Making the most of your summer abroad

Traveling abroad during summer break is an exciting opportunity to visit new places, try exotic foods and see unique things. It can also be an excellent chance to expand your experiences in a way that can positively affect your career journey.

If you are traveling abroad this summer, keep in mind these tips to get the most out of your international trip.

Be ready to face challenges

“Once you have navigated a country where you don’t speak the language, you are unstoppable,” Maria Penrod, a 2016 K-State mass communications graduate, shared of her travels in Costa Rica.

By tackling issues like language barriers head on, you can practice your problem solving skills in foreign situations. This ability can enable you to adapt quickly and successfully to a new work environment. This experience also serves as an excellent talking point with potential employers as you share with them why you would be a forward-thinking, proactive potential employee.

Be open to the unknown

One of the main appeals of international travel is encountering new things, but the unknown can still cause some fear and apprehension. Being able to overcome the fear and embrace the unknown is crucial to a productive and exciting time abroad.

“We live in a global society, and being able to respect and understand other cultures is crucial to success in many fields. Through my international experience, I can show employers that I am not afraid to take on new challenges, cultures, or environments,” Penrod said.

By being open to the unknown, you are not only gaining new skills, but also exposing yourself to a whole new wealth of knowledge.

Use your time abroad to build new skills

Penrod’s time abroad in the United Kingdom and Costa Rica enabled her to obtain an internship in Washington, D.C. She explained without her international experiences, she would not have had the confidence to accept the internship.

Looking for ways to build skills other than the obvious such as international travel and cultural skills can assist in preparing for your career. Consider making attainable goals for yourself such as strengthening your organizational skills by keeping a detailed journal or honing your professional social media techniques by posting regularly about your travels.

Wherever this summer takes you, think about every moment as an opportunity to advance in some new aspect.

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