A report published by the British Council has indicated that an increase in empathy towards international students – as well as enhanced confidence – are some of the most positive impacts of studying abroad, according to a sample of 245 higher education students based in the UK.
The ‘Broadening Horizons 2016: Maximising the impact of study abroad’ study, which is in its fourth year, examines how UK students perceived the overseas study experience, in particular, its impact on their institutional engagement, global awareness and chances of employment.
Key findings consist of 91 per cent of returned students claiming study abroad made them ‘more inclusive and welcoming’ to international students; a further 91 per cent would likely recommend study abroad to other students and would emphasise positive value to their social, personal and professional lives; and 83 per cent of students believe the experience has strengthened their job prospects.
Education Intelligence research director, Zainab Malik, commented: “Our research shows that, after study abroad, UK home students are eager to share their wisdom and worldview with their peers. By inspiring returned students to unpack the lessons learned while overseas and to be advocates for study abroad and for international students, the life-changing effects of the experience are maximised and shared.”
There is a positive relationship between study abroad during higher education and the desire to go abroad again, for academic or professional reasons. Almost one third of respondents would ‘definitely’ apply for job abroad, and 54 per cent stated they were now more open to the option.