Publication Date

5-2016

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Sora Friedman

Abstract

Following the tradition of a case study, this capstone research investigates the experience of recent graduates of the City University of New York (CUNY) who participated in study abroad programs managed by the College of Staten Island (CSI) between Fall 2010 and Summer 2015 and examines their perceptions of the post-graduation job search process. The data was collected through an online survey of 72 CUNY graduates and interviews with four survey respondents.

The research findings did not show that the employment rate of CUNY study abroad alumni were any better or worse than others. However, many alumni believed that their international experience helped or could help them to land a job regardless of the professions they were pursuing. The research results also suggest that CUNY study abroad alumni thought that “soft skills” such as communication skills, ability to work with others, problem-solving skills, adaptability, maturity, flexibility, independence, open-mindedness, motivation, and self-awareness gained through study abroad experience, rather than technical skills and knowledge such as language skills or academic and professional knowledge, helped them to get a job. They also felt that study abroad added a unique value to their resumes.

The findings from this research support results from similar studies, which have been done in different institutional or cultural contexts in the past about the professional impact of the study abroad experience. It offers ideas for study abroad programming and advisement, as well as career advisement, so students can more efficiently gain those skills which can help them become more marketable job seekers and effectively use study abroad experience as a tool for career development.

Disciplines

Higher Education | International and Comparative Education

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