The Westfield Voice

The Student News Site of Westfield State University

The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

The World Is At Your Feet


You’ve had an amazing, life changing adventure. You’ve studied abroad. Now what (besides rave about it to anyone who will listen for the next five years)? The Welcome Back Reception for returning study abroad students shared the some of the countless ways to extend the study abroad experience back to life in the United States.

The amount of opportunities are pleasantly overwhelming. This is important information to know, not just for those who have studied abroad, but for those considering doing so in the future. After traveling across the world, the world is at your feet. Here’s how you take advantage of it.

Option 1: Job Opportunity 

97% of students with Study Abroad on their resume find employment within twelve months of graduating. Only 49% of students of students who haven’t studied abroad find employment within the same time period.

Studying abroad creates a more flexible and adaptive person, as well as increases success in a multicultural environment. These are all highly sought-after traits in new hires.

At the Welcome Back Reception, Giselle Frechette, Associate Director and Coordinator of Experiential Education at the Career Center, spoke about how the Career Center can help you utilize study abroad to its full advantage throughout your career search. They can incorporate it into resumes and cover letters, identify the greatest opportunities, and assist in preparing for interview questions about the experience.

Just as well, studying abroad may change the plans you had for the future. The Career Center can assist in steering you in the right direction. Whether you realize this now or during a midlife crisis at fifty years old; the services offered at the Career Center will always be available.

Option 2: Showcase It 

Also at the Welcome Back Reception, Lamis Jarvinen, the Director of Center of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, talked about CURCA and how it can benefit study abroad students. CURCA is an event held on campus that gives students the opportunity to present projects or research they’ve completed, either in oral or poster presentations.

Is there a project you did for one of your classes abroad? Have you written something about your experience since you returned home? Are you looking to highlight your trip in a professional portfolio? CURCA will not only provide a medium to showcase these types of projects, but help create them as well. 

Option 3: Help Others Have The Same Experience 

Whenever I ask people what their favorite part of studying abroad was, they always say that, in some way, shape, or form, it was the people they encountered and the friends they made.

You could have the same impact on the international students currently studying abroad at WSU. The Office of International Programs employs students to be mentors to the school’s international students. The job entails tasks like, pick students up from the airport, give them a tour of the school, help them move in, and be a convenient connection for them on campus. 

Option 4: Everything But The Kitchen Sink 

There are countless more opportunities available once returning from abroad. Work in the Office of International Programs, join the International and Intercultural Club, write articles about your experience for the student newspaper, The Westfield Voice, or continue to pursue the language you began learning abroad.

Studying abroad isn’t a temporary experience. You’ve opened an international door, and in doing so unlocked an array of opportunities much closer to home. Now it’s time to take advantage of them. 

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