Benefits of Study Abroad

Need more than "it's fun?" Check out our video and take a look at the reasons below.

The evidence is clear! Studies show that study abroad improves academic performance, social development, and career readiness.*

Improved Academic Performance

GPAs Improve Faster

100% of students showed greater improvement in GPA post study abroad. One study showed that study abroad alumni increase their GPA twice as fast as other students.*

More Likely to Graduate

Students who study abroad are 19% more likely to graduate within six years. Four-year graduation rates were still 15% higher than non participants.*

Study Abroad and Personality

Increased Maturity

97% of students attributed their increased maturity to experience living and traveling abroad.*

Self Confidence

97% of study abroad alumni claimed an increase in self-confidence as a result of study abroad.*

Tolerance for Ambiguity

Students who studied abroad reported feeling more comfortable navigating uncertainty, unpredictability, and conflict.*

Improved Personality Traits

Study Abroad alumni show more improvement in five core personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and emotional stability.*

Careers, Salaries, and Job Skills

Finding Employment

In one study, study abroad alumni were twice as likely to find a job post graduation. Among study abroad alumni, 90% landed a job within 6 months.*

Higher Salaries

Starting salaries were 25% higher than those college graduates who did not study abroad. A British study found their study abroad graduates out-earned their peers by 17%. This equates to approximately $7,000 annually for U.S. students and £3,120 for UK students. Maintaining this earning advantage translates to earning an extra $567,500 over a lifetime in the U.S.*

Entry to Graduate School 

90% of study abroad alumni who applied got into their 1st or 2nd choice graduate school.*

Job Skills

Study Abroad helps students build valuable skills for the job market. 84% of students felt more prepared for the workplace because of their experiences.*

Adapting to Work Environments

80% of study abroad students agreed that they were better able to adapt to diverse work environments.*

Job Satisfaction

70% of study abroad alumni claimed that they were more satisfied with their jobs because of study abroad.*

Value in the Job Market

59% of employers said study abroad would be valuable in an individual’s career with their organization.*

Choosing a Career Field

34% of alumni claimed that study abroad helped them choose their career field.*

Lowered Unemployment 

Unemployment rates in a British study were 19% lower than students who did not study abroad.*

Salary Boost in Specific Fields

A British study found bigger increases in salaries among among seven majors: sociology, computer science, theology and religious studies, electronic and electrical engineering, and physical geographical sciences. *


*Statistics compiled by University of California, Merced