5 Tips for Networking Abroad
The investment many students make when deciding to study abroad can be quite large – whether it’s saving for the ideal course, finding the time to study either during university holidays or in-between jobs, or the many aspects involved in moving to another country – and it’s really worthwhile to make use of your time abroad. If you're trying to advance in your career, then why not take advantage of the networking opportunities you come across during your studies? We've put together 5 easy tips to how you can network while studying abroad.
Network Tip #1: Embrace other international students
Choosing to study English in an English-speaking country can be a wonderful opportunity, it doesn’t only have to be about brushing up and perfecting your language skills, making new friends, and enjoying a new culture. You will be exposed to many types of people who are also looking to study English.
Some of our past students have been young entrepreneurs who want to learn English because it's deemed necessary for their particular industry, others who wanted to progress and study at English-speaking universities, or those who wanted to broaden their perspective of the world and learn an international language. Our students come from over 150 different nationalities, so it’s important to embrace this very unique aspect of studying abroad and meet people – get to know them and build connections that can last a lifetime.
Network Tip #2: Connect with like-minded individuals
Our London Leicester Square and Liverpool school’s offer an over 25’s program which is aimed at slightly older students. This means you’ll be surrounded by other like-minded students, which gives you another opportunity to connect with people from all over the world who may be just as career-focused as you. It provides the perfect setting to talk about your future plans, and you might have a lot more in common than you think. Spending time with people who are different from you will also teach you a lot about other cultures and how to interact with different people, both of which are important skills if you choose to work for a global organization. This will go a long way in impressing a potential employer.
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Network Tip #3: Take part in business-oriented social activities
Not only is our over 25’s program perfect for meeting similar people but the social program that those students will have access to is slightly more focused than in some of our other schools. Designed with age and career in mind, students may be able to visit the Google offices in London, receive a talk by a well-known ex-football manager like Alex Ferguson, or a famous designer on what it’s like to work in the fast-paced fashion industry. This not only adds to your CV but gives you the opportunity to connect with others who are at the talk and potentially meet the speaker themselves. London Leicester Square regularly holds a career week, which means older students can participate in a number of workshops like CV writing in English, interview skills, and pointers for writing a cover letter. Career lectures available to attend may also include a number of interesting and topical subjects including computers and ethics or the EU crisis, Brexit, and Trump. Learn about current affairs and tailored industries and be open to new opportunities the school may offer you, you never know what this may do for your future career.
Network Tip #4: Gain more than just English
Many people go to university or college to gain a set of skills in a particular industry, becoming an expert in a field is what will make you an attractive candidate in a job interview. If you wanted to work for a global company you need to think how transferrable your skills are, can you talk about the ins and outs of your industry in English? Kaplan now offers a range of courses that teach more than English. Whether you'll benefit from learning functional vocabulary for a particular subject or you want to learn about the marketing or business world in English, it’s worth finding out what else you can do while abroad.
Network Tip #5: Make your time count
If you’re going halfway across the world then it’s probably worth going for the right amount of time. Of course 2 weeks will be beneficial for your language skills and you’ll be able to meet some interesting people but it may not be enough time to get stuck in and really benefit from the networking aspect of studying abroad. The longer you go the more likely you’ll meet more people, become closer with a handful of them, and be able to attend interesting talks and workshops, not to mention the experience you’ll gain from immersing in a new culture and getting to know a different way of life.
No matter what your reason for thinking or choosing to study abroad, there is no doubt the benefits are endless, and the easiest part is that you can do all these things without even knowing it – although it’s worth keeping them in mind to make a concerted effort and make your time abroad more rewarding and worthwhile for you personally and for your career.