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By: Richard Menard

You and your student have both put forth a great deal of time and energy to prepare for life in college. Your student has decided to come to Gonzaga University and you are extremely proud of them, but maybe a little nervous, too. As part of the college experience you may hear that your student should study abroad. This may create even more nervousness and you could start to wonder whether or not studying abroad is really necessary for your student. Statistics, surveys and reports show there are many positive outcomes that accompany a study abroad experience.

Careers, Salaries and Job Skills:

  • 97% of study abroad students found employment within 12 months of graduation, when only 49% of college graduates found employment in the same period. (1) Study abroad students were twice as likely to find a job. Among study abroad alumni, 90% landed a job within 6 months. (2) A UK study supports US findings that study abroad returnees are more likely to find employment within six months of graduation.
  • 25% higher starting salaries: study abroad students earned more than those college graduates who did not study abroad. (1) A British study found that their study abroad graduates out-earned their peers by 17%. (12) This equates to approx. $7,000 annually for US students and £3,120 for UK students. Maintaining this earning advantage translates to earning an extra $567,500 over one’s career, in the US. (3)
  • 90% of study abroad alumni applying for graduate school were admitted into their 1st or 2nd choice school. (1)
  • 84% of study abroad alumni felt their study abroad experience helped them build valuable skills for the job market. (4) A second study confirms this at 85%. (10)
  • 80% of study abroad students reported that study abroad allowed them to better adapt to diverse work environments. (4)
  • 59% of employers said study abroad would be valuable in an individual’s career later on with their organization. (11)

Study Abroad, Graduation and Academic Performance:

  • 100% greater improvement in GPA, post-study abroad. Student GPAs tended to rise as students approached the completion of their undergraduate degree. Students who studied abroad saw their GPAs rise twice as quickly as a result of going abroad, compared to students who remained on-campus, according to a Georgia study. (8)
  • 19% more likely to graduate: study abroad participants are more likely to graduate than non-participants by six years. Even at four years, study abroad participants are 15% more likely to graduate based on a UC San Diego study. (5) UT Austin and Georgia data show a similar trend. (6,7)

While this data may persuade you to see the benefits of studying abroad, you may still be worried about where to start: Where will your student go? How much will it cost? What support will he or she have? To help students study abroad, we have a number of different types of study abroad programs and destinations to meet our students’ unique needs and interests: Faculty-Led Programs, Gonzaga-in-Florence, and Sponsored Programs. Our Study Abroad team is also available to speak with your student and family about the process and how to choose the best program.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to ask questions. Study Abroad Office, 509-313-3549 or studyabroad@gonzaga.edu


1 Career Benefits of Study Abroad
2 New Survey Shows College Graduates Who Study Abroad Land Career-Related Jobs Sooner, with Higher Starting Salaries
3 How Higher Education Affects Lifetime Salary
4 AIFS Study Abroad Outcomes
5 UC San Diego Study: 2011 EAP and OAP Retention, Graduation, & Time-to-Degree Combined
6 UT Austin Study: Go Abroad and Graduate On-Time: Study Abroad Participation, Degree Completion, and Time-to-Degree
7 Georgia Learning Outcomes of Students Studying Abroad Research Initiative: The Effect of Study Abroad on College Completion in a State University System
8 Study Abroad May Lead to Better GPA, Graduation Rates
9 Studying Abroad Boost Students’ Emotional Development
10 The Impact of Studying Abroad on Recent College Graduates’ Careers
11 Employers Value Candidates Who Study Abroad
12 (UK) Mobile students more likely to have a job – Report
13 How More Study Abroad Programmes Could Benefit Society

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