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Your international experience: how does it impact your soft skills?

Living abroad develops your soft skills

In a time when the world is getting smaller by the day, it is now essential to give your professional project an international aspect. During your student and professional life, you may cross the borders to live an experience abroad (internship, exchange, employment…). In any context, it is a milestone, both personally and professionally, that will profoundly shape your outlook on many things, but also bring change to your personality. The American Business School of Paris invites you to discover how your life abroad will impact your soft skills!

Living abroad: challenge yourself for a better integration

Going abroad for a long or short period is not without consequence. You step out of your comfort zone, you change your habits and you are away from your relatives. You also have to start from scratch by discovering and, more importantly, comprehending a new culture with all that it entails: learning a new language, discovering different horizons and customs, recreating a social life… In short, going off the beaten path!

While you don’t need to forget your origins, or to cut any links with your native country, it is indeed necessary to immerse yourself in your new culture in order to succeed in your integration. This will result in a lot of changes at many levels. You are indeed in an unknown context; you must go ahead and be attentive to every detail of your life. It will teach you to be aware of the value of things and it will give you greater observational skills and, above all, an open mind! What is sure is that you will come out stronger of this experience, because of the obstacles that you will have crossed throughout your journey. In fact, according to a Business Insider study on 1,800 students at Columbia, Rice, and North Carolina Universities, it appears that people in contact with different cultures have a clearer idea about who they are (their identity or their values), and about the society of both their host country and country of origin.

At the professional level, living abroad is going to be a differentiating element, with a great added value. Indeed, opportunities that you would not necessarily have access to are available to you, you have more ways to evolve in your career, you discover new approaches, and expand your network!

How does it impact your soft skills?

Learning about yourself, from your mistakes, crossing barriers… All these stages of a life abroad teach you a lot and develop your soft skills. Faced with the unknown, you will have to go beyond yourself, become independent, more autonomous. You no longer have your usual landmarks! To be able to deal with this new situation, you will also have to work on your ability to adapt by showing flexibility, pugnacity, perseverance, tolerance, patience, all with a touch of humility of course!

Your openness to the world will change your outlook on many things, which will help you bring new ideas in your future company! International profiles are also acclaimed by recruiters for the quality and diversity of their soft skills: openness, maturity, resistance to stress, organization, autonomy, adaptability, understanding, creativity… Your experience abroad will significantly boost your human and interpersonal skills, allowing you to integrate more easily and to be able to deal with any situation.

And be aware that it will be a highly differentiating experience, with a strong added value that you can use to find your first job! It is a real asset on your resume, which will allow you to distinguish yourself from other candidates!

The world tour of soft skills

Soft skills are more than a trend, they are now an integral part of recruitment policies. Experience and qualifications are no longer the only criteria taken into account, cognitive and behavioural skills are also integrated into the HR process. Thus, 80% of job offers in France now feature skills related to know-how. A study by Monster.fr also shows the importance of soft skills:

  • 85% of recruiters integrate soft skills into their HR processes;
  • 97% of companies think that soft skills are relevant during a job interview;
  • 44% of companies consider soft skills as a determining factor in recruitment.

But which are the most popular soft skills? To answer that question, the international job search engine Adzuna.fr carried out a study in January 2019, in 5 countries:

  • France: sense of organization (10%), motivation (8%), rigor (8%);
  • United Kingdom: sense of organization (28%), motivation (17%), trust (13%);
  • Germany: assiduousness (10%), motivation (9%), perseverance (8%);
  • Italy: time management (18%), sense of organization (10%), ability to solve problems (5%);
  • United States: sense of organization (26%), sociability (21%), assiduousness (13%);
  • Netherlands: enthusiasm (20%), motivation (9%), result-oriented (5%).

While there are differences between countries, we can nevertheless see through this survey that the expected soft skills are those that an experience abroad can improve.

Do you want to live an original experience abroad, to give your professional project an international dimension? Discover without further delay the courses offered by the American Business School of Paris! Our international business school offers programs based on the American pedagogy, with courses taught in English, partnerships with universities in 33 countries, semesters abroad, a summer program in Paris… Join our business school!