College students today feel an immense amount of pressure to get at least one internship before graduating. Often, due to busy school schedules, extra-cirricular activities, and jobs during the school year, they feel an obligation to get an internship during the summer. Unfortunately, we see a lot of students giving up their study abroad dreams to fulfill this “obligation.”

While an internship can build networks, communication skills, job experience, and many other career preparations, we’re here to tell you…so can studying abroad!

A recent study at the University of California, Merced reveals that…

-97% of study abroad students find employment upon graduation, while only 49% of college graduates total find employment upon graduation. This means you are nearly twice as likely to find a job if you study abroad. (Think about all the students in that 49% who had summer internships! Probably many of them, but they are still significantly outnumbered).

-90% of students who study abroad get into their first or second choice of graduate school.

-85% of students who study abroad feel that their study abroad experience helps them build valuable skills for the job market.

-80% of study abroad students claim that their study abroad experiences allows them to better adapt to diverse work environments.

Whatever it is that you want to gain from an internship, we’re confident that you can gain it through studying abroad, too. And if that’s not enough, here’s a guest post from GO: Rome 2014 student and Community Leader Hayley Twigg about her experience in choosing Go Global over a summer internship. She doesn’t regret it, and you won’t either.

“It’s almost summer break and you have a major decision… Do you accept this internship to work full-time for this company, or do you take the opportunity to travel across the world? I made this decision last summer. I had a job lined up that would look great on my resume AND paid really well. But when I got the email saying that I had been accepted into the GO: Rome program, I knew that I couldn’t let this opportunity pass. It had been a lifelong dream of mine to go to Italy, and now it was becoming real life. What to do?

Of course, I attempted to be rational first, and I weighed my pros and cons before I making a final decision. Pros for going abroad listed as followed: Meet new people in my program (and beautiful Italian men!), getting lost in a new culture (literally and figuratively… I did get lost in Italy a few times), eat amazing pasta, travel to other places in Europe on the weekends, eat an absurd amount of gelato, learn the amazing history of Italy by exploring the Vatican and Coliseum, and learn more about myself in so many ways. Cons for going abroad: None. Pros for staying at home and accepting this internship: will help build my resume, gain experience for the real world, and make some extra cash. Cons for accepting the internship: working in an office for 7 hours a day, doing paper work, waking up at 6 am, filing papers, counting down the clock until the work day is over, and… the most interesting part about the day will be deciding what to order for lunch. As you can tell… after I made the list, the decision was pretty easy.

Why miss out on drinking a glass of wine on the Eiffel Tower or hiking up the side of Cinque Terre to sit in an office all day? Making that decision to go to Italy completely changed my life. I am no longer the same person as I was before: I have friends all over the world, and I created memories I will cherish forever. I soon learned that going abroad even helped build my resume and opened up opportunities to network with companies across the world. This might be the only time you will be able to travel the world, so do yourself a favor and take this opportunity while you can. You have plenty of time to work for the rest of your life after you graduate, but you may never get the opportunity to travel and explore the world again.”

Speaking from personal experience, my study abroad trip not only helped me get an internship — it became my internship. I studied abroad as a student, became a Social Media Intern for Go Global 2 months after my return (which will extend into next year, yay!), and was offered the International Internship to return to Cape Town for 7 weeks this summer. Team member Pierce Persons’ experience even goes a step further — the summer after her internship with Go Global, she became a full-time staff member, just like Kelsey, Michael, and Joanna. Read about how studying abroad directly influenced her career here.

Work will always be there, but the opportunity to study abroad will not. Don’t let this invaluable opportunity slip away from you. And if you’re parents need some convincing: Thank International Intern Taylor Brock and her mother for this awesome guest post highlighting the most valuable skills we teach on Go Global.

No matter what career you’d like to pursue, where you’d like to go to graduate school, or what kind of adventure you’d like to take on…we are here to help you become the best you can be on your Go Global Experience and make those dreams a reality, giving you the skill-sets you need for success in so many areas of life, work, and school. You can’t lose!

Are you ready to take the best and biggest step into your career preparation? Come abroad with us.

-Anna and the Go Global team