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Would a year abroad during my undergrad degree increase my employability?

  1. Sep 23, 2009 #1
    I'm about to start a 4-year Masters degree in Physics at Imperial College London, which supposedly includes a Year spent in Europe, working on a research project. Recently however I am beginning to doubt myself as to whether it is worth spending that year abroad as I will have to spend a considerable amount of time beforehand on improving my basic language skills, which I have not used in the last 2 years at all.
    I would love to know if anyone has any experience or opinions as to whether doing the year abroad would make me more attractive to prospective employers.. and also if there would be any significant difference if did the year in France or in Germany (at the moment I have an open choice, and can't decide between the two myself).
    Any advice would really be appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2009 #2


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    This is one of those factors that COULD affect employment prospects, depending on the employers you're marketing yourself to. I think it would be valuable experience in positions where communication is important for example. I think there's also a certain amount of life experience that one gains from time abroad that is very valuable, not necessarily from an employment point of view, but just from the point of view of expanding your horizons, exploring different ideas, and meeting different people. Sometimes, it's those experiences that can make all the difference in life.
  4. Sep 24, 2009 #3
    That's all you'll have to spend? Some time refreshing a language?

    I think you've got your cost/benefit analysis confused. Being able to say you spent a year in Europe is nice. Being able to say you speak a foreign language could be really valuable, probably more so than staying there (though that is complimentary).

    IMO, all you've listed are upsides. What are the downsides, exactly?
  5. Sep 24, 2009 #4
    IMHO year-abroads are just marketing strategies of universities to bring them in more $$$

    edit: sure it's great to be able to do your studies at a totally different place, but in the end, a vacation later in your life when you actually make your own $$$ would probably be just as memorable. not to mention, it's probably safer to find a summer internship to get you going on your career at such an important part of your life
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