Celebrating IEW 2022: International Education Career Opportunities and Advice
Welcome to Part 2 of International Education Week (IEW). In celebration, CEA CAPA is highlighting the benefits of working in education abroad. In Part 1, we asked our colleagues what inspired them to pursue a career in international education. Now, we're asking what advice they’d share with students interested in study abroad careers. We hope their advice inspires the next generation of students interested in working in the field of study abroad.
We asked: What advice would you share with students interested in pursuing a career in the field of international education? CEA CAPA answered...
Follow your interests, don't be afraid to try out different things in the first few years out of college, and don't settle. Each experience will take you one step closer to your dream career.
Jump in. Our world needs this field, so we need you!
Be fearless and be curious. Those skills you developed while studying abroad are ones that you will use in your adult life and throughout your career.
There is a definite need for more international educators. The world is ever-changing, countries are becoming more and more interdependent on each other, and people can see the world again. We're in a time where we can meet foreigners so easily! In order to treat them with respect and empathy, people need to have an understanding about other countries and their cultures, languages, and different ways of life. We as educators can teach this through our own experiences. If this is something that resonates with you, then this is the perfect field for you! Education is a tool of change, and it's in our hands!
Do it! You'll never regret it. I have a student in class right now who was nervous in week one and nearly went home, but we supported her and now she's flying! It's a rite of passage and it will make you stronger and smarter in every way. To help students get to that point is a real privilege and you always feel like you're making a difference.
Identify the top skills you've acquired during your intercultural experiences. Be able to tell your study abroad story and translate it into results.
Be willing to speak your mind, to show yourself authentically, to advocate for yourself and your team. It’s important to know that you are affecting someone's life, many times a young person's life, with every choice you make at work – so be smart, use a lot of critical thinking, ask questions, learn how to manage up, trust your colleagues, and constantly educate yourself.
First and foremost, you don't need to have studied abroad in order to work in international education. In fact, a survey from November ‘22 shows that 21.6% of CEA CAPA respondents have not studied or interned abroad. This is a huge misconception that even the field of study abroad needs to get past. International education is a microcosm of a variety of roles that require various skills. If you are open to understanding what skills you need, value cross-cultural experiences and competencies, then there's room for you.
International education has a place for everyone, of every identity, background, and culture. What I love most about the field of international education is that I feel like the whole world comes to me every day, and that is a blessing I cannot even begin to describe. I am beyond lucky to work with so many incredible international colleagues from countries all over the world in my daily work. I learn so much about myself, my colleagues, and where we have come from and where we live and work. It's incredibly rewarding to work with so many individuals from so many different perspectives. The similarities and differences we share enrich our work, and our lives, day-to-day.
Take advantage of all the opportunities presented to you and allow yourself to have fun while you grow and change through this experience! I also recommend trying to embrace and learn as much about the local culture as possible. It's so easy to stay in your comfort zone while abroad and not truly connect to the local culture and day-to-day life but getting involved like a local can take your experience abroad to the next level!
Interested in partnering with CEA CAPA on a new destination or program? Reach out to your CEA CAPA Institutional Regional Director today.
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