Benefits of Education Abroad

By gaining an education abroad experience, SU students develop highly sought-after professional skills, including adaptability, communication, and cultural humility, that not only make them more hirable, but also leaders for a just and humane world. According to the IIE Generation Study Abroad’s Center of Academic Mobility Research and Impact, education abroad leads to significant gains in 11 of 15 critical 21st century workplace skills. While students do not have to study abroad to benefit from an internationalized education at Seattle University, we believe that all students should see studying abroad as possible!  Learn how an education abroad can impact your Seattle University experience and can help you develop skills both personally and professionally, allowing you to stand out in the job market.

Engage in Experiential & Comparative Learning

Students can take courses that are unique to the program or region. Marine and Conservation Biology students can have first-hand field study experiences studying tropical ecology in the lush cloud rainforest of Costa Rica. Communication students can take courses as well as complete an internship in Paris. Students needing UCOR Module III courses can find courses that address global challenges.

students making Japanese paper

Strengthen Language Proficiency

Spanish Major and Minor students can take courses in Spanish-speaking countries and immerse themselves in the local culture. French Major and Minor students have a comparative experience of French in France and Francophone countries in Africa. Students in the College of Arts & Sciences can complete their year of a Modern Language requirement in a country and language of their choice, immersing in the practical application of the language and rich culture of the host country.

Cultivate Cultural Competencies & Humility

In our ever-changing world, there is an emphasis on cultural competency & the ability to interact with people of different cultures. In general, US culture favors individualism and students who go abroad develop their global competency & cultural humility. At Seattle U, there is an emphasis on praxis - experience, self-reflection, and action. As global citizens, being aware of others' cultural identities, as well as how SU students are perceived globally, can inform our future global leaders.

People sitting at a temple

Deepen Understanding of Self, Community, and the World

By going abroad and leaving Seattle U, the Pacific Northwest, and the US context, students gain a deeper understanding of themselves, their communities, both in the host country and in the US, as well as their global impact on the world. Students have found new passions or changed their career trajectory after completing a term abroad. Political Science students have interned in the UK Parliament and had a fuller understanding of other political systems and their impact on the global community.

Woman under a glass mosaic dome

Increase Ability to Problem-Solve and Adaptability

Even the simple act of trying to navigate and orient oneself in a new country activates problem solving skills through real life experiences. Once students enter the work force, they will have the confidence to navigate, and problem solve unpredictable situations that may come their way. Through encountering and adaptiveness, which allow them to more easily meet the needs of future workplaces.

Develop Professional Skills and Network Building

"Skills have become the global currency of the 21st century" -OECD (2016). Employers want employees with "hard" technical skills, but more importantly "soft" skills that make them self-reliant, confident, flexible, and adaptive. An education abroad experience can provide students with a unique opportunity to gain work-related skills in a global context. In our global economy, having employees who can adapt to the companies work culture and its diverse colleagues can boost employment prospects.

Group in front of Edelman Beijing sign

International Experiences at Seattle University

Seattle University faculty and staff share their own international experiences and encouragement to pursue experiences abroad. 

Go Study Abroad!

woman in the streets of Florence

Kiyana Higa, Career Engagement, Studied abroad in Florence, Italy

Living abroad in a totally new place was the scariest and best thing I did for myself. It was the first time I felt completely independent and got to explore parts of myself that I didn't know existed completely free from things at home that could have or have influenced me otherwise. I learned to trust myself more and how to not only push outside of my boundaries but also how to build them, all while exploring and eating my way through one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Go Live Abroad!

Michelle Kim, MOSAIC Center, worked in Seoul, South Korea

Living abroad allowed me to reconnect and deepen my connection to my home country and family. Working abroad allowed me to build relationships with diverse people I would have never met otherwise and experience a very different work/life culture. Approach the experience with humility and curiosity - be open to learning from others, following instead of leading, and seeing the world from a different point of view.