Globalisation is here to stay, and students who want to work in our interconnected global world should study abroad.
Learning how to interact with people from other countries and cultures equips future leaders in all sectors to address urgent issues shared across borders. Despite the inevitable increasing global competition for jobs, Irish graduates lack the international experience, language capabilities and cross-cultural communication skills necessary to succeed in the global economy. With a limited number of students (compared to our European Neighbors) studying abroad at some point in their academic career, we have a long way to go.
Making study abroad a part of their education (not only academic but all sorts of learning!) is the most effective and accessible means for students of any age to develop needed skills because it pushes a student to get out of his/her comfort zone to experience another culture, language, and environment and education system. It teaches students to appreciate difference and diversity firsthand, and enables them to recognise and then dismiss stereotypes they may have held about people they had never met. Learning how to interact with people from other countries and cultures equips future leaders in all sectors to address urgent issues from curing diseases and finding energy solutions, to fighting terrorism and hunger shared across borders.
But study abroad has to be done correctly. It shouldn’t be a separate or tangential part of education, but rather an integrated part of the curriculum, incorporating proper cross-cultural preparation and supportive reintegration to help students understand and internalise what they learn. With more flexible and accessible options, the barriers posed by financial need, disabilities, race and ethnicity and sexual orientation are crumbling. Equinox Education Services work with overseas institutions to provide excellent programmes and inspiring role models for every type of student. Our mission is to make an international experience an essential and affordable component of a well-rounded education.