Cultural Competencies and Study Abroad

What will study abroad do for you?

Studying off-campus provides opportunities to develop skills and competencies that boost your plans for career and life. Through study abroad planning, you will identify and create a plan to deepen your understanding of how to develop these skills through study abroad.

Study Abroad Skills List

Adaptability, Resilience

Studying abroad is not easy, even for the adventurous. You will have to adapt to food, weather, transportation systems, currency, traditions, laws, and other people. Real life is unpredictable and always changing, so being able to adjust to our environment will be helpful to you and desirable to future employers.

Appreciation for diversity

When people value diversity, they recognize that multiple points of view can be a good thing. For example, when attempting to solve a problem, it is better to assemble a team with many different ways of approaching problems than it is to assemble a team that has all the same skills.


Communication does not just apply to learning a foreign language. It also applies to general communication skills you will obtain as you make friends, resolve onflicts, and study in another culture.


Traveling and learning in a different country takes courage. It can be scary to tay someplace where you do not know the customs and/or language and to spend time with people you have just met.

Cultural Awareness

Cultural curiosity will serve you well in working with a variety of people, and make you more employable. Awareness of multiple cultures can make you more espectful of people’s differences, and increase your enjoyment of others.


Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference.

Foreign language fluency

Knowing a second language makes your resume stand out and can boost you to the top of the interview list with potential employers. Being bilingual can earn you between 5 and 20 percent per hour more than those who are not bilingual.

Knowledge of Int’l issues

Studying abroad gives you a unique opportunity to learn about international issues through a new cultural “lens.” Listening to opinions in class, joining local organizations, and seeing news from outside of the US will help you expand your knowledge of international issues. This is important if you want to work in a global company or field.


Leadership relies on communication, confidence, and emotional strength, all of which you exercise while studying abroad.


Open-mindedness and receptiveness to new ideas will be important during your study abroad experience. Being open-minded to new experiences as well as views and ideas that are different to your own will make your experience abroad even more enriching.


Life is full of challenges, being a visitor in a foreign country requires learning how o be resourceful as you come up with solutions.


Studying overseas helps you nurture self-awareness, as you examine your own beliefs and practices in the face of diversity. It can widen your perspective and ncover unintentional biases you have.

Self-reliance, independence

When studying abroad, you will learn how to navigate your surroundings, ask trangers for help, and make decisions in unfamiliar circumstances. Practicing these actions will instill self-confidence when you are successful and will foster
personal growth when you make mistakes.