Study abroad - It sounds like fun

ChrisHansen's picture
Rank: Gorilla | 616

Did any of you study abroad? I would really like to and it sounds like fun, although it is probably easy enough to realize that for most programs/majors (finance included) it is total BS and you can learn the same stuff if not better from your US college. Do recruiters see this one way or the other? Did any of you study abroad?

Comments (20)

Feb 8, 2012

The point of studying abroad is not to learn anything from a book or a class, but rather to learn more about yourself, the host country's culture, and to become independent. I spent my entire sophomore year studying abroad and would do it again. Even if employers do not care, it makes you a better, more well-rounded person. I am still in college, but feel free to PM me if you have any questions.

Feb 8, 2012

Unless you're at, say, LSE, abroad is (academically) a joke, as far as economics and business go.

"When I was young I thought that money was the most important thing in life; now that I am old I know that it is."
- Oscar Wilde
"Seriously, psychology is for those with two x chromosomes."
- RagnarDanneskjold

Feb 8, 2012

Really? All the BBs, many F500, etc. recruited at the place I went to (not LSE).

Feb 8, 2012

KKS, he's saying that unless your semester abroad is at a place of LSE's caliber, your coursework will not be challenging.

I agree. Most study abroad programs are a joke academically. Mine wasn't that hard. I did a lot outside of the classroom though. I taught English to three classes in a local middle school, traveled a lot, and worked to support myself. I think the biggest takeaways are a global perspective, some foreign language skills if you work at it, a number of incredible stories and memories you'll carry with you forever and with which you can charm an interviewer/date/relative, a strong set of friends you wouldn't have met otherwise, and a better ideological perspective of the world and your position in it.

I would gladly repeat my semester abroad if I ever had the chance again, God was that a blast.

Feb 9, 2012

Yeah I'm definitely aware of the relaxed academics. I'm just wondering if firms see that as bad...i.e. can it hurt you if you're not at LSE while studying abroad.

Feb 9, 2012

I managed to score an internship abroad...best experience of my life..the ability to travel, take in other cultures, meet new people, and have something international on your resume def makes it a plus

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Feb 9, 2012

There is no con to studying abroad, only a bunch of pros. It'll make your interviews far easier because literally everyone loves to talk about it, and it's so easy; you just regurgitate all the awesome stories about where you visited and what you did. If you do manage to intern abroad, it shows commitment and some maturity and they'll immediately see you didn't just party for four months straight.

Feb 9, 2012

Yeah I've pretty much only heard good things about it. However, say it conflicted with something else like a school-organized networking trip to NYC. Or I had to do it 1st sem junior year when I should be networking my ass off and meeting people in person rather than through the phone or email or whatever...or missing actual interviews. I know this seems nitpicky but I don't want to fuck it up.

Feb 9, 2012

Don't worry, go abroad.

Went second semester of third year. Most firms are aware that some of their best candidates are the ones who pushed themselves to go somewhere new. Some firm (GS, BoA, JPM for sure) even have special hiring schedules for those studying abroad. Having superdays and getting offers in December ahead of everyone else was amazing. Other firms let you do your Superday after first round phone interviews at your study abroad location (I was in HK). Plus it makes you a more interesting person to talk to.
Another thing, the network you will create while studying abroad w/ other exchange students and professors will prove to be invaluable later on, and it is much easier to network there than in the US. goldfish bowl effect w/ all the students I guess.

Feb 9, 2012

Does studying abroad have to be in another country? I haven't inquired about it at my school, but spending a semester in NYC would be cool, for networking..

Feb 9, 2012

that cant be a serious question

I eat success for breakfast...with skim milk

Feb 9, 2012

I was abroad my sophomore spring. As urmsghere said, literally every bulge bracket firm has an accelerated study abroad interview process for those candidates who will be out of the country in the spring. I did that without even being a junior and wound up with a handful of offers that launched me on a career progression I probably otherwise would never have enjoyed.

I think if you do it junior fall, you cut yourself out of the chance to network heavily over the season leading up to interviews ... and if you do it junior spring, you run the risk of not getting into the accelerated process with each firm in the late fall. Senior year is too late if you want it to 'help' you in recruiting. Sophomore year is best in my book.

Feb 9, 2012

Um
- I studied abroad in two different Asian countries for a total of over 18 months combined.
- I went second semester sophomore year for an entire calendar year, did a 3 month internship Junior year, and then after graduating I did 3 months leading up to my job starting.
- For recruiting, it was just a conversation piece really. A lot of people liked to talk about it, it helped me speak another language quite well. I was not hired because of my study abroad/languages, but it might have helped people remember "that guy who studied abroad in the country that has no relevance to us at all"

But at the end of the day, study abroad should not be for recruiting. Do it if you want to and can afford it (or like me, find scholarships because you cannot afford it). Learn a language, don't hang out with other study abroad students, try to live like a native person there, travel around... its worth it in terms of personal development.

If you do it in a way that doesn't mess up recruiting, I don't think it will ever hurt you. I would do it again given the chance to go back.

Feb 9, 2012

I went to Asia for an exchange followed by an internship. It was in my junior year. You shouldn't do it for CV purposes but because you'll have one hell of a good time. For interviews it definitely started some cool conversations. It just shows you're an interesting guy who's open minded really.

Feb 9, 2012

I 100% wish I would have studied abroad and completely regret not ever doing so. If you get the chance, do it.

Feb 9, 2012

Not doing it is the biggest regret I have from my college career.

You can visit these places as a tourist but it doesn't compare beign there for 5-6 months and immersing youself in the culture and whatnot,

Infact I am not a fan of going to places for a week or so anymore which is why exotic holidays don't appeal to me.

I love to be at a place for half year atleast and totally learn about these places rather than just take some pics and post them on fb

Feb 9, 2012

Im from Europe, so studying abroad is like out of state for you. Personally, I went to North America, South America and SE Asia.
For recruiting its best to be:
a. enrolled at a target school and get your degree there (so you can click that school in the online application)
b. be in your target market during recruitment periods

apart from that you can be wherever you want to, and nobody ever reacted negatively to the abroad experiences. if anything, its something to talk about.

Feb 9, 2012

Cannot more highly recommend it, best experience ever.

Depending on your school and when you go on exchange can have an effect on recruiting though. If you go to a target and want to leave for the winter semester, you should be able to do all of your interviews in December so it wouldn't affect you in any way. Obviously, if you go to a school with weak OCR, you're probably not going to have this option so unless you are going abroad to a school that has strong OCR in a region that you have tie to / can speak the local language, going in the winter is probably not the best. I would talk to your international office at school, they should be able to give you better guidance.

Feb 9, 2012
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