Preparing our students for the global economy

16 August 2018 | Opinion pieces

From pasta making in Italy or engineering in Germany to business development in China, internationalisation has been at the very heart of City College Plymouth for over 15 years.

When encouraging our students to take part in work placement opportunities abroad, we emphasise how working or studying overseas will make them stand out to employers. But what are the real benefits a young person with international work experience can bring to businesses in the South West?

1. Adaptable – For many students taking part in these placements, it is their first time living and travelling on their own. For some it is their first time abroad. They need to adapt quickly and succeed in an unfamiliar environment. So when they start working with your company, you know they’ll be able to hit the ground running.

2. Positive about change – The ‘fish out of water’ experience of moving abroad means that these students are no strangers to change. They are not afraid of leaving their comfort zone and facing new challenges in the workplace.

3. Creative thinkers – Uprooting your everyday routine to live a new life in a different cultural setting means coming up with new approaches to problems and seeing things from a different perspective. This kind of innovation and creative thinking can mean big success for developing companies.

4. People skills – The driving force behind any good team member, manager, or business partnership is excellent people skills. An empathetic approach and the ability to pick up on the customs, values, mannerisms and language used by others can make the world of difference. And in the world of business, being aware of diverse ways of conducting yourself in a corporate or industry setting can be invaluable.

5. Independent workers – Every company wants self-motivated employees who can take the initiative and work independently – all skills needed if you’re going to undertake a work placement abroad. The skills they develop in making new friends and overcoming cultural boundaries also make them great team players.

To find out how your business can benefit from the College’s work experience activities both at home and abroad, please contact our Business Engagement team on employers@cityplym.ac.uk or call 01752 305026.

Fiona Horrell
Head of Strategic Partnerships, City College Plymouth

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