Soft skills add an incredible value to a CV and, more generically, can be useful in daily life as well. But what are soft skills and why are they so important in the workplace?
In 2014, the European Commission published the Erasmus Impact Study. This expert-lead study offers interesting data about international mobility and definitely states that studying abroad guarantees the learning of the so-called soft skills. Data from 80.000 people, including students, volunteers and institution workers look at the relation between international mobility, graduate hiring and skill development.
The reasons for a studying experience abroad can be various: travel, meet new people, understand different cultures or develop language skills. But the study tells us some more. The majority of international students studying abroad is doing it because of the positive impact they think might have on their CV. And they’re not that wrong.
According to the EIS, students with international experience are most likely to be hired respect to who remained in its own country; and today 92% of the employers value the skills given by an international outlook.
Soft skills and Interculture
According to the study, such skills concern curiosity about new challenges, self-determination, problem-solving skills, decision-making and tolerance development towards different values. Such traits are characteristic after a study experience abroad and seem to be crucial during recruitment.
But not only. 1 out of 3 of the international students doing an internship abroad, were then hired by the same company at the end of the studies. And 2 out 10 started their own business, with a large majority wishing to do so in the future.
Moreover, with this entrepreneur and international mindset, students also tend to travel more. With a 40 % of people moving to another country after an Erasmus or work experience abroad. Finally, this trait seems to impress employers as well, which revealed to give more important responsibilities to candidates with intercultural proficiency.
Where and how to practice soft skills
Erasmus programs offer the best option for university students in terms of both living costs and experience. Studying in a foreign campus, with different teaching methods and viewpoints, is a lifetime experience which will change your way to perceive the world. This is why the European Union program for the international mobility has been so successful in the latest years, with 4 million grants and scholarships to students, teachers, trainees and volunteers.
If you’re a high school student however, doing an Erasmus or a working experience abroad might be difficult. And all of the European People projects offer the best alternative for a short-term international experience. Our models – simulations of international institutions – are in fact structured toward practice and allow students to develop personality and soft skills.
Through our method, students will have to solve European related problems and make a law proposal; they’ll have to participate actively, developing public speaking skills; and they will interact with international students reinforcing language skills and interculturality. Fit for schools and large groups, our projects are well established, ground-breaking and the last 2 editions received the High Patronage of the European Union.