8 reasons Brexit is fantastic for UK study/work abroad students and graduates
While we've been away working on new website developments, the EU Referendum has happened. You know all about that, so I'll get straight to the point.
We don't yet know what will happen to the UK's participation in the Erasmus programme. We don't have answers for you about funding over the next academic year or any cut-off dates because the British Council doesn't know yet either (the advice staff have been given is to "continue with the status quo until further notice"), but here's what we CAN tell you, and what we hope will make you realise that you can turn Brexit into an advantage for you:
1. Post-Referendum, it is now incredibly important for the UK to improve its international relations, increase its international trade and thus have a workforce with intercultural and linguistic skills. You can help with all of this, so please understand that your skills are now more valuable than ever!
2. The 2014/15 Mobility Data illustrates just how unique you are: there were 1,697,150 UK students last year and, of them, just 22,480 were mobile - that's a mere 1.3%! And each student has their own equation of language skills, type of placement/s, duration, country/ies and city/ies abroad to describe enthusiastically in an interview.
3. In this period of change, UK employers will start to find it more difficult to hire from Europe and abroad, and might lose the impetus to do so - this might mean more opportunities open up for you, as you have the requisite skills!
4. Your period of mobility means you have insider experience for helping UK companies go global. In an interview you can say, e.g. "I spent a year working in Paris, I speak French, I understand how they do business, I have contacts there already, and so I can truly help you expand your company into France". If you're interested in trying this out, short-term, look at UK Trade & Industry's Postgraduates for International Business scheme (not just for overseas or postgraduate students).
5. If you're fed up of the UK and want to emigrate or find work abroad, you have all the experience, contacts and resources already - plus your new-found excellent accent/dialect and intercultural confidence, so you can pretend you're a local ;)
6. There will be all sorts of new committees, charities, businesses and programmes started to improve the UK's image abroad, and to battle racism and xenophobia in the UK. Your understanding of - and willingness to engage with - other languages and cultures puts you in a perfect position to help. Keep an eye out for job opportunities in areas you haven't considered before.
7. Spotted any problems leading directly from Brexit? Think you can solve one through starting your own business? As a student or recent graduate, this is a fantastic time to become an entrepreneur - whether you start your business in the UK or abroad, being an entrepreneur is an exciting, challenging career filled with opportunities. There will also be startup support (and maybe funding too!) from your university's innovation centre, whether you're a student or recent graduate. Check out our advice on entrepreneurship for more information.
8. Brexit has reinforced our drive to launch a new, global version of our website, with our jobs board, Q&A platform and articles all in one place! I hope you're enjoying our new site :)