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The benefits of international education can set you up for career success

The benefits of international education last long after you’ve left the classroom. If you’re thinking about starting an international career, read on for some helpful insights and inspiration from Andi Yurdi who successfully built a global career after his master’s.

In short

The state of internationalization in higher education

In recent years, universities worldwide have recognized the benefits of international education. Traditional study abroad programs have existed for years, but universities are increasingly attempting to attract permanent international students. Institutions are realizing this strengthens global networks and creates opportunities across cultural and national borders.

While North America and Europe have often attracted the most international students, other countries are starting to step up their efforts to internationalize their classrooms. In India, for example, business schools have started recruiting international talent more aggressively. Interestingly, prospective students from India have increasingly chosen to study in countries like Canada, Germany, France, the UK, and Singapore, as opposed to the US. Attracting these graduates back to India would be incredibly beneficial to tackle the country’s challenge of job creation and the rising need for talent.

Of course, institutions don’t exist in a vacuum and have to contend with national priorities. In the Netherlands in 2022, the Dutch Minister of Education called on universities to stop actively recruiting international students due to a major housing crisis. While the effects of this strategy remain to be seen, research shows that limiting classrooms to local students can impede students’ ability to join the global job market and become effective business leaders.

Thriving in an international environment

Many master’s students and alumni we speak to cite the “international” aspect of their program as one of the main reasons they chose their respective universities. Indeed, studying in an international environment can be extremely rewarding for students, as learning and working alongside students from around the world can serve as a simulation of the international career students can expect after they graduate. 

For Andi Yuri, a graduate of Webster University’s Leiden Campus, joining the university was a “no-brainer”. He sought an international environment that would echo his diverse upbringing. “I was born in Indonesia. However, I grew up all over the place – in Thailand, the Netherlands, Vietnam, and Cambodia,” he shares. The city of Leiden is a diverse city with a large student population, but the diversity is even more concentrated on the Webster Leiden campus. “I could literally find every citizen on campus,” Andi says. “I felt like I’m exploring the whole world, and it transitioned me into becoming this global citizen. That’s what I’ve been accustomed to being surrounded with in my international career as well.” (00:08)

Key skills to work internationally

One of the benefits of international education is the unique intercultural skills it fosters in students, from communicating with people from different cultures to building cultural awareness.

After obtaining a Master’s in International Relations from Webster Leiden, Andi secured a role in business development at a cosmetics and pharmaceutical company in Bangkok. He cites the benefits of international education at Webster Leiden as one of the key reasons behind his career success today. “When I am dealing with negotiations or business with advisors or investors from abroad, I am quite confident. I am very comfortable because I’ve been equipped through the classes that I have gone through,” he says. “They prepared me with the skills and knowledge to approach all of these real-life events, and they’re very valuable to me.” (01:27)

Beyond intercultural competencies, studying in an international environment also provides students with a general range of skills that are valuable in everyday life. This includes the ability to manage uncertainty, adapt to change, and treat others with empathy and respect.

Set yourself up for success

For business master’s students, an international career is almost the norm in today’s globalized world. As of 2018, there were around 60,000 multinational corporations worldwide, responsible for half of international trade. Some of the largest multinational companies in the world are Apple, Amazon, Toyota, ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Samsung.

If you’re thinking about working internationally, here are a few tips:

  • Do your research. Maybe you visited Thailand once and fell in love with the beautiful beaches. Maybe you were seduced by the electric atmosphere of a weekend in Berlin! This doesn’t mean these are places you should move to and start a career. 
  • Connect with locals if possible. If you don’t have any, it’s a good idea to start making local connections ASAP. They can help you better understand the culture and start building a sense of community. 
  • Consider doing your master’s in your desired career destination. For example, if you’d like to live and work in Australia, joining a master’s program there can help you build a local network, and gain local experience to launch an international career.


From studying in a small town in the Netherlands to working as a manager at a large company in Bangkok, Andi’s story is an inspiration. He says, “I never imagined a million years that I would end up back again in Bangkok being an expat. And I’m sure that this is not my final destination. I’m so excited for whatever might come my way. I’m sure I’m ready for it to tackle it all.” (02:49)

Are you interested in studying abroad? Reach out to master’s students and alumni from around the world to learn more about the benefits of international education!

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