Date of Graduation

Spring 2024


Master of Science in Agriculture


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Christine Sudbrock


Globalization has elevated society's workforce contributions, forcing employees to have global competence for career success. Global competence is a term used to describe the proficiencies an individual can gain from experienced-based learning opportunities, like study away. This form of experiential learning has proven to have many benefits for students in secondary and higher education. Existing evidence suggests cross-cultural and international experiences provide travelers with professional, intellectual, and integral traits, increasing their working social capital and aiding in experiential learning. However, research is lacking if employers desire study abroad experience in their new hires and/or if global competence is a skill related to favorability in the hiring process. We used a mixed method convergent design to understand the perceived gains of study away and the weight employees place on the value of experience-based opportunities, like study abroad, in professional workplace settings. Researchers found that study away develops cultural competencies. These skills and thematic codes are ready to communicate, ready to travel, building the foundation, prepared for work, and ready for missions. Individuals who did not study away were perceived to have an idealistic view of global experiences and have a more favorable view of skills developed through study away experiences. Study away experiences give students and employees assets to use in the workplace and throughout life. These skills are likely to be valued and recognized at an organization with an international focus. Future research should seek to promote experiential learning by means of study away, international professional development, and cross-cultural engagement to increase the favorability employees may gain from these experiences which may have a direct impact on their workplace success and opportunities.


study abroad, globalization, workplace, experiential learning, global competence

Subject Categories

International and Area Studies | International and Comparative Education | Nonprofit Studies | Organization Development | Public Affairs


© Sarah E. McCord

Open Access