I'm just finishing my Bachelor's degree in Geochemistry at a German university and will soon start my Master's degree, but I've been wondering for a few weeks whether a stay abroad (1 semester or even 1 year) is important and when it's best to do it. In other words, should I do it during my Master's degree or during my dissertation?

What are your experiences, or has an experience abroad been important for your academic career?

  • 2
    It depends on your career goals. It certainly won't hurt to have spent some time abroad during your Master's but there are jobs where this experience is more important and others where it doesn't help at all. Most academic jobs tend towards the former. However, experience abroad can be gained during your PhD or as a post-doc.
    – user9482
    Aug 11, 2022 at 6:53
  • 1
    @Roland That can be expanded into an answer ;-) Aug 11, 2022 at 18:29

1 Answer 1


In and of itself it has no meaning to an academic career, no matter when you do it. What matters is what you do, not where.

That said, there can be opportunities for study abroad with key people in your field. If you can manage that, then you can, perhaps, produce something worth putting on your CV.

But, "I studied for a year in Spain (or wherever)" counts for nothing on a CV, unless you are a student of that language and/or culture.

Geochemistry (which I don't know anything about) might benefit from time spent on a project in the field somewhere interesting to that field. But only because it can lead to contributions specific to the field.

  • This might be true for some regions of the world, but in developing countries experience in a wealthy country can help your career. Often it is just assumed without evidence that anything from a wealthy country is better. Also, in Australian universities, a year of experience at Cambridge is worth more to your career than a year of doing the same thing anywhere else; it puts you in the elite social club of people who know all about how Australian universities/culture/weather are better than Cambridge. Aug 11, 2022 at 6:00
  • If you want to join the academic elite in Australia, it's quite helpful to be able to speak with authority about how Australia is less elitist than the UK. Aug 11, 2022 at 6:02

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