Stop Commercializing the Value of Study Abroad?

The Lack of an Effect of Study Abroad on Early Career Income of U.S. Graduates


  • Suzan Kommers Nuffic, The Netherlands


carrer outcomes,, job income, , propensity score, study abroad,, international students


Study abroad is often described as an educational experience providing students with competencies that are highly valued in their later jobs, ultimately leading to a higher job income. Using U.S. representative data on college graduates, I examined the extent to which study abroad actually affects students’ job income. Results of the propensity score analysis showed that, contrary to what is often assumed, study abroad does not result in a higher job income four years after graduation. This raises the question of whether study abroad is as beneficial to students’ careers as has been assumed. Moreover, it emphasizes the need to gain a more nuanced understanding of the impact of study abroad on students’ careers.

How to Cite in APA

Kommers, S. (2022). Stop commercializing the value of studying abroad: The lack of an effect of study abroad on early career income of U.S. graduates. In X. Zhao, M. Kung, K. Bista, & Y. Ma (eds), Home and abroad: International student experiences and graduate employability (pp. 17-30). STAR Scholars. [order hardcopy ]


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Author Biography

Suzan Kommers, Nuffic, The Netherlands

Suzan Kommers, PhD, completed her doctorate at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is currently a researcher at Nuffic, the Dutch organization for internationalization in education. Her major research interests lie in the area of learning outcomes of internationalization, access, and equity. E-mail: