Communication, commerce and travel have made the world a much smaller place in the 21st century. Communities are becoming more diverse, and global supply chains now require businesses to expand their outlook in terms of both vendors and customers.

To be successful in their careers, students increasingly need to be more knowledgeable about international geography and history and more comfortable with cultures different from their own. Global education is key to making that happen.

A study by the nonprofit Institute of International Education (IIE) found that people who studied abroad while in college reported increased confidence, adaptability and self-awareness and improved interpersonal, communication and problem-solving skills. All of these attributes are considered important by employers in the 21st century, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The IIE report also found that studying abroad provided individuals a broader view of career pathways and the confidence needed to pursue those possibilities and that the skills developed were relevant throughout their careers.

Market research firm The Wagner Group found in a separate study that people who took educational trips as youths reported increased interest in their classroom studies and wound up earning 12% more than people who didn't take such trips.

Wake Tech offers several opportunities each year for students to study in a foreign country, where they can be exposed to a different culture, immersed in a new language and interact with a range of local residents.

The college also is part of UNC World View's Scholars of Global Distinction program, which provides a notation on the transcripts of students who participate in a study abroad or domestic intercultural experience, complete globally focused courses and take part in international activities on campus.