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Survey: 41% of employers more likely to offer higher salary if you've studied abroad—here are the 5 most impressive cities

Students in front of Eiffel Tower. 
Miguel Medina | Getty Images
Students in front of Eiffel Tower. 

Studying abroad has benefits for college students, like seeing the world and heightening cultural awareness. And now there's another reason to make the jaunt — you may have an advantage in the job market. Hiring managers like candidates who have studied abroad, according to a new study conducted by Hostelworld, the largest online hostel-booking platform.

The "Employability and Study Abroad" survey revealed over a third (41 percent) of employers surveyed would consider offering a higher salary to a job candidate who has studied abroad. Nearly a third (29 percent) of employers surveyed consider whether a student has studied abroad when hiring graduates and nearly a quarter (23 percent) said they are more likely to hire a recent graduate that has lived or traveled abroad over another candidate with equal academic qualifications.

For the survey completed in August, Hostelworld talked to 1,006 people in the U.S. who make hiring decisions.

The survey yielded insight on the best places to study abroad, and employers surveyed ranked Hong Kong, London, Paris, Mexico and Berlin as the top five places voted among hiring personnel. As many Americans work with businesses in China, Europe and Mexico, former study abroad students can utilize the cultural and business knowledge they acquired during their time abroad, according to Hostelworld.

These are the top five places to study abroad.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong was voted the No. 1 most highly regarded location to study abroad among participants at 22 percent.

"In 2017, China ranked as America's No. 1 largest trade partner, with $635 billion of goods exchanged, according to the U.S. Census Bureau," Gary Morrison, CEO of Hostelworld tells CNBC Make It. "Therefore, we are not surprised to see Hong Kong top the list of most valuable study abroad destinations as employers are keen to hire candidates who will have an understanding of Chinese businesses, and be able to facilitate and strengthen relations."

London, England

With 21 percent ranking it No 2., London, United Kingdom, is a popular study abroad destination.

"London holds great historical significance, especially in relation to America," Morrison says. "Since many American systems were derived from England, studying abroad in London offers students the unique balance of learning a 'new' culture while also exploring the origin of America. This is also a particularly attractive location for employers recruiting business and finance students, as London is well-known for being one of the world's financial capitals."

Paris, France

"France is at the heart of Western Europe, both geographically and culturally, thus making Paris a highly desirable study abroad destination for those studying history or the arts," Morrison says. "Employers recognize that studying abroad in Paris serves as an unparalleled supplement to an education in the humanities, as it allows students to fully experience the culture."

Paris, France ranked No. 3 with 20.7 percent of employers surveyed choosing it as a highly regarded location. It's considered one of the best places to study abroad for travel lovers, according to Hostelworld, since there are seven major train stations in Paris, including famed Gare du Nord, making it convenient to travel across Europe.

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico, ranked No. 4 with 20 percent of employers surveyed finding it one of the best destinations.

"For the U.S. in 2017, trade with Mexico totaled over $615 billion, and U.S. companies invested nearly $110 billion in Mexico in sectors from manufacturing to finance and insurance," says Morrison. "For that reason, it's not surprising that employers value students that have studied in Mexico to understand local business customs and culture. Plus a knowledge of Spanish gleaned from living in Mexico is also seen as beneficial in many industries including service, real estate and more."

Berlin, Germany

Berlin, Germany, ranked No. 5 with 18 percent.

It's another one of the best places to study abroad for people who love to travel, according to Hostelworld.

"Germany is world-renowned for its research and innovation, particularly in high-tech solutions which have simultaneously been driving the U.S. economy," says Morrison. "Graduates who can demonstrate that they've been part of Germany's world-class education system should be highly valued by American employers, and our research proves that this is the case!"

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