- Know where to place it and what to include
Remember to approach your study abroad experience as if it were a previous job.Wherever you decide to place it on your resume, don’t just put your experience down as your program name or country. Explain why your experience is important and why it’s worth a future employer caring about it.
- Know how to sell
Immersing yourself in another culture requires adaptability. You’ve learned to adjust to living in a new place while also being surrounded by foreign languages, customs, cultures, etc… all while taking classes, making new friends, getting lost, and learning another currency.
Studying abroad is a lot like being thrown into a swim or sink situation. Because you made it home safe and sound, you were able to adapt to survive a summer, winter, semester, or even a year abroad.
- Apply your experience
As employers continue to become increasingly globalized, your study abroad experience will become more and more important to them. Even if you are applying for a job that is with a domestic company, our country is becoming more international every day. Your language skills and ability to communicate with someone from a different background of customs and cultures will still be valuable to an employer.
Common skills developed while studying abroad that can apply to your job search include:
– Problem-solving skills
– Time management
– Global awareness
– Networking skills
– Increased confidence
- Think ahead and go the extra mile
Perhaps you’re reading this before you decide to go abroad. There are so many things that you can do while you are abroad that will help you apply your experiences after the fact.
Keep track of your experiences and reflect on how you are learning from them. If you decide to document the experiences in a more professional way, such as a blog, you then you could possibly show it as a writing sample to a future employer.
Don’t forget to make the most of your experience. There is so much more to being abroad than studying and traveling. Remember that there are tons of volunteer, intern, and research options that you can take part in while abroad.
While applying these opportunities to your resume, make it known that all of your work wasn’t just to fulfill some requirement. Don’t be afraid to boast about yourself, employers like to hear specific examples of initiative and hard work.
- Be prepared to back up your words
If you have a killer resume, you will surely get noticed. That’s only the first step though! Potential employers will surely have questions related to your experiences during your interview. Make sure you don’t put everything you had to say on your resume so that you are left with nothing new to say during your interview. Be ready with concise stories and examples that clearly illustrate your new found skills and traits. It’s not sufficient to just say that you have developed these skills, you need to have something to back them up.
Image source: Center for Career & Cooperative Education at Eastern Kentucky University.
Sam Culp is a senior at the University of Kentucky studying Economics and History. She participated in the UK Consortia program KIIS Austria in the summer of 2015.