Marketing Your Study Abroad Experience
Tips for including study abroad in your résumé, cover letters and job interviews
Include two lines on your resume under the education section noting your study abroad experience:
- Study Abroad: [Institution, city, country, dates]
- Language Skills: [Intermediate/near-fluent/fluent/native + language. Example: Near-fluent Spanish]
Any research work could also come under the education section; volunteer activities/responsibilities might come under experience or perhaps under activities.
Cover Letter and Interviews
The following are skills and qualities you may have developed through your study abroad experience. When writing cover letters and preparing for interviews, you should match your skills and attributes to what the interviewer needs. Did you develop any skills and qualities abroad that the organization might value?¹
- Understand cultural differences and similarities
- Adapt to new environments
- Learning through listening and observing
- Establish rapport quickly
- Function with a high level of ambiguity
- Take initiative and risks
- Utilize time management skills
- Identify problems and utilize available resources to solve problems
- Accept responsibility
- Communicate despite barriers
- Learning quickly
- Handle difficult situations
- Handle stress
- Cope with rejection
- High energy level/enthusiasm
- Appreciated of difference
- Self confidence
- Self knowledge
Make notes about these skills and qualities with examples of situations that depict, if applicable. Can you think of other skills or qualities you gained while abroad or will gain upon returning?
- Howell, L.(1999). Coming home: Sustaining the experiences of studying abroad. The Vermont Connection.
- Kepets, D.(1995). Back in the USA: Reflecting on your study abroad experience and putting it to work. (Revised 1999)
- Paige, R.M., Cohen, A.D., Kappler, B., Chi, J., & Lassegard, J. (2002). Maximizing study abroad: A students' guide to strategies for the language and culture learning and use. Minneapolis: Center for advanced Research on LanguageAcuisition, University of Minnesota.
¹"Possible Outcomes of an International Experience" from. Paige, M., Cohen, A.,Kappler, B., Chi, J., Lassegard, J.Maximizing study abroad: A students' guide to strategies for language and culture learning and use. Minneapolis: Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, University of Minnesota.