Articulating the Value of Your Study Abroad Experience During the Job Search

If you’ve been able to study abroad during your undergraduate studies, you likely regard the journey as one of the best of your college career, if not your life! Studying abroad offers so much more than a getaway to a never-before-visited destination – the experiences, classes, internships, and connections you may make while abroad present opportunities to gain valuable industry-related and transferable skills, experience an intercultural workplace, develop intercultural competencies, and engage in communication unlike what you’re used to at your home institution and country. You didn’t just go on an extended vacation – you experienced cultural immersion for, potentially, the first time in your life, spoke a new language, made connections with local residents, engaged with faculty and staff at a different institution, planned excursions, and interned at a company of interest.

If you didn’t partake in everything listed above, that’s okay. You undoubtedly embraced a new experience and gained valuable communication skills that you can bring with you as you approach the job search. Here are a few ways to articulate the value of your study abroad experience during the job search process:

How to Maximize the Value of Your Study Abroad Experience in the Job Search Process

On Your Resume: 
Experiences (talk about communications and achievements at any internships or jobs!)
Certificates and Skills: software and technical skills (such as a new learning management system, work platform, tool for a class, etc.)
Add your study abroad experience to your "Education" section
Freelance, contract, and independent ventures (i.e. social media takeovers and campaigns for your study abroad organization)

During an Interview: 
Highlight your communication and interpersonal relations skills
Discuss cross-cultural exchanges, professional and informal
Discuss your values related to equity and inclusion
Mention any new technologies, software, etc. you gained exposure to
Discuss teamwork and collaboration during project work, internships, and more
Talk about freelance, contract, and independent ventures you pursued while abroad

Remember the NACE Career Readiness Competencies:
Career and Self-Development
Critical Thinking
Equity & Inclusion
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