study abroad

You've studied abroad…now use it to stand out!

By Christina Faulkner, Career Services’ Employer Relations Program Coordinator

So you’re back in the States after a semester abroad; you’ve explored a new place, culture, and maybe a new language too. Your semester abroad can be a great leverage point on your resume and in an interview to help set you apart from other candidates!

Christina in Niokolo Koba National Park during her study abroad experience in Senegal.
Christina in Niokolo Koba National Park during her study abroad experience in Senegal.

Put it on your resume
Your resume is often the first method of contact you will make with a potential employer, so you want it to stand out against all of the other resumes they see. Having experience abroad distinguishes you from other candidates because it shows that you can adapt to new environments and be independent.

Depending on how relevant your study abroad experience is to the job you are applying for, you can list it briefly or more in-depth. Always include the location, duration, and title of the program on your resume. If you studied at a university while in your host country, include the name of the university as well. If your study abroad experience is directly applicable to the job, you can expand on it by sharing the classes you took (and whether they were in a language other than English), research projects you conducted, what you learned, and/or skills you gained.

If you held an internship, volunteered, or conducted research abroad, add your title and duties under the appropriate section of your resume.

Include any languages you learned abroad in the skills section of your resume. Add your proficiency in the language – basic, intermediate, conversational, or fluent.


Resume Pic Christina

Talk about it in an interview
What you choose to put on your resume, including study abroad experience, may come up in an interview; if it’s on your resume, then you should be prepared to discuss it. You can also use experiences from your trip abroad to answer behavioral interview questions. Examples:

Interview Christina

Examples like these can show you are adaptable, determined, a good communicator, and so much more!

Everyone’s study abroad experience is unique and challenging in its own way, so use it to prove that you are the right person for the job. Be proud of your experience abroad – you learned, explored, and put yourself out there!

For individual help, please visit us during drop-ins! These times will change beginning May 13, so please keep an eye on our website.
Monday           12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Tuesday          12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday      3 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Thursday          2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Jerejef! (Thank you!)