Now what? I’ve lived independently abroad, taken a deep-dive into an ocean of unfamiliar culture, and gone through a few challenges that have shaped my world-view. So, now what? What can I do to highlight this experience? HOW do I highlight this experience?
It may seem like an impossible feat to narrow your study abroad experience down into a tangible, easy to comprehend package, but it actually isn’t that hard!
The first step is the hardest – and takes the most time, but is necessary in order to process your thoughts, feelings, etc.
You need to REFLECT on your experience.
Some questions that may be useful to help you reflect are:
- What are the top three lessons you learned while abroad?
- What surprised you most while abroad?
- What was your favorite memory?
- What was something that was hard, different, or challenging?
Once you have reflected on your overall experience, consider how study abroad grew your skills, leadership, and career-related attributes.
Consider specific examples from your time abroad in which you expanded upon these skills:
- Assertiveness, adaptability, critical thinking skills, flexibility, independence or self-reliance, patience, open-mindedness, problem-solving, self-confidence, initiative, perseverance, and time management
Once you’ve done this, it’s easy to narrow down your experience by putting it on your resume. This is a great way to highlight your abroad experience in a quick, accessible way. For example, you can list the institution where you studied and a few courses or projects you worked on underneath your education section:
The final step is to connect the dots by directly applying your study abroad experience to your potential career opportunities during an interview.
Q: What experience do you have working with people from backgrounds different than your own, and how do you think those experiences relate to the workplace?
Q: Can you tell me about a time you took a risk and it paid off?
These are two common questions individuals are asked during an interview that can relate to your study abroad experience. Make sure you find a way to talk about your study abroad and highlight it for others to see. Not only does this help you stand out as an applicant but it also helps others understand people and places who are different.
Of Possible Interest:
- Abroad Adventures – all of our blog posts on the topic
- All Things International – our Pinterest board with resources & articles