How to Use Your Study Abroad Experience to Get a Job

How to Use Your Study Abroad Experience to Get a Job


It’s pretty well known that study abroad is a huge leg up when searching for a job. Right off the bat, you have a command of French and an international experience.  But that’s not all! To help you begin reflecting on your experience and thinking about how you can present it in the future, take a look at the following skills/competencies identified by employers that are associated with an international experience that can apply to the workplace (taken from theCollegiate Employment Research Institute Research Brief, March 2008).

  • ability to work independently
  • adapting to situations of change
  • allocating time effectively
  • applying information to new or broader contexts
  • assessing impacts of decisions
  • being dependable
  • communicating ideas in a manner that gains acceptance/agreement
  • conceptualizing a future for oneself/organization
  • conveying ideas verbally
  • gaining new knowledge from experiences
  • identifying new problems/alternative solutions
  • identifying creative possibilities/solutions
  • identifying social/political implications of decisions
  • interacting with people who hold different interests, values, or perspectives
  • resourceful in accomplishing assignments
  • setting priorities
  • understanding cultural differences in the workplace
  • undertaking tasks that are unfamiliar/risky
  • working effectively with co-workers

These are especially important skills that you can play up in your cover letter and during your interview. Try and think about what skills you may have developed while abroad, and think of a specific experience from your time abroad that illustrates your use of that skill. Then, be prepared to bring it up during your interview!