5 Ways to Highlight Study Abroad Experience on Your Resume
Studying abroad is a significant asset for job seekers and it’ll put you on the map. Not only does it demonstrate a willingness to take on new challenges, but it also indicates that the candidate has developed valuable skills such as adaptability, cultural awareness, and language proficiency.
However, simply mentioning "studied abroad" on a resume may not effectively communicate the extent of the experience and the skills gained. That’s why knowing exactly how to display your expertise and skills is important. So, let’s discuss how to put add your study abroad experience to your resume and make it stand out to potential employers.
Include the Location and Dates
The first step in highlighting study abroad on a resume is to clearly state where and when the experience took place. This information should be included in the education section of the resume, alongside the candidate's degree and institution. It is important to be specific when listing the location, as this can provide an immediate indication of the candidate's familiarity with a particular culture or language.
For example, write “Bachelor of Science in Marketing, XYZ University” or “Study Abroad Program, Florence, Italy | August 2019 - December 2019”
Highlight Relevant Courses and Academic Achievements
Studying abroad often involves taking courses that are not available at the candidate's home institution. In some cases, these courses may directly relate to the candidate's field of study, providing a unique perspective and valuable knowledge. In this case, it is appropriate to include relevant courses or academic achievements on the resume.
For example, you can write in the coursework section in your resume, “International Marketing, Global Business, Italian Language and Culture.” Or you can write the Academic Achievements section “Dean's List, Fall 2019.”
Emphasize Cultural Immersion and Language Skills
Of course, studying abroad provides a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in a different culture, and this experience can be a valuable asset in the job market. Being able to navigate cultural differences and communicate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds are skills that many employers seek. Additionally, studying abroad often involves learning a new language, which can be a valuable asset in a global economy.
For example, you can write in the Skills section that one of your skills is “Cultural Immersion” and explain that you’ve “Participated in a homestay program, volunteered at local community events, and travelled extensively throughout Italy to gain a deeper understanding of Italian culture.” Or you can add in the Language Skills section “Completed a beginner-level Italian language course and developed conversational proficiency through daily interactions with locals.”
Demonstrate Adaptability and Problem-Solving Skills
Studying abroad requires a high level of adaptability and problem-solving skills, as students often face unexpected challenges such as navigating a new transportation system or dealing with a language barrier. These skills can be highly valued by potential employers, as they demonstrate an ability to think on one's feet and find creative solutions to problems.
You can write in the Skills section that you possess “Adaptability” and explain it in such a way, “Successfully navigated a new transportation system and housing arrangement, and adapted to a new academic environment with different expectations and grading systems.”
You can also add the skill of “Problem-Solving” and explain maybe that you’ve “Overcame language barriers to complete a group project with international students, and quickly adapted to changes in travel plans due to unforeseen circumstances.”
Use Action Verbs and Quantify Achievements
When describing study abroad experiences on a resume, it is important to use strong action verbs and quantify achievements whenever possible. This not only makes the resume more engaging to read but also provides concrete evidence of the skills and experiences gained during the program.
For example, you can write something like this:
- Organized and executed a cultural exchange event for local community members, resulting in a 30% increase in attendance compared to previous years.
- Collaborated with international students on a group project, resulting in a final grade of A and positive feedback from the instructor.
Studying abroad is a challenge and effectively communicating the skills and experiences gained during the program on a resume is just as challenging. So, by including the location and dates, highlighting relevant courses and academic achievements, emphasizing cultural immersion and language skills, and demonstrating adaptability, you’ll surely showcase that you’re a professionally and personally developed person.
Want to study abroad? Sign up to Educatly and update your profile to get matched with a suitable program based on your interests and desires. Or you can easily use your free consultation with our educational counsellors and they’ll guide you through the whole process! Book a meeting with an educational counsellor and they’ll contact you as soon as possible.