YOUR Guide to: make the most out of your study abroad experience by travelling, learning, and living
- Work your international/cultural perspective into an interview
- If there’s one thing that employers and grad schools love, it’s a well-rounded individual. An essential aspect of study abroad that you can work into interviews is your development and strengthening of a multi-cultural, international world view. Not only did you immerse yourself in a foreign culture across the world, adopting their traditions, education, etc., but you also had the opportunity to experience other cultures through your travels. Highlighting these aspects of studying abroad can be essential in job or graduate school applications because it indicates that you have an international understanding of different cultures and people, which you can use to your advantage in future jobs or a graduate degree.
- Highlight any courses, internships, work experience, or volunteer experience you took part in during your time abroad
- Not only are specialised courses, internships, and work and volunteer experience significant in any case, those based in another country are especially outstanding when it comes to job and graduate school applications. Showing you went that extra mile during your time abroad by getting involved in important projects or internships indicates to a potential employer or university that you not only have the drive to be involved in multiple projects at once, but also that you are able to successfully designate your time between these projects.
- Highlight your individual strengths that you built during study abroad
- Balancing time is not easy – juggling attempting to adjust to an entirely new culture across the world, along with classes at a foreign university, travel, extracurriculars, etc. is going to be difficult for almost anyone. However, when it comes to a job interview, highlighting the manner in which you adjusted to and managed all the responsibilities you encountered while studying abroad emphasises your ability to adapt to a demanding environment.
- Any other characteristics you feel you developed as a study abroad student, use to your advantage! The fact that you were able to meet the challenging demands of studying abroad and transform those demands into personal skills indicates to a potential employer that you can not only employ these previously learned skills in a future job, but also that you will be able to employ your ability to transform demanding situations into positive personal attributes in your future career path.
- Emphasise your involvement in clubs, societies, and sports while abroad
- Being involved in a club or society is a great thing to put on a resume, but who can beat a real INTERNATIONAL club or society! From the track team to the psychology society, being involved in some sort of organisation abroad shows an employer or graduate program enthusiasm and dedication. If you were involved in any sort of organisation while abroad, make sure you accentuate this aspect of your study abroad experience!
- Build and utilise your relationships with your professors
- This is especially important if you’ll be applying to graduate programs in the coming years – international recommendations are a HUGE asset on a graduate school application! Having built a relationship with one of your professors here in the UK or Ireland provides you with a great connection when it comes to future references and recommendations, due to its international nature.
- Also, if you worked or volunteered abroad, keep in touch with your colleagues! Not only can they provide you with recommendations, but they can also be great points of references when you need advice or tips from a different perspective.
- Create a travel blog and connect it with your LinkedIn
- This shows creativity, enthusiasm, cultural appreciation, originality, etc. etc.!!
- Some sort of travel blog or Instagram page can be especially important when applying for jobs in marketing, blogging, photography-related, creative writing, and so many more! Basically, all it can do is help 😉
- Bring your knowledge from abroad back to courses in California
- Take any chance you get to show off what you’ve learned from an international point of view. Professors love a fresh, profound perspective from studies around the world – use that to your advantage!
**To read more about incorporating the study abroad experience in your career planning journey, follow these links!