You’re mere yards away from completing the scholastic marathon of your life – graduating college. So how do you stand out from the thousands of graduates walking alongside you this semester? If prepared carefully, your study abroad experience can act as the scrumptious, juicy meat to the dry bones of a standardized resume.
Start your resume makeover with the basics. Include time spent abroad under your ‘Education’ section
- Distinguish the school you attended
- Specify the city and country where you studied
- List a few significant courses that you took
- Break out the information separately to make it noticeable
Spruce up the ‘Experiences’ section of your resume with individual endeavors (if you don’t have this section, now's a great time to create it). Highlight both extracurricular and volunteer activities
- Clubs joined
- Language exchange groups you attended
- Tutoring aid you provided Emphasize any internships completed while abroad (perhaps characterize this under a ‘Work Experience’ subhead)
Spread It Out
If possible, try not to limit your study abroad experience to just one slice of your resume. Spread it out as much as you can so that you’re able to express how this time helped shape and prepare you for your future.
The following is an example of how one CEA Site Specialist orchestrated her study abroad experience throughout her resume: Activities Section
- Included some study abroad extracurricular activities – planning committee member for a fundraising event, pen-pal with an elementary class, etc.
- Awards Section
- Accentuated the study abroad scholarship she was awarded prior to her departure
- Education Section
- Listed the countries she visited while studying abroad
- Work Experience Section
- Incorporated the internship she completed abroad
Be creative with how you present your own experience, as there is more than one right way to do it.
The following are some other topics to consider mentioning in your resume (if they apply):
- Language skills: What language level have you achieved since studying abroad? Flexibility/adaptability to new environments: What types of cultural differences did you experience that assisted in adaptability? What types of people did you interact with?
- Problem solving skills: What kinds of situations did you encounter that helped you to form this skill set?
As long as you keep your emphasized points concise, the sky’s the limit when it comes to how and where you infuse your resume with your newfound international skills!
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