If you have little or no work experience but have seized the opportunity to study abroad, you might still have an advantage when you’re looking for a job.
This is because many employers now see the benefits of hiring students and recent graduates who have studied abroad.
Find out what makes a study abroad experience so desirable for employers, and then focus on ways to make your time abroad really count during the job hunt!
Benefits To Gain When You Study Abroad
Studying abroad can help you stand out to employers because relatively few students get a chance to study in another country. Sure, the number of US students studying abroad is increasing, but very slowly (currently only about 10%); this is a rare addition to your resume.
And if you’re still wondering why employers consider studying abroad to be a good thing, consider the growing interest in the global economy. When you study abroad, your experiences will teach you to deal with and even thrive in another culture. That’s an important trait for employers hoping to expand internationally, especially if you spend the time abroad learning another language.
But even if you come back not knowing how to say more than “Where’s the bathroom,” your willingness to study abroad indicates that you are flexible and open to new experiences. This benefits employers across all industries, even the ones that don’t have plans to go international.
How to Make the Most of Your Study Abroad Experience
Get involved in your community during your time abroad. While a certain amount of time can and should be devoted to traveling (it’s often very cheap in other parts of the world), it’s just as important to truly get to know the town you’re in. Dedicate at least a few weekends to exploring your base city.
If possible, you should also get an internship while abroad. Work experience is always good to have, and more likely than not, your school will help you secure an internship while abroad. What’s more, an internship is evidence to prospective employers that your time abroad wasn’t just a semester-long vacation.
How to Present Your Study Abroad Experience
As impressive as studying abroad can be, simply listing it on your resume is not always the best move. Instead, be sure to communicate what you learned from the experience so employers can understand the benefits of your choice to study abroad. If you need help figuring out how to do this, you can contact a resume writing service.
You can include a few sentences about your new-found skills in your cover letter, or take a moment to discuss the experience during the first job interview. Either way, make sure your employer is aware that you not only took a trip overseas, but also gained some benefits that might include adaptability, independence or fluency in another language.
If you have not yet gone overseas and are trying to choose a country in which to study abroad, take note of which locations most impress employers. They include areas that are growing quickly, such as Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America. Before you choose, research your industry to find out which countries are poised for growth within your field.
Of course, no matter where you study abroad, you are sure to gain some benefits that will be important to your career in the long run!