While you are abroad, you should start to think about how your international experience is preparing you for your future career.
Employers Value International Experiences
When you study abroad, you develop characteristics and skills that set you apart. These characteristics and skills, highly valued by employers, include:
- Intercultural communication
- Foreign language
In order to stand out to employers, you need to articulate your international experiences to them and explain how study abroad has aided you in developing these skills.
There are many options for working or interning abroad as a UVM student or alum. Many external program providers offer internships to current and/or recently graduated students. If you are interested in doing an internship for credit, you must get approval from the appropriate academic department. Any UVM student who is going abroad on a for-credit internship, or is being funded by UVM, must go through the Office of International Education.
If you are interested in working abroad after graduating from UVM, you have a variety of options. Start by browsing the website Going Global to get information on career tips and job searching in specific countries. For more information on working internationally, contact the Career Center.
Marketing your International Experience
Your study abroad experience can help to identify who you are personally, academically, and professionally. Make sure employers see this by marketing your international experience through your resume, cover letter, and interviews.
Include your study abroad experience on your resume. You can do this by creating an entry under “Education” and listing relevant projects, volunteer work, or skills you acquired.
Talk about your international experience in your cover letter. This is a great place to mention specific skills and experiences that may not stick out on your resume. Remember, your cover letter should be written for a specific position.
Think about ways you can discuss your experience abroad in an interview. Common interview questions include how you dealt with uncertainty, handled a conflict, learned from failure, or dealt with a challenging situation. You can use examples from study abroad to help answer these questions and show how your student abroad experience sets you apart. Remember to only bring up what is relevant to the specific position you are applying to.
For more information on making study abroad relevant to your career, and for comprehensive career advising, contact the Career Center. They have created a helpful handout for adding study abroad to your resume and cover letter, and discussing it in job interviews, which you can find here (PDF).