Study Abroad on a Resume

By: Richard Menard

In the next few weeks your student will be returning from a semester in Florence. The experience of studying abroad for them and you will have been life altering. While there are many things for students to contemplate upon their return, one of the things is how to best use the experience of studying abroad to help find an internship for this summer and more importantly how to find a job after graduating.

A recent survey of U.S. students reported the following about study abroad students: (IES Abroad)

  • $7,000 The difference in salary study abroad alumni earn, on average, in starting salaries, compared to recent U.S. college graduates from the general population.
  • 97% Percentage of alumni who secured a job within one year after graduation, compared to only 49% of respondents in the general college graduate population.
  • 90% Percentage of alumni who got into their 1st or 2nd choice graduate or professional school.
  • 84% Percentage of alumni who felt that studying abroad helped them build valuable job skills, such as language proficiency, cultural training, and tolerance for ambiguity, adaptability, and communication.

We even here from employers, such as Nike, that international experiences like study abroad are one of the key experiences they are looking for from students.

All of this is irrelevant if a student fails to put this information on their resume or in their cover letter. For their study abroad to be much more than 4 months spent abroad traveling and eating homemade pasta, students must turn their experiences abroad into tangible skills about be able to clearly articulate what they learned or gained. Elon University has a wonderful website that they allow us to use that gives great examples of how to place the study abroad experience on a resume. Additionally, our office has a Career Resource Guide & Marketing Tips students can pick up; they can also visit the Career & Professional Development office for help.

Less than 10% of college students choose to study abroad while in college. Your student has set him or herself apart and should be more employable because of their choice to study abroad. Please take the time to ask your student how they plan to incorporate this academic experience into their career objectives. As much fun as traveling to Budapest for the weekend was and eating more gelato than is probably healthy, there was an academic reason for them to study abroad and something that can help them after graduation.

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