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Internationalize Your Resume


Study abroad experiences demand a lot from students: flexibility, on-the-spot decision making, extensive planning, problem solving, troubleshooting unforeseen mishaps, foreign language use (usually), cultural education, and adapting to college life at a university that may operate radically differently from your home school. Any and all of these skills are highly desirable skills for most employers.  But how do you put this on a resume?

1.     Reflect on your trip

Upon returning from your trip, the first step to putting study abroad on your resume is to go through your experience, your blogs, journals, experience and memories; and reflect on the people you met, the places you saw, and the experiences that stuck out to you. Did a certain situation catch you off guard? If so, why, when, and how? Did you surprise yourself by how much you could successfully communicate with others in the language you’ve only been learning for a year? Remember that time you mastered the public transportation system in xxxxx after stressing out for hours about getting lost?

Analyze your experiences to identify your skills (and maybe even some potential career paths) and write them down with examples. Having a clear interpretation of your experience will prove beneficial when it is time to craft a resume including study abroad details.

2.    Generate a list of key skills

What were those skills that you relied on and developed when you were abroad and think of examples of this.  To help you identify these skills, check out the check out the 75 Positive Outcomes of Study Abroad.

Transferable Intercultural Skills useful in the workplace and often sought by employers include:            

Perseverance Flexibility    
Independence Ability to work in a multicultural group
Second (or more) language ability Ability to work in a multilingual environment
Ability to solve problems  Demonstrated initiative
Tolerance for stress Adaptability without judgment
Negotiation skills Self-reliance
Motivation Enhanced listening skills
Sensitivity to cultural context Able to establish rapport quickly
Time management skills Ability to cope with difficulty and rejection
Accept responsibility for actions Clear written and oral communication skills
Can communicate across barriers Possess an understanding of culture’s complexity
Respect for difference and diversity Demonstrate self-confidence/self knowledge
Sense of curiosity Ability to "fit in" to new groups

3.     Organize your Study Abroad Resume bullet points

If you did other projects while abroad, such as teaching or volunteering, you may be able to use powerful verbs like “developed,” “facilitated,” “volunteered,” “created,” “cultivated,” “organized” and “planned” in your resume bullet points, followed by a short description of what you did. Considering you have a limited amount of space on a resume, using concise and descriptive language really matters.

However, don’t give away your entire study abroad experience just on your resume — write your bullet points keeping in mind that any interviews resulting from your resume submission may involve questions about your experience, and you’ll want to offer new and exciting information. Be prepared to elaborate on experiences and expand on smaller details.

4.    Structure your document strategically to highlight the most impressive details about your experience. 


There is an art to articulating your study abroad experience into resume-style bullet points that add depth to your document rather than detract from it. Study abroad experiences may fit into categories titled “Professional Experience” or “Education” depending on which category is most relevant to details you want to include.

If you were abroad for an extended period of time (such as a whole year studying at a university in Australia), everything related to your academic program, academic affairs, or accomplished milestones is appropriate under an “Education” heading. If relevant, note important courses taken abroad, internships completed, and awards earned. 
Remember, no matter how you decide to structure adding study abroad to your resume, mentioning study abroad on resumes communicates to potential employees that you are a motivated student who is unafraid of a challenge and is willing to take risks for the purpose of self-development.

Visit Loyola's Career Development to learn more about resume building. 

Above Information from
Dunn, Julia; 3 Steps to Include Study Abroad on your Resume; May 3, 2017.
What’s Up Culture, On-line Training Resource for Study Abroad.

Go to International Life after Graduation.

Revised 12/20/2018