Study Abroad and Career Paths

“Studying abroad allows you to come back and look at your own place and understand its strengths and weaknesses and escape from the idea, the deadly idea, that the way you are used to having things happen is the only way that they might work.” –Bill McKibben


The added perspective that a study abroad experience can provide is not just beneficial to a student’s personal development but also to their job prospects.

“Cross-cultural competency” is a new term buzzing among today’s hiring managers. It’s a quality that signifies a person’s ability to adapt and work within the context of unfamiliar cultures and situations.

So when it comes to effectively communicating the significance of an international experience on a resume or in an interview, “students have to learn how to talk about that experience in terms of transferrable skills [and] how it relates to what an employer wants,” explains Cheryl Matherly, Tulsa University’s associate dean of global education.

Reflecting on an Abroad Experience

Here are some useful questions you can ask yourself to evaluate your study abroad experience and how you might want to communicate it to an employer:

  • What cultural differences existed in the work environment (academic or professional) and how did I cope with them?
  • How did I work with others in my host country?
  • How did cultural perspectives influence the teaching styles in my host country? How did I adapt to them?


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