Marketing Your International Experience

As the world economy becomes more globalized, countries are increasingly investing abroad. Companies around the world are investing in the international market. From an employer’s viewpoint, a student who has experience studying abroad is self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges, and able to cope with diverse problems. Your experience studying abroad, living in another country, and acquiring foreign language skills can set you apart from the majority of job applicants. It is important to present your study abroad and international experience in the most effective manner in your job search.

Important Points to Remember:

  • Visit the Career Development Center, register on Razorback CareerLink, attend job fairs and participate in on-campus interviewing.
  • Join the Career Track Razorbacks, (CTR), and complete the Global Awareness Specialization.
  • Learn how to create resumes for different countries in the Country Guides on Going Global
  • Get your resume reviewed in the Career Development Center
  • Identify and be ready to market the skills you have gained through your international experience. Practice how you will describe your international experiences in an interview.

Skills Acquired from Your International Experience

It is important to become aware of the skills that you use during your study abroad and other international experience. You can use these on your resume, in your cover letter, and during your job interviews. Here are some examples:

  • Self-motivated, independent, willing to embrace challenges
  • Flexible and adaptable and able to cope with diverse problems and situations
  • Communication skills (listening & communicating carefully to overcome language barriers)
  • Global awareness, tolerance, cultural sensitivity
  • Independence, self-reliance
  • Problem-solving, crisis management
  • Ability to deal with ambiguity
  • Inquisitiveness, open-mindedness
  • General travel and navigational skills
  • Foreign language skills
  • Perseverance and resourcefulness
  • Awareness of global economic and political issues
  • Creativity, initiative, tenacity, a willingness to take risks and an adventurous spirit

Now that you’re ready to get the ball rolling in your search for a job:

Be prepared to give insightful comments about your international experience. Which stories highlight new skills and knowledge from your experience abroad? (Linda Gross, Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2003)
  • Share an example of how you set priorities to achieve a desired outcome in your study abroad experience.
  • How did your study abroad experience enhance your knowledge, skills, and understanding of your intended career field? What assets might international study yield as opposed to someone who studied domestically?
  • Share an example of a travel situation that helped you build your understanding of human motivation. How did this enhance your understanding of leadership or teamwork?
  • Share an example of how your international experience has improved your skills in communication with others. How might this make you a better professional in your field?
  • How did you adjust/adapt to your new cultural surroundings? Share examples from academic, social, work settings. How did these influence your ability to interact successfully with others?
  • Share an international experience in which you had to resolve a conflict or solve a problem. What skills and personal qualities did you tap into? How did the experience help you grow as a person?
  • Share an example of a study abroad experience in which you took initiative to achieve a greater result.
  • Share an example of a time when you may have been in danger or afraid. What did you learn from it? Why?
  • What was the most significant thing you learned about yourself through your study abroad experience? Why?

Excepts taken from Univ. Minnesota Learning Abroad Center