Translating your Study Abroad Experience

During your study abroad experience, you likely gained skills and experiences that relate to your career prospects. However, translating those experiences into a cover letter or onto your resume can be tricky. Below is a list of skills often developed while studying or working abroad.  Consider a specific instance when you might have demonstrated one or more of these skills.

  • Intercultural competencies
  • Adaptability
  • Patience
  • Language skills
  • Respect for protocol
  • Self-reliance
  • Time management
  • Inquisitiveness
  • Assertiveness
  • Navigational skills
  • Open-mindedness
  • Remaining calm under pressure
  • Initiative
  • Seeing different perspectives

Next, think specifically about the situation, the task at hand, the action you took, and the result of your actions.

  • Situation: What circumstances required you to use this skill?
  • Task: What needed to be done?
  • Action: What action did you take (demonstrating this skill)?
  • Result: What was the result of the action you took?

This exercise will allow you to not only list the skills on a resume, but also expand on them in a cover letter, and provide potential employers with concrete examples of your abilities.