Study abroad helps you transform your life by giving a new perception, apart from increasing your academic proficiency in the chosen field. This helps you grow as an individual to adapt to the changing circumstances. More importantly, your study abroad experience on resume attracts recruiters. Employers are on the lookout for candidates with soft skills that help them excel in the work environment. Study abroad experience provides you with an abundance of soft skills that make you a very desirable candidate. Below is the complete list of steps to follow while adding your study abroad experience to your resume.
Why You Should Include Study Abroad Experience
Adding your study abroad experience in your resume will highlight your resume and help you stand out from the rest of the candidates. Most commonly, opportunities to study abroad are only available to meritorious candidates. The candidates need to clear the screening process to get into the institution which in itself indicates your academic excellence. During your time abroad, you are exposed to a completely new education system with its own parameters for evaluating your academic excellence. This would indicate that you are adaptable and not afraid of change, some of the important personal skills needed to excel in a corporate environment.
You should mention the skills that you learned during your time studying abroad. This will give you a unique advantage over other candidates. Also, the skills should complement the job profile you are applying to. If you have learned a new language, mention that. Being fluent in more than one language is always an admirable skill. If you are wondering when to add study abroad to a resume, the best time is to add when you have no prior job experience. If you are a fresher or someone who is relatively inexperienced, adding your study abroad experience will help you partially cover up your lack of experience. Personalize the resume by highlighting the important academic results you achieved.
Where to Put Study Abroad Experience on a Resume
You won’t be able to add a separate section to list the study abroad experience. You will have to spread it across different sections in the resume. While primarily educational qualifications are the best space tp add your study abroad experience, you can also choose sections where your study abroad experience will catch the eye of the recruiter. If you have done any volunteering or internship, specify that and mention the skills you learned through it. You can also add it to the academics project section and skills section.
How to Add Study Abroad Section to a Resume
A well-crafted resume that includes study abroad experience will motivate the recruiting manager to call you for an interview. Listing study abroad experience in the resume should feel natural instead of being pushed. More importantly, you should establish a clear relation to relevant skillset and your study abroad experience. Your skills and job expertise should be an embodiment of your time studying abroad.
3 Places to List Study Abroad Experience on Your Resume
1). Educational Qualification
This is the best place to add your international experience. Include study abroad in your resume work experience section to help the recruiter understand your subject knowledge and technical skills.
If you went abroad as a part of a student exchange program, specify it under the university name that you enrolled in for the course. Make it clear that it is a student exchange program. Other details regarding your graduation such as the location of the university, name of the course, year of passing, etc. should also be specified clearly.
If you enrolled for a university abroad and completed your entire course there, enter it as a separate sub-section. This is also the best part where you can show your academic excellence and your hold on the field of study. Mention all the awards, meritorious ranks, and specifical accreditations you earned during the course of study.
2). Internship Experience
If you have done any internships during the course of the study, add a new section, and specify it. Mention the name of the company and the department you were working for. Mention the responsibility and your daily tasks in bulletin points to make them easy to grasp. If you learned a new software or technique, mention that as well. If you are fresher, this will help you to cover up for your lack of experience and certainly highlight your resume.
This is the most important section that will determine whether you get the job or not. If you are applying for a technical position, include as many technical skills as possible including computing and software skills if relevant to the job. Highlight the skills that you learned during your time studying abroad. The skills you add should be relevant to the job profile and help you excel at the role.
Study Abroad Skills to Put on a Resume & Cover Letter
The skills you add to your resume should reveal your job expertise and how it can contribute to the company you are employed at. The skills you add should be relevant to the job you are applying to. Apart from technical skills that demonstrate your job expertise, the recruiters also expect to see interpersonal and communication skills that help you thrive in a fast-paced environment.
Below are the most desirable skills that you can list in your resume and cover letter through your study abroad experience:
- Cultural Understanding
- Interpersonal skills
- Effective communication
- Accuracy and an eye for detail
- Relevant technical skills
- Computing and software skills
Study Abroad Resume Example (Text-Version)
Address Line 1
A highly driven professional with a Master of Science in VLSA from the Imperial College London, eager to join [XXX Company]. Can add value to the company using my strong proficiency in Circuit design, Signal analysis, and Mentor Graphics
Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Communication
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
2014 – 2018
(Education for long-term study abroad example)
Master of Science in Very Large Scale Integration
Imperial College London
2018 – 2020
Coursework: VLSI System Design, Semiconductor, Random signal analysis, Computer system architecture, Linear system, Computer Networking laboratory, Project Management, Embedded computing system.
- Designed a Jackpot Game using Altera De2 (Fall 2017): Executed a Jackpot Game using counters to trigger different frequencies in Altera de2.
- Environment: Verilog, FPGA, Altera De2
- Assisting in the maintenance of sensory systems.
- Compiling results, analyzing, and submitting it to my supervisor.
- Perform regular calibration to make sure the machines and equipment are at proper operational standards.
- Fine-tune the frequency of the waves emitted by electronic waves.
- Aptitude and Mathematical skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Cultural awareness
Study Abroad Resume Sample
How to Incorporate Your Student Exchange into a Cover Letter
Incorporating your student exchange program into your cover letter is a great way to distinguish yourself from the rest of the candidates. A cover letter gives you a unique opportunity to add things that can not be included in your resume. A cover letter is an effective way using which you can demonstrate the skills you learned during your time studying abroad. Studying abroad can enrich you with a multitude of skills and talents. Apart from the technical skills you learn through the academic program, you also learn interpersonal skills that can not be taught in a classroom. You learn how to adapt to a new culture and excel at the tasks assigned to you. It gives you a new perspective on your life. You learn strong interpersonal skills and how to move along with people from different backgrounds.
While putting study abroad on a resume can be very difficult, your cover letter provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate your skills. Do not shy away to mention specific activities or incidents that helped you develop desirable skills. Apart from adding a personal touch, it also gives the recruiter a sense of credibility. Again, the skills you add should be relevant to the job profile. The skills that you developed through the student exchange program should be tailored in a very specific way to target the prospective employer.
Your study abroad experience adds a lot of value to your resume. It will give an edge over the other candidates and help your resume stand out from the rest. However, it is important to insert your study abroad experience naturally in your resume and cover letter. While you can only specify the duration and specialization of study in your resume, you can use your cover letter effectively and tailor your study abroad experience according to the role and company you are applying to.