How to Articulate Your Study Abroad Experience to Your Future Employer

January 5, 2021

After you’ve finished university, you might be looking to start your dream career. Luckily for you, you can leverage your study abroad experience to help you get the job you want. Studying abroad at John Cabot University in a country like Italy does not only provide you with an enriching educational experience but can also teach you important life skills and help you grow as an individual, all of which can give you an advantage when you enter the job market. In addition, study abroad students are also able to take advantage of all the internships and positions offered by JCU's Center for Career Services. With that in mind, it's important to learn how to articulate your time abroad and prepare yourself for an interview in a way that will really make you stand out to employers. Here are a few suggestions to help you get ready!

Think About How You’re Going to Present Your Study Abroad Experience

The first thing you should do is to think about how you’re going to articulate your experience to employers: which points you’re going to bring up and how, and what you want to highlight as relevant to the position that you're interviewing for. Consider mentioning your study abroad experience under the “Education” section of your CV, using descriptive language to explain your reasons for studying abroad, where you studied, and what you accomplished academically. You can enrich also other parts of your CV with non-academic experiences that you participated in or skills that you acquired during your time abroad. For example, if you did an internship or volunteered, you could include these under your "Work experience" section. Or if you improved your Italian proficiency to a point where you can get by in everyday life, you can include that under the "Language Skills" section.

 

Study Abroad in Rome 

Don't Forget the Transferable Skills!

When writing about your study abroad experience, make sure to discuss any transferable skills that you gained from your time abroad. For example, you can talk about how you’ve brushed up on a new language while studying at JCU, or how interacting with people from various cultural backgrounds has improved your ability to communicate well with others. Or perhaps you could discuss how living in a new culture has helped you become more adaptable, or how navigating a different way of life on your own has helped you become more self-confident and has taught you to take initiative and not be afraid of changes. The goal is to demonstrate how your time studying abroad has given you skills that can be applied to your field of interest. If you've acquired a variety of skills, make sure that you emphasize the ones that are most pertinent to the specific position that you're applying for.

 

universities in Italy 

Prepare Yourself For the Interview 

In addition to highlighting your study abroad experience on your CV, you should also prepare to discuss it during your interview. This can be a great opportunity to show how your study abroad experience at a school like John Cabot University helped shape you as a person and as an employee. If you have someone you can practice with, try doing a mock interview in which that person asks you various questions about your time abroad. This can include questions about how you feel that studying abroad has contributed to your professional development, how you matured as a person from the experience, or how you were able to solve problems and overcome any obstacles that you encountered while living in a new country. Think about your answers, and think of ways you might want to bring these points up during your interview even if your potential employer doesn’t ask about them specifically. Practice will give you the confidence to enter your interview ready to wow your future employers.

Do you want to study abroad in Rome?

Contact John Cabot University's Admissions team at admissions@johncabot.edu for more information!

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