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Marquette University
Career Services Center

Holthusen Hall, First Floor
1324 W. Wisconsin Avenue
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
Phone: (414) 288-7423
Fax: (414) 288-5302
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Resume & Cover Letter Writing: Marketing your Study Abroad Experience

The study abroad experience can be an exciting and scary adventure.  The same can be true of the job search experience.  Many potential employers will view the study abroad experience as beneficial.  In a competitive job market you need to highlight everything that might set you apart from other candidates, and your experience from studying abroad can do just that.  It is important to incorporate your experience and the valuable skills you gained from studying abroad on your resume, cover letter, and in job interviews. 

Skills and Attributes Gained from Study Abroad Experience

Communication Skills

  1. Foreign language skills
  2. Lead others in formal/informal groups
  3. Effectively participate in group discussions with people from diverse backgrounds
  4. Identify and manage different needs of people and groups

Interpersonal Skills

  1. Global point of view
  2. Appreciation of diversity
  3. Cultural awareness
  4. Establish rapport quickly
  5. Understand an organization’s culture
  6. Understand global dependence
  7. Sensitive to other cultural values, norms, customs and communication patterns
  8. Tolerant of differences
  9. Open to new ideas and practices
  10. Empathetic toward other perspectives

Organizational Skills

  1. General travel and navigational skills
  2. Successfully juggle multiple demands
  3. Able to prioritize
  4. Time management skills

Intra personal Skills

  1. Patience
  2. Function with a high level of ambiguity
  3. Achieve goals despite obstacles
  4. Take initiative and risks
  5. Accept responsibility
  6. Handle stress and difficult situations
  7. Learn/adapt quickly
  8. Cope with rejection
  9. Flexible
  10. Assertive/self-confident
  11. Inquisitive
  12. Independent

Cultural Competence

As our economy becomes more and more global, our ability to communicate and interact with people from backgrounds and ethnicities different than our own is imperative.  Employers seek students with a rich experience of work with others.  Cultural competence may be defined as:

  1. Someone with the willingness and ability to value the importance of culture in interpersonal interactions with all segments of the population
  2. Someone with the perspective which values differences and is responsive to diversity topic
  3. Someone who is developmental, community focused, and family oriented
  4. Someone who promotes quality interactions to underserved, racial/ethnic groups through the valuing of differences and integration of cultural attitudes, beliefs, and practices
  5. Someone who is able to develop and continued promote those with skills and practices important in cross-cultural interactions to ensure that interactions occur in a culturally competent manner

Including Study Abroad Experience on your Resume

Education Section:  Include your study abroad experience as part of the education section.  Consider including specific skills that are related to your academic experience. 

EDUCATION

MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY, Milwaukee, WI
Bachelor of Arts Degree in English, May 20xx
Minor: Spanish
GPA  3.0/4.0;  GPA in Major 3.3/4.0

MARQUETTE STUDY CENTER, Madrid, Spain, Fall 20xx

  1. Study abroad program with a focus on Spanish language and culture
  2. Gained fluency in Spanish
Experience Section: If you had an internship while studying abroad include it as part of the experience section.  If you did not have an internship while studying abroad, consider including a specific aspect of your study abroad experience under the experience section.  Be sure to include the skills you gained while studying abroad).

EXPERIENCE              

FACULTAD DE FILOSOFIA Y LETRA, Madrid, Spain, Fall 20xx
Intern Teacher Assistant

  1. Tutored Spanish students studying English
  2. Interacted with students both in and out of classroom to help improve English speaking and reading skills
  3. Helped implement a mentor program with Marquette students as a means for the Spanish students to practice English speaking skills

MARQUETTE STUDY CENTER, Madrid, Spain, Fall 20xx                      
Study Abroad

  1. · Adapted quickly to Spanish culture and academic system
  2. · Demonstrated sensitivity to cultural values and differences
  3. · Improved verbal and written Spanish communication skills
  4. · Developed global perspective
Activities/Awards Section:  Include any volunteer experience or activities you participated in during your study abroad experience as part of the activities section.  Also include any honors or awards you received as part of studying abroad. 

ACTIVITIES/AWARDS            

  1. Dean’s List
  2. Reading volunteer for Spanish elementary students while studying abroad
  3. Hunger Clean-Up Volunteer
  4. Marquette scholarship, three years
  5. Recipient of the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad
  6. Intramural soccer