5 Tips On Tying Study Abroad Into An Interview

1. Resume

Make sure your study abroad experience is on your resume. Typically, this goes under your Education heading listing the university or school in which you studied.

2. Include Your Study Abroad Experience In Your “Tell Me About Yourself” Answer

Start with your name, major, a career related goal, and then connect your study abroad experience to that career related goal (which hopefully is in line with the organization you’re interviewing with!). For example, you could say something along the lines of,“Recently I studied abroad in [INSERT LOCATION] which taught me a lot about [INSERT 2-4 SKILLS], and it prepared me to be successful in [THE POSITION] .”


3. Go With the Flow

If your interviewer has been to the same place, or wants to visit there, don’t feel awkward spending time chatting about where you studied. This is building a relationship between you and your interviewer. This conversation is more likely to get you the job than perfect answers to each interview question. People hire people they like!


4. Always Provide An Example Story of How You Learned a Specific Skill

If you’re stating that you’re a problem solver, quick on your feet, and are adaptable, back those up with a story from your time abroad. Did you get lost in a shuffle with your group en route to your destination? Were you isolated during your early language learning stages? Was the adjustment to your host culture a bit rocky at first? These three areas can certainly extrapolate a story to demonstrate that you did, in fact, gain said skills abroad.


5. Did You Learn the Following Things While You Were Abroad?

Cultural Diversity
• Learning your social place in the world – how is your passport country perceived, and how does that impact how people from various backgrounds interact with you?
• Appreciating and participating in unique traditions that the host country celebrates

Intercultural Skills
• Effectively communicating with individuals that speak a different native language
• Successfully adhering to social norms in your host country
• Identifying differences in communication styles and core cultural values (both your own and in the host country!)

Facing and Overcoming Adversity
• When you missed a train, bus, or flight
• Navigating a new city and transportation system
• Being the ‘other’ and how you’re treated

Effective Time Management
• Planning out where to travel in your limited time
• Adjusting to the concept of time across various countries and cultures

• Working with your professors and classmates on course projects
• Planning trips with local friends and classmates

• Adjusting to cultural norms and schedules — recognizing your home country’s isn’t the only and “right” way
• Traveling with others who have varying priorities

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