Connecting Study Abroad to Your Career

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Participating in education abroad can provide critical skills for any career, including language learning, adaptability, independence, and cultural knowledge, which are valued by employers and graduate schools. This online resource, a collaboration between the Career Center and the Office of International Programs, offers professional development guidance before, during, and after your abroad experience.

Additional information can be found on the Office of International Programs website.

Before going

Take time to prepare for your abroad experience by updating your professional credentials, meeting with a Career Advisor, and setting aside time for reflection on how this experience fits into your larger academic and professional goals.  

If you want to do an internship abroad, start networking before and as soon as you get settled in your host country. Use LinkedIn to search for BC alumni in your host city and research student groups on your host campus that might provide additional opportunities.

 

While Abroad

You will have a unique experience while you are abroad, but when you come back home it can be easy to forget the details of your experience. Remember to update your professional credentials to reflect your abroad experience. Furthermore, it is important to be mindful of application deadlines for summer jobs or internships, keeping in mind that some industries hiring timelines have shifted – some are in the fall, while others are in the spring. Establishing connections with potential employers and preparing yourself academically can also go a long way in determining your career-related success.

 

After Going

After an incredible adventure abroad, you are back in the States and looking for a new professional experience. Identify the skills you have gained during your time abroad through self-reflection, paying close attention to experiences that were particularly meaningful. Practice articulating your experience to potential employers through practice interviews and your professional documents.

 

Skills and Reflection

After an incredible adventure abroad, you are back in the States and looking for a new professional experience. Identify the skills you have gained during your time abroad through self-reflection, paying close attention to experiences that were particularly meaningful. Practice articulating your experience to potential employers through practice interviews and your professional documents.

What skills or proficiencies did you acquire or enhance while you were abroad?  

Skills that professionals with international experiences cite as being particularly useful in their careers, as well as employers having an appreciation of potential candidates who have acquired the following abilities include:

  • Enhanced cultural awareness, sensitivity to customs, and cultural differences

  • Intercultural competency

  • Global perspective and awareness of political, economic, and cultural issues

  • Foreign language proficiency

  • Adaptability/ability to step out of one’s comfort zone

  • Problem-solving skills

  • Ability to identify and achieve goals

  • Communication skills: ability to listen, observe, and interact with others

  • Increased confidence and initiative

  • Ability to maintain an open mind and be tolerant of others

  • Clarification of goals and improved self-awareness

  • Crisis management

 

The questions below will help you reflect more deeply on your abroad experience.

  • What were the most memorable aspects of your time abroad? What were the most challenging aspects? How do these experiences illustrate personal and professional growth that you can articulate in an interview, cover letter, or personal statement?

  • Share an example of how you set priorities to achieve a desired outcome in your study abroad experience.

  • How did your study abroad experience enhance your knowledge, skills, and understanding of your intended career field?

  • What assets might international study yield as opposed to someone who studied domestically?

  • Share an example of how your international experience has improved your skills when communicating with others. How might this make you a better professional in your field?

  • How did you adjust /adapt to your new cultural surroundings?

  • Share an international experience in which you had to resolve a conflict or solve a problem. What skills and personal qualities did you tap into? How did the experience help you grow as a person?

  • What was the most significant thing you learned about yourself through your study abroad experience? Why?

  • How did you develop intercultural skills while abroad?  Did you work with students from different cultures on group projects or other extracurricular activities? How did you adapt to a different workplace or classroom style?

     

General Tips and Resources

  • For additional information on semester and summer abroad programs, visit the Office of International Programs website.

  • GoinGlobal is a research tool packed with country-specific information and resources to facilitate an international job search.  

    • If you are off site (not on the BC campus), you will be prompted to put in your Agora credentials.

  • Transitions Abroad has a goal of providing information that would enable open-minded and empathetic travelers to actually meet the people of other countries, to learn about their culture, to speak their language, and to "transition" to a new level of understanding and appreciation for our fascinating world.

  • Global Career Compass is a consulting practice focused on global workforce trends and the impact of education abroad experiences on student career development.

  • Global Edge International Internship Directory is a reference guide to match students with international internship opportunities

  • Study Abroad Resume Examples

  • Study Abroad Cover Letter Examples